We get asked the question all the time – “how often should I be swimming?”

So, in this episode of #WhiteboardWednesday, we’re explaining how your weekly swimming schedule makes an impact on your performance in the water.

To hear all our tips, listen to this episode on Soundcloud or watch the video above to see how it’s done!

Variables:

1 – Goals

What is your goal? Are you swimming for fitness, training for a triathlon, or trying to break a world record? Obviously having more time available will help you reach your goals better, but we have other solutions!

2 – Time 

How much time do you have per week to train? If you only have 2 hours per week to swim, we always recommend swimming three 40-minute workouts per week, as opposed to one 2-hour swim workout.

Why do we recommend more shorter workouts? When you go more than 4 days without swimming, you lose your “feel of the water.” This means that your connection with the water decreases, and your workouts will become less efficient as your training progress needs to restart every time you hit the water.

We highly recommend swimming at least 2 times per week.


3 – History

Have you been training 10 hours per week on average for the past 6 months? Or 30 hours per week? Or are you brand new? Whatever your level is, we recommend ramping up your swimming volume and duration by 10% per week as you train consistently.

4 – Other Training 

Consider your other exercises, such as dryland training, running, yoga, cycling etc., because they will all play a part in how much you should be swimming on a weekly basis. Whatever you do out of the water, should provide a healthy balance for your swim training.

Related: How To Build A Workout Plan


What You Should Focus On:

1 Swim Per Week:

  1. Technique
  2. Endurance

2 Swims Per Week

  1. Freestyle
  2. IM / Stroke

3 Swims Per Week

  1. Endurance
  2. IM / Stroke
  3. Speed

4 Swims Per Week

  1. Technique / Kick
  2. Endurance
  3. Stroke
  4. Speed

6 Swims Per Week

  1. Endurance
  2. IM
  3. Power
  4. Stroke
  5. Technique
  6. Speed

Why You Should Swim Every Day

From improving your strength and flexibility to building character, swimming every day has some amazing benefits! Learn why:

Free Example Workouts:

Speed Focus Workout (45 minutes – 1,800 yards):

Warm Up:

  • 4 x 100 Freestyle
  • 4 x 50 Kick

Main Set (3x):

  • 4 x 50 Freestyle
  • 1 x 100 Freestyle

Cool Down:

  • 1 x 200 Freestyle

Endurance Focus Workout (45 minutes – 2,300 yards): 

Warm Up:

  • 1 x 400 Freestyle
  • 3 x 100 IM

Main Set (2x):

  • 5 x 100 Freestyle
  • 1 x 200 Pull

Cool Down:

  • 1 x 200 Freestyle

Stroke / IM Focus Workout (45 minutes, 1,800 yards):

Warm Up:

  • 1 x 300 Freestyle
  • 6 x 50 Kick

Main Set (1x):

  • 1 x 200 IM
  • 4 x 50 IM
  • 3 x 100 IM
  • 4 x 50 IM
  • 1 X 100 IM
  • 4 X 50 Freestyle

Cool Down:

  • 4 x 50 Freestyle

There are hundreds of swim workouts and drills that you can try in the water to practice your freestyle stroke. Check out our YouTube channel, this article, or download the MySwimPro app for more tips and workout ideas!

I hope this Whiteboard Wednesday was helpful in scheduling your swim training. Have questions? Leave us a comment below! For more tips like this, follow our series on the MySwimPro YouTube Channel

Happy swimming!

30 day trial

27 thoughts on “How Often Should You Swim?

  1. Hi!

    My son (14 years old) is swimming as following:

    – 6 afternoon sessions per week: 3500-5000 meters per session with main focus on endurance and speed.
    – 3 early morning sessions per week: 2000 meters per session with main focus on technique and hypoxia.

    Furthermore, he goes to gym 6 times (1:30 hours) per week, attending 2 to 3 proffesional basketball sessions per week, and practicing 1 hour plank exercises everyday at least.

    He has an ambition byound the national competitions, but is this an overload for a teen of his age? Are their any negative side effects?

    1. Hi there! Is he finding that he is unable to perform well during each training session because he is feeling overloaded and fatigued? Training volume can be very personal, and if the athlete has built up to this level over time, it may be fine. But if he wants to reduce his training volume, it may help to reduce the gym sessions to 3-4 times a week and basketball to once a week. Can he incorporate a few plank exercises into his gym workouts instead of dedicating a full hour to them?

  2. Hi there,

    Now because of corona virus, I haven’t swam for about 1 year and 5 months, but I’m starting again after the swimmer holidays. Before the corona virus, when I was 11, I used to swim 5 days a week and 1 day of running while doing a 4km run another day. Now that I am starting swimming soon again, I don’t know how much I should swim. I am 13 now. I know that some girls are unable to have kids if they do too much training, how much is too much?

    1. Hi Nikoletta! It’s exciting to hear that you’re getting back in the water soon! Take it slow and listen to your body for your first few swims. Don’t try to do a workout that is as long or as tough as you were doing before the pandemic. Start with a short, easy swim and gauge how your body feels afterward. Starting with 3 times a weeks is probably a safe bet. Try to increase your distance by only about 10% per week so your body can get used to training again!

    1. If only there were 10 days in a week! 🙂 As long as you’re varying your workout intensity and mixing in cross training, 10 workouts per week can be doable. Just take time to work yourself up to that!

  3. Hi,

    I have been swimming regularly (3 – 5 times a week) in the past but I’m a huge sportfanatic. So I was wondering if swimming once ( maybe twice) a week would be harmful to my swimming abilities or would I still improve? Next to swimming once a week I would do 3 gym sessions, 3 yoga sessions, 1 martial arts session and a field workout (sprinting and SAQ training).

    1. Hi Pedro,

      Good question! Freestyle is a full stroke with both your arms and legs moving. For “kick,” you only use your legs. You can place your hands and arms on a kick board to kick, or kick in a streamline position on your stomach or on your back (with your hands above your head).

    2. Hi Peter,

      Good question! Freestyle is a full stroke with both your arms and legs moving. When you do “kick,” only your legs are moving. To kick, you can use a kick board to keep your arms and hands afloat, or you can kick in a streamline position (hands above your head) on your back or on your stomach.

  4. Hi! I have two options, i swim 3 times per week and go one time to gym or 2 times swim and 2 times gym.
    But if i change week cycle to 10 day cycle and then i swim 3 times and go 3 times in gym , what you think does it work?
    I go masters competition in april

      1. I’m interested in a triathlon. I’m a strong swimmer, and weak runner. I always see tips for runners learning to swim, but rarely see tips for swimmers learning to run. I swim often, but need to make more time for running and weights, but hesitant to back away from the pool because I don’t want to lose what I have. Tips for strong swimmers wanting to pick up running?

  5. Thanks for the tips. If I swim 5 days per week, but don’t do weights much, would it be better to swim 4 days and do weight twice a week?

    Thank you.

  6. I’m training someone for an open water swim and year from now. Right now she’s only swimming with me once a week. I tried to encourage her to come in her own, but don’t think she will. She’s not in swimming shape, because she’s been running, training for marathons.

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