Long-distance swimming is a rewarding challenge for both the body and mind. Distance training often requires long hours of keeping your head down and bearing through a long-distance swim workout, but the physical and mental benefits of endurance swimming are well worth the hard work.
Whether you’re looking to be a competitive swimmer in 800m or 1500m freestyle swim races or you’ll be competing in open-water events, this article will provide you with a handful of great long-distance swim workouts and crucial information about what your body needs so you can complete the exercises safely and effectively.
Allow yourself the appropriate amount of time to build up your fitness level to swim long distances. Especially if you are new to the sport of swimming, it is a good idea to create a training plan that gives your body the time to become accustomed to the exercise you are putting it up against. Here are some of the major reasons you should pace yourself as you train to become a distance swimmer:
Like other endurance sports, long-distance swimming is a challenge for the body, and it needs your help to stay in the best shape. You’ll need to pay attention to what you eat, how you stay hydrated, and how your body feels throughout your training. Here are some great ways to keep your body healthy:
During long-distance swim workouts, you will have a lot of time to think as you complete your sets. You might find yourself counting your strokes, or your mind might want to wander off into a daydream. But whatever way you find your mind coping with the long sets, it is essential to stay focused on your swimming form so you can get the most out of your workout.
Keep in mind the following aspects of your swimming technique:
Below, we have a few long-distance swim workouts you can use to start training for endurance swimming. The first set is great for beginner long-distance swimmers. The next one is a challenging pyramid set you can use for your training sessions for years to come. We will end with an excellent set for swimmers who wish to compete in triathlons and open-water events.
Please take the appropriate time to warm up before any swimming exercise. Come to the pool with enough time to finish an entire stretching routine before you enter the water. Remember to bring plenty of water and snacks with you for your long-distance swim workouts.
Also, keep in mind, if you are a beginner, need advice, or have doubts, always reach out to a coach for help.
This swim set involves monitoring your heart rate (HR) over the course of your swim. As a distance swimmer, there are two types of heart rate sets you can perform.
The first is an aerobic session, which involves swimming at a steady pace with a maximum HR of 140-150 beats per minute (bpm) for 20-30 minutes without altering your stroke. The other kind is a threshold session, which does not last as long (10-20 minutes), and you should keep your heart rate between 150 and 170 bpm.
This set is an aerobic session with a threshold session as the main set. You can monitor your heart rate by taking your pulse on your neck and using a stopwatch or by wearing a heart rate monitor.
This workout is a total of 3,500 meters.
This pyramid set is a great distance workout you can use for many years. As your distance swimming skills improve, feel free to adjust the time interval to fit your needs.
Want an extra challenge? Try using swim paddles and pulling this pyramid set!
This set is straightforward, and it is great to practice for open-water swims. For this set, swim long distances in a straight swim — anywhere between 1,500m to 7,000m or more during each session.
Find a swimming speed that allows you to finish the distance you have decided to swim. Don’t swim at an extremely high intensity; otherwise, you might not be able to complete the set.
Keep track of how long it takes you to swim so you can try to beat the time the next time you do a long-distance swim. This set can be performed in a long course meters pool, a short course yards pool, or in open water.
We hope you enjoy the distance sets we’ve provided above. If you are new to distance swimming, remember to work your way up. Be sure to always stay hydrated, well-fed, and get your rest while you train. Always focus on proper swimming mechanics during your long-distance swim workouts, even when your mind starts to wander.
If you plan on open-water swimming, be sure to check out the open-water race suits available for men and women from arena. If you’ll be spending the majority of your time training in the pool, check out arena’s training suits for men and women.