Swimming T-Pace Test 100s

This swimming test is for short course triathletes, sprint distance triathletes and new swimmers and is used to determine your “T-pace”, the equivalent of your threshold swimming pace.  Since it is difficult to use heart rate monitors in the swimming pool, using pace is an accurate way to establish training guidelines.  In addition, repeated testing can be used to measure and track your progress throughout the season.

Swimming Warmup

Warmup protocols will depend on  your current level of fitness. It is recommended to warm up for at least 10 minutes of easy swimming and kicking with at least 2 minutes or more of rest after the warmup.  Experienced swimmers (those swimming 2000 yards or more per workout) may do best by warming up for 20 to 30 minutes of varied pace swimming.

Test protocol

  • 3 x 100 yards or meters at highest sustainable speed with 10 seconds of rest between each set
  • Swim at your fastest sustainable speed between the 3 sets of 100
  • The difference between your first and third 100 should be less than 5 seconds
  • Using your watch or the paceclock on the wall or a partner, note your time for each 100

Calculate your average speed per 100, this is your “t-pace”.  You will use it to plan workouts as well as to follow your progress.  Note your times for each 100 and your T-pace in your logs.

If the difference between your first and third set was more than 5 seconds, consider today’s test a “workout” and retest on another day.  Don’t despair as there is a learning curve with all testing.  Next time you will perform the test with much better accuracy.

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