Top Tips,  Training Sessions

Tick tock, can you beat the clock?

Tick tock, can you beat the clock? This session adds in the excitement of a timer to keep you pushing hard

One of my favourite sessions, the psychology of a clock ticking down just creates that bit of excitement you need to keep working hard! Known as the The Trewy Special in our sessions and on training camps and so named after my good friend Steve Trew who took the British team to the Sydney Olympics in 2000.


From years of watching adults training in our fitness sessions I have noticed we seem to get the best from our swimmers if we put a timer/limit or other similar restriction on a session. If I set you 20x100m FC you know when you start, obviously how far, probably your average pace, when you might get tired if you swim at a certain pace, etc, which is all quite predictable and not exactly inspiring.

How to get the best from it

Have a watch with a countdown function set to beep at the end of each of the timed intervals starting at 16mins for the first ‘block’ of time. Hopefully you can use the main pool clock for the short rest durations between swims. The first time you try this, it will be tough since it is very tricky to create the perfect pace. If you set out reasonably enthusiastically you will fatigue and fade in the number of repeats scored but it will get easier. And once it is easier try and add another repeat to each block of time.

The Fine Details

As your swim technique and fitness improve you should be able to hold similar amounts of swims throughout the blocks as the ratios are the same. At this point you could then aim to add one more 100m in 16min and then see for how long you manage to hold that new number through the 12/8/4 etc. Try the session every six weeks to help check your progress.

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Never be without a training session with a Session in a Bottle. Four distance options available.

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Swim for Tri, based in London but now coaching across the UK, is a swim technique and coaching concept brought to you by the brother and sister team of Dan and Keeley Bullock. The team share over 50 years experience of competitive swimming, coaching, teaching swim lessons and direct involvement with the sport of Triathlon and Openwater racing as competitors and Coaches.

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