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My Sprint Triathlon Swim Training Plan

Posted Jul 27 2011 8:00am
Before I talk about Tuesday's awesome swim workout, I wanted to mention that I took my new road bike out for a ride on Monday evening, and I did not fall a single time as I thought I would !  Yay me!  I did a 1.5 mile warmup to go run errands, and then I did a full 38 minute ride in Central Park which ended up being close to 9 miles.  Slow, but still an important workout!

As for Tuesday's swim workout, I have realized that I am starting to love swimming.  In middle school, I participated on the swim team.  I hate to say I was on the actual swim team, because I was so terrible.  I later decided to take the daredevil and flexibility skills I learned from 10 years of competitive gymnastics to the diving board.   I competed as a 1 meter springboard diver on the swim team throughout high school until I was recruited to the swimming & diving team at Colby College.

Ever since I made the transition from swimmer to springboard diver, I convinced myself that I hated swimming.  After a week and a half of training for this sprint triathlon, however, I have realized that it is actually the most enjoyable part of my training...don't tell running that I'm cheating on him with swimming, though. ;-)

Despite how surprisingly easy swimming has come back to me after a 12 year hiatus, I have been absolutely clueless about how to properly train for the 0.25 mile (440 yards) swim I will have to complete in my upcoming triathlon.  As I was searching for a swim training plan on one of my favorite triathlon blogs, Meals and Miles , I came across a link to Courtney's blog, Passionate 4 Life .

I contacted Courtney , a former swimmer turned triathlete, and asked her for a couple of good swim workouts that could benefit my training.  Out of the kindness of her heart, she devised an entire 8 week swim plan for my sprint triathlon (click on the link to see her awesome post)!  And this, my friends, is why I love the blogging community soooo much!

For my Tuesday swim workout, I did an easy 4x25 yard warmup to increase my heart rate and practice the freestyle technique I learned in my swim lesson last Wednesday.  I was then advised to first find my 100 yard pace.  I used Option #1 , which was basically 4x100 freestyle with 30 second rest.  The key here was to remember my split for each set of 100 yards, and average the time over 4 sets.  My times looked like this

1st set of 100 yards:  1 min 59 seconds
2nd set of 100 yards:  2 minutes and 1 second
3rd set of 100 yards:  2 minutes and 6 seconds (hair elastic malfunction!  forgot my swim cap)
4th set of 100 yards:  2 minutes and 3 seconds.

Therefore, my average pace for 100 yards was 2:02.  Courtney advised that I round up to the nearest 5 seconds so that I can keep a steady pace, with the idea that I will get faster as my workouts progress.  This made my average 100 yard workout pace to be rounded up to 2:05.

After finding my 100 yard pace, I continued with Workout #1a from the swim plan.  Since I was already warmed up, I skipped the 200 yard warmup, and continued with the rest of the workout, which looked like this
Main Set: Repeat 1 or 2 times (I only repeated 1 time for this workout)
3 x 50's @ 1:15
3 x 100's @ 2:20
Note:  If you finish each 50 or 100 before the allotted time is up, you get to use the remaining time to rest.

1 x 200 yards @ steady pace (for time)

6 x 25's @ 10 seconds rest
Alternate every other 25 yards going FAST and then easy focusing on technique.
//  TOTAL = 1300 YARDS

This was one of the best and hardest workouts I have ever had!  All I can really say is that you need to check out Courtney's blog if you are interested in training for a triathlon, especially if you are worried about the swim portion of the race.  With all that being said, I will leave you with this video which is the perfect representation of how I have felt after my bike and swim workouts this week.

"I feel happy of myself!"  Isn't he the cutest?!


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