Sprint training for triathlon swimming – Issue #143

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Sprint Training for Triathlon Swimming


In preparation for a half marathon I’m doing January 24th, last night I did a sprint workout which consisted of 5 miles alternating 3 1/2 minutes at about 95%, and walking/jogging for 3 1/2 minutes. It’s the first sprint workout of any kind that I’ve done in years, and it felt great! And, combining that with some of the research that’s come out lately about fat burning, that doing short, sprint-type workouts are just as or more effective in fat loss than doing long endurance workouts, I think this type of workout is good for adding speed as well as improving overall health.

So is it necessary to incorporate sprints into your swim training plan for your next triathlon?

Probably not.

If you are like most people who subscribe to Tri Swim Coach, swimming may not exactly be your strength. And you may have a goal of getting faster, but if you have either yet to complete a triathlon or are a back of the pack swimmer, working on sprints would be a waste of your valuable training time! Swimming, of course, is much more about technique, especially in open water or triathlon competition.

Sprint Training for Triathlon Swimming

So the priorities for swimming training are:

1) Technique
2) Endurance
3) Speed

Even if you are in the lead pack in the swim and want to “win the swim”, it likely won’t give you much more than an ego boost to be the first to exit the water! You can’t win a triathlon in the swim, but you certainly can “lose” a lot, whether you are competing in your age group, competing to better your overall time, or just shooting to finish the race.

Enjoy this month’s workout, and have a great 2010!

“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.”

Ironman & 70.3 Training Plans Are Ready!

My friends Patrick McCrann & Rich Strauss over at Endurance Nation have released their triathlon training plans for 2010, and I was able to negotiate a great deal for Tri Swim Coach Subscribers, 25% off!

Highlights of this year’s training plans include:

    • Cutting edge, bulletproof guides to your best possible Ironman or 70.3 event.
    • No single other coach or group has worked with, and used the feedback from, as many athletes as Endurance Nation.
    • Basic options include multiple ebooks, real-time support and more; upgrade versions include podcasts and course videos!

To check out more on these training plans click here. They are 20% off through 1/31/10, but by using discount code TRISWIM25, you will get an additional 5% off whichever plan you choose!

Swim Workout of the Month

This is a pretty heavy duty workout. Cut down the distances as needed for your training!

Cruise= an interval you can make 100’s on comfortably with :10-15 rest between each
DPS= maximum Distance Per Stroke
3/4 Catchup= freestyle, almost touch your hands in front on each stroke (come about 3/4 of the way to touching)
Descend= get faster throughout the set

WARM UP: 6×100’s (25 Kick/50 Drill/25 DPS)

Drill= One-Armed Free or 3/4 Catchup. Rest= :15
Drill= One-Armed Free or 3/4 Catchup. Rest= :15
#1-4) Non-Free
#5-8) Free, Descend

MAIN: 3×300’s Free @ Cruise interval
3×200’s Non Free @ Cruise + :30
3×150’s Free @ Cruise + :05 Descend 1-3
3×100’s Non Free @ Cruise + :25
3×50’s Free @ Cruise + :15 Descend 1-3

KICK: 8×50’s on your side, descend 1-4, 5-8, fins ok

WARM DOWN: 300, Breathe every 3 strokes

TOTAL: 4100 Yards or Meters

Click Here For Over 120 Workouts and The Complete Guide Package!

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Kevin Koskella
Tri Swim Coach