A Swim Practice to Help You Develop Legendary Closing Speed

If you’ve ever taken a peek inside the pages of my logbook, you know that I am a big fan of kick/swim sets.

There are a few different reasons for this:

💪 Killer for general aerobic conditioning.

Because your legs suck up so much oxygen, you get pre-bagged before jumping into the swim portion of each rep.

The kick/swim mix is excellent for getting the heart rate up quickly and keeping it there.

💪 Easy on the shoulders.

The balance of kick and swim helps reduce the load on your shoulders, making this set handy when your shoulders are particularly beat up or at the beginning of the season when your shoulders are easing back into swimming.

Swimmer’s shoulder is all sorts of stinky, and this kind of swim workout helps you improve conditioning without overloading your shoulders.

💪 Awesome for teaching how to six-beat kick.

Six-beat kicking is hard. It’s exhausting. But ooohhh baby will six-beat kicking take your swimming to a whole ‘nother level.

I love using kick-swim reps and sets to reinforce a steady and strong kick by trying to keep the kick RPM through the swim half of each rep. (Easier said than done, I know.)

💪 Gives you the legs to close strong.

Done properly, this form of set helps you close your races like a chlorinated champion.

You will be pre-fatigued from the kick portion of each rep, and the swim is to be done FAST, so get after it and close like a boss even though your legs are a little gassed.

Okay, enough monologuing about my affection for this particular kind of set.

Today’s version of the kick-swim set is designed to help give you the endurance to come back strong at the end of your races.

The workout runs 4,000 yards or meters and the intervals below reflect the session I did in short course meters with the limited time I had allotted, but you can easily increase or decrease the intervals based on your current fitness levels and pool set-up.

Let’s get into it!


500 as: [100 swim, 100 kick, 100 pull, 100 drill, 100 swim build]


10×200 free as: [100 kick, 100 swim fast] @3:30

  • Hold the kick intensity from the kick to swim
  • Pick an interval where you will get about :30 rest

200 choice easy

10×100 free as: [50 kick, 50 swim, both FAST] @2:00

  • Best average; see how fast you can go!
  • Pick an interval where you will get about :40 rest


6×50 free swim with perfect technique @1:10

Total: 4,000


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About Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy has been involved in competitive swimming for most of his life. Starting off at the age of 6 he was thrown in the water at the local pool for swim lessons and since then has never wanted to get out. A nationally top ranked age grouper as both a …

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