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Be Race Ready – Framing Cycles And Swim Workout Design

Courtesy of Gerry Rodrigues, Tower 26, Santa Monica Beach, California.

Gerry Rodrigues in his second Be Race Ready podcast (see here) talks about framing a cycle of swim workouts, foundational swims, and how to construct a swim session with host Jim Lubinski.

Under Coach Rodrigues’ guidance, a one-year period for competitive triathletes can be divided into 5 different segments:

Segment 1: Recovery Phase – rejuvication, technical program to lay foundation
Segment 2: Foundational (Base/Endurance) Phase – training load
Segment 3: Sharpening Period – ready to swim fast, with good endurance
Segment 4: Skill Acquisition Phase – 6 weeks of getting ready for open water swimming
Segment 5: Race Ready Phase – 4-5 months of racing

The details of this Be Race Ready podcast can be heard here for free. Coach Rodrigues talks about the common 7-day training cycle as well as providing a number of detailed workouts and the optimal framing of specific pool swimming workouts (i.e., 10-15 minute warm-up + 10-15 minute technical drills + 30-minute main set).

For example, one of Coach Rodrigues’ key foundational workouts during a 7-day cycle (“cannot-miss workout”) for amateur and professional triathletes is the following (assuming the athlete’s half-Ironman effort pace is 1:10 per 100 yards):

Round 1: 100@1:40 easy + 1×100@1:20 half-Ironman pace + 100@1:40 easy + 100@1:20 fast
Round 2: 100@1:40 easy + 1×200@2:40 half-Ironman pace + 100@1:40 easy + 100@1:20 fast
Round 3: 100@1:40 easy + 1×300@4:00 half-Ironman pace + 100@1:40 easy + 100@1:20 fast
Round 4: 100@1:40 easy + 1×400@5:20 half-Ironman pace + 100@1:40 easy + 100@1:20 fast
Round 5: 100@1:40 easy + 1×500@6:40 half-Ironman pace + 100@1:40 easy + 100@1:20 fast
Round 6: 100@1:40 easy + 1×600@8:00 half-Ironman pace + 100@1:40 easy + 100@1:20 fast

This workout breakdown [posted above] is for an hour session,” explains Coach Rodrigues. “Most open water swimmers and triathletes should be doing longer workouts; the main set would then stretch to the remaining time post warm-up. All the TOWER 26 main sets during this phase are 60+ minutes long. Last Thursday it was a 4.8 km main set for example.”

To ask questions that will be answered during the podcast, follow @Tower_26 on Twitter and be a part of the TOWER 26 mailing list by signing up at

Additional Tower 26 articles here:

* TOWER 26 Be Race Ready Podcast Goes Live
* Be Race Ready Podcast On Tautness, Alignment, Propulsion
* Guardians Of The Sea, From Tower 26 And Beyond
* Tower 26 website
* The Open Water Grave By Gerry Rodrigues
* Alignment And Structural Presence In The Open Water
* Tri To Improve In The Pool And Open Water
* Tower 26’s Gerry Rodrigues On Gripping And Ripping

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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