Posts tagged ‘swimming’

February 12, 2013

Sink or Swim: My N00b Swim Training Plan

This year, it has become necessary for me to give up my gym membership. Why? In short, I’m broke. But instead of lamenting my loss I’m going to look at this as an opportunity to learn. In the last 5 months of 2012 I managed to loose about 8 kilos by watching what I eat and exercising, and I learned so much about how to keep myself motivated, how to push myself and my about what I can achieve. Now I have the added challenge of getting off my butt and moving without a class or instructor to guide or challenge me.

Last month we moved into a new apartment complex which it has a pool, so I’ve decided that swimming should be incorporated into my new fitness regime.

I’m a really terrible swimmer. We had to attend swimming classes in primary school but I never learned how. In the first swim class each they year they would assess your swimming skill. This would usually involve some token tests, like blowing bubbles or floating on your back, followed by each student attempting a lap of the pool (which seemed to be the only part they really considered). Since I hadn’t learned to swim yet I would keep my head above the water and ‘doggy-paddle’ my way slowly from one end to the other. Every year I was put into the lowest level swimming group.

In this group, the lessons involved developing the ‘basics of swimming’ which included treading water, blowing bubbles, floating and kicking while holding onto the side of the pool. All of these things I mastered easily (I was especially good at floating – I think the extra flab made me more buoyant), but even then I was never taught the strokes, let alone given pointers on how to improve on them. Every year I would once again doggy-paddle my way across the pool, be placed in the lowest group, and not learn to swim properly before the whole humiliating saga started all over again. It seemed ludicrous that the only students who got real swimming lessons at school were the ones who took lessons out side of school.

One school holidays my grandmother found out I didn’t know how to swim properly, and took it upon herself to teach me. I remember being shocked to see so much of my ultra-conservative, apple-shaped grandma in her polka dot ‘togs’ and floral swim cap. My grandparents lived in a different city to me, so she only had a week or two to teach me. It was in that short time that I learned all of my current swimming skills. I never practiced much after that, so it’s probably been about 10 years since I’ve attempted any “proper” swimming.

I searched for a beginners swimming plan, but unfortunately other people’s idea of ‘beginners’ is a little too advanced for me. In fact, I found a blog post by someone else who had the same problem, and even THEIR beginners swim plan is beyond my level. The best of plans I found assume that you can swim about 50 mitres relatively comfortably. The pool in our building is about 15 mitres long, and I can push through two laps before needing to take a break.

So I decided to make up my own swim plan, which I will start next week. I’ve decided on the first six weeks of workouts. I will repeat each workout three times a week, and I’m hoping to either jog or cycle on the alternating days. This is my current swim plan:

Note: Each lap is approximately 15 mitres.

Week 1
Warm up – 1 lap
Round 1 – 2 laps
Round 2 – 2 laps
Round 3 – 2 laps
Round 4 – 2 laps
Cool down – 1 lap

1 minute rest between rounds

Week 2
Warm up – 1 lap
Round 1 – 2 laps
Round 2 – 3 laps
Round 3 – 2 laps
Round 4 – 3 laps
Cool down – 1 lap

1 minute rest between rounds

Week 3
Warm up – 1 lap
Round 1 – 3 laps
Round 2 – 3 laps
Round 3 – 3 laps
Round 4 – 3 laps
Cool down – 1 lap

45 second rest between rounds

Week 4
Warm up – 2 lap
Round 1 – 3 laps
Round 2 – 3 laps
Round 3 – 4 laps
Round 4 – 3 laps
Cool down – 2 lap

30 second rest between rounds

Week 5
Warm up – 2 lap
Round 1 – 3 laps
Round 2 – 4 laps
Round 3 – 4 laps
Round 4 – 3 laps
Cool down – 2 lap

30 second rest between rounds

Week 6
Warm up – 2 lap
Round 1 – 4 laps
Round 2 – 4 laps
Round 3 – 4 laps
Round 4 – 4 laps
Cool down – 2 lap

30 second rest between rounds.

I’ve never written my own training plan before, so any feedback on my first six-week plan would not go astray. Otherwise, I’ll try to post updates on how it goes, and review the plan at the end of six weeks.

Wish me luck.

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