Hard interval set: T-shirt swimming

Improve your strength and your open water swimming power by throwing on a T-shirt for this innovative workout.

| February 1, 2017 | TRAINING

T-Shirt-Schwimmen | T-Shirt swimming.

T-Shirt swimming.

Photo >Michael Rauschendorfer / triaphoto.com

In addition to good technique, what separates many top swimmers is their specific endurance. While many triathletes might struggle to completely perfect their technique, they can at least work on their strength endurance to improve their swimming performance. 

After your warm up, pull on an old finisher's shirt (we all have enough of those, right?) and jump back to the pool. Now you're ready for some very tough strength endurance intervals. To ensure you don't run into any shoulder issues, start with a few repetitions and increase slowly over the period of several months.

Important notes: Don't try to swim too fast during these intervals. Focus on holding your technique as best you can and maintain a good body position in the water. As soon as you get tired and find yourself not pulling through the water properly, you should extend the breaks between the intervals. Finally, build a few sprints into the set to break out of doing everything at a steady tempo.

Workout: (1,250 to 1,950 m)

200 m w'up, alternating strokes every 50 m

200 m tempo change (50 m slow, medium, fast, fast)

2 to 5 x 200 m 75-85% with T-shirt with 30 seconds rest

150 m easy without T-shirt

4 x 25 m sprint (without T-shirt!) with 20 to 30 seconds rest

200 to 300 m easy warm down


Do not forget to stretch after every swim, or at least within a half an hour after you leave the pool or the lake. Be especially careful to stretch the chest and shoulder muscles sufficiently after a workout like this.