Workout of the week – an engaging, long, non-boring session

Goal: I always hated long, boring, never-ending sessions as a swimmer and I refuse to give long, boring, never-ending sessions as a coach. Nevertheless, sometimes long swims are needed as a challenge, for the distance swimmers (triathletes) and to build the aerobic base.

I’d much rather swim in an infinity pool than swim for infinity during a long, boring set (Source:

This session is straightforward: a series of 5 mins skill work + 10 mins application/continuous swimming.

Of course practicing your skills should always be continuous and non-stop. Relentless, even.

Warm up:
5 mins – choose your own warm up. Practice what you are going to do on race day to warm up. I want my swimmers to be self-sufficient. Swimming should be cerebral, not ‘switch off, jump in, take instruction’.
10 mins – continuous swim. Count your lengths. How many can you do? Don’t stop on the walls.

5 mins – Drills as 25 drill + 25 swim, practicing your sighting.
10 mins – Swim with plenty of sighting practice – at least every second length.

5 mins – Drills as 25 drill + 25 swim. Drill – catch-up.
10 mins – Count your strokes regularly. Keep your stroke long and smooth and maintain your technique as you get tired.

5 mins – Drills as 25 drill + 25 swim. Focus on aggressive hand entry leading to hip rotation.
10 mins – Swim hard. Swim further than each of the previous efforts. A good fitness test and practice pushing the pace while tired.

Total: 1 hour of good, continuous swimming at varied effort levels, good skill work and


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