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Swimming Plan For Beginners

I am a fan of the Couch to 5k program for helping people get up off their couches and out onto the streets. I also like the Beginner Bike Plan for preparing folks for endurance biking. Now I bring you a plan to get you in the pool, since swimming indoors is a great Winter workout.

Swimming, like running and biking, takes time to build up the endurance and strength needed for lengthy workouts. With running, the first benchmark is a 5k, and with swimming it is a swimmer's mile, which is 1,650 yards (1,500 meters), not 1,760 yards like a normal mile.

I found this wonderful program created by Ruth Kazez. Her Zero to 1650: A Mile in Six Weeks plan is totally doable, all it needs is you . . . and a pool.

To see an example of the workout you should do three times in your first week at the pool, just


Distance Rest Repeat Total
100 yards 12 breaths 4 sets 400 yards
50 yards 8 breaths 4 sets 200 yards
25 yards 4 breaths 4 sets 100 yards
Grand Total 700 yards

Most pools are 25 yards long, so this workout would be 14 laps, or 28 lengths. Doable, right? Each week you add 50 to 200 yards to your workout. You slowly build up your endurance. Breaks in between swim sets are generally part of a swimming fitness plan. Plus, this is similar to the beginning running programs that mix walking with running.


pequeña pequeña 8 years
I love swimming! It's my favorite exercise along with yoga. It really helps me deal with stress. I normally go the pool three times a week, four if I can.
NatashaAlexis NatashaAlexis 8 years
I don't mean to be rude, but I've been noticing a common theme here and in certain fitness magazines lately where everyone seems to be giving advice about swimming or exercising in a pool. It's true that's great exercise, but I know most people like myself don't have access to an indoor pool, and it's snowing outside!
mscc mscc 8 years
If only I had a pool...!
runningesq runningesq 8 years
I'll be swimming 2.4 mi in Cozumel Mexico in T minus 9 months !!
Mariana48 Mariana48 8 years
i used to swim a lot, havent done so in a while. anyone kno of a cheap place to swim in manhattan?! the ymca is just to expnsive for me, 80 dollars a month its waaaay too mcuh!
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I should really learn how to swim. I can dog-paddle to save my life, but that's about it. I'm so wildly inefficient at moving through the water...I need to take swimming lessons. I never learned to swim when I was a kid because my mom thought that if I came near water, I'd drown. My cousin was never a good swimmer either, but he took swim lessons at the Y as an adult and now he does triathlons, so maybe it's something I should look into.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I think swimming is so hard. I mean, I can swim, I just get out of breath so fast in the pool for some reason.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I fitness swam for over 20 years. Be forewarned that swimming regularly can really dry out, and lighten the hair (to the point of damage). That's why I had to cut my long locks into a short, pageboy style. For an extra, effective workout, learn to flip turn against the wall. It's a terrific core exercise. One would lap swim continuously, and flip turning is really fun. It's somersaulting in the water, and pushing off the wall. It takes coordination and timing, but really, it's fun.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
Hmm...first I need to see a psychotherapist regarding fear of drowning. One of my older brothers (the crazy one) tried to drown me when I was 2 years old and so I am not comfortable with my face in the water or with water near my neck. But oddly I can swim. My mom was a lifeguard as a teen so she made sure we all (all 5 of her kids) could swim. I was forced every summer to take lessons and every year I refused to take the final test which was to jump into the deep end, touch the bottom of the pool then swim underwater to the other side of the pool. No way was I doing that especially with crazy brother taking lessons at the same people at the same time.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
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