I completely agree that doing form drills to practice good swimming technique is critical to the process of becoming a faster

swimmer. That written, you cannot expect that slow and purposeful drills will increase your sustained swimming speed if you never swim fast. Certainly, a beginning swimmer can make significant gains in speed because they are starting with a baseline of limited to no fitness and skills; but after a few weeks, they will reach a speed plateau. They cannot improve their average speed for long swims. Even intermediate and advanced distance swimmers can hit a speed ceiling. These more advanced swimmers can often be found churning out set after set of repeat 100s to 500s with very short rest intervals. These swimmers also like long and steady open water swims. Managing a certain level of discomfort for a long period makes them feel like they accomplished something in the workout. But, what if you are stuck at your current speed and can't seem to get faster? One answer seems obvious: You need to swim faster in order to get faster. Swimming fast and experiencing a load of lactate is not a feeling longdistance swimmers or triathletes enjoy. They would rather swim 1,000 or 2,000 steady than swim six all-out, fast 50s—even if there is generous rest between each 50. Speed It Up Let's save the fast 50 workouts for another column. For this column, I'll have you sneak up on some speed with shorter efforts. These workouts

but prior to the main set. in a progression. and I agree with him. Option 1 Repeat the following set two to three times: 2 x 25 Build speed throughout the 25 2 x 25 Swim half the distance as fast as you can.come from Masters swim coach Scott Allen. If you swim in a long course pool. that you need to swim fast early in the workout. he has coached many triathletes and age-group swimmers of all ages. the 25s are on a swim interval that gives you around 15 seconds rest. 1 x 25 All-out fast 1 x 50 Very relaxed and easy Option 2 Repeat the following set two or three times: 1 x 25 Steady swimming 1 x 25 Build speed throughout the 25 . He believes. it doesn't matter if it is first half or last half. before you have any accumulated fatigue. get creative about modifying the workout to achieve the goals in the set. try to do one of the sets outlined in this column after your warm-up swim. He is a former USA Swimming staff member and helped Susan Von der Lippe qualify for the Olympic trials this year. To get you started on the path to faster swimming. Swim the other half easy. You need to begin with short distances and then build the distance of fast swimming over time. The 50s and 100s are done on an interval that gives you 20 to 30 seconds rest. As well as Olympians. For all the sets.

25 kick. Wear fins for the entire set: 2 x 100 Do 25 kick. 25 swim 2 x 25 Kick fast 2 x 25 Swim fast—really fast 1 x 50 easy Include one of these fast swimming segments between your warm-up and main set at least once. Were you able to swim faster in some of your longer sets too? Did you bump your overall speed? Comment to other swimmers in the community by logging your experience here . per week for the next six to eight weeks. and preferably twice. On your other swim days you can include form drills between the warm-up and the main set. let me know if it got easier to swim fast on the short sets. At the end of your experiment. 25 swim.1 x 25 Swim half the distance fast 1 x 25 Easy Option 3 Repeat the following set two times.

Mixing long.com readers with another training snapshot from one of the world's best freestylers. continuous swimming is allowed in preparation for the next physically exerting drill. "Instead of doing efforts on a slower interval.com may also recognize his moniker from a World Class Workout column featuring little sister Kalyn. Track when swimmers are competing. As Klete explains. flag your favorites. respectively). Apparently. active rest workouts are unique in that they never give the swimmer any down time between repeats—rather. The purpose of this workout is to transition the swimmer into the sprint workout scheduled for the next morning. and more . I go an easy 100 or 50 after each hard effort. typically completed on a Friday (after four days of longer. but readers of Active." . Track Your Favorite Swimmers This Week! Follow the best swimmers in the US on the FREE Meet Mobile app.xSwim star Klete Keller may best be known for his two Olympic medalwinning performances in the 2000 Games. look up their results. being a member of the Keller family lineage ensures you a place at the head of the swimming pack (both his older sister Kelsey and his mother are current and former swimmers. in hopes of providing Active. Download Now SPONSORED LISTING Klete's contribution is an "active rest" workout. It was with this in mind that I approached Klete about contributing his own World Class Workout. more aerobic/threshold training). moderate-effort sets with race-pacing and sprinting.all from the palm of your hand.

