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Workout Wednesday: Short IM Sprints


As fall approaches, many triathletes start training with a masters swim club for the off-season. If you’re really looking to improve as a swimmer, this is the way to go. The diversity of the workouts and the intensity that you’ll get during each practice will take your swimming ability to a new level. However, there’s one aspect of masters swimming that scares off many triathletes: the dreaded IM sets. While there are numerous reasons for triathletes to train different swim strokes, the thought of swimming a few fast-paced laps of butterfly makes many triathletes nervous. For this week’s Workout Wednesday we’re bringing you an easy introduction to IM training, similar to a workout you’ll find in the early weeks of a masters training season. The 25-metre drills give you a chance to work individual aspects of each stroke before putting it all together for two, short 50-metre pushes. Sculling should be on your front for freestyle, on your back for backstroke and with dolphin kick for fly. The eight-beat drill simply refers to eight kicks before stroking once on each side. Pace times are all adjustable to fit your level but these are comparable to what you’d find in the fast lane of a masters session.

Total: 3,800 m 

Warmup: 400 m choice easy

12 x 100:

3 x 100 freestyle on 1:55ThinkstockPhotos-90389201

3 x 100 kick on 2:15

3 x 100 IM on 2:00

3 x 100 SPRINT on 1:35

3 x [8 x 25] first round freestyle, second round backstroke, third round fly: 

2 x 25 scull with kickingThinkstockPhotos-87354439

2 x 25 single-arm

2 x 25 kick (no board)

2 x 25 eight-beat stroke

After each round: 2 x 50 @ 80% effort.

Main Set:

3 x [5 x 50 sprint on 1:00, 2 x 75 easy]

– each sprint should be all-out

– round 1 freestyle, round 2 backstroke or IM order, round 3 kick on 1:10 instead of 1:00

100 easy cool down