One-Hour Workout: Lucky Number 7 Swim

This is a great descending swim workout that combines some solid aerobic training with short, sharp higher intensity efforts—perfect for this time of year.

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Starting a swim workout with the longer reps and gradually descending to shorter, faster ones is always a fun way to approach a set and it ensures you’re training at a variety of intensities. If you only ever swim slow and steady, then it’ll be hard for you to do anything different come race day. This lucky number 7 swim session begins with a relaxed warm-up of 10 minutes of easy swimming, gradually building effort, but still no hard strokes. You’ll then hit the pre-main set, which is where you raise your effort slightly with 8 x 25, where the odd lengths (1, 3, 5, 7) are swum as five strokes fast, five strokes easy, and the even lengths (2, 4, 6, 8) are swum as build to fast.

This should get you nicely warmed up for the main set, which is where you’ll be feeling the lucky number seven! You’ll be swimming: 7 x 150, 7 x 75, 7 x 50, 7 x 25. Your rest intervals between each of the seven swims each will always be the same: 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds. Make sure that rep numbers 4 and 7 of each round are always swum fast (think 8-9/10 RPE, rate of perceived exertion) and the others are swum at building pace (start the rep at 5/10, build to 7/10). That said, by the time you reach the 7 x 25, you should really hit all of these at 9/10 RPE to ensure you hit some speed in this workout and keep things lively!

It’s then time to wrap it all up with a relaxed cooldown, 100-200 easy swimming.

Lucky Number 7 Swim


10 minutes easy swimming
8 x 25 as odd lengths 5 strokes fast, 5 strokes easy; even lengths build pace

Main Set

7 x 150 – rest 10, 15, 20, 10, 15, 20 seconds between the swims. Reps 4 and 7 should be fast, but the others are all build pace.
7 x 75 – rest as above. Reps 4 and 7 should be fast, but the others are all build pace.
7 x 50 rest as above. Reps 4 and 7 should be fast, but the others are all build pace.
7 x 25 rest as above. All fast!


100-200 easy swimming

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