It happens to so many swimmers, and there’s a chance it’s happened to you: you swam competitively in high school or college. Or you even just picked up swimming as an adult. You pushed your body to swim faster, get stronger, and win races. You used to be so consistent with your swimming.
Then BAM! Something stops you from getting in the water every day. You get bored, injured, busy or maybe you don’t have access to train with a team. Now you can’t even imagine how you used to swim so much.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve completed a good swim workout, here’s your guide to get back to that strong swimmer you used to be. And be sure to download the MySwimPro app for all the tips, training plans and support you need to get back in the pool.
1. GET YOUR FEET WET
“Do or do not, there is no try.”
If you want to get back into swimming, we can almost promise you that you’ll feel excited to train again after your first swim back.
Head to the pool and get a short 20-30 minute solo swim in. Get used to being back in the water and stretch it out. You can’t expect to be as fast as you used to be, so take things slow and try a couple easy sets:
Once you’re comfortable, ramp up your training with a swim workout from the MySwimPro app. Pick a workout on your phone or smartwatch, watch the technique drill videos, and head to the pool. No more worrying about writing your own swim sets.
Related: 7 Benefits of Keeping a Swim Log
2. TRY SOMETHING NEW
You’ll feel more excited to swim if you’re challenging yourself to something new. If you can, find a new pool or body of water to swim in. If you think swimming with a group will help you, find a local Masters swim team or triathlon group in your area. You could even try posting on social media or online forums to organize your own swim group.
If you can’t do that, then switch up your training so it works for you. If you were once a sprinter, try long distance workouts! If you’re a breaststroker, try backstroke! If you got burned out from swimming too early in morning, try evening swims!
Or, try a new water sport! Try a triathlon, or water polo, diving, synchronized swimming. Or even an underwater torpedo league! You’ll make new friends and feel more energized learning new skills.
3. SET A GOAL
You’ll stay motivated if you’re training towards a goal. Pick a swim meet, open water race or triathlon that’s 2+ months away and commit by signing up. Knowing that you’ll have to race in front of your friends and old teammates will bring that old fire back and help you focus on getting your workouts in.
If you’re not into competing, set a simple goal that’s attainable. Some examples:
- Swim 3x a week
- Be able to complete 6x100s on the 1:20
- Lose 10 pounds
- Drop 2 seconds in your 100 breaststroke
- Swim 4,000 meters a week
Related: How To Set SMART Goals
4. SWIM WITH A PLAN
Swimming on your own can be pretty challenging. Staring at a black line for any period of time will get old really fast. Even if you have other people in the pool with you, swimming can be lonely and monotonous.
Even if you’re intrinsically motivated, doing the same workouts over and over will make you plateau and eventually start to regress in your swimming ability. So why follow a structured training plan? Can’t you just pick out a workout at random, push yourself to the max, and call it good?
Whether you’re trying to improve your stroke technique, swim faster, or increase your endurance, there’s one common, critical component: consistency. If you ask any coach, they’ll tell you that the most important thing you can do to get faster is to be consistent with your training. An odd workout here and there isn’t enough to produce real swimming results, and will only get you so far.
Below are a few of MySwimPro’s top training plans to help you reach your goals with swimming!
- Beginner Freestyle Fundamentals (4 weeks)
- Get Fit – Freestyle (6 weeks)
- Enhance Speed (8 weeks)
- Improve Endurance (8 weeks)
- Get Fit – IM (8 weeks)
- IMX Pro Challenge (10 weeks)
- 10k Challenge (10 weeks)
- 5k Open Water (12 weeks)
- Open Water Plan (12 weeks)
5. SWIM AT LEAST 2x/WEEK FOR 1 MONTH
To get back into the rhythm of things, you’ll need to swim at least two times per week. It’s hard to progress in your endurance and improve your technique if you’re only swimming once a week, plus you’ll lose your feel of the water.
If you’re crunched for time, it’s better to do four 30-minute swim workouts per week, then two 1-hour swim workouts.
As much as you might dread swimming, you have to put the work in, in order to feel like the swimmer you once were. You’ll be surprised how quickly it all comes back to you.
Related: How to Overcome Swimming Fatigue
So, get headed to the pool and get those feet wet again! If you’re looking for swim workouts, drills, or training plans, start your free 7-day trial of MySwimPro Premium on your phone or smartwatch.