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One-Hour Workout: Swim Transition Into Tempo

  • By Jené Shaw
  • Published Jun 18, 2013
  • Updated Oct 7, 2013 at 8:42 PM UTC
Photo: Shutterstock.com

Every Tuesday we’ll feature a different coach’s workout you can complete in 60 mins (or less!).

This week’s workout comes from the book One-Hour Workouts: 50 Swim, Bike, and Run Workouts for Busy Athletes by coaches Scott Molina, Mark Newton and Michael Jacques.

Transitioning Into Tempo

In the water, anaerobic threshold (AT, 85–90 percent of your max heart rate) is approximately the pace most people swim in an Olympic distance triathlon (1,500 m). Sub-20-minute swimmers are probably working closer to VO2max (90–95 percent of max heart rate), but most swimmers are closer to AT. For this reason it makes sense to do your tempo work in the pool at close to 1,500m race pace because it makes training more specific to your goals, assuming you intend to race some Olympic-distance triathlons.

This is a great workout to bridge the base and tempo phases of your training. This workout breaks down 1,500m at your 1,500m goal pace. It’s divided into three sets of 500m, with each set broken down to 100m reps at your 1,500m goal pace, with as much recovery as you need to maintain this pace. (Note: This workout is written for meters but can also be done in yards.) RPE = Rate of Perceived Exertion Level

RELATED: The Five Phases Of Swim Training

Time/Distance          Description
15 min.                       Easy swim, work in multiple strokes RPE1
5x100m                      Swim each 100 at 1500m goal pace RPE 3–4 with 10-20 sec. rest between 100s
1-2 min. rest
5x100m                      Swim each 100 at 1500m goal pace RPE 3–4 with 10-20 sec. rest between 100s
1-2 min. rest
5x100m                      Swim each 100 at 1500m goal pace RPE 3–4 with 10-20 sec. rest between 100s
5 min.                         Easy swim RPE1

Republished with permission of VeloPress from One-Hour Workouts: 50 Swim, Bike, and Run Workouts for Busy Athletes by Scott Molina, Mark Newton, and Michael Jacques. Learn more and try more workouts at Velopress.com.

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FILED UNDER: Swim / Training TAGS:

Jené Shaw

Jené Shaw

Jené Shaw is a senior editor at Triathlete magazine, a three-time Ironman finisher and a USAT Level 1 certified coach

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