Workout Ideas for Longer Swims


Swim Ideas #1 | Swim Ideas #2 | Swim Ideas #3
Swim Ideas #4 | Swim Ideas #5


Workout One (Endurance)
Warm up 600 easy
6x100 alt 100 drill, 100 steady
3x800 all steady on 20s rest
  • #1 - band and pull buoy (band important)
  • #2 - free, no gear, 6 strokes hard (no breathing) every 100m
  • #3 - free, six strokes fly every 50m
4x100 as 50m back and 50m breast (alt easy 100 then steady 100)
500 free, steady, no gear (adjust length and intensity based on time)
4,500 meters

Workout Two (Muscular Endurance)
Warm up 200 easy
4x100 as 100 drill, 100 steady, repeat
200/400 on 20s rest (x3)
  • 200 band and pull buoy, moderately-hard
  • 400 free, steady
100 back, easy
4x200 on 15s rest (IM / Free / IM / Free) all steady
100 back, easy
800 free, steady, no gear (reduce if short of time - fins permitted if whipped)
4x50 hard on 20s rest (eliminate if whipped or short of time)
100 easy
4,500 meters

Workout Three (Muscular Endurance)
600 free, start easy and build to steady for last 2-300
5x200, 25 fly/175 free steady on 15s rest
4x300, (band only, free, band/buoy, free) on 30s rest (gear mod-hard, no gear steady)
1x100 back, easy
4x300 as before
1x100 back, easy
2x50 hard
200 easy
4,500 meters

Note Workouts 4-6: No paddles on pull sets, no fins/boards on kick sets (work balance)

Workout Four
Warm up 400 easy
8x50 alt 50 drill, 50 steady
8x50 alt 50 kick (side/back), 50 free
2x200 IM on 30 secs rest
100 choice easy (non-free)
100 easy
6x200 pull, band buoy
  • #1 - steady, 10s rest
  • #2 - mod-hard, 20s rest
  • #3 - hard, 60s rest then repeat
2x100 50 back, 50 breast easy on 10s rest
8x50 hard on 20s rest
400 free, steady, no gear (adjust length and intensity based on time)
4,000 meters

Workout Five
Warm up 600 easy
18x50 as 50 drill, 50 steady, 50 side kick, repeat (x2) on 15s rest each 100
4x200 as 50 hard, 150 steady on 15s rest (even split whole way)
100 back, easy
4x200 on 15s rest (IM / Free / IM / Free)
  • IM mod-hard (work the fly and breast)
  • Free 50 easy, 100 hard, 50 easy
100 back, easy
600 free, steady, fins or pullbuoy - focus on hand entry, catch and pull
6x50 hard on 20s rest
200 easy
4,400 meters

Workout Six
8x50 Free on 10secs
8x50 Breast on 10 secs
8x50 Back on 10 secs
8x50 Fly on 15 secs (weak fly swimmers use Free or 25 Fly/25 Free)
No rest between these 50 sets
Kick 200 (back/side)
3x200 Pull (band/buoy) on 30 secs rest
Steady / Mod-Hard / Hard
8x50 Mod Hard on 10 secs
8x50 Hard on 20 secs
8x50 Mod Hard on 10 secs
8x50 Hard on 10 secs
30 secs rest between these 50 sets
400 easy
4,400 meters

Overall Note Workouts 7-10 - Use no hand paddles on pull sets, just band only or band/buoy

Workout Seven (Modified May 8th)
400 alt 100 free 100 non-free, 15s rest
300 steady, 15s rest
200 back, 15s rest
2x50 build, 10s rest
8x50 alt drill / side kick
4x200, 25 fly/175 free steady on 15s rest
100 easy choice
4x200, (band/buoy, free, band/buoy, free) gear mod-hard 20s rest, no gear steady 10s rest
100 easy choice
8x50 hard on 20s rest
100 easy choice (extend if extra time -- should be easy, continuous swimming)
3,700 meters

Workout Eight
800 alt 100 free / 100 back
10x50 alt drill (personal weakness) / kick (use back and side kick)
100 choice easy
4x600
  • #1 - 200 hard 400 mod-hard on 30s rest
  • #2 - 600 at 1K TT pace on 30s rest
  • #3 - 200 hard 300 steady 100 easy on 10s rest
  • #4 - 600 at 1K TT pace
  • rest interval refers to rest at end of 600, no rest during 600
  • Key swims are #2 and #4 - pacing is key to avoid exploding!
  • This should be a difficult main set, requiring significant concentration for #4
200 choice easy
4,000 meters
NOTE: To extend the above workout add 100 easy and 8x50 hard on 20s rest immediately after the Main Set of 600s.

