Bonus 7: Lap Swimming

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Notes

[text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left” font_size=”17″ width=”940″]Now that we know how to swim and how to confidently maneuver in both shallow and deep water we can now focus on doing laps

Much like working out in a gym we should plan out our time in the pool, set attainable goals and strive to improve our health and performance

First we should create a swimming schedule. For optimal results, my recommendation is to swim 2-3 sessions per week, each session lasting 30-40 minutes. Going beyond these numbers is not really necessary however if you want a challenge feel free to do more

When we’re in the pool I recommend doing 1-2 laps as a warmup using a stroke(s) of your choice; me I prefer warming up using frontcrawl. Next do some stretches to your arms and legs. Your back muscles will be doing a lot of the work pulling your body forwards so give them a good stretch

To stretch your arms and back grab the edge of the pool and place your feet high up against the wall in a crouching position. Tuck your head in, sink back and feel the pull and full weight of your body hanging onto your arms

To stretch your legs keep the same crouching position and try to extend your legs outwards by pushing into the wall while still holding onto the ledge. You can also do eggbeater treading in order to prepare your legs for whip kick

Your goal now is to complete one lap without stopping. For a standard pool size one lap equals 25 meters. Most competitive swimmers and lifeguards can perform 20 or more laps (500 meters) in one session. Our goal on the other hand is to take it slow and steady. Steadily increase the amount of laps you can continuously perform using one or more strokes

For example I prefer doing 10 laps of frontcrawl and 10 more of breaststroke. It’s up to you how you choose your strokes. If you want more of a sprinting workout do more butterfly, if you want more of a jogging sensation do mostly frontcrawl and if you want a more leisurely walking experience then focus on breaststroke

The key here is consistency. The more more laps we can do, the better our workout performance. Challenge yourself and try to increase the amount of laps you can perform every session.

My sample session goes like this:

  • 2 laps – warmup
  • 1 minute rest on wall
  • 4 laps – 2 frontcrawl, 2 breaststroke
  • 1 minute rest on wall
  • 6 laps – 1 butterfly, 3 frontcrawl, 2 breaststroke
  • 5 minute rest in sauna
  • 8 laps – 5 frontcrawl, 3 breaststroke
  • and so on…

Stacking sets is a great way of slowly building up your endurance. Aim for 3-5 sets, 2-5 laps per set taking breaks in between. Also keep a journal and record your goals and results

Before every session review how many sets, laps and what strokes you did last session and what you have planned for today’s session.

After finishing, record what you accomplished and take notes of what you did well and what you need to work on[/text_block]

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