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Voila! A 5 week training schedule for novice swimmers

Swimming requires technique, which means that many people don’t get further than a few strokes before they hang out panting again. Michael Phelps also had to start somewhere and look where he is now. In other words: just start and technology with lifeguard class.

But how do you start swimming? Swimming coach Dan Bullock has drawn up a plan with which you can build up a decent (swimming) condition within 5 weeks. “Over the 5 weeks, 8 workouts are spread out,” says Bullock. “After that, you can continue swimming about 3 times a week to keep improving your technique and fitness. This plan aims to boost your confidence, build muscle definition, and devour body fat. Moreover, you have discovered a new way of cardio and strength training. With the exception of week 1, use a few breaststroke courses as a warm up and cool down.”

Week 1 (1 workout)

Dan: “For starters, it’s important to be consistent. Try to find a rhythm in both your stroke and your breathing to lay a foundation for your technique. After the first few laps, you may feel like you don’t need that much break, but you’ll come back to that soon!”.

The workout:
With a brisk breaststroke, swim back and forth 8-12 times in a 25-meter pool. After each back and forth, rest for a minute. If you don’t have a 25-meter pool nearby, adjust the number of swims back and forth to the length of the pool you’re swimming in. If you end up only swimming 400 to 600 meters with lifeguard class.

Week 2 (2 workouts)

“The first training session of this week is to determine exactly how fit you are. In week 5 you repeat this to see how much you have progressed. Keep a stopwatch handy. The second training is intended to see what distance it suits you.”

Workout 1: Fitness test

Make as many meters as possible in 3 minutes. Try to start fairly slowly, but gradually increase your speed. This can be spicy! The idea is that in week 5 you can swim twice as far with lifeguard class.

Workout 2: Time trial

Take that stopwatch with you again, because you’re going to do 12 sets of 2 minutes. You divide those 2 minutes into swimming and resting yourself. Vary between a quiet and a fast front crawl, and adjust your break accordingly. For example: 30 seconds of fast crawling, 30 seconds of rest. Then crawl quietly for 40 seconds, with 20 seconds of rest.

Week 3 (1 workout)

“This week you focus on distance and intensity,” Dan says. “The distance increases, but the rest decreases in proportion. Your speed does not have to increase, but try not to slow down. That’s hard enough.”

The training:

  • Front crawl 1 time back and forth, rest 15 seconds.
  • Front crawl back and forth 2 times, rest 15 seconds.
  • Front crawl back and forth 3 times, rest 15 seconds.

Week 4 (2 workouts)

“The first training is again a time trial , with the focus on maintaining a constant speed. The second workout focuses on your legs. Most muscles in your legs are large, and therefore relatively strong. So your legs can put in some extra effort, and strong legs also contribute to good technique. That’s why it’s good to use only your legs every now and then while swimming. While swimming, keep your arms outstretched in front of you, with a kickboard in your hands. If you enjoy swimming with a snorkel, don’t use a kickboard. In that case, swim with your arms at your sides or stretched straight out.”

Workout 1: Time trial

  • Swim a gentle front crawl for 1 minute, rest for 1 minute.
  • Swim a gentle front crawl for 2 minutes, rest for 1 minute.
  • Swim a gentle front crawl for 3 minutes, rest for 1 minute.
  • Swim a gentle front crawl for 4 minutes, rest for 1 minute.
  • Swim a gentle front crawl for 3 minutes, rest for 1 minute.
  • Swim a gentle front crawl for 2 minutes, rest for 1 minute.
  • Swim a gentle front crawl for 2 minutes, rest for 1 minute.
  • Swim a gentle front crawl for 1 minute.

Add up the total number of times you swam up and down, and repeat this workout about once a month. This way you can keep track of your progress with lifeguard class.

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