Swimming challenge | 1 mile front crawl training plan

Lloyd Anthony Personal Trainer at Nuffield Health More by this author
Swimming events aren't just for elite athletes. With this advice from Personal Trainer Lloyd Anthony you will be prepared to take on a swimming challenge of up to 1 mile.

Signing up for a 1 mile (1600m) swimming challenge is a great way to get really fit, tone up and build your endurance.

Swimming uses every muscle in your body and is fantastic aerobic exercise. But training is a must if you want to take on an endurance swim, because running out of puff or suffering from cramp in the middle of a body of water can be a very dangerous situation.

If you follow this front crawl training programme to the best of your ability, you should be able to safely and comfortably rise to the challenge to complete a distance of 1 mile.

This programme is a guideline only and you should consult your doctor before embarking on any major endurance or high intensity activity.

This programme is based on a 16 meter pool, if you are training in a pool of any other size just divide the distance stated by the length of your pool and you’ll know how many lengths to complete.

6 MONTHS TO GO

2 sessions per week: 

Session 1
- technical

  • pull drills (use only your arms and use a pull buoy between your legs)

Continue as long as you feel comfortable

Session 2 - endurance

  • 600m – 38 lengths


5 MONTHS TO GO

3 sessions per week:

Session 1technical

  • kick drills (use only your legs and hold onto a float)
  • pull drills (use only your arms and use a pull buoy between your legs).

Alternate between kicks and pulls every two lengths for as long as you feel comfortable

Session 2 - endurance

  • 800m – 50 lengths

Session 3 - technical and intervals
(Introducing intervals will increase your aerobic capacity)

  • 10 lengths warm up
  • 10 lengths kicks
  • 10 lengths pulls
  • 5 x 2 lengths as fast as possible (1 minute recovery in between each pair)
  • 10 lengths slow to cool down. 


4 MONTHS TO GO

3 sessions per week:

Session 1
technical

  • shoulder tap drills (touching shoulder before entering hand into the water)
  • side kick drills (turn your body on its side in the water with the arm that's under water extended ahead of you, keep your face in the water except to breathe and use only your legs to kick in the water, try to remain sideways in the water and alternate sides each length)

Alternate between drills every two lengths for as long as you feel comfortable.

Session 2endurance 

  • 1000m – 62 lengths

Session 3 technical and intervals

  • 10 lengths warm up
  • 10 lengths sidekicks
  • 12 lengths shoulder taps
  • 10 x 2 lengths intervals
  • 10 lengths cool down.


3 MONTHS TO GO

4 sessions per week: 

Session 1
technical

  • single arm front crawl drills
  • front crawl with swimming gloves drills (these will increase the resistance on your hands and arms developing increased muscular endurance).

Alternate between the strokes every two lengths continue as long as you feel comfortable.

Session 2endurance

  • 1200m – 76 lengths

Session 3technical and intervals

  • 10 lengths warm up
  • 10 lengths kicks
  • 20 lengths swimming gloves
  • 16 lengths single arm crawl - 8 per arm 
  • 2 x 5 lengths intervals 
  • 10 lengths cool down.

Session 4endurance

  • 1200m – 76 lengths


2 MONTHS TO GO

4 sessions per week:

Session 1
technical

  • finger drag drills (dragging your fingertips along surface of water)
  • thumbs to thighs (making you extend your pull range of movement).

Session 2endurance

  • 1400m – 88 lengths

Session 3technical and intervals

  • 10 lengths warm up
  • 10 lengths kicks
  • 20 lengths finger drags
  • 20 lengths thumbs to thigh
  • 3 x 6 lengths intervals
  • 10 lengths cool down.

Session 4endurance

  • 1400m – 88 lengths


1 MONTH TO GO

4 sessions per week: 

Session 1
technical

  • backstroke kicks (helps to strengthen kicking from the hip)
  • freestyle, 2 strokes per arm.

Alternate every two lengths for as long as you feel comfortable.

Session 2endurance

  • 1600m – 100 lengths

Session 3technical and intervals

  • 10 lengths warm up
  • 10 lengths backstroke kicks – using float for assistance 
  • 20 lengths 2 strokes per side freestyle
  • 20 lengths with swimming gloves
  • 5 x 6 lengths intervals, 10 lengths cool down.

Session 4endurance

  • 1600m – 100 lengths 

Introduce the following strength and conditioning exercises throughout your training to improve your endurance and speed:


Stretches

Lats
Shoulders
Chest

Hips

Strength

Monday 15 August 2016

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