Stroking solo? Check out Fanny’s swim tips and sets

Written by Fanny Kuhn

It’s winter and pool-swimming season for most of us. Sometimes, you might not have your best buddy there, or can’t make it in time for your awesome team swim. Maybe you’re on vacation with the fam at some exotic place or on a business trip and get an unexpected opportunity to swim. Common for all these scenarios: you have to do it yourself. This week, you’ll get Fanny’s to-go sets and tips for those days you’re stroking solo!

? No 1. Warm-up Variations ?

Here’s a few tips on how to get your workout started:

?‍♀️ SKIPS: can be varied from 100 of each to whatever distance you want. I usually do 400s. It’s Swim – Kick – IM (Individual Medley=all strokes in order) – Pull – Swim.

?‍♀️ 4-4-4: 400 choice, 4×100 mix strokes, 4×50 increase speed each 50.

?‍♀️ 4×150 one per stroke – within each 150: 50 kick-50 technique exercise – 50 swim.

? No 2. Changing Strokes ?

Even if you’re not an elite swimmer, you most likely know at least two strokes. If you don’t, I’d suggest you learn! What makes swimming fun are all the different ways you can move through the water. I train a lot of Medley, because I think it helps Swimrun. It’s all about changing muscles and teach your body to adapt. And it makes training much more fun! Here’s a switching strokes set:

?‍♀️4×75 Rolling Medley (1: 25 Butterfly, 25 Backstroke, 25 Breaststroke. 2: 25 Crawl, 25 Butterfly, 25 Backstroke. 3: 25 breast, 25 crawl, 25 fly. 4: 25 back, 25 breast, 25 crawl.)
?‍♀️200 crawl easy recovery
?‍♀️4×100 Medley (25 Butterfly, 25 Backstroke, 25 Breaststroke, 25 Crawl) – choose one 25 each 100 where you max out your speed!
?‍♀️200 crawl easy recovery
If you don’t do butterfly, switch it out for stroke of choice!

? No 3. The Monotonous Math ?

“Hmm… where was I… did I do 750 meters or just 700? I’m sure it was 700 after that turn… or no… maybe it was 750 after all…” Recognize the monologue of long distance sets? This happens to me less often after I started following a simple principle: when in doubt, go with the lesser. It’s after all due to your own fault you lost count! I assure, you’ll start counting better very soon.

Of course, you can always cheat and use a watch to count for you, but that’s never really been my style. What about you, do you use a training watch in the pool? Add a comment to this post and tell us what you prefer and why!

? No 4. Do your Distance ?

Logic and levels make up the best sets. Here’s my fav:

100 crawl + 100 medley
200 crawl + 2×100 medley
300 crawl + 3×100 medley
400 crawl + 4×100 medley
300 crawl + 3×100 medley
200 crawl + 2×100 medley
100 crawl + 100 medley
Crawl: with paddles and pull buoy in threshold pace.
Medley: can be done with fins for extra heart rate and power.

You can make this set shorter or longer by building on the levels. Keep the rest short to get in some good aerobic training ?

? No. 5 The Challenge! ?

Arm strength doesn’t only have to come from long paddle sets – get in some up-and-down in your back-and-forth now and then!
How many times can you do this in a row? PS. The trick doesn’t lay in how fast or strong you push up with your arms, but how well you can pull and coil your legs with your core.

Want more swim sets, or perhaps a Swimrun Training Plan? Check out

What’s your favourite set to do when you swim by yourself? Comment on the post and let us know!

Good luck with your swim sets this week!