How to improve your pace in open water swimming



Many swimmers wonder how they can improve their pace. There are several elements involved in improving it. In this article we will review them to give you some tips ton how to improve the pace of swimming in open water.

First, you need to think that you can swim at various speeds (like the “gears” of a car), but you need to train to make it possible. To improve your pace you have to do sets. That is, you cannot always train at a fast pace or at a cruising pace. It is necessary to vary the intensities throughout the training.


Short sets (25m-50m-100m)

The short sets serve to work a little above your optimal swimming pace. The optimal swimming pace is one that allows you to swim without getting too tired for a good while. To improve it, you need to train short sets to increase your lactate resistance. Some examples of series you can include in your workouts are:

  • 10x100 fast 20" rest
  • 8x50 fast 20" rest
  • 4x25 fast 20" rest

Medium pace sets (200m-400m)

With these sets you will not seek to go at your maximum speed. Aerobic endurance is worked on with longer breaks, of about 30 seconds, and the idea is to internalize these pace in the long series. For example:

  • 4x200 30" rest
  • 3x300 45" rest
  • 2x400 45" rest

Long sets (+400m)

With long sets you can practice situations similar to those of competition. You can include longer sets in your workouts and you have to try to swim them faster and faster, by improving your pace at shorter sets. You can start by making "pyramids" like this:

  • 100m -15"- 200m - 20" - 400m -45" x2 
  • 2x800 1 minute rest
  • 3x500 45 seconds rest

It is very important that your workouts are dynamic and fun, not monotonous. Workouts should serve to improve your pace, distract your mind, have fun, and improve as an athlete.

Let's swim! 


Maria Rossell Pujol
7/13/2020 3:17:13 PM
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