Beginner Swim Program: Month 1

author : gsmacleod
comments : 5

Are you interested in completing a triathlon but worried about the swim?  This three month program will help you build your confidence and abilities in the water so that the typical 750m swim in a sprint triathlon will seem much more manageable.


This program is suited for someone who has the ability to swim at least 500m during a workout and at least 75m continuously.  The workouts have not been assigned to any day so that you can work them into your schedule.  If you have to drop a workout, try to make it the pure endurance workout – you will reap more benefits from drill work at this point in your swim training.


This program is designed to help you build form and endurance to the point that you can comfortably swim the distance.  This is especially important for a beginner athlete as if they can swim comfortably they will be much fresher for the bike and run.


As well, you will notice that there have not been any speed sessions assigned as your focus at this point of your swim training should be perfecting your form and building endurance.  However, you will find your pace will improve as your training progresses.

 

 

Month 1

 

 

Week

Workout 1
Form

Workout 2
Endurance

Workout 3
Form & Endurance

1

Warmup
4 x 25m
Drill
4 x 25m Catchup
4 x 25m Kick
4 x 25m Fist
Cooldown
4 x 25m


Total – 500m

Warmup
4 x 25m
Ladder
25m, 50m, 75m, 75m, 50m, 25m
Cooldown
4 x 25m


Total – 500m

Warmup
4 x 25m
Drill
2 x 25m Right Arm
2 x 25m Left Arm
2 x 25m Kick
2 x 25m Scull
Endurance
2 x 50m
Cooldown
4 x 25m


Total – 500m

2

Warmup
4 x 25m
Drill
4 x 25m Pull
4 x 25m Kick
4 x 25m SPL
Cooldown
4 x 25m


Total – 500m

Warmup
2 x 50m
Endurance
3 x 100m
Cooldown
2 x 50m


Total – 500m

Warmup
2 x 50m
Drill
2 x 25m Catchup
2 x 25m Fist
2 x 25m Kick
2 x 25m Scull
Endurance
6 x 50m
Cooldown
2 x 50m


Total – 700m

3

Warmup
4 x 25m
Drill
4 x 25m Catchup
4 x 25m Kick
4 x 25m Fist
Cooldown
4 x 25m


Total – 500m

Warmup
2 x 50m
Ladder
1 x 100m, 4 x 25m
1 x 75m, 3 x 25m
1 x 50m, 2 x 25m
1 x 25m, 1 x 25m
Cooldown
2 x 50m


Total – 700m

Warmup
2 x 50m
Drill
2 x 25m Right Arm
2 x 25m Left Arm
2 x 25m Kick
2 x 25m Scull
Endurance
3 x 100m
Cooldown
2 x 50m


Total – 700m

4

Warmup
4 x 25m
Drill
4 x 25m Pull
4 x 25m Kick
4 x 25m SPL
Cooldown
4 x 25m


Total – 500m

Warmup
2 x 50m
Endurance
300m
Cooldown
2 x 50m


Total – 500m

Warmup
4 x 25m
Drill
2 x 25m Catchup
2 x 25m Fist
2 x 25m Kick
2 x 25m Scull
Endurance
100m
Cooldown
4 x 25m


Total – 500m


Notes for the Workouts

Catchup – using the pull buoy, complete a stroke with one arm before beginning the next stroke with the opposite arm. Concentrate on a smooth stroke with high elbows.


Fist – using the pull buoy, close your hands to make fists and swim front crawl as you normally would. Concentrate on holding as much water as possible with your forearms.


Kick – with or without fins, complete the distance with just kicking. Concentrate on kicking from the hips and rotating on your side to breathe.


Pull – using the pull buoy, use the front crawl and concentrate on maintaining good body position (i.e. looking down, legs up) while not sacrificing form.


SPL – count the strokes per length (each arm) taken to complete the distance. As your form improves, you should find this number decreases.


Right Arm/Left Arm – using the pull buoy, complete the distance with only one arm. The opposing arm remains extended above your head. Concentrate on a smooth pull and maintaining your form.


Scull – this drill will help you develop a feel for the water. On your front or back, keep your hands completely under the water and use a sculling motion to propel yourself for the distance of the set.

Rest
For the rest between sets I would recommend that you are taking between 10 and 30 seconds to recover. If you need more than that, you are swimming the set too hard and should focus on swimming at a pace that will allow you to quickly recover and start the next interval.

Pool Lengths
Although all the workouts are labelled with meters, for the purposes of these workouts, yards and meters can be used interchangeably.

Endurance & Ladder Sets

All endurance swimming should be completed at a comfortable pace. Your goal should be to swim the end of your workout no slower than the beginning. This will make the pace you swim at the beginning of an endurance set feel slow but as you complete the distance it will start to feel more challenging. If you complete a workout and you find that the pace you chose was too easy, you can go a little harder on the next endurance workout. For the ladder sets, try to swim at a pace where a rest interval between ten and twenty seconds is sufficient to allow you to finish the ladder.

Pool Buoy
A swim aid that you put between your legs to help you maintain a neutral body position while concentrating on your pull rather than trying to remember everything at once.

Time goals

As far as specific amounts of time I would avoid trying to hit time goals as a beginner - instead I would focus on trying to feel comfortable, balanced and aerobic for your entire swim. As you build your confidence in the water the times will come down.

 

A 'Ladder'

A ladder is doing progessively longer sets and then doing progressively shorter sets. For example, you could swim 25 yards, then 50, then 75, then 100, 75, 50 and then 25 with a break in between each "rung" of the ladder.

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date: March 5, 2006

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gsmacleod

 

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