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11 One-Hour Medley Swim Workouts

2016/7/21 10:44:19

A former college swimmer and high school assistant coach, Margaret Cyphers has built a number of workouts that she uses to keep her stroke strong. All of these workouts involve some or all of the four strokes. They are all between 2,000 and 3,000 yards and take about an hour to complete. Cyphers has printed all of them out, laminated them, and now takes them to the pool with her.

Before we get to the drills, swimming newcomers (the so-called "adult-onset swimmers") may benefit from learning some quick terminology in the drills that you may not immediately understand:

  • Kick: A set focusing on your kicking. Often done while holding a kickboard to prevent assistance from your arms.
  • Pull: A set focusing on your strokes. Often done with a pull buoy to prevent assistance from your legs.
  • Drill: These sets do not have goal times. Focus solely on your technique during drill sets.
  • Descend: Swim each repetition faster than the one before it.
  • Dolphin Dives: Dive down below the surface of the water, similar to diving under waves. Here is a video demonstration.
  • IM Order: The order of medley swims are butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle.
  • Dolphin Kick: A type of kicking (typically used in the butterfly) where both legs kick together in rhythm.
  • Choice: Choose whichever stroke you want.
  • Negative Split: The second half of the set is swum faster than the first half.

More: 6 One-Hour Freestyle Workouts

Mix Tape

Warm-up (800)

  • 200 free
  • 150 breast
  • 100 back
  • 50 butterfly
  • 6x50 kick (odd: freestyle, even: breaststroke)

Main set (1600)

  • 4x100 with 15-second rest (first 25 butterfly)
  • 100 easy breaststroke
  • 3x100 with 10-second rest (first 25 butterfly)
  • 100 easy backstroke
  • 2x100 with 5-second rest (first 25 butterfly)
  • 100 easy breaststroke
  • 8x50 freestyle (easy/fast)

Cooldown (400)

  • 4 x 100 (free, back, breast, free by 100's)

Total: 2800 yards

The Medley

Warm-Up (400)

  • 1 x 400 (75 swim, 25 kick of each stroke)

Main Set (800)

  • 200 freestyle, moderate
  • 2x50 drill breast/50 swim breast
  • 200 freestyle, moderate
  • 200 breaststroke, negative split

Pull/Kick Set (600)

  • 8 x 50 Pull freestyle (10-second rest)
  • 200 moderate kick

Final Set (400)

  • 8 x 50, descend 1-4 and 5-8
  • Cool Down (100)

  • 100 Easy
  • Total: 2300 yards

    More: 2 IM Workouts for Your Open Water Swim

    Drill Sarge

    Warmup (400)

    • 400 IM Drill

    Main Set (2000)

    • 8 x 50 alternate free/stroke* drill by 50
    • 400 kick (200 with board, 200 without)
    • 400 pull (200 freestyle, 200 stroke*)
    • 4 x 100 kick (stroke*, descending)
    • 4 x 100 pull (free, descending)

    Cooldown (300)

    • 300 Freestyle

    Total: 2700

    *-Choice of butterfly, backstroke or breaststroke. Try NOT to do free when offered the choice.

    The Middy

    Warmup (200)

    • 200 freestyle

    Main Set (3200)

    • 8 x 400
      • First four 400s are IM (descending).
      • The last four 400s alternate between pull and kick per 200. (Kick with board and fins. For pull, use a pull-buoy and paddles.)

    Cool Down (100)

    • 100 Freestyle

    Total: 3500

    I Am IM

    Warm Up (300)

    • 100 free
    • 100 choice
    • 100 kick

    Drill Set (400)

    • 8 x 50 drill/swim by 25. IM order, 10-second rest

    Main Set (2000)

    • 100 freestyle
    • 2x200 IM
    • 100 backstroke
    • 2x200 IM
    • 100 breaststroke
    • 2x200 IM
    • 100 freestyle
    • 16x25 sprint IM order

    Cooldown (100)

    • 100 easy

    Total: 2800

    More: 4 Focused Swim Workouts

    Flipper

    Warm-Up (800)

    • 100 free
    • 100 choice
    • 12x50s with fins
      • 4 x (2x50 kick, 1x50 swim) with 15-20-second rest

    Main Set (1400)

    • 5 x 200 fins
      • #1 Free/back
      • #2 Free/fly
      • #3 Breaststroke 100 breast pull w/ dolphin kick, 100 swim
      • #4 Choice. 50 drill/50 swim
      • #5 200 swim
    • 8x50 with 15-second rest
      • #1-2 descend
      • #3 easy free
      • #4-5 descend
      • #6-8 easy

    Cooldown (250)

    • 250 choice

    Total Yards: 2450

    400s Are Fun

    Warm-Up (100)

    • 100 choice

    Pre-Set (800)

    • 400: 4 x (25 kick/25 drill/50 swim). Reverse order IM. Continuous.
    • 400: 200 kick, 200 swim, choice

    Main (1600)

    • 400: 2x200 free
    • 400: 4x100 pull
    • 400: 8x50. Odds non-free; evens are free.
    • 400: 16x25.

    Cool Down (100)

    • 100 swim choice

    Total Yards: 2600

    Power Hour

    Warm-Up (1000)

    • 600: 200 Swim, 200 Pull, 200 Kick
    • 400: 8 x 50 (25 drill/25 swim) Choice (mix it up).

    Main (1500)

    • 300 Continuous: 100 free, 100 choice, 100 free. Rest 30 seconds.
    • 300 Continuous: 100 choice, 100 free, 100 choice. Rest 30 seconds.
    • 300: 3 x 100 Pull
    • 300: 6 x 50 (25 swim/25 kick, choice)
    • 300: 4 x 75 Count strokes each 25, choice.

    Cooldown (100)

    • 100 easy swim

    Total Yards: 2600

    More: Keep Your Feel for the Water With These 30-Minute Swim Workouts

    4,3,2,1...

    Warm-Up (1000)

    • 200 swim
    • 400 (2x200 pull), rest 15 seconds.
    • 200 Drill/Swim by 25, choice
    • 200 (4x50 kick)

    Main (1500)

    • 4x50 Free
    • 4x100 Free
    • 3x50 Choice
    • 3x100 Choice
    • 2x50 Choice
    • 2x100
    • 1x50 Choice
    • 1x100

    Cooldown (100)

    • 100 easy

    Total Yards: 2600

    The Pulley

    Warm-Up (800)

    • 4 x 150 (100 Swim/50 drill)
    • 200 Kick (50 free with board; 50 free without board on side; 100 choice)

    Main Set 1 (975)

    • 200 pull free: think about a long stroke. Rest 10 seconds.
    • 175 swim choice
    • 150 pull free
    • 125 swim choice
    • 100 pull free
    • 75 swim choice
    • 50 pull free
    • 4x25 sprint free
    • 4x25 sprint choice

    Main Set 2 (750)

    • 10x75 choice. 25 fast/25 easy/25 fast

    Cool Down (100)

    • 100 dolphin dives

    Total: 2625

    Fly With Me

    Warm-Up (300)

    • 100 free, 100 breast, 50 back, 50 fly

    Main Set (1600) with fins

    • 2x (200 fly x 100 kick free)
    • 2x (150 fly x 100 kick breast)
    • 2x (100 fly x 50 kick free)
    • 2x (50 fly x 50 kick breast)

    Cool Down (100)

    • 100 easy

    Total Yards: 2000

    More: 2 Swim Workouts for Triathletes

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