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Masters Swim Training (6 workouts + 1 drill session per week)

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Masters Swim Training (6 workouts + 1 drill session per week)


Adam Hodges

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12 Weeks

Plan Description

Masters swim programs have grown in popularity since the first National Masters Swimming Championships were held in 1970. Whether you swim for fitness or train to compete, this training plan provides you with a 12-week Masters Swimming program with six workouts per week plus an optional drill-based form session that can be done on the scheduled recovery day each week. You can move through the plan from start to finish or randomly draw from the 72 workouts + 12 drill sessions. Every workout is different and provides well-defined sets with detailed instructions. Whether you swim daily or a few times a week, the plan provides you with a variety of training options to keep you fit.

Long distance freestyle workouts total 3,300 yards and all other workouts total 3,000 yards; the supplemental drill-based form sessions range from 800-1,000 yards. You can easily adjust the distances up or down to adapt the workouts to your target yardage and training goals. Take days off or lower the yardage for recovery weeks as needed. Remember, no matter where you want to go, you must start from where you are. The plan is ideal for swimmers without access to a local Masters swim program or for Masters swimmers who want a collection of workout choices to use when life’s myriad commitments keep them from training with the team.

Each workout targets a particular distance (short, mid, long), stroke or combination of strokes, and training effect. The first six weeks focus on aerobic base development plus threshold and speed work. The last six weeks add aerobic capacity workouts to the mix.

• Short Distance = 25-150 yards
• Mid Distance = 150-300 yards
• Long Distance = 300+ yards

• Aerobic Base (refers to base building work to put “fitness in the bank”)
• Threshold (refers to work around lactate threshold to improve lactate tolerance)
• Aerobic Capacity (refers to anerobic work done to improve anaerobic endurance)
• Speed (refers to higher end max effort speed)

WEEKS 1, 4, 7, 10
• Mid Distance Free/Back
• Long Distance Free
• Short Distance Free/Choice
• Mid Distance Free/Breast
• Long Distance Free
• Short Distance Free

WEEKS 2, 5, 8, 11
• Mid Distance Free/Fly
• Long Distance Free
• Short Distance Free/Back
• Mid Distance IM
• Long Distance Free
• Short Distance Free/Breast

WEEKS 3, 6, 9, 12
• Mid Distance Free
• Long Distance Free
• Short Distance Free/Fly
• Mid Distance Free/Choice
• Long Distance Free
• Short Distance IM

Workout intensity levels are prescribed using pace zones (see below). To determine your swimming pace zones, see

Zone 1 = Very easy effort
Zone 2 = T-pace + 10 sec
Zone 3 = T-pace + 5 sec
Zone 4 = T-pace
Zone 5a = T-pace
Zone 5b = T-pace – 5 sec
Zone 5c = Maximum effort

What the different zones are used for:

Z1 = warmup, warmdown, easy recovery
Z2 = aerobic base building
Z3 = comfortably hard tempo
Z4-Z5a = lactate threshold work
Z5b = VO2max work
Z5c = max speed sprints

For more, see

Consult the Alp Fitness website ( for supplemental videos, tools and resources to use along with this plan. Train smart!

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Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Swim x7
17,877m 3,018m
Day Off x1
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
17,877m 3,018m
Day Off
—— ——

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

Adam Hodges

Alp Fitness

For me, endurance sports provide a way to explore the beauty of our world and learn about ourselves in the process. I offer coaching and training plans for those seeking personal growth through self-defined challenges, whether those involve races (e.g., 50K trail runs, winter triathlons) or solo adventures (e.g., mountain running, fast-packing objectives). Learn more about my training approach at where you can also find articles and training guides to help you train smart.

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Refund Policy

This plan is protected by our Refund Policy and may, with the author's approval, be exchanged for a plan of equal value from the same author.

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