Build Your Swimming Workouts to 1,500 Meters

Under water view of female swimmer performing turn in competition.
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If you can already complete the "Build to 500 Swim Training Plan" or if you can do swimming workouts of about 500 meters or yards, then you are ready for these swimming workouts, which build the swim workout from 500 to 1,500 meters or yards of swimming.

It doesn't matter what stroke you do for these swimming workouts, nor does not matter how fast or how slow you swim them. The main goal is to increase the amount of swimming you do within one workout.

Lap Techniques

Within one swim workout, there are 25s, 50s, 75s, etc.

  • A 25 = 25 meters or yards. You push off of one wall of the pool and swim to the other end, assuming that the pool is 25 meters or yards long. If it is a longer pool, then you will stop in the middle of the pool and start your next swim effort from the middle.
  • A 50 = 50 meters or yards. Push off of one wall of the pool, swim to the other end, turn around and swim back to where you started (assuming that the pool is 25 meters or yards long). If the pool is 50 meters long, then you swim from one wall to the other without stopping.
  • A 75 = 75 meters or yards. Push off of one wall of the pool, swim to the other end, turn around and swim back to where you started, push off that wall and swim to the other end (assuming that the pool is 25 meters or yards long). If the pool is 50 meters long, then you swim from one wall to the other without stopping, turn around and swim halfway back.
  • A 100 = 100 meters or yards. Push off of one wall of the pool, swim to the other end, turn around and swim back to where you started, push off that wall and swim to the other end, turn around, push off, and swim to where you started (assuming that the pool is 25 meters or yards long). If the pool is 50 meters long, then you swim from one wall to the other without stopping, turn around and swim back to where you started.
  • The same pattern continues through the progression of workouts. A 125 is 125 meters or yards, a 150 is 150 meters or yards, etc.

Recommended Rest

How long should you stop between each effort? How much rest should you take? I am using breaths to indicate rest. Control your breathing when you finish each effort as best you can, and count each exhalation. When you reach the indicated number of breaths, it is time to start the next swim effort.

At the beginning of the plan, it does not matter very much as long as you are able to do the swims. There is recommended rest for each swim, but if you need more, take it! If the swim is a 25, then you take rest between each 25. If the swim is a 50, you should try to keep swimming, with no rest, until you complete the full 50; the same for the rest of the indicated swim distances. Try to swim the full 75 or full 100 before you stop to take rest, but if you need to stop at any time to rest, then do it. Remember: the goal is to increase the amount of swimming you do within a workout. If that means taking more rest or swimming shorter efforts, that is OK.

Swimming Workouts

You will get the best results by doing at least three swimming workouts each week.

 You could do them from #1 through #18, or you could do #1 two or three times in a week, then do number #2 two or three times in a week, etc. Have fun with these swimming workouts!

Workout #1 (500)
2 x 50 with 10 breathes max rest between swims
1 x 100 max 20 breathes
2 x 75 max 15 breathes
2 x 25 max 10 breathes
2 x 50 max 10 breathes

Workout #2 (600)
2 x 50 max 10 breathes
1 x 100 max 20 breathes
2 x 25 max 15 breathes
2 x 75 max 15 breathes
4 x 25 max 10 breathes
2 x 50 max 10 breathes

Workout #3 (600)
2 x 50 max 10 breathes
1 x 100 max 20 breathes
2 x 25 max 15 breathes
2 x 75 max 15 breathes
2 x 25 max 10 breathes
3 x 50 max 10 breathes

Workout #4 (700)
2 x 50 max 10 breathes
1 x 100 max 20 breathes
2 x 25 max 15 breathes
2 x 75 max 15 breathes
4 x 25 max 10 breathes
4 x 50 max 10 breathes

Workout #5 (700)
2 x 50 max 10 breathes
1 x 125 max 20 breathes
3 x 25 max 15 breathes
1 x 100 max 20 breathes
2 x 25 max 10 breathes
2 x 75 max 15 breathes
2 x 50 max 10 breathes

Workout #6 (800)
2 x 50 max 10 breathes
1 x 125 max 20 breathes
3 x 25 max 15 breathes
1 x 100 max 20 breathes
2 x 25 max 10 breathes
2 x 75 max 15 breathes
2 x 25 max 10 breathes
3 x 50 max 10 breathes

Workout #7 (800)
2 x 50 max 10 breathes
1 x 125 max 20 breathes
3 x 25 max 15 breathes
2 x 100 max 20 breathes
2 x 25 max 10 breathes
2 x 75 max 15 breathes
2 x 50 max 10 breathes

