Swim Close Up

EPC Tips – Swim Speed

This week’s workout takes us to the pool to work on your swim speed, it consists of short, fast repetitions with a good amount of rest to allow you to swim them near an all out effort. The objective with any short, near max effort intervals is to work on your nueromuscular capabilities and mechanical efficiency through a high turnover rate (stoke rate in the pool, and cadence on the bike and run). Most triathlete swimmers lack the arm-turnover capabilities to really be able to swim fast in the open water. Triathletes often train the endurance side of the swim so they can ‘get through’ the swim, which is step one; but when you’re ready to swim the swim leg more competitively you need to work the short speed end of the equation to make further gains.

Try this workout for a start at improving your turn-over speed. Be careful to maintain good stroke mechanics and a good ‘grip’ on the water so you’re not just simply ‘spinning your wheels’ and not going any faster. Think strong and fast! Grab the water in front of you and pull yourself forward with each stroke. Adjust the rest intervals between the reps to allow a good recovery as you are learning. As you improve you can shorten the recovery intervals a bit for more of a challenge. You can also add a second set of the main set, as you get stronger and more into your race season.

WARM-UP: 200 easy swim
6×50 drill choice
6×50 kick, descend 1-3 & 4-6 @ 15″ rests

MAIN SET:100 build @ 20″ rest
4×50 fast @ 30″ rests
100 easy choice
3×50 fast @ 30″ rests
100 easy choice
2×50 fast @ 30″ rests
100 easy choice
1×50 ALL OUT!

STRENGTH SET: 600 pull w/bouy & paddles, descend each 300

WARM-DOWN: 200 easy mixed stroke

The XTERRA ‘Workouts of the Week’ are brought to you by XTERRA pro, Cody Waite. You can find this workout, and others like it for the swim, bike and run, by joining his XTERRA Group Coaching programs for 2014.