Most swim workouts are based on distances you must complete in certain intervals. Here, we flip that approach.

Most swim workouts are based on distances you must complete in certain intervals—10 100s on the 1:30, for instance. Here, we flip that approach on its head, with a swim set based on time. Think: How far can you go in 2 minutes while still getting to rest? It’s a fun break from tradition, and it’ll let you do the same workout with friends of all abilities. So without further ado, presenting a 1-hour swim set based on time from coach Sara McLarty.

How to a Swim Set Based on Time

Where there is a “??” in this swim set, plug in a distance that you can swim under 2:00 and still have enough time to rest on the wall and leave on the 2-minute interval. For example, if you swim 50 yards in 1:00, choose 75 as your distance for this set. You will complete the 75 in about 1:30 and have 30 seconds to rest on the wall before starting the next interval. If you swim 100 yards in 1:20, choose 125 as your distance.

10 min choice warm-up

6 min kick (30 sec hard kick, 60 sec easy kick, repeat)

3 min swim (all stroke or drills)

5 x ?? on 2:00 swim
(everyone starts together every 2:00)

5 min pull (steady effort)

3 min swim (all stroke or drills)

5 x ?? on 2:00 swim (everyone starts together every 2:00)

5 min choice cool-down