butterfly/freestyle)
 8x50 @ 50 secs (alt. Warm-Up
 1.500 swim (alternate 200 freestyle.fast Hypoxic Set
 (wear fins if preferred)
 400 (breathe every 3rd stroke)
 300 (breathe every 5th stroke)
 200 (breathe every 7th stroke)
 100 (breathe every 9th stroke) Main Set 
 16x100
 Odd: Fast freestyle 
 Even: Active rest.For readers who may not have their workouts planned this far in advance (or who are not on Klete's intensive five-days-aerobic/one-day-sprint schedule). 100 easy backstroke
 (descend 1-4 freestyle to race pace and maintain) 3x [4x (50 easy + 50 pace)]
 1st round @ race pace
 2nd round @ faster
 3rd round @ sprint Easy 200 cool-down TOTAL: 7. Klete Keller's Active Rest Workout Unsure about the workout lingo? Use this handy swimming glossary. backstroke/freestyle) Kick Set
 300 easy @ 6:00
 6x100 @ 2:00 . threshold and moderate swimming.200 meters . 100 stroke) Pre-Set
 8x50 @ 50-second interval for each 50 (alt. the workout is still a valuable combination of anaerobic and aerobic training.

too.000m Warm-up
 800m Free
 2 x 400 Free
 4 x 200 Free
 8 x 100 Free
 TOTAL: 4. If you can maintain good form at the end of the session. you will be that much better off at the end of a race.A Modified Workout Swimmers who can't fathom completing the full 8. Ultimately. . Sometimes.000 meters can easily modify the workout by cutting it in half: 1. when your competitors fall apart in technique and endurance. this mental advantage is all it takes to beat an opponent who is otherwise stronger and faster. the workout will result in increased endurance and the ability for you to finish strongly in even the most demanding of race circumstances. It is easy to get sloppy as you get tired and as the meters mount throughout the workout.500 or 800. Always concentrate on your stroke. conditioning yourself with the mental challenges of facing such a long and arduous set will make the first leg of a triathlon or an openwater swim seem that much easier.200m The distance of the workout is not as important as retaining the integrity of the set: descending each repeat and descending each broken 1. Best of all.

900 meters/yards As with all great sets.000 and the pull set. endurance. the Grand Prix offers unpredictability with a certain level of repetition. .500 pull 800 individual medley 400 stroke (no freestyle) 200 fast freestyle 100 easy 200 fast freestyle 400 stroke (no freestyle) 800 individual medley 1. unpredictable ways. it is now time to get down to business with some faster swimming and some cross-training with different strokes.500 swim (timed) Total: 8. By the end of this second block. and upper-body portions of your workout behind you.500 is faster than the first half of the set. designed to put in some upper-body work while stressing endurance.000 swim (timed) 1. you will have completed over half the entire distance of the workout.000-meter swim. the 3. Mixing it Up With the warmup. Remember these two split times. here is Cristina Teuschers World Class Workout: The Grand Prix 3. a tough mix to achieve but one that makes the time pass quickly while challenging the swimmer in various. The first block. is both a warmup and a pacesetter for what is to follow.500-meter pull is an extension of the warmup set. with only one break between the 3. The 1.abridged. Try to negative-split the distance so that your second 1.

The 800 individual medley (200 butterfly. I highly recommend peppering your swim workouts with butterfly. swimming different strokes provides better cardiovascular conditioning (as anyone who has ever attempted a few laps of butterfly can tell you). backstroke and breaststroke. even if you only compete in that stroke. there are definite advantages to swimming strokes other than the crawl. each and every workout. are designed to test your speed and get those slow-twitch muscles to respond to a pair of medium-distance sprints. it stretches and conditions muscles that are more or less dormant during your preferred stroke (this is necessary to maintain flexibility and increase endurance in the favored stroke). and this is an essential part of a well-rounded swimmer's daily routine. While a 200 is hardly considered a sprint in sprinter's terms. First. It will certainly not hinder your performance and can only improve your overall ability. Speeding Things Up a Bit The 200 fast freestyle repeats. its the shortest and fastest repeat in this enduranceintensive set. . Second. Regardless of your ability. 200 freestyle) and 400 stroke is the first opportunity to swim a stroke other than freestyle. separated by a 100 easy. Triathletes and open-water freestylers should follow their lead. 200 backstroke. Regardless of their preferred competitive stroke. stroke training breaks up the monotony of swimming the same stroke each and every day. Olympians and worldclass swimmers always incorporate additional strokes into their training sessions. Third. 200 breaststroke.

