100 Individual Medley (IM) Swim Workout

Man Swimming Front Crawl
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This IM (individual medley) workout is a mix of swimming, kicking, and drilling of all four strokes. As you swim through the workout, think about your technique for each stroke during each section as well as your turns. You'll have a lot of opportunities to practice stroke turns and IM stroke-to-stroke turns (IM switches), too.

The Swim Workout

Warm-up 1,200 NOTE: It is OK to shorten this warm-up to fit the main set within your amount of time to swim
4 x 100 (:20 Swim and drill mix.

Do swim drills for technique practice for one length, then swim for one length, then repeat.
8 x 50 (:10 Kick. First 25 of each at a moderate effort, remainder of each at an easier effort.
2 x 200 (:20 Pull. First and last 50 of each at a moderate effort, the remainder of each at an easier effort.

Take some extra rest if needed, sip some water or sports drink, and get ready for the main set.

Main Set
4 x 25 (:45 Swim. As fast as you can.
Fly Round
4 x 50 (:20 Swim/kick mix. Easy to moderate effort. The first 25 is butterfly swim, the second 25 is butterfly kick (no kickboard).
1 x 200 (:20 Swim. Easy to moderate effort. This is a 200 IM, done as 25 swim and 25 drill of fly, back, breast, and free.
2 x 100 (:30 Swim. Fast effort. These are 100 IMs = 25 of fly, back, breast, and free. The butterfly is drill.
Back Round
4 x 50 (:20 Swim/kick mix. Easy to moderate effort. The first 25 is backstroke swim, the second 25 is backstroke kick (no kickboard).


1 x 200 (:20 Swim. Easy to moderate effort. This is a 200 IM, done as 25 swim and 25 drill of fly, back, breast, and free.
2 x 100 (:30 Swim. Fast effort. These are 100 IMs = 25 of fly, back, breast, and free. The backstroke is drill.
Breast Round
4 x 50 (:30 Swim/kick mix. Easy to moderate effort. The first 25 is breaststroke swim, the second 25 is breaststroke kick (no kickboard).


1 x 200 (:20 Swim. Easy to moderate effort. This is a 200 IM, done as 25 swim and 25 drill of fly, back, breast, and free.
2 x 100 (:20 Swim. Fast effort. These are 100 IMs = 25 of fly, back, breast, and free. The breaststroke is drill.
Finale
1 x 100 (:30 Drill. 100 IM, all drill.
2 x 100 (:20 Swim. Fast effort. These are 100 IMs = 25 of fly, back, breast, and free. All swim, none of it is drill. Swim fast!
1 x 100 Swim. Easy Cool-down.

TOTAL DISTANCE = 3,400

Swimming Workout Overview

This workout is designed to take between 75 minutes and 90 minutes. If that is too much time or distance, then cut things out, but avoid eliminating the same element every workout and never skip the cool-down at the end of the workout. Use it as one last bit of technique work before you leave the swimming pool at the end of the workout.

After the description of the set above, there is a number in a half-parentheses, like this - (:30.  This notates how much rest to give yourself after each swim. For example, 6 x 100 (:30 means you are to swim a 100 (yards or meters), rest 30 seconds, then repeat five more times.

There is nothing special about these swim practice sessions other than what you bring to them. You control how hard or fast you swim and what swim strokes you want to use.

Normally the amount of rest per swim will limit your top-end speed on a workout, but that does not mean go as fast as you possible all of the time. A few guidelines:

  • The more rest you get, the faster the swim.
  • The early parts of a workout should always be easy to moderate and very deliberate.
  • Use your best swimming technique.
  • Stop the workout if you are too tired, go for it again in the future.You get to be a better swimmer by recovering from the workouts you do, not by doing more and more swimming without proper rest.
  • Have fun with the workouts.
  • Change the strokes you are doing from time to time, try new things, and don't get caught in a rut.

Each workout has the following features:

  • a warm-up
  • stroke drills or swimming technique work
  • kicking
  • pulling
  • a main set
  • a cool-down

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