Getting started with Swimming: Week 3

Over the next few weeks I’ll post a series of workouts to assist you to improve your swimming. These sessions are targeted towards beginners who are just getting started with swimming, but can comfortably swim a few lengths without stopping.

You can sign up to receive these sessions via email so you don’t miss them. Click here to do so.

Week one’s programme can be found here and Week Two’s programme can be found here.

Session Five

  • 100m W/U;
  • 8x 25m Drill;
  • 400m continuous;
  • 100m K;
  • 100m C/D;

Start this session by swimming 100m Warm Up (WU). 100m is four lengths in a standard 25m pool which is the most common sort of public pool in New Zealand. For the warm up feel free to swim any stroke you wish and stop at any of the ends to stretch or take a break.

After you’ve done the warm up take a short rest and get yourself ready to swim the next set. The first set is a set of eight reps of one 25m length doing a drill. A drill is a style of swimming that focuses on a key aspect of technique. Here are four drills for you to do (click the link to be taken through to a YouTube video of how to do them), do them all twice:

  1. Kick On Side (KOSLeft side
  2. Kick On Side (KOSRight side
  3. 6/1/6
  4. 6/3/6

Pause after each length and focus on how to do the next drill and get a little bit of recovery. I also encourage you to wear short fins whilst doing drills, but make sure you take them off prior to the next set.

The next set involves swimming 400m non-stop. 400m is sixteen lengths of a standard 25m pool. You may need to really challenge yourself to keep going to get through this set. If you can’t do it yet, go back to last weeks workouts and do them a couple more times before reattempting this workout.

The next set involves kicking for 100m. You can put your fins back on for this set or do it without them. Here is how I want you to do this drill.

After you have done both these sets it’s time for a 100m Cool Down (CD). Unlike the previous sets which have to be freestyle, the cool down (like the warm up) can be any stroke you wish to swim.  You can also stop and rest after any length.  I encourage you to stop and stretch during the cool down.

Session Six

  • 300m W/U;
  • 4x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 4x 100m Swim, on T+20sec;
  • 100m C/D (1000m)

Start this session by swimming 300m Warm Up (WU). 300m is twelve lengths in a standard 25m pool which is the most common sort of public pool in New Zealand. For the warm up feel free to swim any stroke you wish and stop at any of the ends to stretch or take a break.

After you’ve done the warm up take a short rest and get yourself ready to swim the next set.

The second set involves a set set of 50m Drill/Swim. There are four reps to do. The 50m is done continuously with the first 25m done as a drill before going straight into the final 25m of regular swimming. Pause after each rep and have a short rest while you focus and mentally prepare for the next drill. Here are some drills that you can include in your programme (click the drill to watch a video of the drill):

  1. Kick On Side (KOSleft side
  2. Kick On Side (KOSright side
  3. 6/1/6
  4. 6/3/6

For the drill set wear a pair of short fins.

Take your fins off prior to commencing the next set. This set we are swimming four reps of 100m with a short rest. The amount of rest will be determined by how fast you swim them and is relative to your T-Time that we worked out in the first week. You start each rep a set time after you started the previous rep.  This is based on a time of T+20sec.  So if your T-Time is 3:15 we add twenty seconds. Which makes 3:25. This means that you start each rep every three minutes and fifteen seconds after the previous one. It might be that you swim the rep in 3:00.  That will give you 15 seconds rest.  As you start tiring your swim times will get slower leaving you with less rest at the end.  Therefore it is important to swim each rep as fast as you can.

For more details about using T-Times click here.

Now it’s time for a 100m Cool Down (CD). Unlike the previous two sets which have to be freestyle, the cool down (like the warm up) can be any stroke you wish to swim.  You can also stop and rest after any length.  I actually encourage you to stop and stretch during the cool down.

If you would like further advice feel free to contact Coach Ray.

Coach Ray is the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

Coach Ray specialises in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. He can be contacted at  www.qwik.kiwiray@qwikkiwi.com and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to his monthly informative newsletter.

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