Read these 8 Swimming Workouts Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Swim tips and hundreds of other topics.
Try this workout:
• Set 1: 10 x 100 freestyle (or any stroke) fast :10 rest between 100s.
• Set 2: 900 ladder – 50 easy, 50 fast, 75 easy, 75 fast, 100 easy, 100 fast, 100 easy, 100 fast, 75 easy, 75 fast, 50 easy, 50 fast.
*Easy should be breaststroke or backstroke, fast should be freestyle or butterfly. Do the opposite on another day, fast breast or back, easy free or fly.
Okay, so I've got the gear, I found the pool, and maybe the team, but now what do I do? Training by yourself can seem a daunting project if you don't exactly know what to do. You don't just jump in and start swimming without a plan, nor would you be able to keep it up for long.
Break training up into smaller parts. Swim practices have three, sometimes four sections to them:
• Warm up
• Cool down
There is no universal best time of day to train. The best time of day to train is individual and depends on each person's lifestyle and physical abilities.
• If you feel strongest and most energized in the morning, get up early, have a small bite to eat and some fruit juice, and workout before you go to work or school.
• If you feel better and get more energized the longer you are awake and the more you eat, workout right after school or work, start between 3:30 and 6:00 at night, before dinner time.
• If you're a night owl and like the peace and quiet of the pool (never the lake in the dark) at night, swim about two hours after you've eaten dinner.
Don't work out in the morning to “get it done” or over with early. Chances are, if you think like that, then your swimming workout would be more beneficial and enjoyable, not to mention more effective minute by minute, in the afternoon, before dinner. If you find that you leave things to the last minute and often lament doing them at the end of the day when you “have to”, you're probably better off getting up early and swimming then. Try it and see how you like it. You'll probably find that in doing so, you get more accomplished during the day and your nights are more relaxed.
Cool down. The second most important part of a swim workout is the cool down. Why? Your muscles need to stretch out and relax after having worked so hard. You'll be sore and tired the following day if you don't take the small amount of time that will do you so much good.
A cool down prepares you for the work you'll do the following day, and makes your muscles longer and more flexible, so you become stronger, leaner, and more capable. Cool down should incorporate easy freestyle, backstroke, or double arm backstroke with breastroke kick. Cool down should be at least 500 yards, and not longer than twelve minutes.
Try a little bit of these sample sets to make up your swim workout and see how it goes:
• Set 1: 6 x 200 freestyle on :20 seconds rest between each 200.
• Set 2: 7 x 125 swim kicks (swim 75 yards, kick 50 yards with a kick board) without stopping. This set can be done with or without swim fins, and can be done with any stroke.
• Set 3: 12 x 75 I.M. no freestyle (25 yards of each stroke in an individual medley, no free – butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke). This set could be done leaving out the butterfly at the beginning and keeping the freestyle on the end.
This is a great swimming work out to try:
• Set 1: 4 x 100 fly fast :20 seconds rest. 4 x 50 free moderate pace :10 seconds rest. 4 x 100 breast moderate pace :20 rest. 4 x 50 free easy :10 seconds rest. 4 x 100 backstroke fast :20 rest.
• Set 2: 400 freestyle drill, 200 breastroke kick with board, 400 pull, 200 flutter kick on your back.
• Set 3: race simulation (any stroke) – 200 race pace, :30 seconds rest, 2 x100 at 200 race pace, :10 seconds rest between each, :30 seconds rest after both, 4 x 50 at 200 race pace., :10 seconds rest between each.
Sets. Sets are the grouping of distances, speeds, and strokes that you do in each swim workout. These sets make up the longest part of the workout, and are designed for specific reasons with specific goals in mind.
Goals could be technique practice, strength, speed, endurance, cardiovascular fitness, even rehabilitation. Figure out what your goals are, and there can and should be many, and get an experienced swimmer or coach to help you write some up.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|