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Distance Swim Workout - 600s Four Ways


This is a swim workout with a distance focus. It features repeats of 600s, swum in a few different ways; negative split, build/broken 200 and build/broken 100. I like distance swims to be faster on the back half or even through the whole swim, and this workout should help you work on that kind of pacing strategy. Have fun with the 600s.

Swim on!

The Swim Workout

2 x 200 (:20 Swim and drill mix. Do drills for technique practice for one length, then swim for one length, then repeat.
4 x 100 (:20 Kick. Alternate easy efforts and moderate efforts.
4 x 100 (:20 Pull. Alternate easy efforts and moderate efforts.

Take some extra rest if needed, sip some water or sports drink, and get ready for the main set.

Main Set
4 x 100 (:20 Swim. The first one is easy, the second moderate, the third fast, and the fourth one fastest. Try to get a sense of how your effort and speed relate.
2 x 25 (:30 Swim. #1 Fast, #2 Moderate to Easy.
1 x 600 (:15 Swim. Negative Split (2nd half of swim faster effort than 1st half of swim).
2 x 25 (:30 Swim. #1 Fast, #2 Moderate to Easy.
1 x 600 (:30 Swim. Broken at the 200 (:10. Build each 200. Rest between each 200 of the 600 for 10-seconds. Start each 200 easy and build to fast by the end of each 200.
2 x 25 (:30 Swim. #1 Fast, #2 Moderate to Easy.
1 x 600 (:45 Swim. Broken at the 100 (:10. Negative Split each 100.
2 x 25 (:30 Swim. #1 Fast, #2 Moderate to Easy.
1 x 600 (1:00 Swim. Straight, no breaks. Swim it as desired, but aim to be at least as fast as the first 600 of the workout.
2 x 25 (:30 Swim. Both Fast.
1 x 100 Swim. Easy loosen to end the workout.

Click on the "print" icon on the upper right to get a copy formatted for printing so you can print it and take the workout with you to the pool

About Swimming Workouts

This workout is designed to take between 75-minutes and 90-minutes. If that is too much time or distance, then cut things out, but do not always cut out the same thing every workout. And never skip the loosen at the end of the workout. Use that as one last bit of technique work before you leave the swimming pool at the end of the workout.

After the description of the set there is a number in a half-parentheses, like this - (:30 - that is how much rest you get after each swim. For example, 6 x 100 (:30 means you are to swim a 100 (yards or meters), rest 30-seconds, then repeat five more times.

There is nothing special about these swim practice sessions other than what you bring to them. Lots of freedom here. You control how hard or fast you swim and what swim strokes you want to use while swimming the workouts. Normally the amount of rest per swim will limit your top-end speed on a workout, but that does not mean go as fast as you can all of the time. A few guidelines:

  • The more rest you get, the faster the swim.
  • The early parts of a workout should always be easy to moderate and very deliberate.
  • Use your best swimming technique.
  • Stop the workout if you are too tired, go for it again in the future.You get to be a better swimmer by recovering from the workouts you do, not by doing more and more swimming without resting and recovering from that swimming.
  • Have fun with the workouts.
  • Change the strokes you are doing from time to time, try new things, and don't get caught in a rut.

Each workout has:

  • a warm-up
  • stroke drills or swimming technique work
  • kicking
  • pulling
  • a main set
  • a loosen or cool-down

More Reading for Swimmers on Swim Workouts:

Swim on!
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