Training

Benchmark a Better You: Swim Month, Week 4 Workouts

It’s the fourth and final week of our swim month—which means it’s time to repeat the benchmark test!

Welcome to the final week of our swim month—we hope you’re feeling fitter, faster, and stronger in the water and ready to repeat the benchmark test from Week 1. This week brings two more workouts from pro triathlete Lauren Brandon before the final benchmark test on the weekend. 

Brandon advises athletes do the first workout—the speed workout—on Monday or Tuesday, then the second workout—aerobic/strength—on Thursday, before repeating the benchmark test on either Saturday or Sunday. Hopefully you’ll see some strong improvements on your test from Week 1. 

As with previous weeks, there are two options for every workout with option one for those who typically swim an average of 2,000 yards/meters per session and option two for those who usually cover 3,000 to 4,000 yards/meters per session. 

Workout 1: Speed Swim

Option 1: 2,000 yards 

Warm-up:
300 choice swim

2 x 150 (100 free/50 kick)  on 15 sec. rest

4 x 75 (25 drill, 25 build to fast, 25 easy) on 15 sec. rest

4 x 25 descend 1-4 (number 4 = all out!) on 10 sec. rest

100 choice

Main Set:
4 x 75 as:
#1 15 yards fast, the rest easy on 20 sec. rest
#2 20 yards fast, the rest easy on 20 sec. rest
#3 25 yards fast, the rest easy on 20 sec. rest
#4 50 ALL OUT (get your time) then 25 easy

100 choice 

4 x 75 as:
#1 15 yards fast, the rest easy on 20 sec. rest
#2 20 yards fast, the rest easy on 20 sec. rest
#3 25 yards fast, the rest easy on 20 sec. rest
#4 50 ALL OUT (get your time) then 25 easy

Cool-down:
200 choice easy

Option 2: 3,200 yards 

Warm-up:
400 choice swim

2 x 200 (100 free/50 kick/50 no free) on 15 sec. rest

4 x 100 (25 drill, 50 build to fast, 25 easy) on 15 sec. rest

8 x 50 descend 1-4, 5-8 to fast  on 10 sec. rest

100 choice

Main Set:
4 x 75 as:
#1 15 yards fast, the rest easy on 20 sec. rest
#2 20 yards fast, the rest easy on 20 sec. rest
#3 25 yards fast, the rest easy on 20 sec. rest
#4 50 ALL OUT (get your time) then 25 easy

200 choice 

4 x 75 as:
#1 15 yards fast, the rest easy on 20 sec. rest
#2 20 yards fast, the rest easy on 20 sec. rest
#3 25 yards fast, the rest easy on 20 sec. rest
#4 50 ALL OUT (get your time) then 25 easy

200 choice 

4 x 75 with paddles (buoy optional) as:
#1 15 yards fast, the rest easy on 20 sec. rest
#2 20 yards fast, the rest easy on 20 sec. rest
#3 25 yards fast, the rest easy on 20 sec. rest
#4 50 ALL OUT (get your time) then 25 easy

Cool-down:
200 choice 

Workout 2: Aerobic/Strength Swim 

Option 1: 2,400 yards

Warm-up:
200 (75 free/25 no free)

Main Set:
2 x 200 (#1 50 kick/50 swim); (#2. 50 drill/50 swim) on 15 sec. rest

4 x 100 (odd buoy only, even buoy and paddles) breathing every 3 strokes on 15 sec. rest

8 x 50 (25 build to fast, so start off slow and build throughout the 25 to fast; 25 easy) on 15 sec. rest

16 x 25 (4 free; 4 no free; 4 descend 1-4 (get faster each one); 4 choice easy) on 10-15 sec. rest

Cool-down:
200 easy

Option 2: 3,800 yards

Warm-up:
600 (75 free/25 no free)

Main Set:
3 x 200 (#1 – 50 kick/50 swim; #2 – 50 drill/50 swim; #3 – 50 free/50 no free) on 15 sec. rest

6 x 100 (odds buoy only; evens buoy and paddles) breathe every 3 strokes on 15 sec. rest

12 x 50 (25 build to fast; 25 easy) on 15 sec. rest

20 x 25 (4 free, 4 descend 1-4 to fast, 4 no free, 4 descend 1-4 to fast, 4 choice easy) on 10-15 sec. rest

6 x 100 (1-3 paddles only; 4-6 buoy and paddles) on 15 sec. Rest

Cool-down:
200 easy

Workout 3: The Benchmark Test

Warm-up:
Do an easy 10 min. swim, gradually increasing effort throughout the 10 min. so you feel well warmed up by the end. Ideally you should repeat the warm-up you did before your first benchmark test in Week 1.

Prep Set:
8 x 50 – progress effort 1-4, 5-8, from easy to fast, taking 10-15 sec. rest between each 50. The idea here is to “open your engine up” ready for the main set and benchmark test.

Main Set/Benchmark Test:
Option 1: 5 x 200 with 20 sec. rest between each 200 (record your best average time)

Option 2: 10 x 200 with 20 sec. rest between each 200 (record your best average time) 

Cool-down:
100-200 easy swim