One-Hour Workouts for Swimming: Transitioning into Tempo

Try this one-hour swim from One-Hour Workouts!

In the water, anaerobic threshold (AT, 85–90 percent of your max heart rate) is approximately the pace most people swim in an Olympic distance triathlon (1,500 m). Sub-20-minute swimmers are probably working closer to VO2max (90–95 percent of max heart rate), but most swimmers are closer to AT. For this reason it makes sense to do your tempo work in the pool at close to 1,500 m race pace because it makes training more specific to your goals, assuming you intend to race some Olympic-distance triathlons.

This is a great workout to bridge the base and tempo phases of your training. This workout breaks down 1,500 m at your 1,500 m goal pace. It’s divided into three sets of 500 m, with each set broken down to 100 m reps at your 1,500 m goal pace, with as much recovery as you need to maintain this pace.

TIME/DISTANCE               DESCRIPTION

15 min.                                 Easy swim, work in multiple strokes RPE1

5 x 100m                              Swim each 100 at 1500m goal pace RPE 3-4 with 10-20 sec. rest between 100s

1-2 min. rest

5 x 100m                              Swim each 100 at 1500m goal pace RPE 3-4 with 10-20 sec. rest between 100s

1-2 min. rest

5 x 100m                              Swim each 100 at 1500m goal pace RPE 3-4 with 10-20 sec. rest between 100s

5 min.                                    Easy swim RPE1

 

This workout is from One-Hour Workouts, a collection of 50 swim, bike, and run workouts from top triathlon coaches that anyone can fit into a lunch hour–including warm-up and cool-down. Each of the 50 workouts in One-Hour Workouts are tightly focused on one goal so that athletes can get a quality training session in just one hour. Athletes can choose from base, tempo, or speed workouts in each sport to match their training plan’s goal for the day.

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