beginner's swim plan to swim one mile in six weeks   0 to 1650
ZERO to 1650 in Six Weeks
(A swimmer's mile is 1650, not 1760.   It is the equivalent of 1500 meters)

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

If you're feeling uneasy in the water, especially of deep water take a look at: Fear Of Water
If swimming 100 yards is not yet possible go to Zero to 700
If you're having trouble sticking to freestyle (crawl) see green note below.

Young or old, fit or not, six weeks seems to be the most common length of time it takes to be able to swim a mile without stopping for rest.  It requires three times per week and the willingness to be somewhat uncomfortable while stretching your aerobic capability.  Like a scar forms in response to a wound, as a muscle enlarges to meet new demands, so does our ability to absorb oxygen.  If we methodically increase our need, our body kindly responds.  The amount of discomfort should be small, but it is necessary to pant a bit at the end of each effort and only partially recover before beginning another.  The number of breaths taken before continuing I guarantee will not seem enough.  I also promise you'll be surprised that you are able to continue much more easily than you imagined. The feeling of not having adequate rest is necessary to improve.

A COUPLE HINTS: If you think you're really too breathless just to get to the end of the pool, let your legs drag; the quads, being so big, take a disproportionate amount of oxygen.  Any muscle will, of course, use more when in use than when relaxed, so if you don't need to use the muscle, don't - for example, when you are recovering your arms.  Relaxing even your neck will help make the swim easier.  Speed is not your aim during these six weeks.  Nor is the perfect stroke.  They come later or not at all if your intention is just to enjoy the water, to relax, or to get some pleasant exercise.

nota bene:
Week is 3x the yardage. Week 1 is 700 per day, 2100 for the week

WEEK one (Three Days):
4 x 100 yards (or meters) for 12 breaths between 100s
4 x 50 for 8 breaths between 50s
4 x 25 for 4 breaths between 25s

total: 700 yards

(Your pool is 50 meters? Just add 2 50s instead of the 25s)

WEEK two:
200 for 12 breaths
4 x 100 for 10 breaths
between 100s
4 x 50 for 6 breaths
between 50s
4 x 25 for 4 breaths
between 25s
total: 900 yards

WEEK three:
400 for 12 breaths
200 for 10 breaths
4 x 100 for 8 breaths
between 100s
4 x 50 for 4 breaths
between 50s
total: 1200 yards

WEEK four:
600 for 10 breaths
300 for 8 breaths
4 x 100 for 6 breaths between 100s
4 x 50 for 4 breaths between 50s
total: 1500 yards

WEEK five:
1000 for 8 breaths
4 x 100 for 4 breaths between 100s
4 x 50 for 4 breaths between 50s
total: 1600 yards

WEEK six (days 1 and 2):
1200 for 6 breaths
3 x 100 for 4 breaths between 100s
3 x 50 for 4 breaths between 50s

(day 3)
1650 yards straight (equals 1500 meters)
total: 1650 yards!


A FEW WORDS ABOUT TECHNIQUE: It is said by many that technique is everything, yet I've said very little here about it. I've noticed that most of the big problems of a beginner disappear on their own by the time they can swim a straight mile. Holding the head too high - the most common problem - is difficult; as you become more comfortable, gravity kindly assists you and it goes down without attention. A stable head invariably transfers to a narrower kick and that second most common problem disappears on its own. But is technique really everything after the first six weeks? Yes. Technique means nothing more than making the stroke simpler, using less energy, so that your effort is channeled directly into propelling you forward.  Take at look at Very Basic Swimming for some suggestions. I recommend that you not tie yourself up in knots and get discouraged by technical concerns in the beginning. You're here to enjoy some exercise, not go to the olympics.

I'm often asked if changing strokes defeats the purpose of the whole idea. Could it possibly be better to abandon the plan of swimming a continuous mile rather than switch strokes? Of course not. Also, once the stamina is built and you go on to other workouts, other strokes are part of the scheme. They add to your skills and provide enjoyable variety. For stamina's sake, after you've gone the distance any way you can, try to eliminate the resting strokes, but get the distance by any and all means at first.

Now that you can swim a straight mile, try the workouts at:
Introduction To SwimWorkouts
or Lunchtime swims
or Swimming for Exercise
There are also several simple workouts at Very Basic Swimming for triathletes.
Then just browse in the second columns of the 50 Swim Workouts.
It won't be long before you might want to try Flip Turns.
The Adult Learner
And maybe even be interested in Triathlon Bare Bone Basics
The really Rock Bottom Minimal Least Training needed to complete a sprint triathlon
Swimmers drawings and slideshow

FACEBOOK 0-1650 group

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