It’s no secret that training consistently equals results. That being said consistency can also feel monotonous. I'm pretty much a professional at procrastinating certain monotonous workouts (especially where swimming is involved), so I wanted to share some of my favorite workouts and tips in hopes they might save some of you from sitting in the pool parking lot staring at Instagram…


Warm-up: 10 minutes smooth and easy. Pre-main set: (use fins to get a feel for the water) 400, 300, 200, 100 — with no rest, build effort to 80%

Main set: 1-3 rounds, all with 15 sec rest

150@70% technique focus 

50@ steady endurance focus 

150@80% technique focus

50 @ endurance focus

150@ 90% technique focus 

50@ endurance focus 

150@100% — all out

50@ endurance focus

150@ 90% technique focus

50 @ endurance focus

150@80% technique focus

50@ endurance focus

150@ 70% technique focus

50@endurance focus

(400 with snorkel at 75%, then one minute rest, then repeat next round of main set)

This can be scaled for fitness, so 150 could be 75s for the technique instead, with 25 endurance or even do it as 50s and 25s. I really like ladder workouts, because they break up the pace and the time goes by quickly. I also like swim toys (snorkel, buoy, etc). Not only does this help your technique, but it also breaks up the set! 

I do this set at least once a week and I use a waterproof iPod every time. I know real swimmers don't use them, but I figure do what you gotta do to get the work done. I use the waterproof iPod from Aquaflood.


As much as I love my Dimond and riding outdoors, the reality for me is I spend 80% of my time indoors on the bike trainer. Not glamorous ,but a great way to get the work in and not get hit by a car. I also have a three-year-old, so the trainer eliminates much of the prep time and time away from home. To make the trainer more bearable, I listen to podcasts (Witsup, Endurance Sports Planet, NPR, etc) and I buy my favorite junk food/snacks for fuel to reward myself (licorice and Nutella). Try this trainer workout :

Warm-up: 10 minutes easy

Main set:

6 minutes build every 1.5 min to zone 3/zone 4 — strong effort

4 x 7 minutes, zone 4 — with 4 minutes rest/easy spin between each as:

1 minute at choice rpm

1 minute at 60-65 rpm

1 minute ramp-up rpm

1 minute choice rpm

1 minute 60-65 rpm

1 minute ramp-up rpm

1 minute HIGH rpm.

(This makes it tougher, because you must sustain power with variable rpm — much like a race!)


Again, not glamorous here, but my favorite weekly workout is done off the bike and usually on the treadmill with Eminem and Tupac blaring:

Workout: 5 minutes ramp-up to 70.3 pace, 5 minutes form/endurance pace, 5 minutes at/above 70.3 pace, 5 minutes form/endurance pace, 5 minutes at/above 70.3 pace, 5 minutes form, then 10 minutes at 70.3 pace. 

This workout is awesome because it builds resilience and by the time you get to the final 10 minutes your 70.3 pace feels easy.

All of these workouts can be scaled to your fitness and time, so for the run workout you could do it in increments of 1 to 3 minutes instead. 

Best of luck to all of you out there consistently striving to be the best you can be, and thanks to Smashfest Queen and Dimond for their support! 

Emily Lanter is a mom and a perennial overall age-group champion at 70.3 and full Ironman events all over the circuit. She has a 9:45 ironman PR, and her sheer mental and intestinal fortitude inspire us every time we have the pleasure of watching her give it to herself on the race course.

Hillary Biscay