Masters Swim Group | 80/20 Endurance

Masters Swim Group

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    Curry Gallagher

    Sooo, I joined a masters swim group. I’m not a natural swimmer but have made a lot of improvements in the last 6 months on my own and watching videos. But, I’m still not great and certainly am certain that I could use some help with my technique/form.

    The group swims 3 days per week and have three different levels. A “newbie” (shorter distance/slower) tier, a middle tier and advanced tier.

    I certainly fall into the newbie group. My plan is to go 1-2 times per week, but only if I can make it work with family and my workout schedule.

    I mostly want to join so I can have someone who knows what they are doing watch me swim and give me feedback on my form and what I can to do change and improve.

    My concerns:
    -their workouts not matching my scheduled 80/20 workout for that day
    -their workouts being a little longer in distance and time (just a bit)
    -their sets being much choppier/more variety (8 sets vs 3)
    -their sets are sometimes more and sometimes less intense

    I am able to look at the planned workouts a week in advance.

    Do the pros of getting instruction outweigh the cons of some increased volume?

    Am I overthinking this?

    David Warden


    When a new swimmer is faced with the choice of swimming alone on a strict 80/20 plan or swim in a masters group, swim with the masters group. The advantages of swimming in a masters group far outweigh the risks you have pointed out.

    The 80/20 principle still applies to swimming, but the rule is much forgiving with swimming than cycling or swimming due to the quick recovery time. Additionally, swimming is far more about technique than fitness compared to cycling and running, and if you can get someone to help your swim technique, even at the expense of some fitness, that is the better choice.

    Stay away from group rides on your easy days, but feel confident that masters class is the right place to spend your swim sessions.


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