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Weekend Swim Workout: Fast/Easy Pyramid

This pyramid sprint session from coach Sara McLarty is a great way to boost your speed and confidence in the water.

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Sprint sets are a great way to boost your speed and confidence in the water. This swim workout from coach Sara McLarty uses short bursts of speed as building blocks of a pyramid, gradually building in length and number of back-to-back fast sets.

If you’re a newer swimmer, play around with technique during short & fast intervals to find more speed. Experienced swimmers can use the short rest intervals to practice holding start speed for a longer distance into the races. If you’re comfortable swimming on an interval, choose one that gives you the approximate rest time and challenge yourself to stay on interval even as the reps increase.

Pick a set below that fits your schedule and current fitness level, and dive in!

RELATED: Swim Like a Pro With Collin Chartier’s Key Pool Workout

A:

Warm-up:

800 as 4 x 150 easy swim/50 dolphin kick on your back.
16 x 25 @ :30 as 4 x 1 drill, 1 build, 1 fast, 1 easy.

Main set:

14 x 50 as 1 fast, 1 easy, 2 fast, 1 easy, 3 fast , 1 easy, 4 fast, 1 easy (fast w/:05 rest, easy w/:20 rest).
100 recovery non-free.
9 x 75 as 1 fast, 1 easy, 2 fast, 1 easy, 3 fast , 1 easy (fast w/:10 rest, easy w/:20 rest).
100 recovery non-free.
5 x 100 as 1 fast, 1 easy, 2 fast, 1 easy (fast w/:10 rest, easy w/:30 rest).
100 recovery non-free.

Cooldown:

400 as 4 x 25 underwater recovery/doggy paddle & 75 swim with distance per stroke.
*3800 total*

RELATED: A Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming

B:

Warm-up:

600 as 3 x 150 easy swim/50 kick on your back.
12 x 25 @ :40 as 3 x 1 drill, 1 build, 1 fast, 1 easy.

Main set:

14 x 50 as 1 fast, 1 easy, 2 fast, 1 easy, 3 fast , 1 easy, 4 fast, 1 easy (fast w/:05 rest, easy w/:20 rest).
100 recovery non-free.
9 x 75 as 1 fast, 1 easy, 2 fast, 1 easy, 3 fast , 1 easy (fast w/:10 rest, easy w/:20 rest).
100 recovery non-free.

Cooldown:

300 as 3 x 25 underwater recovery/doggy paddle & 75 swim with distance per stroke.
*2800 total*

RELATED: How to (Finally) Become a Faster Swimmer

C:

Warm-up:

400 as 2 x 150 easy swim/50 kick on your back.
8 x 25 w/:15 rest as 2 x 1 drill, 1 build, 1 fast, 1 easy.

Main set:

14 x 50 as 1 fast, 1 easy, 2 fast, 1 easy, 3 fast , 1 easy, 4 fast, 1 easy (fast w/:10 rest, easy w/:30 rest).
100 recovery non-free.

Cooldown:
200 as 2 x 25 underwater recovery/doggy paddle & 75 swim with distance per stroke.
*1600 total*

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