Beginners Swimming Programme

Maybe you are a novice swimmer and want to get more out of your training but don’t know where to begin? Perhaps you are used to cycling and running sessions but don’t know how to plan a swimming programme? Or maybe you are stuck in a rut, swimming 30 or so lengths every session with no idea if you’re improving or if you are even swimming with the correct technique? Here is a swim plan to help you get fitter through progressive swimming workouts. The key is to build fitness whilst maintaining or developing better technique. Do not sacrifice good technique for speed.

WARM UP

  • 3 X 150M STEADY FREE (50 FREE, 50 NON, 50 FREE), (10 SECONDS REST BETWEEN EACH)
  • 4 X 50M 25 DRILL, 25 FREE (10 SECONDS REST BETWEEN EACH)

SET 1

  • 4 X 75M (25 FREE, 25 KICK, 25 FREE), (15 SECONDS REST BETWEEN EACH)

SET 2

  • 2 X 200M PULL, FREE (2O SECONDS REST BETWEEN EACH)

SET 3

  • 4 X 50M FREE, (25 FAST, 25 RECOVERY), (15 SECONDS REST BETWEEN EACH)

COOL DOWN

  • 2 X 100M SLOW SWIM (15 SECONDS REST BETWEEN EACH)

KEY

  • M = METERS
  • FREE = FREESTYLE
  • PULL = PULLBOUY (LONG ARMS)
  • NON = ANY OTHER STROKE
  • SIDE KICK = DRILL
  • KICK = NO ARMS
  • *DRILL = SWIM DRILLS
  • BACK = BACKSTROKE

* EXAMPLE DRILLS;

  • Pull – Using the pullbouy inbwteeen your legs, while legs are imobilized focus on your upper body technique, lengthening out with each stroke.
  • Kick – Holding a float out in front imobilizing the arms, focus on your leg kick.
  • Catch Up – Pull with one arm at a time and touch your hands in a streamlined position out front between each alternating arm stroke.
  • Finger Tip Drag – Swimming normal freestyle while dragging your fingertips along the surface of the water on the recovery. focus on high elbows as you bring your arm over.
  • Clenched Fist – Swim freestyle with your hands in a clenched fist.
  • Side Kick – Kick with your hips and shoulders rotated to the side. extend the arm closest to the bottom of the pool out in front and hold other arm against the side of the body.

*OPEN WATER DRILLS;

  • Sighting – Swim normal freestyle and then on every 5th stroke lift your head above the water and sight an object in the distance.
  • Blind – Swim normal freestyle with your eyes completely closed. if you do this for a length it will give you an idea of how many strokes you complete before you start to go off course. you will then know how often you need to sight when swimming in open water.
Hannah Payne
About the author

Hannah developed a passion for fitness from a very young age which led her to compete in a wide range of sports including netball and athletics, where she trained and competed for several years. She graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2009 with a Degree in Health, Exercise & Nutrition, during which she gained experience in the fitness testing of elite athletes including Cyclists and Triathletes.

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