Winter Swimming Workouts

by Alison McIrvin
Winter Swimming Workouts

You may just find yourself this time of the year dreaming of white sandy beaches and warm water to sooth your soul, make it happen this winter and hit the pool for some of your workouts. Not only can pool workouts help you take a mini-vacation, there is something that touches most of us when we experience water that is healing and relieves stress. Pool workouts have a peaceful element to them with just you and the water and the rhythm. Also, switching up your workout routine and changing what you normally do for cardio can give your workouts the charge they just may need. Swimming is a great metabolism booster while sculpting your muscles at the same time. And who knows, you may just get addicted to the water and never get out!

Gear needed:

  • Kickboard
  • Fins
  • Watch or clock with a second hand


The basics to know:

  • Start at the start with the basic crawl stroke, getting to the point where you can swim at least 100 yards without stopping. It may be tough at first, but you will be surprised at how quickly you will catch on
  • Test out your RPE (rate of perceived exertion) on a scale of 1-10 so you know approximately what your rates are.
  • Learn to do a few laps for warm up at the start of each workout. Rotate through the basic strokes: free style, breast stroke, and back stroke.

For workouts try the following to get yourself started:

  • 100 yd. Warm up, RPE 3
  • 50 yd. side flutter kick on kickboard , RPE 3

Make sure to kick from your hips, not your knees, keep looking up and knees and side of head in the water

  • 50 yds. front flutter kick with kickboard, RPE 4, breathing alternately to both sides
  • 5 x 50 yds. swim (no board) at RPE 7 for continuous laps, be=breathing every 3 strokes. Rest at the wall if you need to, but try to keep that as short of an interval as possible
  • 2 x 50 yds. swim easy RPE to recover.
  • 100 yds. swim at moderate intensity, RPE 6
  • 100 yds. cool down, RPE 3

Once the above workout is starting to feel less of a challenge, congratulate yourself and move onto some variety and intermediate to advanced workouts. My Daily Swim is a great resource jam-packed with tips and workout ideas. Let us know how your water workouts are going and please share with us all what you do in the pool to challenge yourself and get fit.

Featured photo source: Wikipedia Commons.

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