Swim Speed Workouts: Workout 1-1


Swim Speed Workout Cover. (Small)Sheila Taormina is a four-time Olympian, gold medalist in the 4 x 200 free relay and ITU triathlon world champion. At just over 5 feet, 2 inches, Taormina found success at the highest levels of swimming by refining an exceptional freestyle swimming technique. She now works as a swimming coach, offering swim technique workshops around the world.

In her book Swim Speed Secrets published last spring, Taormina reveals the freestyle technique that is common to the world’s fastest swimmers. Her new book Swim Speed Workouts, which will be released in April, offers swimmers the workouts, drills, drylands, and 16-week training plan to get in the pool and focus on developing their fastest freestyle one crucial step at a time.

In this weekly series, USA Swimming is pleased to share the first four workouts from Swim Speed Workouts with permission of the publisher VeloPress. For more information about Swim Speed Workouts, go to www.swimspeedsecrets.com.  



Purpose: Establish a baseline stroke count and stroke rate, build strength, and work on the feel for the water. If necessary, see www.swimspeedsecrets.com to find videos of each drill.



400 easy: 200 free / 50 kick / 100 free / 50 kick (The 50 kicks can be with or without a board.) 10 x 25 pull with buoy @ 0:30, 0:40, 0:50, or 1:00 (Choose interval for 0:05-10 rest)
Odds: easy
Evens: build to 90%

100 easy (60-65%)



12 x 50 free @ 0:50, 1:00, 1:15, or 1:30 (Choose interval for 0:15-30 rest)
4 rounds: 50 easy / 50 moderate / 50 fast

For Rounds 1 and 3, have a friend or coach take your stroke rate.
For Rounds 2 and 4: count your number of strokes per length.



6 x 50 kick with board (moderate) @ 1:00, 1:15, 1:30, or 1:45 Sprint the last 12.5 of each 50


3 x 0:30 press-outs (up to 8 max) @ 0:45
To do a press-out, place your hands on the pool deck slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, your body chest-deep in the water. Without using your legs to push off the bottom, use your upper body and press up to a straight-arm position. (Don’t get out of the pool!) Then drop down carefully back into the pool. That’s one press-out.



0:30 standing scull drill @ 0:45

100 free build @ 1:40, 2:00, 2:15, or 2:30 (Choose interval for 0:10-20 rest)



5 x 100 moderate @ 1:40, 1:50, 2:10, or 2:30 (Choose interval for 0:05-15 rest) 25 Tarzan drill / 75 free


100 easy



4 x 15-25 full pulls (Rest 1:00-1:30 between sets)

TOTAL: 2150 (2650 with bonus set) + tubing

Republished with permission of VeloPress from Swim Speed Workouts for Swimmers and Triathletes: The Breakout Plan for Your Fastest Freestyle by Sheila Taormina, 4-time Olympian, gold medalist, and ITU world champion. Try two more free workouts and watch drill videos at www.swimspeedsecrets.com.  

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