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Swim drills are like broccoli – no one really gets all that excited about either of them, but there’s no denying the benefits of incorporating them into your routine. This set from coach Sara McLarty is full of good-for-you swim drills, broken into small sets of 4×50 to make them a little bit easier to swallow. Choose a workout below that fits your current fitness level and schedule, then dive in!
500 warm up
4×50 at :55 (25 right arm, 25 left arm)
4×50 at :50 (25 catch up, 25 fingertip drag)
4×50 at :60 (25 Tarzan, 25 3-6-3 drill)
4×50 at :60 (25 fist drill, 25 underwater recovery)
8×25 at :30 (IM order, all drill)
6×225 at 3:30 (75 free, 75 IM, 75 free)
200 Sprint! (broken into: 12.5 12.5, 25, repeat 4x, w/ 20 sec rest)
400 Drafting (swim w/ 2-3 other people, rotate leader after each 100)
6×100 pull at 1:30 (3/5, 3/7, 3/9 breathing pattern by 50)
200 cool down
500 warm up
4×50 at 1:05 (25 right arm, 25 left arm)
4×50 at 1:05 (25 catch up, 25 fingertip drag)
4×50 at 1:10 (25 Tarzan, 25 3-6-3 drill)
4×50 at 1:10 (25 fist drill, 25 underwater recovery)
6×150 at 3:15 (50 free, 50 non-free, 50 free)
150 Sprint! (broken into: 12.5 12.5, 25, repeat 4x, w/ 20 sec rest)
6×75 pull at 1:30 (3/5/7 breathing pattern by 25)
200 cool down
400 warm up
4×50 w/ 15 sec rest (25 right arm, 25 left arm)
4×50 w/ 15 sec rest (25 catch up, 25 fingertip drag)
4×50 w/ 15 sec rest (25 Tarzan, 25 3-6-3 drill)
4×50 w/ 15 sec rest (25 fist drill, 25 underwater recovery)
6×100 w/ 40 sec rest (75 free, 25 non-free)
6×75 pull w/ 30 sec rest (3/5/7 breathing pattern by 25)
100 cool down
Swim freestyle with your head out of the water. Look forward as if you were sighting a buoy or landmark in open water. Keep your head out of the water for the entire 25 to strengthen your neck muscles for triathlon swimming!
Swim regular freestyle. Ball your hands into fists and work on high elbow catch and pull under the water.
Swim regular freestyle. When your arm is out of the water (recovery phase) keep your elbow pointed toward the sky and your fingertips pointing down toward the water. Allow your fingertips (about 1/2 inch) to drag through the water from your hips all the way past your head.
Underwater Recovery Drill:
Swim freestyle but do not let your arms exit the water at the end of the underwater pull. As your hand reaches your thigh, bend your elbow and slide your hand forward along the side of your body. This is very similar to doggy-paddle but with an entire underwater stroke. Keep your head in the water and breathe to the side like normal.
Take three strokes and pause on your right side with right arm extended forward and your left arm lying on left side. Remain in this position for six kicks. Take three more strokes and pause on your left side for six kicks. Repeat.
Looking for more swim-spiration? Check out our complete archive of Weekend Swim Workouts from Coach Sara McLarty.