How Many Meters Do Competitive Swimmers Swim Per Week?

How Many Meters Do Competitive Swimmers Swim Per Week

As with any sport, swimming requires practice. While it may not require memorizing or running plays, swimmers must have impeccable technique. But swim practices aren’t just composed of practicing drills to improve stroke technique; a swimmer must have high endurance to avoid losing steam by the final lap. To do this, a competitive swimmer must swim an abundance of laps to build endurance. But just how many meters do competitive swimmers need to swim in order to earn the best times during their races? Keep reading to find out.

Weekly Practices by Competitive Swimmers

While most adults don’t identify as competitive swimmers that require a strict practice regimen, a competitive swimmer should get in the water anywhere from five to nine times a week. Most Olympic swimmers will get in the water twice a day for six days. Sometimes, a swimmer will get in the water as early as 4 AM to ensure they have adequate rest in between practices.

Sprinters vs. Distance Swimmers

The distance that competitive swimmers cover on a weekly basis varies based on the race and the stroke they specialize in. Like track, there are three levels of swimmers: sprinters, middle-distance swimmers, and distance swimmers.

Sprinters are those who swim anything less than 200m, and their workouts will typically be anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 meters per workout, which can add up to anywhere from 120,000-240,000m per week. This allows a sprinter to develop their aerobic capacity, and once their bodies are conditioned to swim such high distances, they will be able to complete their races much easier.

Middle-distance swimmers swim the 200m and 500m races. Distance swimmers swim races such as the 800m or the 1,500m. Both middle-distance and distance swimmers can swim up to 12 miles in one practice, which is roughly 19,000 meters. This adds up to roughly 228,000m per week. Similar to sprinters, building up aerobic endurance to compete in longer races allows swimmers to maintain a strong pace throughout their races.

Dryland Workouts

swimming dryland workouts

While meters swam per week is an important factor in the training regimen of a competitive swimmer, swimmers also have to focus on dryland workouts. Swimmers have to build up strength through weight lifting, which helps a swimmer propel themselves through the water faster. Most swimmers aim to increase muscle capacity for the entire body.

Additionally, swimmers  must focus on flexibility to maintain proper stroke technique. Stretching, messages, and ice baths are a vital part of any swimmer’s training, and recovery is just as important as racking up meters during practice.


How many meters do competitive swimmers swim per week?

Competitive swimmers can swim anywhere from 120,000m to 228,000m per week. The number of meters swam per week depends on what races a swimmer traditionally competes in. Sprinters will usually swim anywhere from 10,000-20,000m per workout, and distance swimmers usually swim around 19,000m per workout.