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The first swimming workout I’ve ever tried

The first swimming workout I’ve ever tried

I’ve been watching YouTube, a lot. Particularly videos by Cody Miller, US Olympic swimmer and YouTube vlogger. He vlogs about his swim practices as a professional swimmer and I just find them incredibly fascinating. Even more so since I’ve gotten back into swimming as an adult. When I was a kid, I was on a swim team called the Orcas and at 13 I did a ‘kids’ triathlon but that’s as far as my athletic dreams made it. Since I’ve been back in the pool the last 6 month, I’ve really been working on my endurance, and am now looking to change things up a bit from the usual back and forth. I thought about joining a swim team, but in all honesty, I’m not at that skill level yet, I have to work on my endurance, and I have to work on my times.

The current goal is to be able to swim 10 x 50m at a pace of 1:20 each length and in order to get there, I’m going to have to do some swim workouts. I found this one at Aspire Channel Swim.

I had to edit the workout a little from the original in the link below because the pool where I swim is 50 meters not 25 and I didn’t want to overdo it on my first one! I basically cut each 1/2 of each set out but I left the warm-up and swim down as is. As it turns out, however, even that was not enough and until I figure out how to memorize this gargantuan workout – I forgot where I was about halfway through the first set after warm up and in addition to that – I’m not familiar yet with the various effort levels in my swimming ability and until I am, it’s hard for me to swim at a 10 or a 5. I don’t have the context.

You might be wondering how I can’t know what my effort levels are when I swim regularly! Well the fact is that when I go swimming, I generally just go back and forth at the same pace (slow) and occasionally mix up my stroke if I’m getting to sore in my arms or back etc. I haven’t really been pushing myself to go faster and so I have no idea what it feels like to swim at a 10. Well, I think I have a pretty good idea now haha. I’ve also be slapped in the face with the cardiovascular work involved in swimming at a moderate to fast pace, I mean wow! I have a new respect for professional swimmers and really appreciate how much effort and work must go into their training. I’m now on a mission to improve my cardiovascular conditioning so I can actually do the original swim workout without dying.

“No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch”

Anonymous found on website


Below is the workout I ended up doing. If you’re curious what it originally looked like, I’ve put a link at the end of the workout so you can check it out.


– Swim 2 lengths at 5/10 (comfortable pace)

– Swim 2 lengths using a kickboard.

– Repeat 2 times.

SET 1: TOTAL: 10 LENGTHS. (500 meters)

– .5 length at 10/10 (sprint!)

– .5 length at 4/10 (slightly slower than your comfortable pace).

– 1 lengths at 9/10

– .5 length at 4/10

– 1.5 lengths at 8/10

– .5 length at 4/10

– 2 lengths at 7/10

– .5 length at 4/10

– 2.5 lengths at 6/10

– .5 length 10/10

REST – 90 seconds (if needed)


– Swim 2 lengths 3/10

– Swim 2 lengths in different stroke (i.e slow breaststroke).



I was pretty sore a couple of days after this workout, but I’ve now done it 3 times and it’s already getting easier. The next step after I can complete this, not with ease, but without gasping is to add in Set 2 and 3 from the original workout. Maybe I’ll make myself a small laminated copy to take with me to the pool.

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