3 Strikes You’re Out- Partner Swim Workout

Grab a partner and try this hard swim set!
Grab a partner and try this hard swim set!

I came up with this swim workout and tried it with a friend last week. This is a fun but hard session that breaks up the normal training sessions. I call this the 3 Strikes You’re Out swim workout. Basically this is a set of very hard 100’s with a long rest and here’s how the set is broken up:

  1.  You and your partner need to set benchmark times that you both have to swim under. Say 1:30 and 1:20 for both of you. These 100’s need to be close to your max pace. If you swim 1:15 for an all out 100, 1:20 would be a good benchmark for you to set.
  2. Each person does there 100 solo while the other person watches the lap clock to make sure they made there benchmark time. As soon as your partner touches the wall, you tell them if they made there time or not and head out for your 100 while they catch their breath and time you.
  3. All the sets are done freestyle. After you fail to make your benchmark time for the 1st time, you get to use a pull buoy to help you try to get back under your benchmark. After your 2nd strike, you get to use pull buoys and paddles to see if you can go under your benchmark time.
  4. First person to 3 strikes loses! You can do this set with any two people with varying skill levels. Simply adjust the benchmark times if you need to make it more fair.

When I did this swim, my friend and I made it to 12×100 with no strikes on either of us before we were kicked out of the pool. This is a good workout to do when you can have more than 1 hour for lane swim. 75 minutes would probably be enough time for someone to get 3 strikes on them. 75 minutes would include a really good warmup and a cooldown as well. This is a hard workout and is great for swimming at a very fast pace way over your threshold. Adding in the partner adds a nice competitive element to it. Grab a partner and try this workout!


The first few 100’s should feel hard to very hard but you should still be able to go under your benchmark time fairly easily. It’s not until you start getting past the 4th or 5th rep that it starts getting really hard. The last 5 sets that I did, I was only making my benchmark time by 1 second. Good luck!



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