Workout #8 (900)
3 x 50 max 10 breathes
1 x 125 max 20 breathes
3 x 25 max 15 breathes
2 x 100 max 20 breathes
2 x 25 max 10 breathes
2 x 75 max 15 breathes
3 x 50 max 10 breathes

Workout #9 (900)
2 x 50 max 10 breathes
1 x 150 max 20 breathes
2 x 25 max 15 breathes
1 x 125 max 20 breathes
1 x 25 max 15 breathes
2 x 100 max 20 breathes
2 x 25 max 10 breathes
2 x 75 max 15 breathes
1 x 50 max 10 breathes

Workout #10 (1,000)
2 x 50 max 10 breathes
1 x 150 max 20 breathes
2 x 25 max 15 breathes
1 x 125 max 20 breathes
3 x 25 max 15 breathes
2 x 100 max 20 breathes
2 x 25 max 10 breathes
2 x 75 max 15 breathes
2 x 50 max 10 breathes

Workout #11 (1,000)
2 x 50 max 10 breathes
1 x 150 max 20 breathes
1 x 25 max 15 breathes
1 x 125 max 20 breathes
2 x 25 max 15 breathes
2 x 100 max 15 breathes
1 x 25 max 10 breathes
3 x 75 max 10 breathes
2 x 50 max 10 breathes

Workout #12 (1,150)
3 x 50 max 10 breathes
1 x 150 max 20 breathes
3 x 25 max 15 breathes
1 x 125 max 20 breathes
2 x 25 max 15 breathes
2 x 100 max 15 breathes
1 x 25 max 10 breathes
3 x 75 max 10 breathes
3 x 50 max 10 breathes

Workout #13 (1,150)
2 x 50 max 10 breathes
1 x 175 max 20 breathes
2 x 25 max 15 breathes
1 x 150 max 20 breathes
1 x 25 max 15 breathes
1 x 125 max 20 breathes
1 x 25 max 15 breathes
2 x 100 max 10 breathes
1 x 25 max 10 breathes
3 x 75 max 10 breathes
1 x 50 max 10 breathes

Workout #14 (1,300)
3 x 50 max 10 breathes
1 x 175 max 20 breathes
2 x 25 max 15 breathes
1 x 150 max 20 breathes
1 x 25 max 15 breathes
1 x 125 max 20 breathes
3 x 25 max 10 breathes
2 x 100 max 10 breathes
1 x 25 max 10 breathes
3 x 75 max 10 breathes
2 x 50 max 10 breathes

Workout #15 (1,300)
3 x 50 max 10 breathes
1 x 175 max 20 breathes
1 x 25 max 15 breathes
1 x 150 max 20 breathes
1 x 25 max 15 breathes
1 x 125 max 20 breathes
1 x 25 max 10 breathes
2 x 100 max 10 breathes
2 x 25 max 10 breathes
3 x 75 max 10 breathes
3 x 50 max 10 breathes

Workout #16 (1,450)
3 x 50 max 10 breathes
1 x 175 max 20 breathes
3 x 25 max 15 breathes
1 x 150 max 20 breathes
1 x 25 max 15 breathes
1 x 125 max 20 breathes
1 x 25 max 10 breathes
3 x 100 max 10 breathes
2 x 25 max 10 breathes
3 x 75 max 10 breathes
3 x 50 max 10 breathes

Workout #17 (1,450)
2 x 50 max 10 breathes
1 x 200 max 20 breathes
1 x 25 max 10 breathes
1 x 175 max 20 breathes
1 x 25 max 15 breathes
1 x 150 max 20 breathes
1 x 25 max 15 breathes
2 x 125 max 20 breathes
1 x 25 max 10 breathes
2 x 100 max 10 breathes
1 x 25 max 10 breathes
2 x 75 max 10 breathes
2 x 50 max 10 breathes

Workout #18 (1,500)
2 x 50 max 10 breathes
1 x 200 max 20 breathes
1 x 25 max 10 breathes
1 x 175 max 20 breathes
1 x 25 max 10 breathes
2 x 150 max 20 breathes
1 x 25 max 10 breathes
2 x 125 max 20 breathes
2 x 100 max 15 breathes
2 x 75 max 10 breathes
1 x 50

Good luck and Swim On!

Updated by Dr. John Mullen on April 26, 2016