10 Sure Ways How To Increase Swimming Endurance

How To Increase Swimming Endurance

It’s human nature to want to better ourselves. This includes everything from work to your social life to fitness and so on. Complacency isn’t a bad thing, but neither is always striving for your highest potential. There are some things that you’ll eventually reach your “peak performance” on, but your fitness performance is one of those that seems like there’s always room for improvement. This is especially true for swimmers.

Swimming is one of the most popular forms of aquatic exercise. There are several benefits it boasts – physically, mentally, and physiologically. In fact, a study conducted by Swim England found that physiological benefits of swimming included:

  • Improves cardiorespiratory fitness and endurance in healthy prepubertal girls and adults, women during pregnancy, children with asthma, and adults with osteoarthritis.
  • Improves systolic blood pressure in adults with abnormally high blood pressure (hypertension).
  • Swim training studies have reported improvements in measures of heart and blood vessel function, and how sensitive the body is to the effects of insulin in adults with hypertension, and blood vessel function in older adults.

Whether you are a recreational pool swimmer or enjoy the more competitive swimming styles, improving your endurance will work wonders. As you probably suspect, you’ll be able to swim for longer periods of time and longer distances. In addition, improving your endurance activity helps keep your heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy. Plus, your overall fitness level will increase. If you’re interested in how to increase swimming endurance, then here are a few tips to get you started.

Be Consistent

How To Increase Swimming Endurance

Consistency is key when it comes down to increasing swimming endurance. If you only swim once a month, then chances are you won’t see much improvement. I’m not saying you have to hit the pool every day, but be consistent in your efforts. Start by going once each week. From there you can start adding additional days to your swimming regimen.

Sets with a Constant Pace

If you want to know how to increase swimming endurance, then start with performing sets at a constant pace. Rather than dive in and give it your all for ten minutes, slow your pace down and perform a constant steady pace for extended amounts of time.

Lower the Reps by Increasing Distance

How To Increase Swimming Endurance

Another great way to increase your swimming endurance is to lower your repetitions but increase the distance. Focus on your distance rather than your speed. It’s a common misconception to think that you have to go as fast as possible in a short distance to improve endurance and fitness performance.

For example, instead of doing an 8×50 set, do a 4×100 set. If the 4×100 set goes better than you thought, try doing 2×200. You’re swimming the same distance – just without the additional resting periods, which means you’ll be swimming longer.

Smaller Rest Intervals

Giving yourself a break between sets is important. But it’s really easy for those minute rest intervals to turn into two or three minutes. We have all been there; myself included. Having smaller rest intervals between each set will help build your endurance and will also help you get an amazing workout in!

Add a Sprint Set

How To Increase Swimming Endurance

Don’t get too comfortable just yet. You still want to get that heart rate up, which means adding in a sprint set. Doing a sprint set in your regular workout is a definite way to increase swimming endurance.

Do Interval Training

Did you know that interval training works both the aerobic and anaerobic systems? Therefore, you improve strength and your cardiovascular fitness levels. There are a few options for doing interval training while swimming. You can lower your intervals for a set. An example would be doing a 4×100 in 1 minute and 45 seconds. Once you’ve nailed that pace, you can lower it. The other option would be to maintain your intervals but increase your intensity. So, each set your goal is to do it faster than the one prior.

Use a Pull Buoy When Tired

How To Increase Swimming Endurance

Chances are swimming isn’t your only form of exercise. If your legs are tired or your body just needs a little boost, use a pull buoy by placing it between your thighs. A pull buoy’s purpose is to help create extra buoyancy for your hips. It will help you focus on your stroke, improve core strength and slow down your stroke.

Swim in the Open Water When Possible

Do you swim in the open water frequently? If not, you should definitely start. Especially if you are wondering how to increase swimming endurance. Swimming in the open water is more difficult than swimming in a pool. But be mindful of the tide and current – you shouldn’t swim in the open water when conditions are dangerous.

Strength & Dryland Workouts

How To Increase Swimming Endurance

Strength and dryland workouts are a major key for increasing your swimming endurance. Performing these types of exercises will cause you to use other muscle groups. Working out the arms, legs, back and core muscles outside of the water helps strengthen them, which means there will be less fatigue when you jump back in. Strength exercises are a definite way to increase your swimming endurance and improve your performance.

Get Plenty of Rest

Listen to your body and give it plenty of rest. Remember, your body does so many things for you and it’s important that you take care of it. Be sure that you get plenty of rest at night. If there is a day where you just feel “off” and can tell that your body needs a break – then give it that. Or consider doing a lower impact swim in the pool for a more restorative type of workout. Pushing yourself is never a bad thing, but neither is giving your body the care it needs, which includes some days off or restorative workout days.


If you are interested in learning how to increase swimming endurance, above we listed 10 sure ways that will help you to obtain that goal!  Those 10 tips are listed here. To be consistent with your swimming. Swim sets with a constant pace and lower the repetitions by increasing the distance you swim. Begin taking smaller rests in between sets, add an occasional sprint set in your workouts and do some interval training.  Use a pull buoy when your legs are tired and get out of the pool to swim in the open water whenever you can.  Also, be sure not to neglect dry land workouts (think core, arms, legs) and get plenty of rest!

You might not be able to do all 10 of these at once, but if you begin to slowly implement them into your routine, we are sure you will begin to see your swimming endurance begin to increase!!

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Gabrielle McNair

I am obsessed with all things related to fitness and personal health. Outside of that, I enjoy spending time with my husband, being outdoors and traveling.

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