Optimise your swimming. A half-hour session in the water!

Training & Technique
Written by: arena coaches at 12 June '19 0
You are reading: Optimise your swimming. A half-hour session in the water!

If you are organised and motivated and have somewhere to train, then here are three half-hour sessions that might be ideal for you.

You can do a good training session in the pool even when you are pressed for time. The recipe for achieving good results has three basic ingredients:

  • organisation;
  • space;
  • motivation.

Whatever order you put them in, these three ingredients are equally vital and important.


Knowing how to organise yourself for a half-hour swim is all part of the art of planning.

If you already know at the beginning of the day that you will only have an hour to get to the pool-train-get back to the office, then organise yourself as best you can, so that your half-hour in the water is perfect. Make sure your bag is packed in time, check you have everything, write down your work-out so that you do not have to stop every 100 m to try and remember it, and make sure you have something to it.


Make sure you train at a time when you can make the most of your half-hour.

Do not go to the pool during the busiest times of the day, and if you cannot fit in your training session during the working day, then get up a bit earlier and train before you go to the office.

If even that is not possible, then make arrangements with other swimmers and create your own space in a swim lane so that you can train as effectively as possible. If you cannot make arrangements with other swimmers, lots of swimming pools have special lanes reserved for faster swimmers, which might be just the space for you.


This is the third crucial factor in making your half-hour training session a success.

Do you have a clear goal? Do you know why you are going to the pool? Good, then you have no excuses. Do not say you cannot get up early enough or you do not have the time or space.

The bigger you goal the greater your motivation must be.

If you have sorted all these things out, then here are three half-hour training sessions that might be ideal for you.


  • 200 warm-up any stroke
  • 1×400 freestyle with 45 seconds recovery (note down your time)
  • 1×300 freestyle with 30 seconds recovery (your pace should be faster than the 400 m rep)
  • 1×200 freestyle with 20 seconds recovery (your pace should be faster than the 300 m rep)
  • 1×100 fast freestyle
  • 200 warm-down any stroke


  • 200 warm-up
  • 4×25 legs (1 x on your side, changing sides ever 6 strokes, 1 x on your back) 15 seconds recovery
  • 4×50 freestyle with pullbuoy in a hypoxic state, changing breathing pattern every 50m (#3/5/3/7 breathing patterns, i.e. after 3 stokes, then 5 strokes, then 3 strokes and then 7 strokes), 20 seconds recovery
  • 4×25 with Swim Snorkel starting from a streamlined position and controlling your leg kick, making sure you do not bend your knees and keeping your hips up. 15 seconds recovery.
  • 4×75 freestyle #25 high elbows + 25 swimming with clenched fists + 25 with one arm only, changing every 3 strokes with 15 seconds recovery
  • 4×25 freestyle with hand paddles carefully controlling the catch phase with 15 seconds recovery, finishing at your own pace


  • 1×300 #25 sculling + 50 technique drill + 75 swimming
  • 4×50 #25 in hypoxic state 0 + 25 progression any stroke with 20 seconds recovery
  • 4×25 kicking hard using board with 20 seconds recovery
  • 100 with pullbuoy to recover
  • 4×15 metres with maximum stroke rate (continue swimming at easy pace up to 25 m) 15 seconds recovery
  • 100 with pullbuoy to recover
  • 8×25 flat out any style with 20 seconds recovery
  • 100 with pullbuoy to recover
  • 200 easy to finish

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arena coaches

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