How do I scale a workout? April 26, 2019 14:47 Updated Not a Member yet? $25/month Get Purple Patch Education Membership, A complete performance education program for coaches and athletes. SUBSCRIBE You need to sign in to view this page. Being able to scale a workout is an important aspect of your training. Some workouts will have different numbers of intervals and distances depending on your level and ability, although the general theme of the training will be the same. If you see a workout that asks you to run 75 to 100 minutes, it isn’t because it lacks specificity. We have built scalability into the sessions to enable you to manage heavy and fatigued legs or to have the ability to cut duration on those occasions when you are time-crunched. Success does not always mean hitting the longest session. Scaling a Workout If you happen to be time-starved or have a need to shorten a workout, there is a specific way we recommend you go about it: Trim the Additional Set: The first thing to shorten or drop would be to trim Additional Set at the end of the workout. Scale the Warm Up: Next would be shortening the Warm Up and/or the Pre-Main set. Don’t cut them altogether and ideally, you would complete enough of each to ensure you are ready to go for the Main Set. Adjust the Main Set: If you still need to carve out more time, then cut back on the number of intervals and not the length of the interval. Example: A main set of 20 x 100 Correct: Scale to 12 x 100 or 15 x 100 Incorrect: 20 x 75 or 20 x 50. Choosing an Interval Distance When Offered a Range It will be common to see a range of interval duration options, particularly if you are reviewing a swimming workout (which are prescribed in distance). Let’s imagine you are given intervals as: 8 x 200 to 300 with 45-second rest. The obvious question is what shall I do?! This case study is exactly as Matt writes his workouts for the San Francisco crew -- and fits for you also. The way this might work if: Lane 1 (who can hold 100’s on a 1:10 per 100 yards send off): 300 Lane 2: (1:20 / 100 yards): 275 Lane 3: (1:30 / 100 yards): 250 Lane 4: (1:40 / 100 yards): 225 Lane 5: (1:40-1.50 / 100 yards): 225 Lane 6: (2:00 / 100 yards): 200 The global "duration" stress is the same across lanes with the different distances. Feel free to use this as a gauge. Remember: Seldom is a swim designed to extend beyond 90 minutes, and most are mapped to be 60 to 75 minutes in duration. Here is a video from Matt where he explains how to scale workouts based on fatigue and time: Related articles Understanding Your Workout: Swim Glossary How does the scale of the plans change to fit different athlete levels and abilities in each discipline? What are the Purple Patch training zones? If I will no longer be racing, should I remove my race build? How do I Scale a Workout if I'm Pressed for Time or I am Feeling Fatigued?