One-Hour Workout: Mastering Pace in the Pool

Learn the art of swim pacing with this simple but effective one-hour workout.

Photo: Hannah DeWitt

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Learning the art of pacing is always a worthwhile practice, but it can be one that takes time to truly master—especially when it comes to swimming. This week’s One-Hour Workout, from coach Morgon Latimore, will help you with this, by focusing on your stroke and your effort through the main set. There’s the option to repeat the main set twice through (which takes the total swim to the 2,500 yards). Those looking to swim a shorter distance can simply do the main set once.

You’ll begin with a warm-up of four 100s as 100 swim, 100 kick, 100 pull, 100 swim. Keep this easy with your RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) at 4-5/10. Swim 100 easy—and then it’s time to get to the main set.

The main set looks simple, but it requires focus to execute it well and you should look to drop 10-15 seconds between the easy 100s and the hard ones, Latimore said. Begin with three 100s easy (RPE 4-5/10) on 10 seconds rest. Next up, it’s three 100s moderate effort (RPE 6-7/10) on 20 seconds rest. Finally, it’s three 100s hard on 30 seconds rest (RPE 8-9/10). If you’re doing two rounds, swim 100-200 easy between sets and then repeat. Finish it up with four 50s easy swim to cool down.

Latimore said: “It’s important to really distinguish between the easy, moderate, and hard. You want to see a real difference in the times you’re swimming for these—and the level of effort you’re putting in. This is how you start to learn pace control.”

One-Hour Workout: Mastering Pace in the Pool


4 x 100 (100 swim, 100 kick, 100 pull buoy, 100 swim) @ RPE 4-5/10

100 easy

Main set

Repeat twice:

3 x 100 easy (RPE 4-5/10) on 10 sec. rest

3 x 100 moderate (RPE 6-7/10) on 20 sec. rest

3 x 100 hard (RPE 8-9/10) with 30 sec. rest

100-200 easy between sets


4 x 50 easy

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