One-Hour Workout: 10×100 Time Trial Swim

Use this set to test your fitness and create a benchmark for future workouts.

This week’s time trial swim workout comes from Alison Kreideweis, a two-time USAT all-American, two-time Team USA member, and the co-founder of the Empire Tri Club in New York City. Kreideweis is USAT, USATF, NASM, and Schwinn Cycling certified, with specialty certifications in pre- and post-natal training. She has been competing and coaching for over 18 years.

“Often times, when I ask a triathlete what their ‘swim pace is’ they have no idea,” Kreideweis says. “Additionally, I often get questions from athletes about how long I think it will take them to complete their triathlon swim, which is impossible to answer without knowing how fast they can swim.”

The 10×100 time trial set is a great workout to help athletes determine their swim pace—often described in “pace per 100.” Be sure to note the length of the pool you’re doing the workout in (meters or yards) to get a proper benchmark for swims at different pools or with different groups.

“This workout can be adapted to suit athletes of varying ability levels by either increasing or decreasing the number of 100’s in the main set,” Kreideweis says, but “consistency is key! Athletes should aim to complete 5-10 x 100 intervals in roughly the same time (with the same amount of recovery between each). Your pace should not be determined by one all-out 100m effort.”

When the workout is finished, take your average time for the 100s, and that number will serve as your benchmark for your current swim pace. Be sure to repeat every four to eight weeks to get a new benchmark and track improvement. Enjoy this time trial swim!

200 easy swim, :20 rest
4 x 50 kick, :15 rest
4 x 50 pull, :15 rest
200 moderate swim, :20 rest

Main Set:
10 x 100 time trial, :10 rest
Try to aim for the same time for each 100. Aim to keep the recovery to only 10 seconds between each one.

100 easy choice of drill, :30 rest
100 easy choice of stroke

Total: 2,000