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Ironman champion Lauren Brandon’s early season swim workout

One of the fastest swimmers in Ironman shares an early-season swim set

Ironman and 70.3 athlete Lauren Brandon is best known for her incredible swimming abilities – notably, she has often been the first athlete of both men and women out of the water at Ironman Mont-Tremblant, has led the way with Lucy Charles out of the water in Kona and, just last weekend, led the women out of the water at Ironman 70.3 Texas. The former NCAA All-American swimmer is also a swim coach with experience helping swimmers of all abilities make improvements in the water.

Brandon has written a number of swim workouts for Triathlon Magazine Canada, including this one that she wrote up as an early-season swim set, which seems appropriate for many of us who are struggling to find pool time these days.

This week’s workout, done completely, is 4,000m total. If you want to swim less than 4,000, you can do two rounds of the main set instead of four and you will do a total of 2,800. If you need to, modify the warm up and number of 50’s to reduce that total even more.

What I like most about the following workout is that it can be done at any point in your season. At the beginning of the season, most of this set is swum easy and you can focus on your stroke technique and simply getting in the laps without any intervals. As the season progresses, you can make the main set into a hard threshold set by having tight intervals. You are also getting in some strength work with the pull and a little bit of sprint. Have fun and use this set to track some progression throughout the year.”

  • Warmup — 500 choice swim
  • 10 x 50 freestyle ( odd kick, even swim) rest 10 seconds in between each 50
  • 10 x 50 freestyle (odd drill, even swim) rest 10 seconds in between each 50
  • Main set — 4 rounds of the following (odd rounds are swim, even rounds are pull)
  • 4 x 100 free – pick an interval where you get 10-15 seconds rest
  • 8 x 25 free ( odd = fast, even = easy ) – pick an interval where you get 10-15 seconds rest
  • Cool down — 100 easy