One-Hour Workout: Pyramid Swim
The off-season is the perfect time to focus on drills, but you don't want to lose all of your fitness. This swim session strikes the balance.
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This one-hour pyramid swim workout involves almost every toy in your swim kit bag and combines technical work with aerobic endurance.
This time of year is the key time to work on swim technique, but focusing on drills and drills alone will soon leave your fitness waning. Combining work on your stroke with low intensity aerobic sessions is the perfect blend at this point in the season.
Begin with an easy 300-500 warm-up, gradually raising heart rate and nudging effort up to 5/10 RPE (rate of perceived exertion) by the end. And then begins your pyramid swim: start with a 100 full stroke swim, focusing on one or two elements of your stroke that you know needs attention. Then: 200 with pull buoy, 300 with buoy and paddles (small only), 400 paddles only, and then 500 straight swim (no toys), low intensity (no more than 6/10 RPE), focusing on those one or two elements of your stroke that you’ve been focusing on since the start of the session.
Coming down the pyramid, it’s time to concentrate on your kick: 400 kick/swim with fins as 50 kick (on your back, arms outstretched behind your head), 50 swim; 300 swim with fins, focusing on kicking from your hips—not your knees. Take off your fins for the final 200 and do a build swim, progressing effort every 50, to no more than 7/10 RPE. Wrap it up with a 100 easy cooldown.
300-500 easy swim
100 – full stroke swim
200 – pull
300 – pull + paddles
400 – paddles only
500 – straight swim
400 – kick/swim with fins as 50 kick, 50 swim
300 – swim with fins
200 – build swim, progress effort every 50