Reworded question: What is an appropriate self-managed training programme for an able swimmer wanting to improve their level, for example to compete at amateur club level?

Original question below :

I consider myself to be a perfectly ok swimmer. I can't do the butterfly or any of those fancy stroke though. I love swimming, but I don't think I've ever established an effective workout for it. Can someone recommend a workout for me that isn't super hardcore, but still is good? Thanks! A T

closed as too broad by MJB, Alec, Mike-DHSc, Raditz_35, Michał Zaborowski Feb 26 '18 at 13:08

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Could you add, how much time you are willing to invest? – Arsak Feb 20 '18 at 8:23
  • @Marzipanherz im willing to invest like an 1-2 hours a day? – A T Feb 20 '18 at 12:47
  • It might also help if you could outline what you want to get out of the workouts. Is it simply a low impact cardio? Get better/faster? etc. Your question has been flagged with a couple close votes as too broad, and before I agree, if you can narrow it down and give some examples of what you want instead of "wanna swim, gimme workout" it would help keep it open. – JohnP Feb 23 '18 at 19:55
  • I would expect to see how long, how much you are training. What are your results. That way someone can decide at what level you are, and maybe what is missing. For the moment it is unclear how to help. – Michał Zaborowski Feb 26 '18 at 13:08

Some general principles I build my own training programmes around

1) Don't train the same muscle groups on successive days So if you swim most days, take it easy on the second day. Just enjoy the swim, don't push the muscles too hard.

2) Keep your rest breaks few and short Nothing wrong with the occasional minute break between sets, but when you are in the water you are there to swim. Try to keep moving as much as possible, even if you alter pace and stroke.

3) Try to increase your training time 10% a week during the buildup phase Don't worry about pace increases in the beginning, they will follow with fitness

4) Keep a log of all swims done, things like distance, time, and how you felt This is a great motivator - if you feel like slacking it goes down in your record. A little bit of discomfort, taking you out of your comfort zone, is good a few times a training session


I would suggest changing your sessions fairly regularly to keep it interesting. This blog has hundreds of samples

  • I dont mind having the same routine, as long as i HAVE a routine in the first place. :P Also i dont know a lot of the commonly used abbreviations or nicknames or anything like that, so could you in plain english tell me a decent workout routine? – A T Feb 22 '18 at 0:51
  • 1
    @AT - To be able to understand most any swimming workout, you are going to have to get used to the terms used. Here is one resource: marydonahue.org/swim-workout-vocabulary . Unless you just want one workout that you will repeat over and over, you need to learn the terms. – JohnP Feb 23 '18 at 19:54
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    All of the terms and definitions are detailed with the link. Check out the drills page and also the terms page – Pete Matthews Feb 28 '18 at 13:01

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