Today, I thought I’d share my collection of swim workouts. These particular workouts were used for Ironman training, but you should be able to adjust them and try them out for your distance. If training for shorter distances, you could use these to develop a solid base and then shift your focus to shorter distances at greater speed as you get closer to your race.
Quick tip that I find very helpful is write the workouts out on index cards and put them in a small zip lock bag. This will keep them waterproof so you can keep the workouts next to the pool and easily refer to them while you are training. I’m going to replicate my workouts exactly as they appear on my index cards, using shorthand to get them to fit in some cases. The notes below should help clarify what some of my shorthand means.
A few notes on the workouts
- Putting the total distance (not counting cool down) in the upper-right corner of the card makes it easy to find workouts that meet my needs for any particular session.
- Distance is either in meters or yards, whatever size your favorite pool may be.
- To save space, I don’t include the cool downs, which is typically 200-400 easy.
- Pull is shorthand for using a pull buoy. Check out my post on swim training gear if you don’t know what a pull buoy is.
- Kick means use a kickboard. Check out my post on swim training gear if you don’t know what a kickboard is. If you don’t have a kickboard, you can lay on your back or side and kick. If you lay on your side, you should alternate sides as you go.
- For drills, pick your favorite drill. I try to have 4-6 drills in my “bag” to pull from. Some I use include: catch up, one arm, fists. If you need some drills, YouTube is your friend.
- Descend means to descend in pace. So descend 1-3 would mean to decrease your pace as you go. i.e. Start slow and finish fast.
- Build, as in build your level of effort, is similar to descend. Most likely, increasing your level of effort means you’ll be increasing your pace as you progress.