Spending hours a week in the pool but not not seeing the benefits?
The structure you follow and the sessions that you do might not be the most beneficial for you.
For the average swimmer (who can swim continuously for at least 400m) I start them on a 3 times a week program.
Each session is planned and tailored to your individual needs, not just aimlessly swimming your 42 lengths.
Typically what does a swim week look like?
1. Fitness - The session is designed to increase your speed, fitness level and power in the water. Typical shorter distances with sprints for time.
2. Technique - Especially during the colder weather you can utilise your time in the pool by working on your technique and specific drills to help improve your efficiency.
3. Distance - This session is usually the longest session and will help build your endurance and efficiency when swimming longer distances.
As you progress through the season I would recommend adding and open water session each week. If this seems too much then combining the distance and open water sessions together works well.
Should I follow this structure?
The average swimmer should be able to fit this into their week as the programme aims to improve efficiency and times. If the structure seems too much I recommend you dedicate your time in building your technique to improve on your distances you can cover, this would be carried out in the pool only.
How to Structure A Session
Every session needs these elements;
Warm up - 400 -1000 metres building up from from an easy to a mid paced swim. With technique drills, isolating legs arms would be included in this.
Build Set- 200 -500 metres. Here you will start to elevate the heart rate and prepare the body for the main set.
Main Set 1000-2000 metres. The focus will be on either longer endurance sets, shorter and more powerful sets or stroke correction drills.
Cool Down- 100m-400m Lots of people tend to leave this out. It is an important component of a session designed to bring the heart rate down, loosen everything off and flush that lactic acid out of the body.
By following a set programme that gradually increases the distance you swim, decreases the time you rest for and the amount of time you swim your sets for, you can start to improve on your endurance and fitness.
If you would like to see the content of some of my sessions, check my YouTube Twitter or Instagram.