World Class Workouts 11: Repeating 200s With Olympian Lindsay Benko

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This World Class Workout comes from American swimmer Lindsay Benko. The former world record holder in both the 200-meter and 400-meter short course freestyle, Benko won gold at the 2000 Sydney Games in the 4x200m Freestyle Relay, and gold and silver at the 2004 Athens Games in the 4x200m Free and 4x100m Free Relays, respectively.

Primarily a middle-distance swimmer, though also an accomplished backstroker, Lindsay offers a departure from some previous World Class Workouts in that her workout is based in a short-course 25-yard pool.

Some readers have requested short-course workouts because they lack access to 50-meter facilities, which become increasingly difficult to find in the winter months.

In addition, Lindsay's contribution differs from former columns in that its main set emphasizes continuous repetition of her primary middle-distance event, the 200 freestyle, rather than break the distance down into a ladder, or a series of shorter-distance repeats.

As such, the workout is not easy but proves effective in building speed and endurance—and self-confidence for those swimmers that manage to complete it.

An explanation of Lindsay's World Class Workout follows the breakdown listed below, along with a few ideas on how to modify it to your specific needs.

Lindsay Benko's World Class Workout

900 swim (middle 300 kick)
600 swim (middle 300 stroke drill of your choice)
300 individual medley

8 x 100 variable sprints (two times through):

  • 1st -- First turn fast
  • 2nd -- Second turn fast
  • 3rd -- Third turn fast
  • 4th -- Finish fast

21 x 200 freestyle
3 @ 2:25 (the time interval, meaning two minutes, 25 seconds after you started you leave for the next 200)
3 @ 2:20
3 @ 2:10
3 @ 2:15
3 @ 2:05
3 @ 2:10
3 @ 2:00

6 x 50 @ 1:15 (two times through):

  • 1st: three breaths
  • 2nd: two breaths
  • 3rd: no breath

TOTAL: 7,100 yards

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