Understanding Your Training Session

  • Pre-water Mobility: Before getting in the water you should do some dryland loosening exercises and dynamic stretches. You will be shown what to do. You will need to arrive 10 minutes before your session starts to do this.
  • Warm-up: This gets you ready for your session. It will involve some easy swimming, with build swims (getting gradually faster) and sprints introduced as you get older.
  • Set: This is the distance or several shorter distances that you are asked to swim e.g. 8 x 50m freestyle which means you will swim 50m freestyle 8 times, with a rest in between each one
  • Repetition (reps): the number of times you repeat the swim each set e.g. 4 x 200m means 4 repetitions.
  • Target time: The time you are aiming to swim each repetition in e.g. If you are told PB + 10 seconds and your PB is 42secs, then your target time is 52secs – make sure you know your PBs
  • Turnaround time: The length of time in which to do your swim and have your rest, so if your turn around time is 60 seconds you will start a new repetition every 60 seconds.
  • Rest interval: The length of time between each repetition. This might be given instead of a turnaround time.
  • Pace Clock: We have both analogue pace clocks and a digital pace clock. Practice using both to time your swims, turnaround times and rest intervals.
  • Stroke Count: This is the number of strokes you do each length. You will sometimes be asked to count your strokes.
  • Distance Per Stroke: This is the distance you travel each stroke. When we do ‘distance per stroke’ work you will be asked to ‘lengthen your stroke’ and you may be asked to stroke count too.
  • HVO (High Velocity Output): These are short sprints lasting 5-10 seconds only. You should be able to swim faster than 100m race pace for these. These will improve your basic speed.
  • Target heart rate: For senior swimmers – How fast or slow your heart rate should be eg. 50 beats (per minute) below max (bbm). This ensures you are working at the right intensity for that set – not too hard/fast and not too easy/slow.
  • Stroke Rate: The number of strokes you do in a minute.
  • Swim Down: This is moderate paced to slow swimming. It helps bring down your heart rate and restore your body to its pre-exercise state. This will prevent muscle soreness the next day and ensure you are able to manage your next training session well.

Swimming Structure in Great Britain

British Swimming (www.swimming.org)

the National Governing Body for Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Open Water in Great Britain. It is responsible internationally for the high performance representation of the sport in events like the Olympics, Paralympics, World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

The members of British Swimming are the three Home Countries national governing bodies of England (Amateur Swimming Association), Scotland (Scottish Amateur Swimming Association) and Wales (Welsh Amateur Swimming Association). The Amateur Swimming Association (The ASA) Is the National Governing Body for Swimming, Diving, Water Polo and Synchronised swimming in England.

SwimEngland (www.swimming.org/swimengland/):

  • Formerly the ASA, SwimEngland organises competition throughout England, and establishes the Laws of the Sport for each of the above disciplines
  • Supports National Teams in each of the disciplines
  • The SwimEngland set out the Longterm Athlete Development Plan
  • Operates a comprehensive certification and education programme for Teachers, Coaches and Officials in each discipline,
  • Organise and operate the ASA Competitive Awards scheme
  • Supports 1,220 affiliated swimming clubs through a National, Regional & County structure
  • Communicates regularly with members through various publications
  • Clubs register their members with the ASA

Swim South East (www.southeastswimming.org):

  • Clubs affiliate to the relevant ASA Region.
  • There are 8 ASA Regions: East; East Midlands; London; North East; North West; South West; South East (Our Region)
  • Each Region operates through an Amateur Committee structure
  • Each Region is managed by an Executive Committee, members of which are elected from affiliated clubs and associations
  • Each Region organises Age Group, Senior and Masters Competitions, in most disciplines
  • At present each Region select and support representative teams to compete at home and overseas
  • Each Region plays a strategic role and focus on: Improving talent pathways; getting more people involved in all of the swimming disciplines; providing more and better coaches, volunteers and officials
  • The South East Region covers Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, the Channel Islands, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Sussex and the parts of Surrey and Kent that are outside London
  • The Regional Management Board and the South East Regional team, based in Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, near Marlow, are collectively responsible for managing all the aquatic disciplines within the Region

Sussex County ASA (www.sussexswimming.org):

  • Clubs affiliate to the relevant County ASA if they wish to compete in County events
  • Each County operates through an amateur committee structure
  • Counties organise their own Championships and Competitions in some or all disciplines
  • Counties select and support County Teams to compete in Inter-County Competitions.
  • The ASA has a network of County Swimming Co-ordinators (CSCs) and Senior County Swimming Co-ordinators (SCSCs) who are our point of contact for education and club development


  • 1,220 clubs are affiliated to the ASA
  • Under ASA Law a swimmer may be a member of any number of clubs
  • In order to compete in any competitions swimmers need to be registered with the ASA via their club
  • Each club must have their Rules and Constitution approved by the Regional ASA and be run by an amateur committee