This Workout of the Week is a 1,000 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: 1,000 Yards
- Duration: 18 Minutes
- Focus: Aerobic IM Warmup
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. There was no equipment used during this workout and 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 was my first workout of the day and I swam a longer (2,200) workout later in the afternoon. My average swim workout is 2,000 meters per session, so I knew 1k wouldn’t be too draining on my body. I wanted to kick off the day with a bang, and this workout surely did that.
The pattern of the workout follows: 50, 50, 100, 100, 150, 150, 200, 200. Alternating Freestyle and IM on each grouping of two. The key of this workout was maintaining a relatively aggressive interval. I don’t like swimming slow. Right from the start of this workout, you have to be ready to go! The base interval for Freestyle was 40 seconds per 50 yards.
It’s important to note that the workout is designed to build the IM x 50s meaning the 1st 50 was Butterfly. On the second set-group, the 100 was 50 Butterfly, 50 Backstroke, and on the third part the 150 was 50 Butterfly, 50 Backstroke, 50 Breaststroke. The 200 IM was a true 200 IM. The base interval for IM was 50 seconds per 50 yards. This workout was pretty quick to write in the MySwimPro app and get going!
The workout structure is relatively simple. The fun part is building up by 50s on each new set-group. The workout was actually the hardest at the start, because the warmup had the least amount of rest. As the workout progresses, you actually get more rest as your body gets more acclimated to the set. Below is the flow of the workout, the intervals, and the times I held on each part.
- 1 x 50 Free @ :40 (32)
- 1 x 50 IM (FLY) @ :50 (36)
- 1 x 100 Free @ 1:20 (1:13)
- 1 x 100 IM (FLY, BK) @ 1:40 (1:21)
- 1 x 150 Free @ 2:00 (1:47)
- 1 x 150 IM (FLY, BK, BR) @ 2:30 (1:59)
- 1 x 200 Free @ 2:40 (2:24)
- 1 x 200 IM (FLY, BK, BR, FR) @ 3:20 (2:34)
The screenshots from the MySwimPro app above show the analytics from the first 100 Free of the second set-group. I was still not feeling warmed up and did not feel very fresh. I split a 1:13 and averaged 12 strokes per length. My heart rate got up to 143 and it didn’t feel like my greatest technique. This was in stark contrast to how I felt on the final two 200s at the end of the workout because I was warmed up more.
In the screenshot from the MySwimPro app above you can see the analytics from the 100 IM (50 Butterfly, 50 Backstroke) after the 100 Free. By this point I was a bit more warmed up, but to this point only Butterfly had been swum. Stroke training is more taxing on the body and my heart rate went up to 152. I split a 1:21 on this 100 which is still slower than what I split on the final 200 IM (2:34). it goes to show how important it is to have a good warmup before pushing your body on anything long.
See Also: 10 Steps To Swim Smarter Freestyle
I focused on keeping my strokes efficient and not sacrificing efficiency for speed. This is difficult to do when you’re not very warmed up. You could do this entire workout as a Main Set multiple rounds. A longer warmup and proper cool down set would put this workout anywhere from 2-3k meters. The intervals are also highly variable depending on your speed. More difficult intervals make the set that much harder when it’s stroke rather than freestyle.
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. I ran this workout on the 40 second/50 yard pace for Freestyle and 50 second/50 yard pace for the stroke segments. Below is an example of the same Individual Medley Ladder workout if it were swum with 50s/50 (Free) and 60s/50 second (IM) intervals:
- 1 x 50 Free @ :50
- 1 x 50 IM (FLY) @ :60
- 1 x 100 Free @ 1:40
- 1 x 100 IM (FLY, BK) @ 2:00
- 1 x 150 Free @ 2:30
- 1 x 150 IM (FLY, BK, BR) @ 3:00
- 1 x 200 Free @ 3:20
- 1 x 200 IM (FLY, BK, BR, FR) @ 4:00
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 Individual Medley Ladder 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.”