A Swim Training Plan for Beginner Triathletes

One common question asked among new triathletes is what type of swimming workouts should I do?

This article provides a sample swim training plan for three common triathlon race distances—sprint, Olympic and 70.3—to help you get up and running, or rather swimming, in no time.

These workouts are designed to give you a healthy balance of speed, endurance and technique work so you can become an overall stronger swimmer.

More: 10 Steps to Improve Your Triathlon Swim

Hints and Tips

Endurance workouts should be based on time instead of distance.

Speed workouts should include 50-yard swims for sprint and Olympic, and 100-yard swims for longer distance athletes.

Technique workouts help improve your swim mechanics and should include kicking and stroke drills.

More: Swim Drills for Triathletes

Try the one-arm drill: Swim 25 yards with the left arm only, followed by 25 yards with the right arm only, then swim 50 yards with both arms. This teaches you to develop a more even stroke.

When performing kicking drills, try to drive the kick from your hips with knees slightly bent. Think of dancing the twist but with a slower motion so you are incorporating more of your thigh muscles. This will help develop a more powerful kick.

Remember to take a day or two off between each workout to rest and recover, and be sure to start these workouts at least five weeks before your race.

More: 3 New Rules of Swim Training

Swim Training Plan

Monday: Endurance

Swim continuously for 30 to 35 minutes; start slow and build your speed. If you can't swim for a full 30 minutes, start with 10 or 15.

The last five minutes should be a hard effort but not all out and with no more than 90 percent max heart rate effort.

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