The plan: Swim leg, Luray International Triathlon

What a shame that just as D.C. weather gets really nice, I’m stuck swimming in a climate-controlled indoor pool rather than running outside, huh?

I am ducking, to get out of the way of the things all you runners are throwing in my direction right now.

Obviously, it’s 9,000 degrees in D.C., and I am loving the crap out of the fact that I have a good reason to eschew all workouts that don’t involve immersing myself in a body (or pool) of water. And now that I’ve looked at a calendar for the weeks leading up to the Luray Triathlon, which I’ll compete in as part of the Killer Honey Badgers triathlon relay team, I’ve been able to fine-tune my training plan.

The only race on my calendar involves me jumping into this. Don't be jealous!

Basically, I’m counting on my training for and finish of the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim on June 12 as my base here. I took a few weeks to cross-train and rest my shoulders after swimming the Bay, and am hoping the swim gods look kindly upon that rest period, followed by about a month of tune-up training. I’ve got three weekends and two weeks of training left (third week is taper week)—that should be enough to wake up my arms and remind them of all that swimming I did in May and June, right?

As previously discussed, my training will consist of three 3,000-meter swims per week, with more sprints than usual built in. My go-to sets will be:

  • 1,500-meter time trial
  • 3X 300 free, first six strokes of every 50 sprint
  • 1,800-meter pyramid set on :15 rest: 1×50 > 1×100 > 1×150 > 1×200 > 1×250 > 1×300 > 1×250 > 1×200 > 1×150 > 1×100 > 1×50
  • 4×25 sprint freestyle on :45, then 4×25 no-breath freestyle

Have you trained for the swim portion of an international-distance triathlon—or any other 1,500-meter event in calm water? If so, I’d be much indebted if you’d share your favorite speedy sets—I resist sprint/interval sets with all my heart and soul, and could really use some ideas on how to make them more fun.


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5 responses to “The plan: Swim leg, Luray International Triathlon

  1. One of my favorite power-building sprint sets is 14×250(200 as fast as possible-50 easy) on 5 minutes for long course meters. For open water, try 6×300 sighting for 50, rotating which 50 you sight. In other words, 50 sight-250 normal, 50 normal-50 sight-200 normal…etc

  2. No swim tips for you…I’m just mildly jealous that you get to work out in a pool while I figure out how on earth I’m supposed to go for a “long” run Saturday morning in this crazy DC heat. It’ll be sweatacular, that’s for sure. 🙂

  3. I love the pyramid you have outlined, I do a similar version. I’m curious as to why you sprint the first 6 strokes of every 300?

    And another one I love is 10×100 descending in pairs. So the first two are on 1:50, next two on 1:45, then 1:40, 1:35, 1:30 (or whatever times get you to the last two essentially being an all-out sprint). Since you are doing a 1500 OWS, you might want to do 15×100 – that should prep you for a fast finish. Just do the math starting at the all-out pair and work backwards – or you could do them in sets of 3 if you did 15x – so you aren’t choking and vomiting on the last set. This happens to me often. 🙂

  4. I like the set Katie mentioned or I was going to suggest trying to hold a goal race pace for a long set of 100s (10-15) with minimal rest. While I know you want to work on speed for a “shorter” event, as a former sprinter, I often have the problem of starting too fast and dying. So working on hold a hard (but sustainable) pace really helps me. And you could also drop the interval for the last few if you want to prep for a fast finish.

  5. I totally forgot to comment, but for posterity I will leave you my current set, designed to relearn speed.

    All out 50 efforts efforts, 5 second rest between each 50, 1 minute before next set done as:
    400 WU (usually done as 100 each of free, catchup, alternating polo/free every 6 strokes, free) –> for me the polo strokes totally help with open water sighting and avoiding neck pain from sighting
    20 x 50
    200 moderate
    10 x 50
    200 moderate
    5 x 50
    WD (minimum of 100 back, 100 slow easy free focused on form)

    5 x 50

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