Home / Tips / Training Tips / Top 5 Swim Workouts for the Time Crunched Triathlete

Top 5 Swim Workouts for the Time Crunched Triathlete

Swimming is discipline of triathlon that is challenging to find time for. On the run or bike you can just throw on your running of biking shoes and head out the door. With swimming you typically have to drive to the pool and adjust your schedule around the hours that they are open.  The good news however, is that it doesn’t take a lot of time to quickly improve swimming. By implementing these short 25-40 minute workouts more frequently (4 times a week is good, 5 times a week is great) you can soon see yourself in the lead pack of a triathlon swim.

The workouts:


“A Little Bit of Everything” (1500 Yards or Meters)

300 warm-up

4×75 drill (do a different drill each 75)

6×50 pull (breathing every fifth stroke)

3×100 swim (descend time 1–3)

300 cool-down


“Fast 50s” (1600 Yards or Meters)

300 warm-up as drill down, swim back.

20x 50 at maximum pace attainable with good form.

Recover 10 seconds between 50’s.

300 cool-down


“Focus Technique” (1700 Yards or Meters)

300 warm-up

Drill Set: 10×50 at a moderate pace, with a focus on one technique for each of the sets. 15 seconds recovery after each 25.

• Set 1: POSTURE. Focus on head position, looking down at the black line.

• Set 2: HIGH ELBOW. Focus on a high elbow pull as you finish each stroke.

• Set 3: LENGTH. Focus on extending your hand and arm as far as you can above the water. The longer you extend, the better you will rotate.

• Set 4: CATCH. Focus on catching the water with a tone (not loose but not too rigid) wrist. Keep wrist tone with fingertips pointing to bottom of pool for entire catch phase.

Main Set: 6×100 fast with 20 sec rest. Only go as fast as you can hold good form.

300 cool-down


“Pace Work with 200s”  (1800 Yards or Meters)

Warm-up: 4×100 as 75 easy/25 breast

6×200 as

1. 50 hard, 150 easy (10 sec ri between each)

2. 25 easy, 50 hard, 125 easy

3. 50 easy, 50 hard, 100 easy

4. 75 easy, 50 hard, 75 easy

200 cool-down


“Fast 100s” (2000 yards or Meters)

500 warm-up.

10×100. 1st 100m is a T-Pace (average 100 time for a 1000 time trial). Each subsequent 100, the goal is to shave 1-2 seconds, until 10th 100 is at maximum sustainable pace.

30s recovery after each 100.

500 cool-down.

About The Author

Brad Haag is a Triathlon Coach, Personal Trainer, and a National Qualifying Triathlete. As a graduate of Ben Greenfield’s Superhuman Coach program, Brad specializes in coaching endurance and warrior class athletes to peak performance. He can be found at HaagsAthletics.com or as a featured coach at PacificFit.net

About Eric H. Doss

Eric is a triathlete and writer. He has competed in all distances of triathlons, from sprints to full Ironman distance races. He founded FitEgg.com in 2009 to meet the increasing need for professional, unbiased reviews of triathlon gear.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *