If you’re new to swimming, you may be hitting the pool and swimming continuously for 100, 200, 500 or even 1,000 meters. While there’s nothing wrong with that, structured workouts will help you reach your goals faster. 

Read on to learn the benefits of structured swim workouts and check out 3 sample beginner swim workouts!

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What is a Structured Swim Workout?

Structured workouts have a set distance and time, and often have you focus on something specific, like speed or technique.

Swim workouts follow a general template of repetitions, distance, interval and stroke type. For example, a structured swim set could look like:

6x100m Freestyle on 2:00

With this setup, you’ll swim 6 repetitions of 100 meters on a 2-minute interval. The interval includes your swim time and rest time.

Related: What is Interval Training?

Benefits of Structured Swim Workouts

Swimming your workout straight with no structure helps you build endurance and shut your mind off, which is a great option for swimmers who are just getting started. However, structured workouts are great for beginners, too. Here’s why:

  • Gives Direction: When you have a game plan you’re much more likely to finish your workout and stay committed to long-term training.
  • Efficient Use of Time: A busy lifestyle often means you may not have much time to get a workout in each day. A set workout ensures you make the most of your time in the water.
  • Something to Build On: A training plan with structured workouts will help you build up your skills and progress over time.  
  • Improve More Quickly: With many things in life, structure makes it easier to improve. Swimming is no different!
  • Better Workout: Breaking up your workout into smaller chunks allows you to vary the intensity of your swimming and rest intervals, giving you a better workout!

Related: 10 Beginner Swim Tips for Adults

Beginner Swim Workouts

Check out these beginner-friendly swim workouts! They range from 300 meters to 1,000 meters.

Workout #1 (300 meters)

Noora Valkonen

6 x 50s Freestyle @ 30-60s rest. Each 50 has a different focus:

  • 1: Focus on swimming smooth with minimal splash.
  • 2: Focus on your fingertip entry. 
  • 3: Focus on swimming taller. Stretch it out and reach as far as you can on each stroke!
  • 4: Focus on rotating from your hips.
  • 5: Focus on keeping your head down. Look straight down at the bottom of the pool.
  • 6: Focus on silent swimming. Use all 5 senses to listen to the sounds your stroke makes. 

Workout #2 (600 meters)

This workout adds a warm up and pre-set to help prime your body for the main set.

Warm Up: 

100m Freestyle

Pre Set: 

4 x 25m Kick @ 20s rest. Kick with a kickboard or in a streamline on your stomach or back.

Main Set: 

6 x 50m Freestyle @ 30s rest

  • 1: Focus on swimming smooth
  • 2: Focus on fingertip entry
  • 3: Focus on swimming tall
  • 4: Focus on rotation
  • 5: Focus on head position
  • 6: Focus on silent swimming

Cool Down:

100m Perfect Freestyle

Related: How to Swim Freestyle with Perfect Technique

Workout #3 (1,000 meters)

Apple Watch

This 1k workout expands on the warm up and pre set in Workout 2 to add more distance.

Warm Up: 

4 x 50s Freestyle @ 20s rest

Pre Set: 

  • 4 x 50s Kick @ 20s rest
  • 4 x 50s Stroke @ 30s rest. Choose any stroke other than freestyle!

Main Set:

6 x 50s Freestyle @ 30s rest

  • 1: Focus on swimming smooth
  • 2: Focus on fingertip entry
  • 3: Focus on swimming tall
  • 4: Focus on rotation
  • 5: Focus on head position
  • 6: Focus on silent swimming

Cool Down: 

100m Perfect Freestyle

Swim Training Plans for Beginners

Couch to 1k

  • Goal: Swim 1 kilometer continuously.
  • Duration: 6 weeks, 3 workouts/week
  • Average Workout: 250m -> 1km

Get Fit

  • Goal: Swim 1 Mile continuously from nothing.
  • Duration: 6 weeks, 3 workouts/week
  • Average Workout: 400m -> 1 Mile

Getting Started For Beginners

  • Goal: Learn structured workouts and follow a plan.
  • Duration: 2 weeks, 3 workouts/week
  • Average Workout: 250m -> 1km

Beginner Weight Loss

  • Goal: Learn structured workouts and build endurance to start your weight loss journey.
  • Duration: 8 weeks, 2 workouts/week
  • Average Workout: 300m -> 1km

Are you a beginner swimmer? What has been most challenging for you as you get started? For more swimming tips and workouts, download the MySwimPro app! Try our ELITE COACH subscription free!

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2 thoughts on “3 Swim Workouts For Beginners

  1. How to I get an update on the status of my subscription? I haven’t opened the app in 4 months because the pools are all closed here in CA. I’m concerned that by the time they open my subscription will have expired.

    1. Hi Brian! Our subscriptions are on auto-renewal, so they will automatically renew at the end of your subscription period. If you have questions about your subscription, shoot us an email at support@myswimpro.com!

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