Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Workouts

Weekend Swim Workout: Fast/Easy 50s and Hypoxic Pulls

Coach Sara McLarty explains why incorporating hypoxic pulls in your sets is important, and provides a workout that includes this unique drill.

For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.

In this weekend’s session we’ll be including some hypoxic work. Just as hard pulling sets increase upper-body strength, hypoxic breathing sets strengthen the breathing muscles and increase lung capacity. There are a few situations an athlete might find themselves in open-water swimming where the ability to hold his breath is an advantage such as diving under waves or being pushed underwater by a competitor. The hypoxic set in this sessions looks like this: 3/7 breathing pattern by 50. This means the swimmer breathes every third stroke on the first lap and every seventh on the second lap, and then repeats the cycle to complete the section. Pick a set that matches your ability and fitness level and get to work!

A:

400 choice/200 pull/200 kick
8×75 @ 1:15 (kick/drill/build by 25)
10×50 @ :45 (25 FAST!/25 easy)
600 pull (3/5 breathing pattern by 100)
20×50 @ :40/:60 (1 FAST/1 easy/2 FAST/1 easy/3 FAST/1 easy/etc)
400 pull (3/7 breathing pattern by 50)
200 cool-down (50 frog/150 choice)
*4100 total*

B:

400 choice/200 pull/100 kick
4×75 @ 1:45 (kick/drill/build by 25)
8×50 @ :60 (25 FAST!/25 easy)
400 pull (3/5 breathing pattern by 100)
20×50 @ :50/1:10 (1 FAST/1 easy/2 FAST/1 easy/3 FAST/1 easy/etc)
400 pull (3/7 breathing pattern by 50)
200 cool-down (50 frog/150 choice)
*3400 total*

C:

300 choice/200 pull/100 kick
4×75 w/ :20 rest (kick/drill/build by 25)
6×50 w/ :15 rest (25 FAST!/25 easy)
400 pull (3/5 breathing pattern by 100)
10×50 w/ :10 rest (1 FAST/1 easy/repeat)
200 pull (3/7 breathing pattern by 50)
200 cool-down (50 frog/150 choice)
*2300 total*