One-Hour Workout: Taylor Spivey’s Swim Speed Set

Looking to build speed in the water? We've got you covered with this session, but be warned—it's hard and fast!

Photo: World Triathlon/Wagner Araujo

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This week’s One-Hour Workout comes from short-course star Taylor Spivey—and it’s a tough one! Spivey recently raced the Super League Triathlon Series, finishing eighth at Malibu this past weekend and rounding out the 2021 season ranked sixth overall. She was a national champion in surf lifesaving before taking up triathlon and, based on this swim workout, clearly still loves some intense swim action. Remember: this is a workout from a pro triathlete, so don’t be afraid to pare it back to suit your training and experience.

You’ll begin with a 400 warm-up, keeping the effort easy and mixing in some drills if you wish. To get you ready for the main set there’s a prep set of 4 x 100 build, taking 20 seconds rest between each 100. Build each 100 so your effort by 25 should be: first lap easy, second lap steady, third lap solid, fourth lap hard. Repeat this four times.

The main set is essentially four blocks of 4 x 50 where the intensity creeps up as you add an extra hard 50 with each block. You’ll want to select an interval that’ll give you 10-15 seconds rest. For Spivey, this is 45 seconds in a 25-yard pool or 50 seconds in a 25-meter or 50-meter pool (but we realize that’s definitely not a beginner-friendly interval!).

Spivey said: “This is a great session for simulating hard and fast swimming, despite the fatigue as the session accumulates. I used it as a a great tune-up set for Super League racing where we have to swim after biking and running, so we need to maintain form and speed, despite being tired.”

Wrap it all up with a cool-down of 100 easy, 400 pull, 100 easy, for a total swim of 3,000.

One-Hour Workout: Taylor Spivey’s Swim Speed Set


400 choice (swim/drills)

Prep set:

4 x 100 build (per 100) with 20 sec. rest between each 100

Main set:

All on an interval that gives 10-15 sec. rest

4 x (1 x 50 hard + 3 x 50 easy)
3 x (2 hard + 2 easy)
2 x( 3 x hard + 1 x easy)
1 x (4 x hard)


100 easy
400 pull
100 easy


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