When you find yourself heading to the aquatics center on a regular basis without a plan, it's time to refocus and establish your purpose for swim training. Otherwise, you'll see minimal results and soon get bored of staring at that black line at the bottom of your lane as you do the same sets over and over again.
If you have never been a competitive swimmer or don't belong to an organized Master's program, you may not know how to put together a workout that is more than just "jump in and swim for 30 minutes."
More: Decoding a Swim Practice
Below are four solid, fundamental workouts that offer some variety and purpose, not to mention some "fun" to your training program. Each workout is designed with a specific theme: technique, sprint, distance and interval training. You are free to alter them as you wish—make them longer or shorter—depending on your training schedule. However, each offers a solid template for the percentage you should allot to each Main Set, so adjust your total yardage accordingly.
You can also adjust the intervals to your ability level (1:30, 1:25, 1:20) for each workout in the main set—especially when performing The Quickie workout. Try to keep each set descending: that is, do each 50, 100 or 200 faster than the first one you performed, so your final one is the fastest.
More: 5 Swimming Tools to Spice Up Your Workouts
Perform at least two of these workouts a week and not only will you will be looking forward to your trips to the pool, you will turn yourself into a better overall swimmer.
Tech To It (Technique/Drill Workout)
Warmup: 400 IM Drill
- 16x50 - Alternate free/stroke drill (choice*) by 50
- 400 Kick - 200 with board, 200 without
- 400 Pull - 200 Freestyle, 200 Stroke*
- 5x100 Kick - choose swim or stroke, descending
- 5x100 Pull - choose swim or stroke, descending
Cool Down: 300 Freestyle
Total Yards: 3300
*Your choice of three strokes: butterfly, backstroke or breastroke. Try NOT to do freestyle when offered the choice. This will only make you a better swimmer.
More: 10 Elements of the Perfect Freestyle Stroke