The upside-down pyramid swim set
The upside-down pyramid is a “challenge” set, as opposed to a “to failure” set.
— by Clint Lien
“Boring training makes good athletes.” That was the mantra of my old coach and, for the most part, I have found it to be true. But I’ve also found that a little spice, now and then, also helps make good athletes.
Related: Go until failure: Suicide 50s
Fridays at a Mercury Rising Swim are “Fun Fridays!” And the thing with “fun” swim sets is they inevitably encourage some intense efforts.
Swimming solo? The upside-down pyramid is a “challenge” set, as opposed to a “to failure” set.
Here’s how it looks:
The Upside-Down Pyramid
15 x 200 (or 100) broken down as follows:
- 5 x 200 on a leave time that gives you about 20 seconds rest. So, if you’re swimming your 200s at around 3:30 at a moderate effort, then you would do the first 5 x 200 on a leave time of 3:50.
- Then you do: 4 x 200 on 3:45
- 3 x 200 on 3:40
- 2 x 200 on 3:35
- 200 on 3:30
There are no breaks between sets. Adjust accordingly for 100s. By the time you hit those last few 200s (or 100s) you should be testing your limits, which is always fun.
Clint Lien is the head coach of Victoria’s Mercury Rising Triathlon www.mercuryrisingtriathlon.com