In mastering this type of endurance.500 splits from the opening 3. but find that your muscles are screaming out in pain. attempt to beat your finish times (not easy given the fatigue you should be feeling). forget trying to beat your earlier times and instead really focus on keeping your stroke technique together. you may not even make it this far. The 400 stroke and 800 IM may look familiar. If you can do this. and try to get your heart rate above (at least) 150 or so. Endurance Check The icing on the cake (or the last straw. overtaking your competitors. they are repeats from earlier in the workout. The more capable you are of keeping good form. Always try to maintain proper technique. slap the water. This time. in a race. or shorten your stroke (all things that result from fatigue or bonking towards the end of a tough swim). especially when fatigue and soreness take over. doing this entire workout should teach you to pace yourself so that you have enough energy left toward the end to complete the last few repeats without fading. Take care not to drop your elbows. you should have all the confidence in the world that your endurance is a force to be reckoned with. The all-important goal is to beat both of your 2x1.Really push yourself in these two segments to get down to race pace. the closer you will get to beating your initial splits and eventually. depending on your frame of mind) is a 1. If you do. you will find yourself relying on back-half race strategy to overcome your competitor's-always a good thing. . The first few times you attempt this workout. Eventually.500-meter swim for time.000-meter freestyle.

000 yards per workout. For instance: Mini-Prix Workout 1. There are ways to modify it to your abilities while still taking advantage of its drills and benefits. in that the swimmer should negative-split the opening swim. focus on race pace during the 2x100 sprint.100 meters/yards Substantially shortened. 3. the above example of a Mini-Prix can be tried by athletes who may only swim a few times a week.000 freestyle 500 pull 200 IM 200 stroke 100 sprint 100 easy 100 sprint 200 stroke 200 IM 500 freestyle Total: 3. The gist of the Grand Prix is still maintained. For swimmers that only swim freestyle: Free-Prix Workout . but these shorter distances allow novices to experience new strokes without being exhausting.Of course. this set (unabridged) may only appeal to a small percentage of endurance swimmers and hard-core triathletes. and then attempt to beat the split 500 time in the last 500 meters. Stroke work is still included with 2x200 IM and 2x200 stroke. however.

Cristina helpfully offered some insight into how she gets through such daunting workouts every day." . the goal is to swim even faster on the next 200 and 300.10 seconds rest 500 freestyle Total: 3. Hard workouts always get me excited and make me look forward to tomorrow. "I also try to just view it as a challenge and nothing else. and how few people do this stuff.300 meters This workout is for freestylers who just refuse to (or can't) swim any other stroke.20 seconds rest 300 freestyle -. The consecutive 300 and 200 freestyles (essentially a broken 500) should be swum fast enough to beat either 500 of the first 1. the last 500 should be the fastest 500 of all.20 seconds rest 200 freestyle -.000.1. Slightly different in its make-up. relax and motivate for the next day. After the 2x100 sprint. The Free Prix version challenges you to swim a total of 5x500 throughout the workout: two in the warmup. it tests a swimmer's endurance and forces one to pay attention to finish times more closely in the workout. where it's going to get me. and one last one at the end of the workout (all descending and increasing in effort and speed).10 seconds rest 100 sprint 100 easy 100 sprint 200 freestyle -. Finally. two broken ones in the middle of the set. "I just think about [the workout's] purpose. beating your previous broken 500.000 freestyle 500 pull 300 freestyle -. If you don't have it that day." she said.

Hawaii. "I think of keeping my rhythm and relaxing when I do a hard set. and more .all from the palm of your hand. Track Your Favorite Swimmers This Week! Follow the best swimmers in the US on the FREE Meet Mobile app. making him an ideal and well-rounded choice for the inaugural World-Class Workout series. A former pool swimmer. you too may end up at the front of the pack. look up their results. Track when swimmers are competing. Peter has been successfully pursuing a career as a triathlete for the last several years. he first World Class Workout comes to us courtesy of USA Triathlon teammember Peter Hursty. Cristina has clocked enough great 100s in her career to ensure her a solid place in swimming history.She is quick to add that even on an off day. with four overall first-place finishes in the reputable Tinman Triathlon. and victories in the Lavaman Triathlon in 2000 and 2001. I do it piece by piece. there are ways to get better and make the most of the set. Peter is also a masters swimmer and age-group coach. By partaking in some of her world-class workouts. Sometimes all you need is one great 1x100 in a workout to think the session was a success. currently residing in Honolulu. flag your favorites." Judging from her track record. .

