This Workout of the Week is a 1,500-yard swim I recently completed in just under 30 minutes with MySwimPro on the Apple Watch Series 4. In this overview I’ll share the Workout strategy and run through a Set-by-Set analysis looking at the data captured with the MySwimPro App!
- Distance: 1,500 Yards
- Duration: 28 Minutes
- Focus: Individual Medley Training
Related: How to Swim Backstroke with Perfect Technique
This Workout was completed in a 25-yard swimming pool running a custom Swim Workout from MySwimPro on the Apple Watch. I used a pair of hand paddles on the 200 pull. I took 30 seconds of rest between Set Groups (Set Group 1, Main Set, Cool Down) and 15 seconds between each of the individual Sets. These rest times are 100% customizable in the MySwimPro app. You can learn more about workout and set structure here.
This Workout’s distance was right in the sweet spot for me. It’s a balance of all the strokes mixed with a little bit of endurance swimming. Check out this 1,000 yard Workout of the Week for an even shorter (all Freestyle) Workout.
IM, short for Individual Medley incorporates all four competitive strokes: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle. You get to engage all the different muscle groups and energy systems, which burn more calories and, in my opinion, is more fun!
Related: 5 Steps to Perfect Butterfly
This Workout is great to fit in the morning, evening or even during your lunch break. It’s short enough to be in and out in less than 1 hour, but also long enough to feel like a productive workout. For me, any shorter than 1,500 or 1,000 doesn’t feel like enough. For some swimmers, 1,500 is perfect! This training session was pretty easy to create in the MySwimPro app and load it on my watch!
The Workout structure is of moderate complexity. The Main Set repeats two times and my goal was to negative split by round. First round was swum easy, and the second round I put more effort into each part of it. The Warmup was a series of 50s – Backstroke and Breaststroke to get the body flowing. The Main Set was two rounds of a 200 Pull followed by 4 x 25s IM Order. Here’s how I split the two parts of the Main Set on each round:
- 1 x 200 Pull @ 2:30 (Round 1: 2:14; Round 2: 2:08)
- 4 x 25s IM order @ :30 (Round 1: 15, 18, 18, 16; Round 2: 14, 19, 18, 15)
Related: How to Swim Breaststroke with Perfect Technique
The screenshots from the MySwimPro app above show the analytics from the second 200 Pull of the Main Set. I was fresh for this Workout (no workout the day before) and swam pretty easy intentionally on the first round and then picked it up for the second round. I split a 2:08 and averaged 12 strokes per length. My heart rate never went above 160 by the end and it felt pretty good. Below are some splits from the cool down set of 6 x 50s Free:
In the screenshot from the MySwimPro app above you can see the analytics from the first few repetitions of the 6 x 50s Free. I felt pretty smooth and was able to average about :35 per 50 with about :15 rest. My SWOLF score (swimming efficiency) averaged 31. You can learn more about what SWOLF is here.
See Also: 10 Steps To Swim Smarter Freestyle
I focused on keeping my stroke long and not sacrificing efficiency for speed. That’s a difficult balance but one of the joys of doing any kind of structured workout with variance in pace. The focus for me was getting my heart rate elevated and then holding good stroke technique on the 25s IM Order.
Modify The Workout
No two swimmers are the same, and because everyone swims at a different pace, the intervals of this Set should reflect that. My 200s were on the @ 2:30 interval. My aerobic threshold pace (10 x 100s Free) is around 1:10/100 yards. If your aerobic threshold is 1:30, you should consider doing the 200s at the 3:30. The MySwimPro app will do this for you with Personalized Training Intervals. You can read more about them here.
How To Swim Faster
Swimming fast comes down to two things: Increasing propulsion and decreasing drag. Swimming efficiently will help you decrease drag and this is much faster (and easier) to improve than improving propulsion. To increase the efficiency of your workout, you’ll need to add structure and variation to push your body in new and innovative ways. 10 x 100s is just one example of how you can do this.
If you’d like more creative sets and training plans like this, check out the MySwimPro app. Try a fresh Workout of the Day 7 days a week, or start a recommended Training Plan that is personalized to your speed and Skill Level.
Using data to help you understand your swimming performance is one of the most efficient ways to help you improve in the water. With advances in wearable technology, the most important metrics can be tracked automatically and used to your advantage.
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
Be sure to download the MySwimPro app in the App Store for iPhone and Google Play Store for Android!
Great tips! I swam competitively for years. I’m dusting off my goggles and getting back in the water soon. This was an amazing refresher and primer. This Old Dog just learned a bunch of new tricks!!
Way to go, Spence! Enjoy your swim 🙂