One-Hour Workout: Swim 75s

Start building back your swim fitness with this aerobic one-hour workout.

After several months out of the water due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pools around the world are slowly beginning to reopen—and with this comes the chance to kickstart your swim training. Easy aerobic swimming is the name of the game at this stage, and this swim 75s one-hour workout will help you do exactly that. (If you’re looking for a three-week plan, check out this article with advice from swim coach Gerry Rodrigues). 

Remember that you’ve been out of the water for a long time, so don’t expect to set any PRs or for it to feel good. It’s more important at this stage to reestablish your feel for the water and get reacquainted to your body position in the water. 

This session can be shortened or lengthened depending on your speed, ability, and time available. Begin with a 10-minute easy swim, nothing more than 6/10 RPE (rate of perceived exertion), and keep it smooth and controlled. You’ll then hit a short prep set of 8 x 25 where odd lengths (1, 3, 5, 7) are swum as five strokes fast, five strokes easy, and even lengths (2, 4, 6, 8) are swum with your fists clenched. This is a great drill for helping establish your feel for the water. When you reopen your palms you should really feel a difference. 

The main set is all about 75s—six rounds of 4 x 75 (note, this is where you can shorten the session if you wish, swimming four or five rounds if you prefer). None of these 75s should be swum hard or fast, in fact, you do not want to go above 7-8/10 RPE at any time. That said, the rest interval will change, so this will help switch up the demands of the set. On round one, take 10 seconds rest between 75s; round two 15 seconds rest; round three 20 seconds rest; round four is 25 seconds rest; round five is 30 seconds rest; round six is back to 15 seconds rest (just to spice things up at the end). You should aim to hold roughly the same time throughout, so be careful not to go out too hard in those early rounds. You can add in equipment as you wish, perhaps swimming the odd rounds with pulling gear (snorkel, pull buoy, ankle strap if you use these) to really help you focus on body position in the water.

Finish it off with a five-minute easy swim, working in some backstroke as much as possible. 

One-Hour Workout: Swim 75s


10 minutes steady continuous swim, 6/10 RPE

Prep set:

8 x 25 as odd lengths (1, 3, 5, 7) five strokes fast, five strokes easy; even lengths (2, 4, 6, 8) swim with fists clenched

Main Set:

4 x 75 – 10 sec. rest between each 75
4 x 75 – 15 sec. rest between each 75
4 x 75 – 20 sec. rest between each 75
4 x 75 – 25 sec. rest between each 75
4 x 75 – 30 sec. rest between each 75
4 x 75 – 15 sec. rest between each 75
*(Drop to 4 or 5 rounds if you prefer)


5 min. easy swim including backstroke