he wisely includes backstroke in his first warmup set. "I'm not one for much stroke work." he says. sprint Cool-down
 400 easy swim "Usually. 4 @ 95 percent effort Set 3
 300 easy pull Set 4
 4x50 @ :40.500 meters. It is an overall swim conditioning workout." admits Peter. freestyle/backstroke by 50 Set 2
 4x400 @ 15 seconds rest. or three miles. 3 @ 90 percent effort
 No. or simply take between five to 10 . The purpose of this is to stretch out his shoulders. Indeed. 2 @ 80 percent effort
 No. (Workout and intervals are based in a 50-meter pool) Warmup
 500 swim
 200 kick
 300 pull (breathe once every five strokes) Set 1
 10x100 @ 1:30. "I usually do that first set just to get the blood flowing and get my heart rate up slightly. which is fine considering that Peter's primary purpose for swimming is to stay in shape for the first leg of his triathlons. Swimmers who find the 1:30 interval too difficult can try the set at 1:45 per 100.Download Now SPONSORED LISTING Peter's favorite workout totals 4. The nice thing about this workout is that it includes a well-rounded set of drills that can be used every day. balancing intricate pace work (that comes in handy during a long-distance open-water swim) with explosive speedwork (that helps keep fast-twitch muscles in racing form). Even so. descending:
 No." The above workout clearly favors freestyle. Swimmers who would consider 10x100 the major part of their workout can pare down the set to 3x100. Peter relies on it a few times a week--with modifications--as his core-conditioning workout. both backward (backstroke) and forward (freestyle). 1 @ 70 percent effort
 No.

It is an ideal. If you have trouble descending your times on the repeats. way to compete in longer events. which will help you in long events where you will be required to save some energy for the back half. yet called upon to dig down for that last bit of explosive energy. Experiment by taking it easy on the first repeat (maybe only exert yourself 50 percent instead of what you perceive to be a 70 percent effort). you will learn your body's capabilities and become familiar with your own sense of pacing and endurance. . The point is to descend and negative-split the set at all costs." Peter says. It hurts. as he is usually the first one out of the water). In time. he will be even more fatigued at the end of a race.seconds rest between each repeat. though very difficult. with the same amount of rest. but there is no better time to test his sprint mettle. Negative splitting is when the last half of the distance completed is faster than the first half. This short burst of four consecutive sprints is exactly the kind of anaerobic burst he may have to rely on at the end of an event to outsprint a competitor. even as fatigue sets in. "I like to do this set to work my anaerobic capacities. he is also forcing himself to descend his time on each 400. By increasing his effort with each 400. I try and negative-split each swim to work on my pacing. but I feel so good after its done!" Granted. Swimmers who find the mile-long set of 4x400 too daunting can either do 2x400. Peter is slowly teaching his body to negative-split automatically (this helps during his triathlons. negative splitting not only every repeat but also the entire set. I try and go pretty much all-out for each one. By conditioning himself to swim harder and faster as the set progresses." Peter explains. This set conditions Peter to be competitive even when he is feeling weak and spent. "Along with the descending. it is the end of his workout and he may be exhausted from the endurance set he just completed. As tired as he is at the end of his workout. you may be going out too fast in your first half. The main set of 400s is the heart of Peters workout. or 4x200. "On the 4x50.

exit the water and consider your first World Class Workout complete. . Hyperextending your arms with every stroke will also help prevent lacticacid buildup by stretching sprint-fatigued lateral muscles.Remember to always cool down at least five minutes after your last set before exiting the pool. can help get your heart rate down while flushing out that excess lactic acid. Especially after a sprint set like 4x50. When your heart rate lowers and you're feeling comfortable and loose. A 400-meter easy swim. mixing backstroke and freestyle. your muscles will be brimming with lactic acid that needs to be flushed out (otherwise the following day will be a painful reminder of your last workout).