Winter training 1 - 1hr 3.5km

Winter training back in the pool gives you the opportunity to introduce some variety and to work on technique. Variety, in the form of mixing up the strokes, is good for improving your all-round fitness and feel for the water. There are benefits to swimming all the four main strokes so give it a go. This set includes some medley work (ie when you swim all four strokes in the order butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, frontcrawl) and a big kick set. An efficient kick is really important in swimming for body position and reducing drag.


Warm Up

  • 200m f/c,
  • 200m backstroke,
  • 200m breaststroke,
  • 200m Individual Medley (i.e. 50m on each stroke)


Total: 800m


Main Set

Repeat the following 5 times:

  • 100m f/c swim and rest off 90 secs
  • 100m choice (not f/c) swim and rest off 1.45
  • 100m Individual Medley swim and rest off 1.45
  • 50m easy off 1.30

Total: 1750m


Drill Work

  • 10 x 50m fast kicking, lying on your side with one arm extended.

A strong, even leg kick is the key to a good freestyle. You don't necessarily get much propulsion from it but it is paramount to a good freestyle stroke. Spend some time researching on the internet to ensure you have a good kick. For example, see   http://www.swimsmooth.com/kick.html
Strong core body strength will assist a good leg kick. Do not allow the knees to bend too much, ensure your kick is coming from your buttocks (tight) and do not allow the kick to be too large. Toes should be pointed.
The Drill : You should be looking down at the leading arm (i.e. superman position), and the trailing arm should be flat by your side. If the right arm is extended, and the left arm is flat by your side, try to ensure the left shoulder is pointing to the ceiling. Try to hold the shoulder in this position whether you are breathing to the side or whether you are face down. Alternate the leading arm on each length.

Total: 500m


Sprints to Finish

9 x 50 swim and rest off 1min, choice stroke.
Total: 450m
Total distance swum = 3.5k

Cover Web Image

Issue 42 October 2020

  • Q&A with Jaimie Monahan - marathon swimmer and Queen of the Ice
  • Autumn swim adventures around the UK
  • The science behind cold water acclimatisation
  • Reviewed: The Best Open Water Goggles
  • The often deadly history of unsupported marathon swims

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