Swim Workouts


In need of a swim workout?  Swimming 2000 yds straight getting kind of boring?  Take your pick of swim workouts.  Each set will be categorized by intensity using 3 descriptors: 

Recovery: Very low intensity workouts.  Often lower yardage with longer swims 

Steady: Exactly how it sounds.  Harder than recovery, but not a speed work focus.  Typically includes more drills as well

Focus:  The most challenging of the 3.  Will include speed work but is based on your ability.  Workouts will be higher yardarge total and will be geared specifically towards the individual. 

Here are some additional tips to help get through the workouts below...

Establish your base pace. A good way I learned to do this is was from QT2 with a TT swim. 800TT is ideal, however if you aren't swimming that far at once, then start with a 400yd TT. Take the total time and divide it by 8 or 4 respectively (800 TT time of 12 minutes = base pace of 1:30). Recovery swims are done as base pace +15 sec per 100yd (1:45 by example), and your main sets are either TT +5 seconds or TT + 10 seconds. A lot of the workouts that will be posted may use these terms.

Use the pace clock! Most of your workouts should be on set interval to help keep the workouts consistent. While take a predetermined amount of rest isn't bad, it also doesn't prevent us from slacking off completely as a 100yd swim done in 1 minute and a 100 done in 2 minutes still gets the same amount of rest.  You should also be using the pace clock to get your splits. For example if you are swimming a 400, look at the clock after each 100 so you know where you are. Your final time shouldn't be a surprise to you. It also helps with counting…bonus!  Checking the clock at the 100 also helps to check to see if you are swimming too fast or slow and can adjust accordingly

Swim in a pool at least once a week even when it's warm outside. Open water and pool swimming are two completely different animals. Open water works on your endurance. The pool will make you fast so get back into the pool!

50s are fun but we shouldn't be doing a lot of them. WE ARE NOT SPRINTERS so work on the long stuff.  Even sprint triathlons are at least 300 yards long. Make sure your workouts contain longer stuff.

Wear a speedo, swimming can be boring, so keep it interesting and have some fun!

As the distance gets shorter, the intensity should pick up. 
DESCEND =  Each swim in the set gets a little faster then the previous one. You shouldn't see a dramatic swing from one to another. For example: 3X100 decending 1-3 would look like 1:13, 1:11 and 1:08 not 1:25, 1:20, 1:05. The idea is consistent improvement, not saving all of your energy to make the last one fast.

For people who are a bit older, be careful with paddles as they put extra stress on the shoulders.