Quick Set: Half Non-Freestyle

Try this latest swim workout from Sara McLarty.

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+.

At this point in the season, you’re probably all freestyle, all the time. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – after all, you’re probably planning to use that very swim stroke on race day. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about the other strokes, too. After all, it’s good to have a backup stroke (also known as a “safety stroke”) in case you’re tired, anxious, or just need to catch your breath for a second. It happens, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Training different strokes also helps to balance out your freestyle training by recruiting complementary muscle groups. There are a lot of performance benefits to learning and using backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly, along with incorporating swim drills into your workout. That’s why this week’s Weekend Swim Workout from coach Sara McLarty is heavy on non-freestyle. It’s time to make friends with the strokes that will help you get even faster when you return to freestylin’ on race day. Choose the workout that matches your ability level (if you’re new to non-freestyle, choose the shorter option so you don’t risk injury) and get in the pool!

RELATED: A Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming

Non-Freestyle Swim Workouts

200 swim/200 pull/200 kick/200 swim
400 IM (kick/drill/stroke/free by 25)
8×25 @ :30 no breath
400 IM (kick/drill/50 FAST stroke)
8×50 @ :45 swim
400 IM (50 stroke/50 FAST free)
8×75 @ :60 pull
400 IM (25 FAST kick/50 stroke/25 free)
8×100 @ 1:30 (descend 1-4, 5-8)
100 cool-down
*4500 total*

RELATED: Ask a Gear Guru: What are Some Other Ways to Measure Effort in the Water?

200 swim/200 pull/200 kick
300 (50 non-free/50 free)
6×25 @ :45 (w/1 breath)
300 (50 non-free/50 free)
6×50 @ :55 swim
300 (50 non-free/50 free)
6×75 @ 1:30 pull
300 (50 non-free/50 free)
6×100 @ 2:00 (descend 1-3, 4-8)
100 cool-down
*3400 total*

RELATED: Pick the Swim Drill for Your Weakness

200 swim/200 pull/200 kick
300 (50 non-free/50 free)
6×25 w/:15 rest (breathe every 5th stroke)
300 (50 non-free/50 free)
6×50 w/:15 rest swim
300 (50 non-free/50 free)
6×75 w/:20 rest pull
100 cool-down
*2500 total*