Offseason Swim Workout

I think we can all agree that 2020 has really just felt like one giant offseason. Between those cancelled races, endless Zwift workouts or virtual events, we know you’re longing for that finish line euphoria. Realistically though, you still have a few months to go. So why not approach this offseason like a true offseason, and that begins in the pool.

When triathletes want to get faster in the water, its not simply a matter of training harder or longer. The most effective way to increase speed and endurance is a consistent focus on improving your technique. No matter how good of a swimmer you might be, if you don’t utilize the right technique, you’re not going to get the result you want.

The pull on your swim stoke produces the vast majority of your forward propulsion, so using a buoy is an ideal method to focus on upper body stroke mechanics without thinking about your kick. The below workout is designed to lengthen the front of your stoke, focusing on your pull technique through the use of paddles/buoy at a higher Rate of Perceived Effort (RPE) over shorter distances:

Equipment Needed: Buoy and paddles


500m or 10 minutes easy swim with mixed drills

Main Set

500m: 5x100 freestyle with buoy at 6 RPE with 15 seconds rest

500m: 5x100 freestyle with paddles at 8 RPE with 10 seconds rest

400m: 8x50 freestyle with paddles & buoy at 8 RPE with 20 seconds rest

200m: 8x25 freestyle at 10 RPE (fast sprint) with 15 seconds rest

200m: 1x200 freestyle at 5 RPE with 30 seconds rest

Cool Down

5 minutes easy


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