This Workout of the Week is an 1,800 yard workout I completed with MySwimPro on the Apple Watch Series 4. In this article I’ll overview the workout’s strategy and walk you through a set-by-set analysis of all the data captured with MySwimPro!
- Distance: 1,800 Yards
- Duration: 40 Minutes
- Focus: Speed & Power! 🏁
This workout was completed in a 25 yard swimming pool. I wrote the workout using the MySwimPro app synced the workout to my Apple Watch. The equipment used during this workout included a pull buoy for the 200 Pull in the Pre-Set, Fins for round two and three of the Main Set. I added Paddles for round three of the Main Set. The training session was run continuously with 30 seconds rest between the set-groups and 15 seconds rest between the sets. You can learn more about workout and set structure here.
This workout is entirely focused on developing speed and power by activating muscle groups and spending a fair amount of the workout in SP1 (Best Average) and SP2 (Race Pace) Energy zones. You can learn more about the different energy training zones here.
This type of sprint workout really elevates your heart rate and can be pretty uncomfortable if you’re not used to doing speed work. It’s good to swim fast in training to activate your muscle groups and energy systems that don’t get any action during more traditional aerobic training.
In the pre-Set I focused on rotation for the 4 x 25s Drill. I did my favorite 3 strokes + 12 kicks which focuses on balancing on your side and applying rotation to the stroke. After the drill set, a 200 Pull with a buoy activates the lats and gets the heart rate elevated. I decided to build the 200 so the Main Set is less of a shock to the system. The Main Set is three rounds:
- Round 1: All Natural (no equipment)
- Round 2: Add Fins
- Round 3: Fins + Paddles
I love doing workouts like this where you can gradually descend and build into the workout with the use of equipment. You can do this workout without any equipment, but it’s fun to add Fins and Paddles at the end of the workout. I highly recommend swimming without equipment at the beginning of the workout to properly warmup. Then once your heart rate is elevated, you can add equipment.
The 4 x 50s Freestyle are Best Average @ 1:00. The goal is to maintain a relatively fast pace in the SP1 Zone. The second part is 2 x 25s Freestyle @ :40 Race Pace. The 50 Freestyle that follows is active recovery easy swimming. As the workout progresses, it should be easier to get faster (if you have enough rest) because your body is more warmed up. Below is the flow of the workout, the intervals, and the times I held on each part.
ROUND 1: All Natural
- 4 x 50 Free BEST AVERAGE @ 1:00 (31, 30, 29, 29)
- 2 x 25 Free RACE PACE @ :40 (12, 12)
- 1 x 50 Free EASY @ 1:00 (35)
ROUND 2: With Fins
- 4 x 50 Free BEST AVERAGE @ 1:00 (29, 27, 26, 26)
- 2 x 25 Free RACE PACE @ :40 (10, 11)
- 1 x 50 Free EASY @ 1:00 (33)
ROUND 2: With Fins + Paddles
- 4 x 50 Free BEST AVERAGE @ 1:00 (27, 25, 25, 24)
- 2 x 25 Free RACE PACE @ :40 (9, 10)
- 1 x 50 Free EASY @ 1:00 (33)
The screenshots from the MySwimPro app above show the analytics from all three rounds of the 4 x 50s Free in the Main Set. You can see my effort level and intensity pickup on each consecutive round. Heart rate peaked out at 163 on the first round, 165 on the second round and 176 on the third round. The Work/Rest Ratio as about 1:1 on the entire set.
In the screenshot from the MySwimPro app above you can see the analytics from the second part of the Main Set: 2 x 25 Free at Race Pace. By this point, heart rate is elevated from the 50s Best Average in the set before. I think the App was a bit generous on my 25 splits because I think I was probably closer to 10 seconds on the final round and not 9 seconds. Also keep in mind, this is a Short Course Yards pool and I was wearing fins and paddles!
See Also: 10 Steps To Swim Smarter Freestyle
If you want to swim fast, you need to train fast. This is true for every single stroke and whether you compete in meets or not. The intervals on this workout are applicable for swimmers of varying skill levels. The goal of Best Average is to Maintain a 1:1 work/rest ratio. For the Race Pace sets, ideally you’re seeing a 1:2 work/rest ratio.
Personalize The Workout
No two swimmers are the same, and because everyone swims at a different pace, the intervals of this set should reflect that. Below is an example of the same Feel the Need For Speed workout with intervals for a more beginner swimmer:
Warmup Set (1 Round)
- 2 x 100 Free East @ 2:00
- 4 x 25 IM Order Moderate @ :45
Pre Set (1 Round)
- 4 x 25 Drill Moderate @ :50
- 1 x 200 Pull Endurance @ 5:00
Main Set (3 Rounds)
- 4 x 50 Free Best Average @ 1:30
- 2 x 25 Free Race Pace @ 1:00
- 1 x 50 Free Easy @ 1:30
Cool Down Set (1 Round)
- 6 x 50 Free Moderate @ 1:10
The media above is exported from the MySwimPro app and shows an overview of the workout along with the associated heart rate graph. MySwimPro makes it easy to share highly customizable graphics designed to be posted on various social media platforms. This graphic has been optimized for the top social networks including: Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter!
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. This Feel The Need For Speed workout is just one example of how you can do this.
If you’d like more creative sets and training plans like this, checkout the MySwimPro app. New workouts added daily (Workout of the Day) along with over 10 training plans that the MySwimPro app personalizes to you and are designed to help you meet your goals!
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.”