Perfect Swim Workout

Nitro SwimWell, perfect for me.

I mentioned this morning (on Twitter and Facebook) that today’s swim workout was good and attributed it to the “perfect motivation setup”. Admittedly, an awkward wording at best. What I meant was that the prepared workout was perfect for motivating me to swim a further than I normally would.

Often, when the workout is longer than I want to swim I find some portions of it that I don’t particularly care for and shorten or eliminate them. Unfortunately, I tend to end up with a shorter swim than I’d like when I do that. There’s some psychology involved there that I won’t explore at this time.

So, what made this workout different?

First, it was 2600 meters, which stretches my vague 2200-2400 goal just a bit without being overwhelming. This is particularly significant since I often end up stopping at 2000 meters when I the workout seems too long (2800 meters, for example).

Equally important, however, was that the workout just didn’t offer me any obvious places to make cuts. Here’s the workout:

Warm-up: 200 meter swim, 200 meter kick w/ fins, 200 meter pull w/ paddles [600]
Transition: 4 x 50 meter swim (gradually faster) [+ 200 = 800]
Main Set x 2: [+ 900 x 2 = 2600]
200 meter swim
400 meter kick w/ fins
2 x 50 meter swim (sprint)
200 meter pull w/ paddles

This particular warm-up is my favorite, so I wasn’t going to cut that. Cutting a full iteration of the main set would be too big a cut (cutting an iteration like that is often what I do). Cutting any of the 50 meter swim sets just seemed silly as the number of reps was small. I like the pull w/ paddles sets. That really left the 400 meter kick as only viable choice, and it’s actually a pretty good one as I could just shorten it. But it’s also pretty much the easiest portion of the entire set.

End result?

I swam the full 2600 meters. This isn’t a grand accomplishment, but it’s further than I’ve been swimming lately. A minor down side is that combined with yesterday’s first run in several months, my legs are pretty tight this afternoon. I wonder how tomorrow’s run will go?

Full disclosure: The workout actually included an unspecified cool-down. I chose a 0 meter cool-down. :-)



  1. #1 by Sybil Law on June 29, 2011 - 7:03 pm

    To this day, I wish I’d been an a swim team when I was younger. I was actually a great swimmer, but never a joiner, so I wouldn’t do it. Stupid hindsight.


    • #2 by Ren on July 1, 2011 - 1:31 pm

      So many things I wish I’d done when I was younger, but I like who I am now, so I don’t actually regret my previous choices.


  2. #3 by Megan on June 30, 2011 - 12:39 pm

    I love when you back yourself into that kind of corner. That’s the only way to make progress.


    • #4 by Ren on July 1, 2011 - 1:33 pm

      I’m also well-motivated by statistics. I’m not sure why that doesn’t apply to my swimming. Perhaps just distance isn’t enough of a motivation, and I’m disinclined to purchase a swim tracking device. Maybe I should put one on my wish list.


  3. #5 by Kevin Spencer on July 1, 2011 - 12:17 pm

    I’ve seen these nitro swim thingies in your twitter feed and often thought that I’d like to get back into swimming. When I was younger I used to swim all the time and even joined a swimming club and did some races. But that was all 25+ years ago.


    • #6 by Ren on July 1, 2011 - 1:34 pm

      The kids have done Nitro some, and one of the nice things about it is that the meets are short, indoors, and with no mandatory volunteering for the parents. It is more expensive, though.


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