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7 Swim Workouts Ideal for Triathlons (Beginners)

Seven free triathlon swim workouts in a format you can print and stick at the end of your lane.
Seven free triathlon swim workouts in a format you can print and stick at the end of your lane.
If you want to continue improving your swimming, it is essential to plan your workouts in advance. You can't just show up at the pool and swim without thinking.
These simple triathlon swimming sessions will increase your endurance, speed and technique - all key areas that will make you a better swimmer.
There's also a fitness test, so you can evaluate your progress and then set yourself some pace-based training zones. Why? Because training at a specific pace will keep you motivated and help you swim hard or easy at the right times.

Triathlon swimming training instructions
These workouts can be used for various types of triathlons including Sprint Distance and Olympic Distance. All seven swim workouts assume you can swim at least 500 meters or yards, non-stop. The shortest workout is 1400 yards or meters, with frequent breaks. While the longest swim is 2800 yards or meters, with frequent breaks. Before you head to the pool, take a look at the training zone chart below. I used 5 simple training zones to break down the workouts into different intensities. This way you don't do all your training at one pace.

5 simple swimming training zones
Zone 1 (Z1). Easy. Effort level: 1 to 2 out of 10.
Zone 2 (Z2). Constant. Effort level: 3 to 4 out of 10.
Zone 3 (Z3). Moderately difficult. Effort level: 5 to 6 out of 10.
Zone 4 (Z4). Difficult. Effort level: 7 to 8 out of 10.
Zone 5 (Z5). Very difficult. Effort level: 9 to 10 out of 10.

“FS” means freestyle swimming “Breast” is breaststroke swimming “Back” is backstroke swimming
“Pull” means swimming freestyle with a float between your thighs.
"Kick" means to kick from the front, holding a float in your outstretched arms.
“Drill” means performing a swimming technique exercise of your choice
“Choice” means you can do any style you want, usually as recovery.

Swimming tips and equipment
You can swim in Yards or Meters, depending on what you prefer and the type of pool you use. You will need a kick float and a pull buoy. You might also benefit from a pair of flippers and a swimmer's snorkel. These swimming tools can help keep you buoyant while practicing swimming technique exercises. Or it can help you swim further/easier if you're relatively new to triathlon swimming. Workout 1. Endurance/Technique 1400 y/m This swim is designed to increase endurance and sensitivity in the water. It's a low-intensity workout that can also aid recovery from tough running or cycling workouts.

Warm Up:
1 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 100 Drill in Z2 + 20 secs rest),
1 x (100 Drill in Z2 + 100 Pull in Z2 + 20 secs rest).

Main Set:
1 x (50 Kick in Z2 + 50 Kick in Z4 + 20 secs rest),
2 x (200 Drill in Z2 + 100 Pull in Z2 + 15 sec rests),
1 x (50 Kick in Z2 + 50 Kick in Z4 + 20 secs rest).

Warm Down:
1 x (50 Breast in Z2 + 50 FS in Z2),
1 x (50 Back in Z2 + 50 FS in Z2).
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