Team Sample Workouts

Here are a couple of preparation / conditioning period sample workouts for a team member who has an average amount of time to train and who is an intermediate to advanced swimmer and runner. (i.e. doesn’t particularly struggle with either sport).  This athlete trains with power on the bike.

    Your Workouts for Monday, October 25

    Workout #1: Prep Aerobic Run
    Type: Run
    Planned duration: :45 – 1:00
    Goal: the goal if this session is to build your lower aerobic endurance and to condition you for your “real” long runs in the future. It’s important to keep runs moderate for an extended period of time early season to let your connective tissue toughen up. At some point you “engine” (muscles and lungs) will be ready to rip off a fast, long run at low heart rates and you’d feel amazing doing it, but then you’ll be likely to end up injured because your connective tissue needs more time to toughen up. Be patient!

    NOTE: this is an excellent time of year to run on trails if you have some available– but be gentle with downhills! Also, if you mix in the occasional treadmill run or grass run for some of your runs you can help keep your legs fresh.

    *Warm Up*: a quick mix of walking, jogging, drills and jumps (run technique videos and drills and jumps videos should be up on my web site soon)

    *Main Set* Run 45-60 minute steady run; mix in at least 1-2 minutes of easy jogging every mile or every 10 minutes; we’ll eventually build up to our sustained flat running, but we’ll start off mixing in some easy jogging during this early conditioning phase. Cap your heart rate at a few beats above the bottom of your steady zone.

    Alternatively, you can use a run/ walk pattern (4 run / 1 walk), for example. Most IM athletes can improve their run time by doing some proactive walking during their marathon (I mixed a few race walks into my 3:10 marathon at IMCDA). If you practice race walking during your runs consistently for an entire season, you might become fast enough to walk around 10-12 minutes / mile.

    While our distance and intensity are low this is perfect time to focus on technique. Focus on key elments such as having good posture and trying to run with a cadence over 90. These are things I’ll address at team practices and in future videos available on the web site for team members.

    Workout #2: Prep Int Technique Swim 1
    Type: Swim
    Planned duration: 0:40
    The goal if this session is to focus on our technique with a secondary emphasis on fitness. This time of year is the perfect time to focus on technique, before the workouts become so challenging that we are too busy thinking about our effort to swim with perfect technique. In a couple of weeks this monday session will be more of a “workout,” but for it will be just a technique session as we’ll give our shoulders, etc, a chance to get conditioned.

    This workout is written for intermediate to advanced swimmers who already have a strong stroke and a decent understanding of stroke mechanics, but who may have let some sloppy habits creep into their swimming near the end of the season (swimmers not unlike myself 🙂 )

    If you attend the team swim in Mountain View I’ll be able to analyze your stroke and suggest drills. If you are on your own, you’ll have to be both swimmer and coach! IF you don’t know a drill for the part of technique you need to emphasize you can either (a) exaggerate whatever you are trying to do (e.g. if you are swimming too flat, do a drill where you rotate too much); or (b) if it is something related to your catch or arms/ hands, then do 1 arm swimming focusing on whatever you are trying to accomplish with your arm (e.g. high elbow or pointing your hand down to the bottom of the pool after extension– it’s much easier to focus on just one arm).

    If you are having trouble finding a “form focus” to work on in technique sessions, I recommend checking out and checking out their intermediate and advanced swimmers pages to find something that you can improve on. Pick 1-2 things to work on per session.


    2*200 easy– think about your form, for example:
    * is your body in balance, even when you breathe (or do you have to press down on the water when you breathe?)
    * do you feel you are catching the water well or are you pushing down on the water / do you feel like your hand is not getting much purchase?


    4* the following set:

    * 50 as 25 drill, 25 swim focusing on perfect technique in whatever element you are working on (15 rest)
    * 200 (100 easy , 100 steady) focusing on perfect form (20 rest)
    * 50 as 25 drill, 25 swim focusing on perfect technique in whatever element you are working on (15 rest)
    * 200 (50 easy, 100 steady, 50 tempo), focusing on perfect form (20 rest)

    More advanced swimmers who are already well conditioned, i.e., those who have been swimming over 10,000 yards / week consistently for months, can extend this workout by adding 5*200 (100 easy, 100 steady) focusing on perfect form.

    100 easy cool down including some back stroke

    Your Workouts for Tuesday, October 26

    Workout #1: Prep Bike Intervals 1 (10h)
    Type: Bike
    Planned duration: 1:00
    warm up, then 5*:

    1. 4:30 steady @ 90+ cadence (last minute sitting up),
    2. 30 seconds easy spinning
    3. 4:30 steady at 70-72 cadence (last minute out of the saddle)
    4. 30 seconds easy spinning,
    5. 1 min of intensity (see below),
    6. 1 minute very easy spin recovery

    for 1 minute of intensity:
    *for rep 1&2 do minute of tempo,
    *for reps 3&4 do a minute at FTP,
    * for rep 5 do 30 seconds at 10-20 watts above FTP, then 30 seconds easy spin

    Cool down: spin easy 5-10 minutes

    NOTE: if you feel any strain at all during the intensity reps, just stop immediately and skip them. I put these in the program just to touch on our higher intensities and to prevent “one speed syndrome,” but in the big scheme of things they aren’t very important and aren’t worth taking any risk.

    Workout #2: Optional Prep Easy Transition Run
    Type: Run
    Planned duration: 0:00
    Hop off of the bike and run 15 – 30 minutes easy (below your steady zone). If you feel tired from runs earlier in the week, skip this.

About Coady

Lucky to be coaching some really awesome & fun people!
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