Design Your Own Swim Set

  • By Sara McLarty
  • Published January 16, 2013

Combine the four essentials of a swim workout to create a few sets of your own.

Warm-Up: Start every work- out with a warm-up to prepare your body for high-intensity training. You can start on deck with stretching or in the water with light, easy swimming. Try to ignore the clock and don’t rush through it; this is not the place for pace and intervals. Get in at least 300-600.

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Technique Drills: Keep the effort low and stay mentally alert to get the most technique improvement. Changing stroke habits can take time and feel awkward for a few sessions. If a drill is not specified, choose one that will address a weak- ness in your stroke.

Main Set: The main set is the core of the workout, with the purpose of making you a faster, stronger and well- rounded swimmer. Anaerobic sets develop start and sprint- ing speed, like bridging a gap or trying to catch a wave to the shore. Aerobic sets, with lots of repetitions and short recovery, build endurance and increase lactate threshold for distance swims. Improvement will come naturally when you challenge yourself to put forth the effort as instructed versus just swimming laps.

Cool Down: Now is your opportunity to relax, calm your heart rate and finish on a positive note. As you swim a few hundred metres, find something that makes you proud about your workout —it could be a best time, a faster interval or simply feeling more comfort- able in the water.

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