Coming off the holiday weekend here in the States we go to a bread and butter, hard hat set.  It’s a hard hat set because it’s good ole’ fashioned aerobic work; the type of work that makes you a better swimmer and triathlete.  The theme of this set is 800s, but depending on the distance race you’re focused on, the centerpiece distance can range from 400s to 1000s. In our first installment of this series we talked about ground rules for warm up and a pre-main set here.

Because of the duration of this one, a pre-main set isn’t necessarily a requirement. You have the first 800 to act like that. The most important concept  of the set is that you take the cumulative time of each 800 distance (800 | 2×400 | 4×200 | 8×100 ) and make sure that the cumulative time of the work intervals of each subsequent 800 is faster  than the previous.  In short, you are descending the 800 intervals throughout and end a long main set – 3200 yards or meters – with a really strong effort.  This type of descending effort is a great exercise in patience and muscular and aerobic endurance.  Context aside, let’s put on the hard hat and go get to work.

Hard Hat

Work 800s

800 pull, buoy/paddles @ 45″ RI

2×400 @ 30″ RI, negative split each, descend (dec.) 1-2

4×200 @ 20″ RI, neg split, dec. 1-4

8×100 @ 10″ RI, dec. 1-4, 5-8

(3200 yards or meters)