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With most group workouts and masters swim sessions canceled, a lot of athletes are struggling to stay motivated while swimming solo, so swim coaches have been trying to get creative with workouts to keep their athletes motivated, fit, and inspired. Dan Bullock, a leading triathlon swim coach in the UK (which has recently gone back into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic) and co-founder of Swim For Tri, provided this broken 100s swim workout for today’s one-hour workout as it’s one that his athletes have been enjoying.
He said: “This workout provides a good way to create some excitement in the pool while trying to swim faster if on your own. We all know it can be hard to do that solo and you can feel a little flat without your teammates or your coach around you.”
After a steady warm-up of at least 10 minutes of easy swimming, do a prep set of 8 x 25 as odd laps: 5 strokes fast, 5 strokes easy; even laps: 5 strokes fists clenched, then open palms (and you should notice a better ‘feel’ for the water). This prep set should help get you well warmed up for the main set ahead, which—spoiler alert—involves some faster swimming. Feel free to pare down the main set if you are limited for time (e.g. do three rounds, not four).
Bullock said of the main set: “The goal behind taking the additional rest at the 25 or 50 mark (known as a ‘broken’ set) is to help you keep the effort/intensity high. You should aim to swim each block of 5 x 100 faster than the previous one, despite adding the extra rest in. Add fins if you are struggling to beat your times as you progress through the set. Do not subtract the ‘internal’ rest periods as that is what is going to make it harder to get faster in the next round.”
Finish the broken 100s session with an easy cool-down swim.
One-Hour Workout: Broken 100s Swim
10 min. steady swimming
8 x 25 as odd laps: 5 strokes fast, 5 strokes easy; even laps: 5 strokes fists clenched, then open palms
Round #1, 5 x 100 at a solid effort, but not too hard (7/10 RPE), with 20 sec. rest between each 100
Round #2, 5 x 100, 8/10 RPE, taking five sec. rest at the 50, with 20 sec. rest between each 100
Round #3, 5 x 100, 9/10 RPE, taking two sec. rest at each 25, with 20 sec. rest between each 100
Round #4, 5 x 100, 10/10 RPE —strong effort here!—pausing for three sec. rest at each 25, with 20 sec. rest between each 100
200-400 easy swim