New Zealand native and former physiotherapist Michelle Bremer began racing as a professional in August 2011 and won Ironman Western Australia later that year. Here, she shares a powerful swim session.
Michelle’s training session
Warm up: 600m varying swim/back/kick
8 x 50s build 1-4 on one minute
Main set: 5 x 200s on 2:50 / 4 x 200s on 2:55 / 3 x 200s on 3:00 /
2 x 200s on 3:05 / 1 x 200 hard
Easy cool down
By Sean foster
Why Should I do them?
This is an effective aerobic power set. It increases your ability to maintain speed at the upper end of the aerobic range for sustained periods. This is achieved through increasing blood flow and oxygen to the muscles, which aids in the ability to dissipate lactic. The increasing recovery time between intervals as the set progresses also allows the swimmer to maintain speed and performance more effectively as they fatigue.
Another aspect is that aerobic power intervals teach the swimmer how to manage pace over a sustained effort. You need to develop a sense of your ‘best average’ intensity whilst maintaining performance in training first. This will see you achieve your best swim result come race day. Starting your swims too hard, for too long, can be detrimental to your swim result during a race.
If you are a less experienced swimmer, consider reducing the distance of your efforts from 200m to 150m, but increase the amount of recovery relative to the duration of the effort. Assuming 1:20 minutes per 100m average, the above set would allow for between 10-25 second recoveries.
For swimmers more likely to hold around 1:40 minutes/100m, the set can be further altered.
The suggested modification in this case would be:
500m varying swim/back/kick
6x 50s build 1-4 on 1:10 minutes
5x 150s on 2:45 / 4x 150s on 2:50
3x 150s on 2:55 / 2x 150s on 3:00
1x 150 hard / Easy cool down
• 17 years coaching experience
• Level 2 Triathlon
• Head Coach at Fluid Movements Sports / MTC
• Ex Professional Ironman
Sean Foster is an accredited Level 2 Triathlon Coach with 17 years coaching experience. A former professional Ironman, he is currently Head Coach of Fluid Movements and Melbourne Triathlon Club (MTC). For more information, visit www.fluidmovements.com.