This week’s triathlon news we are going to talk about how you can simulate a race in training so that you improve your performance and improve your results in your triathlon swimming races.

00:24 – Initial Speed and Fine Rhythm
01:30 – Fartlek
02:15 – Broken Swim at Race Pace

All these types of workouts are in our workouts program

Initial Speed and Fine Rhythm

There are three types of sets that I like to do; the first one I can initial speed and fine rhythm. We did this yesterday in training and an example would be 600m, 400m and 200m. What we do we go out the first 100m at 90%; so you are working pretty hard that first 100m. Then after that you go around 80% where you just try to stabilise your heart rate, find a rhythm and get comfortable in your swimming. What that does is in a triathlon race you are going to go out pretty hard in that first 100m – 150m so you can find your space, get away from the pack and find your feet. After that you will want to find your rhythm and just find a comfortable pace and a comfortable way of swimming so that you can swim well for the rest of the race. These are really good sets for doing that; for example last night we went 600m where the 100m you go at 90% then you swim at 80% after that. Then we do 400m with the same thing; 100m fast and then 300m that little bit easier, then 200m with the same sort of thing. They are good sets to practice your triathlon races.


The second one is Fartlek; most of you are probably familiar with it where you go some speed then some recovery but you’re going continuously. My favourite Fartlek set that we do is 30 x 50m’s with every third one fast. The first two would be at about 80% and every third one we go at 90%. You are constantly getting your heart rate up and then just trying to control it after that. It is a really good one just for practicing your speed. In your triathlon races you might need to use a little bit of speed here and there if you need to get on someone’s feet or need to catch up to a pack so it is really good to practice your speed in your sets.

Broken Swim at Race Pace

The third one is broken swim at race pace; let’s say that your race is 1.9km let’s imagine you are doing a half ironman then it is good to practice doing that but broken. You might go 19 x 100m’s with 20 seconds rest in-between each of the 100m’s and your aim is to swim at your race pace; the pace that you want to go in your race. It will help you get a feel for how hard you need to go to hit your desired pace and just a good way to practice those races. When you get more comfortable with it you can bring down the rest. You might do 19 x 100m’s today with 30 seconds rest in-between then you might do another month down the track go 20 seconds rest in-between still trying to hold that same pace that you did before that. That is a way that you can make it more difficult.

These are three types of things that I like to do with my guys in training as to improve their open water swimming and their Triathlon swims.

That’s it for Triathlon news this week, see you next week.

4 Responses

  1. Great set’s to get into Racing-Shape and having the right feel of how fast to go.
    Tx, for the tips!
    Andreas :))

  2. As always, great tips, but these workouts are a notch above. Very excited to try them out! Quick question: When you do the 30×50 sets, do you rest at all between 50s or after the hard 50? Or is the whole set just a continuous 1500m swim w/ 10 hard 50m?

    The Broken Swim workout reminds me of “Yasso 800” sets that runners use to gauge fitness for marathons. Your workouts today are making me re-design my entire training schedule! It seems to make sense to do a mix of easy/form, long, and speed/quality sets for all three ti sports. Thanks again!

    Indiana, USA

  3. Awesome Dave!

    With the 30×50 set the faster lane will usually do them on 50 secs and the other lanes on 55 and 60. So I recommend 10 to 15 secs rest between 50’s.

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