One-Hour Workout: Descending Interval Swim Set

This simple, but deceptively tough, swim set helps to teach proper pacing for race-day success.

This week’s workout comes from Michael Gallagher, head coach of Rogue Tri Performance in southern Oregon. Gallagher is an Ironman competitor and is USAT, USMS (Level 2), ASCA (Level 2) and ACE (personal trainer and sports conditioning) certified.

“This workout will help you with speed, pacing, and endurance,” says Gallagher. “This is a good workout to help athletes learn steady pacing and to not go out to fast, just as they might at the start of a race.”

Adjust the number of rounds in the main set based on your available practice time and skill level.

200 swim
100 kick
100 pull
2×50 one-arm drill (one arm at side, pull with only other arm, switch each 25)
2×50 zipper drill (run your fingers along the side of your body during recovery)

Main Set
4×100 each one faster by 5 seconds
200 pull at steady aerobic pace
3x (200 swim, 150 swim, 100 swim)
Each round the intervals should get faster by 5 seconds. 30-second rest between rounds.

100 swim
100 kick

Total: 2,750

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