Climbing the Ladder Open Water Swimming Workout

In open water swimming the pace often fluctuates based upon conditions at the start, around buoys or at the finish.   There are also times when swimmers may strategically try and ‘break’ the pack by ramping up the speed.   Today’s workout addresses this by adding some variability to the mix – cycling on and off as the ladder gets climbed and on the way down too.  At our today’s workout we had some very accomplished open water  swimmers, including professional triathletes and Grace Van Der Byl (the fastest person to swim the Catalina Channel).   The swimmers worked in groups of three to push through the rigor of the 2750 main set.


Warm up (first set at :10 after):  General warm up or 6 x100 @ 1:30

4 x125 (last 25 fly)

500 Tennessee turns at far wall, no walls near

Main set

Lap ladder up 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 (odds fast 10 seconds rest between)

Lap ladder down 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 (evens fast 10 seconds rest between)

250 kick (easy hard by 25)

200 warm down



Wind-n-Sea Masters team is based in one of the mecca’s for open water swimming and a large number of it’s members are actively engaged in open water swimming all year round.    The team features many top open water swimmers who have completed Catalina and English channel crossings.    Additionally, many members are new to open water swimming and the program encourages fun and camaraderie in the open water.

The team trains at the Coggan Family Aquatic Center – a beautiful 50m complex that is less than a mile away from the La Jolla Cove – site of the La Jolla Rough Water Swim; the largest open water swim in the United States.   Wind-n-Sea Masters archives all their works for the open water swimming and triathlon communities.



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About Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis is a freelance commercial, sport and lifestyle photographer based in San Diego.  Mike began making photos in the early 80’s and immersed himself in all aspects of the photographic arts.  Mike’s professional career in in photography began after 12 years working within the United States Olympic movement; he …

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