Steal This Swim Workout: Shelley Harper’s “Get Out” Ahead Workout

  • By Jené Shaw
  • Published Sep 19, 2013
  • Updated Jan 15, 2016 at 1:32 PM UTC

At April’s USAT Collegiate National Championship, University of California, Berkeley athlete (and former NCAA All-American swimmer) Shelley Harper had the best 1,500-meter time of the day (18:28)—including the men’s times. The 23-year-old recent college grad has only been cycling for eight months, but with promising genes—her dad, Dean, was the first Wildflower champion and she rides with him weekly—she’s transitioning quickly from swimmer to triathlete.

Cal’s team coach, John Dahlz, helped her work on going from “get-out” pace (the start sprint) immediately into her race pace. She shares a workout that’s perfect prep for short-course racing.

RELATED: 11 Tips On Becoming A Fearless Swimmer

The Workout

Total distance = 2,800

– 400 choice
– 4×25 “variables” (First as half fast, half easy, second as half easy/half fast, third all easy, fourth all fast) on 10 seconds rest

Main effort prep:
8×50 as odds drill/swim by 25; evens build free

Main set:
– 50 get out, 250 race pace
– 100 get out, 200 race pace
– 150 get out, 150 race pace
– 100 get out, 200 race pace
– 50 get out, 250 race pace

8×50, odds: choice; evens: 3 breaths or less

For a 4,000-yard version, go to

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FILED UNDER: Swim / Training TAGS:

Jené Shaw

Jené Shaw

Jené Shaw is a contributor for Triathlete magazine, a six-time Ironman finisher and a USAT Level 1 certified coach

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