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Weekend Swim Workout: The 1/2 Faster Challenge

As the sets get shorter, you swim faster. It sounds easy - until you try to pull it off. Can you do this challenging swim workout from coach Sara McLarty?

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How well are your pacing skills in the swim? Can you self-regulate your pace and effort at the start of the session, leaving enough in the tank to finish strong? It’s a skill that will come in handy on race day, as many athletes start out way too fast in the swim, losing steam in the final stretch to the exit ramp. This workout from coach Sara McLarty requires you to keep track of your times and stroke count, then do a little bit of math between sets. The goal is to produce faster times as the workout distances get shorter and discover how to swim at various paces.

To nail this workout, always overcompensate on the slower side at the start so that you can continue to get faster as the fatigue sets in near the end of the session.

RELATED: Three Essential Half-Iron Swim Workouts

Weekend Swim Workout: The 1/2 Faster Challenge

A:

Warm-up

900 as 300 swim/300 pull/300 kick every other 50

Main set:

800 swim easy, note your time.
5 x 50 w/:10 rest as 25 non-free/25 free.
400 swim medium, faster than ½ your 800 time.
4 x 50 w/:10 rest as descend stroke count 1-4.
200 swim strong, faster than ½ your 400 time.
3 x 50 w/:10 rest as IM order, 25 drill/25 swim.
100 swim FAST, faster than ½ your 200 time.
2 x 50 w/:10 rest as kick on your back.

Cooldown:

300 as 3 x 50 drill/50 swim.

*3400 total

RELATED: Critical Speed: Swim Faster With Less Work

B:

Warm-up:

600 as 200 swim/200 pull/200 kick every other 50

Main set:

600 swim easy, note your time.
4 x 50 w/:15 rest as 25 non-free/25 free.
300 swim medium, faster than ½ your 600 time.
3 x 50 w/:15 rest as descend stroke count 1-3.
150 swim strong, faster than ½ your 300 time.
2 x 50 w/:15 rest as 25 non-free/25 free.
75 swim FAST, faster than ½ your 150 time.
2 x 50 w/:15 rest as kick on your back.

Cooldown:

200 as 1 x 50 drill/50 swim.

*2300 total

RELATED: How to (Finally) Become a Faster Swimmer

C:

Warm-up:

300 as 100 swim/100 pull/100 kick

Main set:

400 swim easy, note your time.
4 x 50 w/:20 rest as 25 non-free/25 free.
200 swim medium, faster than ½ your 400 time.
3 x 50 w/:20 rest as descend stroke count 1-3.
100 swim strong, faster than ½ your 200 time.
2 x 50 w/:20 rest as 25 non-free/25 free.
50 swim FAST, faster than ½ your 100 time.
1 x 50 as kick on your back.

Cool-down:

100 as 50 drill/50 swim.

*1650 total

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