Swimming laps back and forth with only a total time or distance as a goal is not the best way to improve your fitness or become a better swimmer. Instead, follow a guided Workout with interval training to make your time in the pool more productive! Use this guide to understand the different parts of a guided Workout & SwimGauge™ in the MySwimPro app.
“Sets” are the building blocks of a guided Workout. Each Set specifies the following:
- Number of repetitions
- Distance to be swum for each repetition
- Stroke type
- Effort Level
- Effort Level Variation
If you put it all together, one set looks like this:
4 x 100m Free @ 2:45 Easy, Fins
We can break it down like this:
- Number of repetitions: 4
- Distance to be swum: 100 meters
- Abbreviated name for the style of swimming or “Stroke type” : Free (Freestyle or front crawl)
- Interval (total swim + rest time for each repetition): 2:45 minutes
- Effort Level: Easy
- Effort Level Variation: None
- Equipment: Fins
This Set represents a total of 400m of your Workout, and the duration to complete the entire Set is 11 minutes (4 x 2:45). However, that doesn’t mean you are swimming continuously for 11 minutes!
While Sets are the basic elements of a guided Workout, Set Groups are collections of Sets that break up your Workout into phases. Set Groups are typically named as Warm up, Drill Set, Pre-Set, Main Set, Post-Set, and Cool Down.
Set Groups can have multiple repetitions. If a Set Group has two reps, you do all of the Sets in that Set Group twice
Warm up (Repeat 2x) (Set Group)
4 x 100m Freestyle @ 1:30 Easy (Set)
2 x 50m Kick @ 1:15 Moderate (Set)
Main Set (Set Group)
10 x 100m Freestyle @ 2:00 Moderate (Set)
8 x 50m IM @ 1:00 Sprint (Set)
1 x 100m Free @ 2:00 Easy (Set)
Interval = Swim Time + Rest Time for each rep
If the Set is 4 x 100 @ 2:10 Easy, it might take you less than 2:10 to actually swim 100m, and that extra time is your rest before you start the next rep. The faster you go, the more rest you get (but the more tired you get, too!).
In MySwimPro you can tap on a Set to see its detail. The SetBar™ shows you a visual representation of each repetition and your target swim time vs rest time for each rep in the Set.
Based on the Interval and Effort Level in this example, you should try to swim 4 laps with a target completion or “split” time of approximately 1:44. Then you would rest for approximately 18 seconds before starting your next rep (1:12 + 0:18 = 1:30)! The small white lines in the SetBar show you approximately where you’ll be turning at each end of the pool.
If the Set is 4 x 50 @ 3:00 Sprint, it will take you less than 3 min to actually swim 50 m, and that extra time is your rest and recover for the next rep.
Based on the Interval and Effort Level, you should try to swim 2 laps with a target completion or “split” time of approximately 0:45. Then you would rest for approximately 2 minutes & 15 seconds before starting your next rep (0:45 + 2:15 = 3:00)
The ratio of swimming time to resting time is calculated automatically using our DynamicSwim™ algorithm. It’s based on the total interval time and the Effort Level chosen for this set, and it’s designed to give you the proper recovery to optimize your training. Be sure to check them (Profile -> Settings -> Workout Settings -> Dynamic Interval Times) if your intervals don’t look personalized.
Each Set in a MySwimPro Workout is assigned an Effort Level to signify the recommended intensity/speed and the corresponding recovery/rest for each rep in the Set. There are seven swimming Effort Levels: Easy, Moderate, Endurance, Threshold, Best Average, Race Pace, and Sprint.
MySwimPro will display each Set in one of these 7 colors. But don’t worry...you don’t need to memorize them! The SetBar will always show you what your target swim and rest times are. To learn more, simply tap the blue info icon below the SetBar when viewing a Set’s detail.
Effort Level Variations
Sets can contain Effort Variations such as: Build , Ascending , Negative Split , or Descending . Each Effort Variation will affect the set in different ways:
Build is swimming faster by the end of the Set or repetition. You can think of it as "Speeding up" within each rep. For example:
4 x 100 Freestyle - Build would mean that by the end of each 100, you will be going faster than at the start of each 100.
Ascend is swimming slower by time over the duration of a Set. For example:
4 x 100 Freestyle - Ascend would mean you would split slower on each one. So splitting (1:23, 1:25, 1:28, 1:30) would be ascending your splits.
Negative Split is swimming faster on the second half of an individual repetition. For example:
If you Negative Split your 100 Free, you may have split a 0:32 on the first 50, then a 0:29 on the second 50. Because you were faster on the second half, the 100 was negative split.
Descending is swimming faster by time over the duration of a Set or repetition. For example:
4 x 100 Freestyle - Descend would mean you want to go faster on each one. So if you split (1:30, 1:28, 1:25, 1:23), that would be descending your splits.
If you have access to training equipment, you have an incredible opportunity to enhance your swim training. Sets in MySwimPro will often contain equipment recommendations such as: Paddles, Fins, Pull Buoy, Snorkel, or Kickboard. Using equipment allows you to mix up your training all while working on improving technique, efficiency, and building strength.
Paddles & Pull Buoy
A pull buoy allows you to shut off your lower body and exclusively focus on your catch and pull pattern. This allows you to work on creating a high-elbow catch and building upper body strength. It’s important to keep technique in mind while training with paddles and/or a pull buoy because these can often mask stroke imbalances
Fins can help develop an efficient kick and allow you to focus on improving body position and rotation. If used in moderation, fins can be a great tool to improve cardiovascular fitness and overall swimming efficiency.
The snorkel can increase aerobic capacity and breath control by restricting the amount of oxygen that enters or leaves the body at any given time. It also allows you to focus on stroke technique without the interruption of turning your head to breath.
The kickboard allows you to isolate the legs and develop a strong kick. We highly advise training the legs in as many body positions as possible including: streamline on front, streamline on back, streamline on either side, and streamline underwater. Varying your kick training will yield the most efficient technique and results.
When equipment is present in a Set the equipment's icon will appear on the Set view. To learn more, simply tap the blue info icon below the SetBar when viewing a Set’s detail. Although recommended, using the listed equipment is not required.
Set List and SwimGauge™
It’s often useful for swimmers to mentally prepare or “visualize” a Workout before jumping in the pool. Especially if the Workout includes Set Group repeats, it’s hard to get a full mental picture of an entire Workout from a simple Set list. MySwimPro’s exclusive SwimGauge™ shows a complete visual representation of a Workout depicting total distance, Sets, reps, and Effort Levels.
The outer ring of the SwimGauge™ represents laps in your selected pool. For shorter Workouts, each line tick = 1 lap . For longer Workouts, each circle tick = 4 laps.
The inner ring of segments represents Sets and reps (in a clockwise direction). The segment color and depth is a visual indicator of the effort level.
In this example, you can see the Workout starts with a nice and easy warmup, and a little more than half way through, you would be swimming a long and hard sprint effort followed by a threshold set and another fast effort. Save your energy; you’ll need it!
In the center of the SwimGauge™, total distance, Workout time (including all resting time), and expected calorie burn is listed. If you make any changes to this Workout, you’ll see the SwimGauge update in real time.