For most triathletes the swim is their Achilles’ heel. We are normally pretty comfortable on land, but the water at the start of a triathlon is often a different story.

Feeling confident to swim the complete 1500m and still get out of the water fresh enough ready to ride fast is my priority in the swim when racing Olympic distance triathlon.

Benchmark Swim Set:

300m Warm-up including some 12-15 stroke fast bursts (aim to do same warm-up at race).

2000m – Best pace you can hold for the whole distance but the catch here is each 100m has to be as close to the same pace as possible. We call this ‘even splitting’. The final 500m should be as fast as the first 500m, etc. Pick a goal race and look at the clock at the end of each 100m to make sure you are not going out too fast or dropping off pace too much. I guarantee by the end of the set it will start to get hard.

Warm down 300m – easy pull including some backstroke.

If completed correctly this session is perfect race practice to do just a couple of times over the final five weeks leading into the race as a test session.

To teach you:

1. Your own correct pacing

2. Give confidence to easily swim the race distance

3. Monitor swim fitness improvement leading into the race


This triathlon specific swim session was taught to me by multiple World Champion coach Col Stewart and was a regular when I was swimming my best in triathlon. It may appear a bit boring but when you concentrate on monitoring and maintain your splits each 100m it goes pretty fast. And don’t forget training race specific is the key to maximising your chance to perform best on race day.

No more articles