swim for exercise

sWhat do I do now? 
A couple ideas for the new swimmer

You came to the pool straight from the couch.  You followed the Zero to One Mile in Six Weeks plan and now you can swim a straight mile just a little bit slower than the slowest person in the pool.  And that's good enough because you want to swim for exercise, but you also want to enjoy it.  You have no interest in racing and you're not a triathlete or any other kind of athlete.  You simply want to enjoy doing what is good for you. You're bored.  Now what?

          Assuming you want to swim one hour 3 times per week, it's probably a good idea to continue the one mile on day one, but there are many ways of making the other two sessions a bit more fun.  For maximum fitness benefits, it helps to exercise at different speeds to occasionally raise your heart rate.  Using different strokes strenghthens different muscles, of course, but it is also less boring. 
          Swimmers are generally very fond of numbers.  8 x 50 on 55, descending by :02 feels natural in our minds.  Writing all the numbers down afterwards in pages in our notebooks or on the computer gives an afterglow of measured accomplishments.  I recognize that these numbers contribute nothing pleasant to most recreational swimmers, so I'll see if I can keep them to a minimum.

Day One, each week: swim for as long as you know it takes you to go one mile. If you have extra time in your hour, do whatever other strokes you already know.
Day Two: Swim 15 minutes, Kick 10 minutes, Swim as fast as you can 5 minutes. Swim any other stroke you know 10 minutes. Swim the other stroke 1 length as fast as you can. Rest and repeat 4 times. Run in the water for 10 minutes.
Day Three: Swim 15 minutes, Choose a stroke you don't know and attempt to swim several lengths.  Kick the new stroke 5 minutes. . Swim freestyle 10 minutes. Swim with one arm, changing arms after one length. Try breathing on unnatural side. Swim with fists. Swim any stroke 5 minutes.
Day etc.These sessions can vary as much as you like. The general scheme is: once per week distance, once per week speed, once per week learn something new.

You can get ideas for variety by picking and choosing among the workouts at:50 Swim Workouts
Here's a Glossary of Swim Terms.
Some ideas for workouts if you want to get a little more hard core are at Intoduction to Workouts.
It's always good to incorporate drills as part of your workout. Drills Galore  
You can even do Flip Turns
Here's the One Mile in Six Weeks plan.
Although this page is for triathletes, it might be helpful: Basic Swimming
Way down the road: Ironman Swim
Even further: Ultradistance Swimming
Still scared of the water? Fear of Water

For detailed instruction, The Adult Learner

Minimal training for a sprint triathlon


(New - A Facebook discussion group has been put up
by a swimmer doing the swim-a-mile plan. If you would
like to join or begin a discussion please go to FB 0-1650 talk