How to gauge your pace: the 10×100 test

Triathlon & Open Water
Written by: arena coaches at 7 June '18 0
You are reading: How to gauge your pace: the 10×100 test

We all know that a “test” is a vital part of a training plan. A test may have various aims and purposes: to test your fitness throughout the season, gauge the progress they have made or work out the right pace for your sessions in the water.

Today’s article is focused on an extremely interesting test for all open-water swimmers, triathletes or middle-distance swimmers, who need to start training at more accurate paces in the water.

The test we are talking about is the 10×100 TEST.

The test can also be carried out over 6 or 8 x 100, depending on your fitness.

The first part of the test is to warm up properly to get your arms and legs moving:

  • 10 10 minutes easy swimming, any stroke
  • 4x50m legs or on your back door or using a board
  • 200m with a pullbuoy alternating your breathing (3/5/3/7 strokes) every 50 metres

The second part of the training is more intense, first, you will work on pure speed and then finding your “race” pace:

  • 6x50m #15 hard without breathing, then easy reps of up to 50m with 20 seconds recovery
  • 100m easy
  • 6/9 x 50m progressions (1-3), swimming the third rep at a fast pace but not flat out. 20 sec. recovery.
  • 100m easy

The third part is the test itself:

  • 10x100m @ 3.00

Here are some tips for performing the test as effectively as possible.

  • Note that this test is focused on your overall average pace over 10×100, excluding your fastest and slowest reps.
  • Make sure you gauge your effort properly. Begin at a fast pace but not flat out and try to maintain the same pace for all 10×100.
  • You must rest (not swim slowly) during the three-minute recovery between reps
  • When you begin to feel tired in the middle of the test, focus on your swim technique.

Once you have finished the test, you will be able to work out your final result.

Your average speed will be your potential pace over distances between 400m-800 m. Knowing this pace will allow you to work out your pace for all kinds of aerobic, threshold and maximum oxygen consumption workouts.

If there is no more than two or three seconds difference in your pace for the first few 100s and the last 100s, then you have learnt how to gauge your sub-maximum effort properly. If this is not the case, do not worry!

The first few times you do this test, your results will probably be hard to interpret either because you have set off too fast or because you were excessively cautious. Making mistakes will help you improve. After performing the test several times at key moments during the season, you will realise it is all a matter of practice and of gauging your effort

Enjoy your test!

References: Championship Swim Training by SWEETENHAM BILL


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arena coaches

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