Workout Nine
400 free
6x100 alt kick (side/back kick, 50 hard 50 easy) / drill (personal weakness)
6x200 done as steady 10s rest, mod-hard 15s rest, hard 30s rest - repeat
100 easy
6x100 alt IM steady on 20s rest / free, hard, 5s rest (free to IM transition will be tough)
100 easy
4x400
  • #1 - 300 hard, 100 steady - 30s rest
  • #2 - 200 hard, 200 steady - 20s rest
  • #3 - 100 hard, 300 steady - 10s rest
  • #4 - 100 very hard, 300 steady
  • Note that the pace of the second part of the 400 is steady, not easy. The goal is to slowly reduce the oxygen debt while swimming at a steady pace. Should take at least 100m before you feel comfortable. The first 50 will feel uncomfortable, we want you to get used to that sensation.
100 easy
4,500 meters
NOTE: To shorten workout remove 400 #3.

Workout Ten (Modified #1)
Warm up 400 easy, building to steady
6x100 alt 100 drill, 100 kick (back / side) on 15s rest
3x800 all steady on 20s rest
  • #1 - band and pull buoy (band important)
  • #2 - free, no gear, 6 strokes hard (no breathing) every 100m
  • #3 - free, six strokes fly every 50m
2x100 easy non-free on 15s rest
8x50 hard on 20s rest
200 easy
4,200 meters

Overall Note Workouts 11-13 - Use no hand paddles on pull sets, just band only or band/buoy

Workout Eleven
200 easy
8x50 done as 50 drill and 50 side kick change
4x200 done as
  • 50 free, 150 non-free - steady on 10s rest
  • 100 free, 100 non-free - steady on 10s rest
  • 150 free, 50 non-free - steady on 10s rest
  • 200 free
Main Set - Long swims are done on T+10s send off time per 100, 100s are done on T+20s per 100. Long swims are done aerobically, 100s are done up to 5s faster than T pace. Progression is 200, 2x100, 300, 3x100, 400, 4x100, 500, 5x100
200 easy
4,400 meters

If you are looking to shorten then it is best to trim the 200s. Example for main set times. If your T-Pace is 1:30 per hundred then all the 100s are done leaving on 1:50 and coming in on 1:25-1:30. The 200/300/400/500 are done leaving on 3:20/5:00/6:40/8:20 (i.e. 1:40 per 100).

Workout Twelve (Variation of #9)
400 free
6x50 alt "25 side kick / 25 swim" with "25 drill / 25 swim" easy on 15s rest
3x200 done as steady 10s rest, mod-hard 20s rest, hard 30s rest - repeat
100 back4x300
  • #1 - 200 hard, 100 steady - 30s rest
  • #2 - 150 hard, 150 steady - 20s rest
  • #3 - 100 hard, 200 steady - 10s rest
  • #4 - 50 very hard, 250 steady
  • Note that the pace of the second part of the 300 is steady, not easy. The goal is to slowly reduce the oxygen debt while swimming at a steady pace. Should take at least 100m before you feel comfortable. The first 50 will feel uncomfortable, we want you to get used to that sensation.
100 easy
2,700 meters

Workout Thirteen
500 easy (every other 50 non-free)
10x50 done as 50 bilateral breathing and 50 side kick (change every 5m) -- easy
Main Set
  • 300 active recovery then 3x200
  • 300 active recovery then 3x150
  • 300 active recovery then 3x100
  • 300 active recovery then 3x50
  • All swims are done leaving on T+10s per 100. The three aerobic swims are descended. The first on T+5s per 100, the second on T per 100, the final on T-5s per 100. The active recovery swims are done so you finish with about 5s rest before the aerobic swims.
  • After each 300, 3x combo take 20-40 secs rest, enough to spin the clock to the next top or bottom.
  • Here is an example using a T time of 1:40 per 100. Therefore the base time is 1:50 per 100. All 300s are done leaving on 5:30 mins and arriving on 5:20-5:25. The 200s are done leaving on 3:40, arriving on 3:30/3:20/3:10. The 150s are done leaving on 2:45 and arriving on 2:35/2:30/2:25. The 100s are done leaving on 1:50 and arriving on 1:45/1:40/1:35. The 50s are done leaving on 60s (if in doubt round up) and arriving on 50s/45s/40s. In order to survive this set, you need to exercise control in the early and easy swims. Otherwise.... you'll see!
300 easy
4,000 meters
Workout A - Strength 200s
6 x100 easy on 10s rest every second 100 non-free
4x150 steady on 15s rest done as
  • 50 fly 100 free
  • 50 back 100 free
  • 50 breast 100 free
  • 150 free
8x50 alt kick (back/side) / swim on 10s rest
8x50 alt drill (three stroke change/"catch focus w/ buoy") / swim on 10s rest
4x200 pull (band/buoy) steady on 20s rest
est one minute
6x200 build done as 50 easy/50 steady/50 mod-hard/50 hard on 30s rest (hold back on first one and maintain split for next five)
200 easy cool down
4,200 meters

