Coach’s Intel: Grant Holicky Shares a Distance Set

Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former national level swimmer based out of Victoria, BC. In feeding his passion for swimming, he has developed YourSwimBook, a powerful log book and goal setting guide made specifically for swimmers. Sign up for the YourSwimBook newsletter (free) and get weekly motivational tips by clicking here.

In today’s Coach’s Intel Grant Holicky submits a swimming workout that he uses with open water athletes and his triathletes. He coaches the club team at RallySport Aquatic Club in Boulder, Colorado, and most notably Christine Jennings, US national champ in the 10k in 2013.

Here is his workout:

Here is a set we do with Christine Jennings and the other open water swimmers/triathletes. The goal is to work the traditional distance swimming system, but also include bursts of speed. This set forces the swimmer to recover from those bursts at a solid effort level. Intervals are for short course yards

400 easy
two times through
2 x 150 k/d/s by 50 2:25
3 x 100 perfect swim 1:25
4 x 50 perfect, build, perfect, mile pace :50

100 easy (2.1)

Main set
1 x 500 smooth and strong. toys ok 7:30 any 5 x 50’s must be faster than the rest of the 500
8 x 100 d 1-4, 5-8 1:20 get to mile pace on 4 and 8
2 x 400 toys and pull ok on 6:15 any 4 x 50 must be faster than the rest of the 400
6 x 100 d 1-3,4-6 1:15 get to mile pace on 3 and 6
3 x 300 toys and pull ok any 3 50’s faster 5:00
4 x 100 2 and 4 at mile pace 1:10
4 x 200 toys and pull ok 3:45 any 2 x 50’s faster
3 x 100 on 1:05 1 and 3 at mile pace
200 easy


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7 years ago

Is there a typo in the set or am I missing something? “Any 5x50s must be faster than the rest of the 600”?

So inside the 500, there needs to be five 50s sprint? Or are there 5×50 afterward?

Reply to  Hannah Saiz
7 years ago

any 5 50’s within the 600 are faster than the rest of it. They don’t have to be sprint, but the goal is to change speeds repeatedly.

7 years ago

Grant, it’s says 1 x 500, then details of 50s faster then rest of 600. Same for the 400s and the 50s being faster then the rest of the 500.

7 years ago

That’s because my proof reading skills are apparently lacking! Sorry about that. It should be any 5 50’s being faster than the rest of the 500 and any 4 50’s being faster than the rest of the 400’s. All apologies for the typo.

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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