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Sometimes, we set fitness goals for ourselves, but life gets in the way. Maybe you’re busy at work or school, and skip workouts. Maybe you lose motivation to work out, or you aren’t quite sure how to get started in the first place.
We’re here to tell you that it’s ok…this happens to all of us! Let’s break down a few ways to create a swimming schedule that works for you and, most importantly, that you’ll stick to.
Ultimately, the best plan is one that you know you’ll do consistently. Read on for a few example weekly swim plans for swimming two, three or four or more times per week.
How to Build Your Swim Training Schedule
1. Define Your Goals
First up, identify what you want to achieve from your workouts. Common swimming goals we see are:
- Lifetime Fitness (swim until you’re old!)
- Swim Faster
- Lose Weight
- Improve Endurance
- Mental Health
Whatever you hope to get out of swimming, it’s important to set SMART goals. SMART goals are:
- Specific: Your goal should not just be “I want to swim more.” Make it specific!
- Measurable: Add a number to your goal. Maybe it’s a total workout distance, a race time, or a number on the scale.
- Attainable: This goal should be achievable in a reasonable timeline. Don’t set a goal you know you won’t actually achieve.
- Realistic: Make your goal realistic for you. You might not be able to swim 20 seconds faster in your 100 free, but 5 seconds is possible!
- Time-bound: Set a date that you hope to achieve your goal.
An example SMART goal is: I will swim a 1,000-meter freestyle in 15 minutes by May 1, 2023.
Learn more about SMART goals here!
2. Choose a Workout Plan
After you have your goals written down, it’s time to choose a swim plan that will help you achieve them!
Start small, and be realistic with what you have time for, and where you’re at fitness-wise. Check out the MySwimPro app for fully personalized swim training, from daily workouts to long-term Training Plans:
- Workout of the Day: Get a brand new, personalized swim workout 365 days a year! The Workout of the Day is customized to your swimming speed, distance preferences and favorite strokes. This is great for people looking to swim for mental health, lifetime fitness, and weight loss.
- Training Plans: Training for something specific? Start a Training Plan and work toward your goal each week. MySwimPro Training Plans cover everything from weight loss and improving endurance to open water racing and race pace training.
- Workout Library: Choose a workout from our extensive Library of hundreds of stroke-specific workouts. With a variety of distances and focuses, you’ll find something to strike your fancy.
- Test Sets: Want to test your progress? MySwimPro will prompt you to do a Test Set to track how your speed or endurance have improved over time. Log your Test Set and view your improvement over time on your Profile!
3. Decide When to Swim
Everyone’s schedule is different, and there isn’t one best time of day to swim. As we’ve mentioned before, the best time to swim is the time you can fit it into your schedule!
- Morning: Many people like to swim in the morning to get their workout out of the way, and start the day on a positive note.
- Mid-Day: For others, a lunchtime workout works best. It’s a great way to take a mental break from work!
- Afternoon: Mid-afternoon swims are great too, and oftentimes the pool isn’t quite as crowded.
- Evening: Swimming after work is a common choice for many athletes, but we warn you…waiting to swim until late in the day increases the chances that you might skip out on your workout!
Whatever swimming schedule you choose, do your best to stay disciplined.
4. Get the Right Equipment
It’s easier to commit to your swimming routine when you have the right gear. At a minimum, make sure you have a swimsuit, goggles and a swim cap.
If you’re ready for more equipment, we recommend investing in a pair of fins, paddles and a snorkel. These will allow you to vary your workouts more and focus on building strength and power.
Check out the MySwimPro Amazon store for our favorite swim gear brands!
We also recommend adding some tech accessories to your swim bag to make your workouts even more enjoyable. Sync your MySwimPro workouts to an Apple Watch or Garmin watch for set-by-set guidance and detailed data tracking while you swim!
If you want to listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks when you swim, we recommend trying the Delphin from Underwater Audio!
The Delphin clips onto your goggles, and comes with waterproof SwimBuds headphones. Load your favorite playlists directly to the Delphin, or listen to Pandora, Spotify, Audible and more while you swim.
Save 15% on your order with code MYSWIMPRO. Shop now >
5. Schedule Your Swims
The only way you’ll stay consistent with your swim routine is if you prioritize swimming in your day.
Add your workouts to your calendar, and make them a non-negotiable. Work with your schedule to fit in every swim.
We all have the same 168 hours in the week. Remember, a 30-minute workout is better than nothing at all!
6. Get an Accountability Buddy
Swimming alone can be tough! To help yourself stay consistent, find an accountability buddy:
- Join a Masters Team: Search for local teams, and join their practices if they fit your schedule
- Swim With a Buddy: Find a friend who wants to swim, and commit to showing up for each other, every week.
- MySwimPro Facebook Group: If you can’t find in-person swim buddies, check out the MySwimPro Facebook Group for online support and motivation from swimmers around the world.
7. Commit to a Lifestyle
If you want to make the most progress, think about making a permanent lifestyle change, and not just following a workout plan. Make swimming a part of your life, and don’t shy away when it gets tough.
Sign up for MySwimPro Coach to train with Coach Fares Ksebati and unlock fully personalized workouts, data tracking and more.
Try These Swimming Routines
Ready to create your swimming routine? Try these ideas and dive in!
Swimming twice a week is a great place to start. You’ll build a feel for the water, and start to improve your technique and endurance.
We recommend trying the Beginner Freestyle or Couch to 1k Training Plans. The Workout of the Day is also a good option here!
Want to add an extra day to your weekly swim routine? The WOD is still a great choice. If you’d prefer a Training Plan, we recommend these:
- Improve Endurance will build you up to a 3,000-meter workout
- Enhance Speed will help you improve your 100 freestyle speed.
If you’re ready to commit to a more intense swimming schedule, try swimming four or more times a week. You could continue doing the Workout of the Day each day, or try one of these plans:
- Freestyle Technique Bootcamp will help you improve your stroke mechanics over 16 workouts
- Intro to IM will help you master all four strokes and get comfortable with individual medley swimming
When it comes to creating your swimming routine and schedule, start small and focus on creating habits that you will actually stick with. That’s the key to making long-term lifestyle changes and including swimming as a part of your life for years to come!
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