Strength Sessions

Posted on: April 14, 2018

Strength sessions for Swim, Bike and Run

Following on from the series of articles on how to train more effectively and how to perform the different sessions, the following provides the start of a strength-based session for swim, bike and run.

These sessions should e completed once per week, and not on consecutive days (especially the bike and run sessions).

The terminology and way to approach these is covered in the previous article Types of sessions


This strength set is to be performed after a 400m warm up (multiples of 25m-50m is a simple and effective way to warm up) and concluded with a 200m cooldown; NOTE that there are no drills – focus on a complete swim stroke:

Main set:

8x100p, 10 sec Rest Interval

4x200p/P, 20RI

8x25p/P/B, 15RI

Work specifically on pushing FULLY back; the focus should not be to swim fast but to swim powerfully by completing the stroke fully. Forget about any front-end of the stroke, focus on a relaxed arm recovery, entry and quickly get your hand vertical to initiate the push.

Bike: These sessions and can be performed on either a turbo or outdoors on hills and involve HARD efforts at low cadence with big gears. Focus on applying power to the pedals to overcome the resistance of the hill or turbo/gears and aim for a hill of around 5-6% if outdoors.

Warm up can be short as the intention of the main set – strength – should not raise your heart rate excessively, so 10-20mins is adequate, and it should all be EASY.

Main set:

10x1min HARD at 50-55rpm with 1min EASY

Warm down with 5-10min of relaxed pedalling at an EASY level.

Simple but effective. Focus on using the quads (front thighs) and glutes (backside) – these should be feeling the effort during the HARD part. Heart rate will rise during the 1min interval but not excessively.

Run: Like bike sessions, hills (real or treadmill) provide the perfect way to develop leg strength.

Warm up for 15-20min of EASY running to find a hill of around 5-6%; this should all be EASY.

Main set:

2 x (4x40sec HARD up hill, walk back down), 5min EASY

Warm down with 5-10min at an EASY level.