WOW! Workout of the Week: Building Blocks

Goal: This is a workout for beginner swimmers. Their technique is now at a stage where we can start building their endurance with some longer sets, and adding some hard efforts to the focus on technique.

Given they are not 100% efficient yet, beginners can struggle, both mentally & physically, with long, continuous swims (something I take for granted sometimes given I am a swimmer). The goal of this workout is to hide a decent block of yardage hidden in a series smaller sets.

The workout is basically 40×50 yards, broken down into multiple blocks of 50 yards, with minimal rest in between. This gives them regular, short rests and plenty of opportunity for me to give feedback throughout.

When we have finished the set, I will point out that they just swam 2,000 yards pretty much continuously in an hour, hopefully boosting their confidence in the process.

Warm up:

4×50 yards: swim
4×50 yards: pull
4×50 yards: 25 kick, 25 swim

4×50 yards: 3 x drill, 1 x swim
4×50 yards: 3 x drill, 1 x swim
4×50 yards: 3 x drill, 1 x swim

Main set:

4x 50 yards: 25 fast, 25 easy (must keep long, smooth stroke on second 25)
4x 50 yards: 25 easy, 25 fast (second 25 must be faster than first 25)
4x 50 yards: build 1- 4 fast (record times, in order to teach them pacing)

Cool down: 4x 50 yards 1-4 reduce effort from moderate pace to slow & easy

Total: 2,000 yards

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One comment

  1. coacheamon

    I did this last night with my beginner swim group and it worked better than expected. It was a great progression from technique work to faster swimming and helped them focus on keeping their stroke together as their effort increased. They found it tough with the minimal rest, but got more out of it than long, continuous swimming.

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