Getting started with Swimming: Week 6

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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Previous weeks session can be found here:

Session Eleven

  • 400m W/U;
  • 6x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 10x 25m, 10sec RI;
  • 3x 150m KPS 30sec RI;
  • 100m C/D

Start this session by swimming 400m Warm Up (WU). 400m is 16 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 six 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
  5. Popov
  6. Broken Arrow

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 ten reps of 25m sprints with a ten second Rest Interval.

Following that set is a set of three reps of 150m KPS or Kick, Pull, Swim. Break the rep up into three, so 150m broken into three is 50m each: 50m Kicking, 50m Pull Buoy and then 50m Swimming.  All with NO rest, so effectively it’s a 150m effort. Once you have done the 150m take a 30 second Rest Interval (RI). Use the kicking drill below for the first 50m and then the pull buoy for the next 50m. A Pull Buoy is a buoyant tool that you hold between your legs  They come in various shapes and sizes (as seen on the right). Hold it firmly between your thighs and avoid kicking as you swim with it. This set puts the focus onto your arms and forces your arms to propel you forward.

After you have done the second set 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 Twelve

  • 400m W/U;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 400m Swim, 60sec RI;
  • 4x 100m, 20sec RI;
  • 150m C/D

Start this session by swimming 400m Warm Up (WU). 400m is 16 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 eight 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 twice through (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.

Take your fins off prior to commencing the next set. This set we are swimming 400m as fast as you can. Once you have completed the 16 lengths for 400m, stop and rest for a Rest Interval (RI) of 60 seconds. After the 60 seconds you are now into a threshold set of four reps of 100m. Swim these reps as fast as you can and after each rep take a Rest Interval (RI) of 20 seconds.

Now it’s time for a 150m 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  coachray@coachray.nz and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to his monthly informative newsletter.

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If you enjoyed this workout, here is a similar session I published 12 months ago. It is designed for beginner swimmers to help them get started with swimming.

Saturday Swim Session: Swim Toys

Coach Ray is the author of the successful 12 Weeks to an Ironman Swim PB – Swim Faster with Smart Training eBook.

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