Getting started with Swimming: Week 4

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.

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

Session Seven

  • 200m W/U;
  • 4x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 2x 200m Swim, 30sec RI;
  • 100m K;
  • 100m C/D (1000m)

Start this session by swimming 200m Warm Up (WU). 200m is eight 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 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.

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):

  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 two reps of 200m non-stop. After you have completed the first rep of eight lengths, stop and rest for only 30 seconds. As this Rest Interval (RI) needs to be precise for you to get the most out of this set, don’t be tempted to take a longer rest. 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 Eight

  • 300m W/U;
  • 8x 25m Drill;
  • 8x 50m Swim, on ½T+10sec;
  • 200m C/D

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 25m Drill. There are eight reps to do. 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). Complete the list twice:

  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 eight reps of 50m 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 half your T-Time plus 10 seconds, rounded up to the next 5 seconds.  So if your T-Time is 3:15 we halve it and add ten seconds. Which makes 1:50. This means that you start each rep every one minute and fifty seconds after the previous one. It might be that you swim the rep in 1:35.  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 200m 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.

For more great workouts see Coach Ray’s eBook: ‘Top 10 Workouts from Coach Ray – The Ten Most Popular Training Sessions from www.CoachRay.nz”.  Use the workouts within the eBook to enhance your fitness.