30-Minute Swim Workouts for Triathletes

Training for a triathlon can take up a lot of your free time. The good news? As a triathlete, you have a lot of options and the pool is one place where you can get a beneficial workout when you're short on time.

The two sample pool workouts below are short; that doesn't mean they aren't as valuable as your long, slow swims. Swimming at a sprint speed over a short distance helps to develop the neuromuscular programming that's necessary to increase your average swim speed.

To make the most of your time in the water, try these quick workouts that will mix up your training and get you ready for race day.

More: 2 Top Swim Workouts for Triathletes

Before You Begin

If you're a sprint-distance triathlete, T-Pace is the fastest average pace per 100 meters (m) that you can hold while doing 3 x 100 meters with a 20-second recovery interval (RI) between each rep. If you're an Olympic distance or Ironman racer, your T-Pace is the fastest average pace per 100 meters that you can hold while completing 3 x 300 meters with a 30-second RI between intervals. Your 50 T-Pace is the 100 pace divided by two.

If you don't know T-Pace, complete a warm-up followed by the T-Pace test set for your race distance prior to doing the workouts below.

More: 12 Week Swim Workout Plan for Olympic Distance Triathlons

Workout #1

Warm-up

1. Complete an easy 200-meter swim.

2. Follow with 3 x 100 meters—Swim the first 50 meters and build speed through the last 50 meters (take roughly 15-second RI between each one).

Main set

1. Swim 200 meters at a moderate pace, followed by an aerobic swim (30 seconds recovery).

2. Complete 5 x 50 meters at T-Pace with a 15-second RI. After the last set, go into next interval without rest.

3. Swim 200 meters at a moderate pace, followed by an aerobic swim the same as before with a 30-second recovery.

More: Swim Fast to Get Fast: The 50s

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About the Author

Gale Bernhardt

Gale Bernhardt was the USA Triathlon team coach at the 2003 Pan American Games and 2004 Athens Olympics. She's worked as a World Cup coach and delivered education training for the International Triathlon Union's Sport Development Team. Thousands of athletes have had successful training and racing experiences using Gale's easy-to-follow training plans. You can find some of her training plans on Active Trainer to help you succeed.

Gale Bernhardt was the USA Triathlon team coach at the 2003 Pan American Games and 2004 Athens Olympics. She's worked as a World Cup coach and delivered education training for the International Triathlon Union's Sport Development Team. Thousands of athletes have had successful training and racing experiences using Gale's easy-to-follow training plans. You can find some of her training plans on Active Trainer to help you succeed.

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