Swim workouts for triathlon training – race day

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If you are under 7 days out from a race, it is hard to get you more physically ready. You are not going to be able to take off much more time from your 100 pace or jump from a 25 minute International split to a sub 20. There are, however, swim workouts for triathlon training that you can do to bring out your potential and highlight the fitness that you already have by helping you set a reasonable goal, practicing the pace that it will take for you to achieve that time, and conditioning you to your race pace.

For these workouts before race day, I completely cut out the warm-up and drill sets and instead do a quick dryland warm-up that include some arm rotations and swings followed by some leg swings to get the body active. Then I dive right in. Since you usually do not get the time or space to do a proper warm up in a race, I want to simulate and condition myself to going from zero to race pace as quickly as possible.

The main set or “meat” of the workout is all done at race pace or just above race pace only to drop down to race pace, then finishing at a sprint. Sets include:

  • 6×50 sprint on 10s rest followed by 10x100s at goal race pace on 10s rest, then 6×50 sprint on 5-10s rest.
  • 3×500 builds going from just below race pace and finishing at a sprint each time on 20s (Ideal for Ironman and hla)
  • 10×200 on 10s rest at race pace with the last 2 at sprint

As you do each rep focus on:

  • getting into a quick breathing rhythm,
  • relaxing
  • what it feels like to go at this pace.

If you are not able to hold the same pace for all reps, you need to adjust your goal pace. Remember, miracles do not happen on race day, so these workout will help you feel out a good, goal time and prep you mentally and physically to achieve it.