Craig Keller, Ealing Masters swimming coach in London, offers several workouts for swimmers, including two that will work well for people with injuries.
If you like distance, begin with two 500-yard (or meter) freestyle swims on intervals of 6.5 minutes. The quicker you finish, the more time you’ll have to rest. Then swim at an easy pace for 2 minutes.
Follow that with two 400-yard freestyle swims on a 5.5-minute interval, and another easy, 2-minute swim. Finish with two 300-yard swims on 4.5-minute intervals.
Sprinters may prefer this workout:
- Do 20 freestyle lengths (25 yards) with 5 seconds of rest in between lengths. Recover with a 100-yard swim of your choice, at an easy pace.
- Do 16 25-yard swims of your choice with 10 seconds of rest, followed by another slow-paced 100-yard swim of your choice.
- Next, do 12 25-yard freestyle lengths with 15 seconds of rest between each. Recover with a 100-yard swim.
- End with eight 25-yard freestyle lengths, resting for 20 seconds between lengths.
Got a leg or hip injury? Just grab a buoy and do a “pull swim” instead.
This workout consists of three rounds of four 200-yard freestyle swims. For the first, put the buoy between your ankles and pull the four 200-yard swims on 3-minute intervals. For the second round, remove the buoy and swim, dragging your legs. Do these 200-yard swims on 2.75-minute intervals. For the final round, place the buoy between your legs and pull on 2.5-minute intervals.
If your arms or shoulders are hurting -- or you simply want to work your legs -- use a kickboard and do two sets of four 100-yard swims, with 20 seconds of rest between each.
For the first 100 yards, kick hard for the first 25 yards, then go easy for the remaining 75 yards. For the second 100 yards, kick hard for 50 and easy for 50. Kick hard for 75 yards, then easy for 25 on the third one. And for the last one, go all out. Repeat the set.