Distance Swim Workout for Age Group Swimmers

Going the Distance: A Distance Workout for Age Group Swimmers

Prepare yourself for the rigors of racing in distance and middle distance events with this endurance-boosting swim workout from Sandpipers of Nevada coach, Jake Des Roches.

Distance swimming is not for the faint of heart.

The races are challenging enough, but the preparation and mental toughness required to prepare properly for the sport’s longest races are another.

This distance swim workout from Jake Des Roches, coach at the Sand Pipers of Nevada, will help you prepare for the heavy workload of competing with a full (and heavy) distance workload in competition.

The workout was written up for three specific swimmers who were going to be throwing down on an epic race schedule at Junior Olympics. They would each be racing the 200, 400, 800, 1500 freestyles, both individual medley events, and a couple of 200m stroke events as well. That is a lot of racing!

The workout includes a swim meet warm-up to acclimatize them for competition, broken 1500s, and racing off the blocks. All designed to prepare them for the heavy racing load at J.O.’s.

Alrighty, without further ado, here is Coach Des Roches and his favorite distance swim workout for age group swimmers!

Warming Up:

Meet warm-up: The kids did about 15 minutes of dynamic warm-up on land before getting in the pool.

This 400/4×100/4×50 is the meet warm-up I wanted kids to use at Junior Olympics, so we practiced it all month.

  • 1×400 @ 6:30 free DPS
    4×100 @ 1:50 50 drill 50 build 1 of each stroke IMO
    4×50 @ 1:00 free descend to sprint

Red IM:

4 Rounds –

I really like working the back to breast part of IM swims. I think this is really important to do occasionally during longer sets, because negative splitting the 400 IM is so important, you’ve got to have experience pushing that portion when tired.

  • 1×200 IM @ 3:001×100 50bk/50br @ 1:45
  • 1×400 IM best effort w/long rest @ 6:30

Broken 1500 Free:

This was a great set because the kids got better at it every week. It’s certainly not for the weakminded.

The goal of the set is to hold the pace of the initial 50s for as long as possible through the 100s and 500 for time. There’s also nothing like racing a 500 for time after 6000 meters of work.


  • 4×100 snorkel DPS @ 1:45
  • :60s rest
  • 500 for time @ 7:30
  • +:30s transitions between rounds

The 500s for time were done as follows:

  • Round 1: 500 is 10×50 @ :40/45 best avg
  • Round 2: 5×100 @ 1:20/25
  • Round 3: 500 from the block

Warming Down

400 Cool Down 2x (50 double arm backstroke, 50 back swim, 100 free distance per stroke)

More Stuff Like This:

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Olympic Coach Gregg Troy’s Favorite Distance Workout. He has coached over 7 5different swimmers to the Olympics, including Caeleb Dressel, Ryan Lochte, and much more. Troy, head coach at the University of Florida, shares with us his all-time favorite distance workout.

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Olivier Poirier-Leroy Olivier Poirier-Leroy is the founder of YourSwimLog.com. He is an author, former national level swimmer, two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and swim coach.

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