Weekend Swim Workout: Star-Spangled Swim Set

This swim workout will help you celebrate the birth of our country with some fireworks in the pool and a few very American-themed twists.

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It’s safe to say that everyone is looking forward to the Fourth of July holiday. And as a triathlete, how should you celebrate? With a fourth of July-themed swim set, of course! Before you chow down on celebratory meat and swig the most medium American pilsner you can find, start the festivities off with a bang—literally—by banging out a swim set that’s not only a multisport display of patriotism, but also a good way to fire up your fitness in the water. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom for the key to the intervals. Bonus points if you bring a sparkler and light it on the pool deck for the final set!

Weekend Swim Workout: Star-Spangled Swim Set


500 swim easy

4 x 25 drill, 25 swim as:

  • Drill #1 – Finger tip drag with quick salute
  • Drill #2 – Sighting a flag (any flag) every three strokes
  • Drill #3 – One-arm, Statue-of-Liberty-pose swim
  • Drill #4 – Fists-like-Rocky-Balboa swim

4 x 50 build to fast 1-4

Main Set

2 x 300 on Springsteen interval* at approximately race pace or 6/10 Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)

3 x 200 on Hendrix interval** at race pace minus 5 sec. per 100 or 7/10 RPE

4 x 100 on Scott Key interval*** at race pace minus 10 sec. per 100 or 8/10 RPE

4 x 50 on stars interval**** at 9/10 RPE (but not so hard that you crack like the Liberty Bell)


Finish it off with a 4-minute, 38-second cooldown swim—the exact length of Springsteen’s “Born In The USA.” Extra credit if you hum it the whole time.

Total: ~2,900

Interval Key

* 5:30 (the length of American icon Bruce Springsteen’s “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” from his 1973 album, “The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle”)

** 3:45 (the amount of time it took Jimi Hendrix to perform “Star-Spangled Banner” at Woodstock in ‘69)

*** 1:30 (the average amount of time it takes to perform Fracis Scott Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner”)

**** 50 sec. (the amount of stars in the flag, duh)

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