A Favorite Swim Speed Session

Jan
12

Posted by Coach Mark Sortino

 

I have a lot of "trusted" speed sessions in both of the swim & bike disciplines, but one of my favorites is this swim that I got from a former Masters Swim Coach and pro triathlete, Christina Jackson. It's a set of 50's that works our VO2 zone with little rest within the blocks.
 

SWIM SPEED SESSION

  • 400 EASY w/u
  • 3 x 200 w/fins (100 kick on back, 50 drill, 50 swim) :10 RI
  • 2 x (4 x 50: (by 25's) easy/fast, fast/easy, easy/easy, fast/fast) :10RI
  • 7 x (5 x 50, come in under XX, and leave on XX - take 1min recovery after every 5)
  • 100 EASY
  • 400 PB&P, hold CSS pace
  • 200 EASY c/d

Total: 3850

 

Here is a more detailed explanation of the session:

 

WARMUP - Easy w/u followed by structured drill work

  • 400 EASY w/u
  • 3 x 200 w/fins (100 kick on back, 50 drill, 50 swim) :10 RI

 

PRIMER - Set of 50's that gradually warm up our muscles and increase heart rate

  • 2 x (4 x 50: (by 25's) easy/fast, fast/easy, easy/easy, fast/fast) :10RI

 

MAIN SET - Speed session

  • 7 x (5 x 50, come in under XX, and leave on XX - take 1min recovery after every 5)

 

The goal is to set the "come in under" time that requires a HARD effort to achieve. If our time was :40, we'd want to come in between :36-:39. Our "leave on" time will be :15 after our "come in under" time.
Example: 7 x (5 x 50, come in under :40 and leave on :55 - take 1min recovery after every 5)

How do we determine these numbers? I recommend taking your CSS (or T-pace) per 100 and divide it in half, then subtract :05.

            Example: Your CSS is 1:20. So, :80 divided by 2 = :40 subtract :05 = :35

For easy clockwork, you can round to nearest :05. If you don't know your CSS or how to get it, check out John Newsom's Swim Smooth test here - www.swimsmooth.com/css-calculator.html.
 

 

REMAINDER

  • 100 EASY
  • 400 PB&P, hold CSS pace
  • 200 EASY c/d

 

I often like to finish a speed session with a pull session. In this case, PB&P = Pull Buoy and Paddles and is done holding your steady CSS pace followed by a nice and easy 200 cool down

When you first try this, start with the main set of 5 x (5x50) and work up to 7. After doing this for a few weeks, you can then graduate to 5 x (4 x 75) using same format. Within two months, your speed should dramatically improve!

 

~ Coach Mark Sortino

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