One-Hour Workout: Quick And Dirty Swim Set


Use this short swim to wake up your swimming system and beat the wintertime blues.

This week’s workout comes from Erinne Guthrie, the owner of Full Circle Triathlon Coaching in Miami, Florida. She is a Level 2 USAT coach since 1999, a Level 3 CHEK Holistic Lifestyle coach, and a Level 2 USMS coach.

“So many athletes stop swimming completely in the off-season, and I think that is a big mistake which will cost you in the long run,” Guthrie says. “Including at least 1-2 short and fast swim sets each week will help you retain that feel for the water, so when you start to add your volume back in the spring, you won’t feel stale.”

The “Quick And Dirty” is a Tabata-style speed set that combines short, fast bursts of speed with easy swimming and moderate rest. This is a great set for the winter because none of the repeats are very long, so you’ll be able to hold your form through the fast sections and recover on the easy swimming and rest. The key to this workout is to go very hard on the fast sections and use the easy swimming as active recovery.

150 mixed-strokes warm-up
150 kick with board and fins
150 pull
150 drill of choice

Main Set
4 x 75 as 25 easy, 25 moderate, 25 fast; rest 20 seconds
4 x 50 as 25 fast 25 easy; rest 20 seconds
4 x 50 as 25 easy, 25 fast; rest 20 seconds
4 x 25 all fast; rest 20 seconds
100 easy choice recovery

Total: 1,500

Repeat main set for more volume: 2,400