Some gym workouts

Last week was full of gym workouts – I find it a really good way to get some speed work in as it’s much easier to gauge my speed and intensity, and not have to stop for traffic lights / cars / pedestrians etc. So, as promised, here are some of the workouts.



Swim sets are so useful and I am always looking for more! Last week I discovered a 220 Triathlon training plan and used their swim set. This felt really hard and it was good to focus on just lots of front crawl at this point, including at different speeds. It’s probably not great for absolute beginners due to:

1) the distance you’ll swim
2) the fact you actually have to have two speeds (up until a few months ago I very firmly only had one swim speed!)
3) the flexibility with regards to drills may not suit beginners who want their drills more prescribed.

So here’s what I did….

1) 100m front crawl warm-up and then 20m slow breast-stroke back to the start.

2) 200m of drills. I used the pull buoy, the kick buoy, and did a few lengths practicing my sighting.

3) 50 lengths (1000m in total) alternating 20m easy and 20m fast, with 20 seconds rest at the end of every 2 laps. While I didn’t always feel that I needed the 20s rest after just 40m, it’s important to take it as it means I was then recovered enough to be able to concentrate on my stroke and technique while going fast and slow for the next set.

4) 100m front crawl cool-down and then 20m slow breast-stroke back to the start.

I’ve spoken about my second swim set before here but I’ll recap it again. It’s based on my CSS swim time (calculated by doing a 400m and 200m timetrial).

1. 100m warm-up and 20m breast stroke back to the beginning.

2. Main set:

– 200m at CSS speed. 30 seconds rest
– 160m at CSS speed. 20 seconds rest
– 100m at CSS speed. 20 seconds rest.
– 60m at CSS speed

3. Recovery – 2 lengths of gentle breast stroke

Repeat x 3 – this time I managed one more round than last time – I hit all my CSS speeds without slowing over the three reps. I really enjoyed it and swam 1800m in 50 minutes. I could feel that I was better at it than last time which is a great feeling!


This is a threshold work-out that’s great for getting the heart rate up and the muscles poundingbike.

1. Warm-up for 3-5 minutes (depending on how much time you have!)

2. 4 x 5 minutes at an RPM of 100 and a ‘reasonable’ gear, pedalling as fast as you can sustain over those 5 minutes. I aim for around 30kph, or a heart-rate of 75-85% of maximum. Take 90 second easy spin rest intervals between each set.

3. Cool-down for 3-5 minutes.


Very simple! Cycle 10 minutes, run 5 minutes. I run at my 10k goal pace for this year (around 11kph or 6.8mph), with 1 minute at a faster speed (12.5 or 13) and I cycle at a similar level to that in the cycling work-out before.


Another threshold workout that is also nice and simple, and very similar to the cycling workout.

1. Warm-up for 3-5 minutes

2. 4 x 5 minutes at faster than 10k goal pace – for me that is 12kph (running 10k in 50 minutes). 90 secs rest/jog in between. The aim is to build up to 4 x 7 minutes at that pace.

3. Slow jog / walking cool-down.

I follow ALL of these with stretches that focus on my hip flexors, hamstrings and glutes.

So there you go! FIVE relatively simple workouts guaranteed to get you sweaty and panting.



  1. These are great! I, too, find that sometimes I can be a little more disciplined and accurate in my workouts if I hit the gym, treadmill, etc, than when I’m out and about with all of the distractions; thanks for the suggestions!

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