PHOTO BY PETER SPURRIER
I struggle with sitting still. As an active person, my vacations are usually adventure-filled, and success is measured by how tuckered out I am after running alongside the Seine or hitting the surf of San Juan rather the amount of R&R I get. It’s the same when it comes to the beach or the pool. I’m not a lounger. I like to jump in the water and throw the kids around or use it as a chance to get in a short, lung-busting, lap swim. Why not? If you’re a fan of swimming, then you know the benefits—full body, low-impact, cardio and strength conditioning. If you’re not quite as familiar with it, it’s never too late to learn. Your local pool will surely have some beginner classes to get you ready for the below workout. It’s designed to be done at almost any ability level and can be completed in under 30 minutes. Intensity and rest time can be adjusted to get you across the finish line. Most pools are 25 yards or meters long. Find out your pool’s distance but keep it simple and swap out yards for meters when it comes to the prescribed distances.
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Warm-Up: Easy swimming for 200 meters with a focus on the basics. Feel free to break it up into smaller distances with short rest periods in-between. Focus on reaching out with arms toward the far wall, not the side of the pool. Watch the black line on the bottom of the pool and keep your head, torso, and toes parallel to it. Rotate with the core as you reach for the water. Keep the legs moving with a strong, steady kick generated from the hips. This is the technique you will want to carry into and throughout your workout.
Set 1: 4 x 100 meters with 30 seconds rest
First 100 meters easy; second 100 meters medium; third 100 meters medium; fourth 100 hard. Break for two to three minutes. Repeat once if feeling good. If not, move on to the next set.
Set 2: 4 x 50 meters with 20 seconds rest
First 50 meter easy; second 50 medium; third 50 medium; fourth 50 hard.
Set 3: 1 x 100 meters all out.
Rest 30 seconds and then do 50 meters all out. Cool down for 200 meters easy, mixing in some breast and backstroke to move the muscles in a different way. Keep track of your times for the 100s and 50s. This will be great for future reference and motivation.