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Weekend Swim Workout: 50 Mix And Band Pulls

You're probably used to paddles and buoys, but have you ever used a band in swim workouts? Give it a go with this set from coach Sara McLarty.

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This Friday, we’re swimming with the band – literally. Most triathletes are familiar with paddles and pull buoys, but lack a band in their bag of swim tools. That’s a shame – using a band around your ankles during swim workouts can be a powerful strength builder in the pool. You can purchase a stretchy band for swimming online, or save money by fashioning one from a spent bike tire – the key is to have something that can fits around your ankles and can be slipped on and off easily between sets. By restricting the ability to kick while swimming, the body is forced to compensate with faster arm turnover, which is a critical skill for faster swimming. Swimming with a band can be quite challenging at first, so this set from coach Sara McLarty lets you call on a buoy for a bit of a floaty assist. (If you opt to go without the buoy, we recommend doing this set in the shallow end of the pool, just in case.)

If you want to swim with a band, with the band, grab a few of your training buddies and make this a social workout. Pick a set that fits your schedule and fitness level, and dive in!

RELATED: Ask a Gear Guru: What Are The Best Swim Training Tools?

A:

300 swim/200 pull/100 kick
4×150 @ 2:30 (50 non-free/50 free/50 non)
4×150 pull @ 2:15 (with buoy and band)
10×50 @ :60 (25 FAST/25 easy drill)
5×100 IM @ 1:45 (descend 1–5)
100 easy/recovery
10×50 swim (4 @ :40 strong, 1 @ :50 easy, repeat)
5×100 IM @ 1:45 (descend 1–5)
200 cool-down (50 kick/150 swim)
= 4100 total

RELATED: Five 30-Minute Swim Workouts

B:
200 swim/200 pull/100 kick
4×150 @ 3:00 (50 free/50 non-free/50 free)
4×150 pull @ 3:00 (with buoy and band)
6×50 @ 1:10 (25 FAST/25 easy drill)
4×100 swim @ 2:00 (descend 1–4)
100 easy/recovery
6×50 swim (2 @ :50 strong, 1 @ :60 easy, repeat)
4×100 swim @ 2:00 (descend 1–4)
200 cool-down (50 kick/150 swim)
= 3400 total

RELATED: How to (Finally) Become a Faster Swimmer

C:
200 swim/200 pull/100 kick
4×150 w/ :20 rest (50 free/50 non-free/50 free)
4×150 pull w/ :20 (with buoy and band)
6×50 w/ :15 rest (25 FAST/25 easy drill)
4×100 swim w/ :20 rest (descend 1–4)
100 cool-down (50 kick/50 swim)
= 2500 total

Looking for more swim-spiration? Check out our complete archive of Weekend Swim Workouts from Coach Sara McLarty.