As the Southern Hemisphere heads into its summer season and the open water swimmers in the Northern Hemisphere head indoors for a long winter of pool workouts, we recommend keeping the 'open water edge' when training, simulating open water racing conditions whenever possible. Under this open water mindset, a 2.1K set is as follows:
3 sets of 7 x 100 (in a 25-yard pool)
1st set @ a 1:30 interval
2nd set @ a 1:20 interval
3rd set @ on a 1:15 interval
However, the third, fifth and seventh 100 on the first two sets is on a 1:10 interval. Swim #3 in each set simulates a surge in the early part of the race; swim #5 in each set simulates a surge towards the end; swim #7 simulates the finish sprint.
In the third and final set, the first 100 can also be done at a 1:10 pace - simulating a fast start from the shoreline.
Intervals, of course, should be adjusted to your appropriate pace and level of conditioning, but the mentality of picking up the pace within the set is helpful to maintain a competitive edge during the long winter sessions in a pool.
In order to maintain our capacity to finish an onshore race (or swim-bike transition in a triathlon) well, we recommend deck-ups as made famous by Tower 26's coach Gerry Rodrigues.
1 x 25 + pull yourself out on the pool deck and dive back in ('a deck-up') + 1 x 50 + deck-up + 1 x 75 + deck-up + 1 x 100 + deck-up. This set can be adjusted in many ways - for example, 10 x 50 @ 1:00 with all deck-ups, but #3, #5, #7, #9 and #10 is swum hard.
The deck-ups simulate going vertical and running up the shoreline at the finish or at the swim-bike transition.
Photos by Colin A Gift.