I am an experienced runner recently starting triathlons. So far I am not able to do freestyle for more then a couple of minutes (althou I can do breast stroke for hours).

My recent training was quite successfull getting me to freestyle: The last few times did

10 x (50m + 60s rest)

Now I wonder how to proceed. Should I try to do 75m in each repetition, should I try to reduce the rest, or should I try to increase the number of repetitions?

My ultimate goal is to be able to swim 1000m freestyle, as soon (not as fast) as possible. Having the perfect style is secondary, I try to apply the pareto principle and get as much progress out of my training as I humanly can.


2 Answers 2


While the workout and intervals are fine, both more distance and reps, I'd like to suggest focusing on techniques as you mentioned you have just recently find success with the stroke.

If you can do 200m, then you can easily do 500m. If you can do 500m, reaching 1000m isn't a problem. I often tell folks that endurance is the cheapest & easiest part of training.

From what you presented, you already have a cardiovascular base to easily do 1000m. What hinders you sounds a lot more body mechanics and techniques than anything endurance or conditioning related. That said, different muscle sets involved in swimming will have a different metabolic tax on you, but generally, this seems a minor concern in your case.

Getting your techniques & body mechanics down solidly will carry you along very very fast, although nailing them down may seem arduous at times.

The Race Club, out of Florida Keys has excellent videos that explain concepts very well. I use them on my kids often. Here is their page on freestyle (but do explore more): Picking the Right Freestyle Techniques via The Race Club

Along with that Ruth Kazez has a simple progression workout plan for swimming a mile in 6 weeks. I have applied this for both adults and kids with success. Here is Ruth's mile plan Ruth Kazez's ZERO to 1650 in Six Weeks


All of your suggestions are good ideas, I suggest trying them all. Increasing to 75m in each rep, and then up to 100m, then 150m, etc., is probably the best bet to get you towards your goal.

I would also suggest another style of workout - Instead of doing a set like

10 x (50m + 60s rest)

try instead

10 x 50m @ 2:00min

By that I mean do a set of 10 x 50s, but the total time for swimming and rest is 2:00min, so if you swim 50m in 1:00min you have 1:00min rest, but if you slack off a little, then you won't have as much rest. I don't know how fast you actually swim, so maybe 2:00min is not the right interval and you should adjust that time as you need to. The goal is to be consistent with how fast you swim, and how much rest you get.

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