High intensity workouts are all the rage right now. On land, this concept is well understood. HIIT, short for High Intensity Interval Training is great for minimizing the amount of time needed to get a great workout in by focusing on pushing your body to higher levels of intensity.
This same concept can be applied in the pool! If you’re thinking, “shorter is easier”, that’s certainly not the case. Shorter workouts allow you to get more bang for your buck WITH your time spent in the water.
Finding The Time
One of the most common excuses for not swimming regularly is “not having enough time”. That’s understandable – you have a packed schedule and things to do. If you’re really serious about your swim training, you’ll make the time!
Shorter workouts, such as the Workout of the Day in the MySwimPro app, are an easy way to fit a quick swim into a busy schedule and you can complete them whenever you have time. Shorter workouts make it easier to train with more frequency. Think swimming for 40 minutes 3x/week vs swimming for 60 minutes only 2x/week. The increased frequency will yield higher performance results if training is modified to increase intensity.
See Also: When Is The Best Time To Swim?
If you’re new to swim training or have not trained in a while, then it’s likely that your muscles are not yet conditioned for longer workouts anyway. Swimming for even just 20 minutes allows you to increase your aerobic capacity and develop a feel for the water. As you become more conditioned, you’ll begin to swim faster and your enhanced feel of the water will allow you to elevate your training intensity.
If you want to swim faster, you need to train faster. It’s that simple. Focusing on increasing your performance on individual sets will yield the highest return on your time in the water. Training shorter workouts allows you to mentally and physically engage with the workout in a new way. The volume you do is not as important as the content of the workout. Don’t worry about banging out yards. Swim with more intensity.
It’s much easier to mentally get yourself pumped up to perform a set of 100s on an interval rather than swimming continuously. Obviously these two types of training would be working different energy systems, but factor in that a set of 6 x 50s would take only a few minutes, while a set of 6 x 200s could easily take 15-20 minutes.
Remember, shorter workouts are not the ONLY solution to a perfect swim routine. When time is tight (and it usually is), keep in mind that elevating your intensity, using equipment and focusing on your technique are great ways to get the most out of your time in the water.
The most important thing you can do is find a swim plan that works for YOU! I love shorter workouts because they fit with my schedule and keep me mentally engaged. Be sure to download the MySwimPro app for hundreds of swim workouts that fit your schedule.