Swim Workout: Pull Pacing

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Swim Workout

For those of you well-versed in swim training for multisports you know how important doing pull sets is.

Whether you are in a wetsuit or just a tri suit on race day, the last thing you want to do is burn out your legs on the swim. Having previously been a competitive swimmer, I made this mistake more times than I care to admit.

RELATED – Open water training tip for the pool

The strongest part of my swimming was my kick so every race I did early in my career I would hammer my kick the entire time. When I finally realized that I was exhausting my legs by doing this, I started to make some changes.

Pull Sets in Swim Training

A pull set is basically just a strength training swim set where you work your upper body more than your lower body. It can be done a variety of ways but these are the most common:

  • Without paddles and with a buoy
  • With paddles and with a buoy
  • With paddles and without a buoy

The goal of these swimming pull sets is to get comfortable without using your legs as much.

You want to build up your upper body muscular system and upper body endurance so that you can rely more on that in the swim leg on race day and give your legs a rest before hammering the bike and/or the run.

The Workout – Pull Pacing

For this particular workout there is one goal. Holding the same pace throughout the main set.

Most of you are probably thinking, “That’s easy, I do that all the time.” Not like this you don’t.

On this workout you will be switching between pulling and regular swimming with each repetition of the set. It’s going to exhaust your upper body and then force you to maintain that same pace during the regular swim. This accomplishes a couple of things:

  • Builds upper body endurance
  • Gives you a better feel for pacing with different circumstances

Below I have 3 variations (Gold, Silver, Bronze) based on the distance you need to do.

Gold (4000)

Warm Up
200 Swim/200 Kick/200 Pull/200 Swim

Main Set
*For main set rest 0:20 after each rep
1×400 pull w/paddles and no buoy
1×400 swim
1×400 pull w/paddles and no buoy
1×400 swim
1×400 pull w/paddles and no buoy
1×400 swim

Warm Down
10×50 Drill
300 Cool Down

 

Silver (2900)

Warm Up
200 Swim/200 Kick/200 Pull/200 Swim

Main Set
*For main set rest 0:20 after each rep
1×400 pull w/paddles and no buoy
1×400 swim
1×400 pull w/paddles and no buoy
1×400 swim

Warm Down
4×50 Drill
300 Cool Down

 

Bronze (1900)

Warm Up
100 Swim/100 Kick/100 Pull/100 Swim

Main Set
*For main set rest 0:20 after each rep
1×200 pull w/paddles and no buoy
1×200 swim
1×200 pull w/paddles and no buoy
1×200 swim
1×200 pull w/paddles and no buoy
1×200 swim

Warm Down
4×50 Drill
100 Cool Down

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