How to Swim Faster with Interval Training: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Boost Your Speed: Swim Faster with Interval Training

Swimming is a popular sport and a great way to stay fit, but if you’re looking to take your swimming to the next level, interval training is the way to go. Interval training involves alternating between high-intensity and low-intensity swimming to improve your speed, endurance, and overall performance in the water. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of interval training, different types of intervals, and provide tips on how to incorporate them into your swimming routine.

swimmer doing interval training

The Benefits of Interval Training

Interval training is an effective method for improving speed and endurance in swimming. By pushing yourself to swim at a higher intensity during the high-intensity intervals, you’re challenging your body to adapt and become more efficient in the water. This leads to improvements in cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, and power.

Additionally, interval training allows you to break up your swim sessions into shorter, more manageable segments. This can be particularly beneficial for those who struggle with boredom or find it difficult to maintain focus during long, continuous swims. By incorporating intervals, you can keep your workouts fresh and engaging, making it easier to stay motivated and committed to your swimming goals.

Different Types of Intervals

There are various types of intervals you can incorporate into your swimming routine, depending on your goals and current fitness level. Here are a few examples:

  1. Sprint Intervals: Sprint intervals involve swimming at maximum effort for a short distance, followed by a period of active recovery. For example, you could swim 50 meters at your fastest pace, then take a 30-second rest before repeating the sprint.
  2. Pyramid Intervals: Pyramid intervals involve gradually increasing and then decreasing the distance of each interval. For example, you could start with a 100-meter sprint, followed by a 200-meter sprint, then a 300-meter sprint, and so on, before working your way back down.
  3. Tabata Intervals: Tabata intervals are a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that involve short bursts of intense effort followed by even shorter periods of rest. A classic Tabata interval consists of 20 seconds of all-out swimming, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated for a total of 4 minutes.
  4. Threshold Intervals: Threshold intervals are performed at a pace just below your maximum effort. They are designed to improve your lactate threshold, which is the point at which your body begins to produce lactic acid. By training at or near this threshold, you can increase your body’s ability to clear lactic acid and delay the onset of fatigue.

Incorporating Interval Training into Your Routine

To incorporate interval training into your swimming routine, start by determining your current fitness level and setting specific goals. This will help you choose the appropriate intensity and duration for your intervals. Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Warm-up: Always begin your swim session with a proper warm-up to prepare your body for the demands of interval training. This can include dynamic stretches, light swimming, and drills to activate the muscles you’ll be using during your intervals.
  2. Start Slow: If you’re new to interval training, start with shorter intervals and gradually increase the intensity and duration as your fitness improves. This will help prevent injury and allow your body to adapt to the demands of interval training.
  3. Maintain Proper Technique: It’s important to maintain proper swimming technique during your intervals to maximize efficiency and reduce the risk of injury. Focus on maintaining a strong, streamlined body position, proper breathing technique, and a smooth, powerful arm stroke.
  4. Track Your Progress: Keep a record of your interval training sessions to track your progress over time. This can help you identify areas for improvement, set new goals, and stay motivated as you see your speed and endurance increase.


Interval training is a valuable tool for swimmers of all levels who want to improve their speed, endurance, and overall performance in the water. By incorporating different types of intervals into your swimming routine and following the tips outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a faster and more efficient swimmer. So dive in, challenge yourself, and watch your speed soar!