5 Holiday Season Swim Workouts to Give a Try


5 Holiday Season Swim Workouts to Give a Try

As the conclusion of another year draws nearer, the holiday season is right around the corner. No matter what traditions and celebrations you may participate in outside of the pool, it is also a great time to finish the year strong in the pool. Winter can be a grueling time for swimmers, however. Whether it’s due to the harsh weather, extra tough practices, or even external commitments, it can give anyone a psychological boost to find ways to make this tough stretch more motivating. Below are listed five workout ideas that can spice up anyone’s swim during this holiday season.

1. 100 x 100s

This holiday classic can be an exciting prospect for anyone up for a challenge. If you think this sounds too monotonous or perhaps too challenging, there are certainly ways to motivate yourself. Perhaps encourage one or more friends to join you, promising yourselves something desirable in return, such as a nice food reward. Alternatively, you can treat yourself with a day off or something of the like if you are too much of a workhorse and could use a day to spend a little extra time with family or friends, play video games, or even catch up on sleep.

From history, distance legend Mike Bruner once did this workout on the minute.

2. Record Board Gauntlet


Photo Courtesy: Peddie School

One thing that can give practices a sense of freshness and perhaps make them less daunting is to implement various themes of the holiday season into them. A great team set, this involves every event in swimming. Every race that can be swum in competition, including every distance of freestyle, backstroke, breastroke, and butterfly can be implemented. That is, you would swim all events that are on a typical record board. The idea is that every swimmer swims each event broken. For example, the 50 free is split into 25’s, stopping at the wall for 10 seconds before going again while the 200 back could be split into 50’s, and so on. The rule is you as the swimmer must do every event on the record board, and as fast as you can. To get in the holiday spirit, every event can have a fun name, such as “Jack Frost’s Realm” for the backstroke events, and “Abominable Snowman’s Territory” for the 500 and mile. Again, although a bit cheesy, putting a holiday twist on practices can be uplifting for swimmers, and to make it even better, there can be some sort of incentive for those who conquer every event.

3. Clear the Reindeer

This is another set that can be used as a nice wedge between two tough days at practice. Again, because it is the holiday season, appropriate elements must be at play here. As Santa is said to have nine reindeer by his side, this workout includes nine stations. It is really up to whoever is creating the workout to determine what each station will have, but possibilities could include an ab station on dryland, a lane for peer-reviewing where swimmers help each other improve technique, a lane for starts, a lane for turns, a lane for relay starts, a lane for social kicking, etc. If these sound too cushy and you want more of a challenge, more difficult sets could be given at each station working the strokes, or whatever else. The important thing here though is to represent all nine reindeer!

4. The Holiday Special

The “Holiday Special” workout would include a series of workouts written onto notecards. One swimmer from each lane would grab a card without knowing what it entails, and then the lane does whatever the card says. Sets can vary from doing something less taxing such as turns to something of far greater difficulty. Once completed, other members of the lanes can select cards. Again, each card can have a holiday-themed name to make things more interesting.

5. 12 Days of Christmas

Often used as a seasonal workout theme, this workout consists of 12 different parts representing each of the 12 days of Christmas from the famous song. An example of how this workout would go would be doing 1 X 200 free on a certain interval for the “Partridge in a Pear Tree” part, then doing 6 X 50 back on a certain interval for Six Geese a-Laying,” and so on. The beauty of this set is that it is up to you what strokes, distances, and intervals you want to do depending on your level and how much you want to challenge yourself. Once you get through all 12 days of Christmas, you will have earned every one of those Christmas cookies.

As the holidays provide us with the best time to get creative with our swim workouts, the five ideas listed above can all provide great ways to spice up the holiday season from a swimming perspective. Whether you’re a part of a team, a master’s group, swimming with a friend, or flying solo, you can give these a try to make the holidays even more festive!

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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