• Cyclist Wanting to Swim, Where do I Start?


    Q: I am primarily a cyclist and I would like to use swimming as part of my regular training for the winter. However, I have not idea what a swimming training session looks like. Can you provide me with some guidance? Should I just get in the pool and swim laps for 45 minutes? Do you do intervals? Do you set distance goals? How does this work? R.S.

    A: Excellent question, R.S. Swimming is a great cardiovascular cross-training exercise for cycling and it works the upper body, the torso, as well as the legs.

    You asked about just getting into the pool and swimming for 45 minutes. I think getting in the pool and doing a non-stop swim for 45 minutes is more boring for most people, than riding an indoor trainer for 45 minutes with no goal other than to ride. Ech.

    To help provide some water entertainment and keep you enthusiastically involved in swimming, I have some recommendations.

    Option 1: Build the fitness to swim 1500 yards (or meters) - very simple plan found here.

    Option 2: Swim Workouts for Triathletes has three basic plans within the booklet, geared to help people prepare for racing a triathlon  -  but you can still use them for fitness. The first plan is to get you swimming 500 meters and relatively fast, the second one is 1500 meters and the final one builds up to 1.5 hours of swimming (aiming for an Ironman swim). There are 80 workouts in the book for variety.

    Option 3: Look into swimming with a masters group so you can get technique instructions in addition to workout variety.

    Hope that helps,




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