Workout B - Best Average
3x200 free insert 50m on non-free in each interval, steady on 15s rest
6x50 alt kick (back/side) / swim on 10s rest
6x50 alt drill (three stroke change/"catch focus w/ buoy") / swim on 10s rest
4x50 build (start easy and end with 10m of max speed) on 20s rest
100 non-free
12x100 free on 45 seconds rest, goal is to achieve the best average. This means you'll need to hold back on the first few. Be sure to note the best average
12x50 free on one minute, swim time is 50% of your best average.
200 easy cool down
3,500 meters

Workout C - Long Pull
8x100 alt free / non-free, first four easy on 5s rest, last four steady on 10s rest
8x50 alt kick (back/side) / swim on 10s rest
8x50 alt drill (three stroke change/fists) / swim on 10s rest
12x200 done as
  • 3x200 buoy breathing every 5th stroke on 20s rest steady
  • 3x200 band/buoy breathing every 3rd stroke on 20s rest steady
  • 3x200 descending band/buoy - steady on 10s rest, mod-hard on 20s rest, hard on 30s rest
  • 3x200 no gear, building each 50, build to mod-hard (not hard) on 30s rest
4,000 meters

Workout D - 500 Test Set
400 easy free
8x50 alt kick (back/side) / swim on 10s rest
12x50 alt drill (catch-up/breath control on 5 strokes) / swim on 10s rest
4x500 at T-pace on 60s rest (T pace is average pace from last TT)
200 easy, non-free
4x50 hard on 1:15
200 easy cool down
4,000 meters

Note Workouts E-H - All swims should be done in a 50m pool. Please note how the main set goes each time.

Workout "E" (Variation of #13)
400 easy (every other 50 non-free)
10x50 done as 50 bilateral breathing and 50 side kick (change every 5m) -- easy
Main Set
  • 300 active recovery then 3x200
  • 300 active recovery then 3x150
  • 300 active recovery then 3x100
  • 300 active recovery then 3x50
  • All swims are done leaving on T+10s per 100. The three aerobic swims are descended. The first on T+5s per 100, the second on T per 100, the final on T-5s per 100. The active recovery swims are done so you finish with about 5s rest before the aerobic swims.
  • After each 300, 3x combo take 20-40 secs rest, enough to spin the clock to the next top or bottom.
  • Here is an example using a T time of 1:40 per 100. Therefore the base time is 1:50 per 100. All 300s are done leaving on 5:30 mins and arriving on 5:20-5:25. The 200s are done leaving on 3:40, arriving on 3:30/3:20/3:10. The 150s are done leaving on 2:45 and arriving on 2:35/2:30/2:25. The 100s are done leaving on 1:50 and arriving on 1:45/1:40/1:35. The 50s are done leaving on 60s (if in doubt round up) and arriving on 50s/45s/40s. In order to survive this set, you need to exercise control in the early and easy swims. Otherwise.... you'll see!
100 easy
3,700 meters

Workout "F"
300 easy
4x150 - 50 (3/4 catch up) / 50 free / 50 six-kick change, 20s rest and done easy
100 back
3x200 - leaving on T+10s per 100, swim as T+5s, T, T-5s
100 back
6x100 - alt 100 IM (steady on 30s rest) and 100 free (hard on 5s rest)
Rest 2 mins
700 straight swim, steady with the first 50 of every 200 done moderately hard
2x100 - 50 back / 50 breast, back done steady, breast done mod-hard - 15s rest
6x50 free, hard on 20s rest
100 cool down
3,600 meters

Workout "G"
300 easy
10x50 alt three stroke change (10s rest) and free (15s rest)
10x50 alt side kick change (10s rest) and free (20s rest)
4x150 done as
  • 50 fly / 100 free
  • 50 back / 100 free
  • 50 breast / 100 free
  • 50 free / 100 free
  • 50 done mod-hard with 5s rest before 100 free (done steady). 10s rest after each 150.
200 easy, focus on holding form
3x400 free, leaving on T+10s per 100, swimming on T per 100
200 cool down
3,500 meters

Workout "H"
300 easy
10x100 alt breathe every three strokes (10s rest) / breathe every five strokes (15s rest)
100 back easy
4x50 build on 20s rest
4x400 swimming on T and taking 30s rest
100 easy
3,300 meters
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