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This workout, from leading triathlon swimming coach Gerry Rodrigues of Tower 26, helps build fitness and technique, specifically the propulsive part of your swim stroke.
It begins with a 500 easy swim warm-up before going into a 1K kick/swim (ideally using snorkel, fins, and kickboard, but this is a good read if you’d like more info on swim gear), gently progressing effort through this pattern: 200 kick, 200 swim, 150 kick, 150 swim, 100 kick, 100 swim, 50 kick, 50 swim. Use a front-mounted snorkel and on the kick sections keep your head fixed, torso stabilized, arms outstretched with the kickboard in front of you).
You’ll then do 6 x 100 kick with fins as 50 kick on your side/50 swim, progressing effort with each 100, taking 20 seconds rest between each repeat. The next set involves 4 x 100 with fins at 70% effort, taking 20 seconds rest between each 100, and following this pattern: #1 – Right arm only; #2 – Left arm only; #3 – Alternate single arm every three strokes; #4 – Regular swim.
Next up, it’s time for the main set, which begins with 400 swimming with a snorkel at 70% effort, taking 40 seconds rest, then you’ll do 6 x 100 swim at 80% effort with 20 seconds rest. For those looking to complete a longer swim, you can repeat this pattern two or three times through.
Do a 200 easy pull cool-down.
If you’re looking for more swim tips, advice, and workouts, check out our complete guide to triathlon swimming here.
One-Hour Workout: Propulsion and Power Swim
500 easy swim
1,000 kick/swim, using snorkel, fins, kickboard, progressing effort through this pattern: 200 kick, 200 swim, 150 kick, 150 swim, 100 kick, 100 swim, 50 kick, 50 swim
6 x 100 kick with fins as 50 kick on side/50 swim, progress effort 1-6, take 20 sec. rest between each 100
4 x 100 with fins at 70% effort with 20 sec. rest between each 100, as:
#1 – Right arm only
#2 – Left arm only
#3 – Alternate single arm every three strokes
#4 – Regular swim
1 x 400 with snorkel at 70% with 40 sec. rest
6 x 100 swim at 80% effort with 20 sec. rest
Repeat this 2-3x if looking for more time/distance
200 easy pull
Gerry Rodrigues is the head coach and founder of Tower 26 and the author of Triathlon Swimming. He has coached dozens of swimmers to national records and wins, Olympic gold medals, and world championships. His Tower 26 program turns out hundreds of race-ready triathletes, in Los Angeles and all over the world.