Swimming Workout for Triathletes

Total Distance: 2100 yards or meters

Here's a fun swim workout that touches on several important aspects of training. While swimming, try to focus on the following:

  • Bilateral breathing: Great for stroke balance and navigation in open water
  • Balance in the water: Necessary for implementation of hip rotation in freestyle
  • Intervals: Help to improve your endurance
  • General stroke technique improvement: Check in with your stroke with a set of "free golf"

Warm Up

300, breathe on your weaker side on even lengths


4 x 75, first 50 of each is kicking on your side, last 25 is swim
4 x 100, count strokes on first 25. Descend stroke count with each 100. Rest=15 seconds

Main Set

3 x 200 on cruise interval*
4 x 75, middle 25 backstroke, rest=10 seconds
4 x 50, descend stroke count, rest=20 seconds
3 x 100 on cruise, rest=05 seconds
4 x 125, breathe every 3 strokes. Rest=10 seconds
4 x 50 Free Golf**

Cool Down

200 Distance Per Stroke*** and breathe on your weaker side on odd lengths

*Cruise: An interval you can make consecutive 100-yard or -meter swims on with about 5-10 seconds rest.

**Free Golf: Count your strokes and get your time on each 50. Add these numbers together to get your "score". Attempt to lower your score each round by either lowering stroke count, going faster, or doing both.

***Distance Per Stroke: Extend and glide as much as you can with each stroke.

Kevin coaches sessions for Masters swimming and triathletes in San Diego, and conducts a variety of clinics, private lessons and video-analysis of personal swim style with critique and correction. He has helped professional Ironman triathletes reach their goal, but his passion is to give the new triathlete the confidence to be successful in the swim portion of the race. He also runs the websites www.triswimcoachonline.com and www.triswimcoach.com, where you can find his products, including The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD and The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming.

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