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Where to Start: From Zero to a Mile Swim Plan for Newbies

The 4-Week Plan to Swimming Your First Mile

It is possible that in one month from now, you can say you've swum a mile. Following this training plan and keeping these beginner swim tips in mind, you can get into the best shape of your life in a matter of weeks. Like any new fitness routine, this program starts off slow and continues to increase in yardage. Stick with freestyle (for now), and do each workout three times a week with a rest day in between. Let us know how it goes!

Week 1

Warmup: 200 yards
1 x 200 yards — easy (rest as needed)
Endurance: 400 yards
2 x 200 yards — moderate (rest 1:30 minute in between)
Intervals: 200 yards
2 x 100 yards — build speed (rest 1 minute in between)
Warmdown: 100 yards
4 x 25 yards — easy (rest as needed)

Total: 900 yards

Week 2

Warmup: 200 yards
1 x 200 yards — easy (rest as needed)
Endurance: 600 yards
6 x 100 yards — moderate (rest 1 minute in between)
Intervals: 300 yards
6 x 50 yards — first lap fast, second lap moderate (rest 30 seconds in between)
Warmdown: 100 yards
1 x 100 yards — easy (rest as needed)

Total: 1,200 yards

Week 3

Warmup: 300 yards
1 x 300 yards — easy (rest as needed)
Endurance: 600 yards
3 x 200 yards — moderate (rest 1 minute in between)
Intervals: 400 yards
4 x 100 yards — make the first 100 easy, building up to a fast fourth 100 (rest 30 seconds in between)
Warmdown: 100 yards
4 x 25 yards — easy (rest as needed)

Total: 1,400 yards

Week 4

Warmup: 400 yards
2 x 200 yards — easy (rest as needed)
Endurance: 600 yards
3 x 300 yards — moderate (rest 1:30 minute in between)
Intervals: 450 yards
9 x 50 yards — 3 x 50 easy, 3 x 50 moderate, 3 x 50 fast (rest 15 seconds in between)
Warmdown: 200 yards
2 x 100 yards — easy (rest as needed)

Total: 1,650 yards* (1 mile!)

*This may seem odd since we all learned in school that a mile is 1,760 yards, but in competitive swimming the mile even is 1,650 yards (or 1,500 meters). However, in an open-water swim, a mile is really a mile.

Image Source: Thinkstock
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