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The Swim England swimming fitness training plan

April 06 2022 6 min read

How fast can you swim 400m? Fitness First and Swim England are challenging you to swim your best 400m to be in with the chance of winning a free personalised coaching programme with a Swim England coach. 

However, first, we think you should try our 20-step training programme to help you swim further and faster as well as develop your swimming skills … and most importantly, improve your 400m time.

Each session will take you through a warm-up, skill development, main set and swim down.

Here is session 1. Click here to access the full 20 session programme.


Lengths: 12 (25m pool)

Distance: 300m

Difficulty: Mild

Equipment Required: A float


- Swim two lengths with a swim stroke of your choice, easy effort.

- Try to relax the body and your breathing.


- Holding the side of the pool with both hands, extend your legs behind and kick for 20 seconds.

- Repeat two more times.

- Aim to keep your hips close to the surface. If your hips sink, try putting your face in the water.


- Swim 4 x 1 length with kick of your choice with a float

- Swim 4 x 1 length with swim stroke of your choice

- Swim at steady effort. Rest between 20 and 30 seconds after each length.


- Swim two lengths with a swim stroke of your choice. Swim at easy effort.

- Lengthen your stroke to stretch out your muscles and aid recovery.

What’s Next?

If you think you’re ready to progress, move up to Session 2. Please note that you’ll need to be a Swim England member to access. You can join for free as a Just Swim member.