Back to Basics, Week 2

This is a follow up to my first post about Steve and how I’m helping him re-learn the fundamentals of swimming and technique.

During the second week of Steve’s training it was time to start mixing some things up. In order to survive a longer open-water swim, he needed to add some yardage to his workouts and help him find a comfortable, consistent pace. Keep in mind that just because we are adding yardage, doesn’t mean you can lose focus on technique!

Week 2:

    Warm up using the Z2 Fins and the front snorkel. Swim 500yards at a moderate speed thinking only about technique. 

    Leave the Fins on and flutter kick on your back 200yards, arms stretched out in a tight streamline. This typically feels great on the lower back.

    Remove Fins

    6 x 50’s Breaststroke; Take 10 seconds rest between each 50; #3 and #6 are all out, sprint breaststroke.

    Rest 2-3 minutes

    Main set: 10 x 100 Freestyle with a Tempo Trainer:


      • Comprised of 5 sets of 2 x 100’s (10 seconds rest between each 100 and 30 seconds rest at end of each set of 2) 

        Initially set the Tempo Trainer to 1.50 seconds. Time your rhythm so that you hear the beep as your hand enters the water at the top of your stroke. You will decrease the Tempo Trainer setting by 0.15 seconds after each set of 2.

        2 x100’s @ 1.50 seconds (Tempo Trainer setting)
        2 x100’s @ 1.35
        2 x100’s @ 1.20
        2 x100’s @ 1.05
        2 x100’s @ 0.90 (will be the fastest tempo)


    Rest 2 minutes and now set the Tempo Trainer at one of the rates above when you felt like your stroke was most natural. Swim 500yards straight on this new setting and take note if you are able to maintain this set rate for the entire swim. 

    200 warm down (50 breast, 50 back, 50 free, 50 breast)


The reason for the 500yard swim after the main set is to help you find your ideal stroke rate for distance and open-water swims. If you could not keep up with the rate that you set at the beginning of the 500, then later that week do the same workout and try again with a different setting. Conversely, if you easily held your stroke rate the entire 500, could we increase the pace and get you working a bit harder? Our goal will be to find a rate that is hard, but lets you get in the zone so that once you finish you have efficiently used up all the gas in the tank.

Remember to enjoy your swim!

- John Mix
CEO and Co-Founder