5 Swimming Workouts

5 Swimming Workouts

If you enjoy swimming I am excited to share these 5 swimming workouts with you! These workouts range from beginner to intermediate.

Swimming is my go to exercise when I am pregnant. It is easy on my joints, eases the pain of my varicose veins, and feeling light and buoyant is just really awesome. I do enjoy swimming when I am not pregnant as well I just don’t swim as often.

The Workout Mama - Swim WorkoutsPhoto credit: Steve Donaldson Photography

Currently I am 27 weeks pregnant and I am swimming 3 times a week. The water just feels so great and I really don’t want to do any other type of workout at this point.

I am super fortunate that my parents had my brother and I in swim lessons from elementary school and we both completed all the available levels. In high school we both become lifeguards and taught swim lessons at the same pool we learned to swim at.

I will always be grateful for having the knowledge to swim because it is a great low impact exercise. I also am super thankful for lifeguarding, teaching swim lessons, and being a pool manager because that is how Josh and I met. Thank you City of Tempe and our boss Pat for selecting us to manage a pool together :).

Here are 5 swimming workouts that can help put the fun back into your swims. If you have any questions let me know.

I am also linking (affiliate links) to the equipment I use when I swim Finis Zoomer FinsSpeedo Vanquisher GogglesPull Buoy, and the Best Swim Backpack. I have to share my other favorite that is my swim bag when I swim. I am sure you have had water in your ear before, which is the worst when you are bouncing around trying to get it out. No more jumping, head tilting, or bouncing around (which looks even funnier when you are pregnant) if you use Swim-EAR the magical product that removes water from your ear. As for swimsuits I like to stick with two pieces. Similar suits to the one I am wearing in the photo can be found HERE, HERE, HERE. Lately I have been wearing these bottoms when I am swimming for added comfort.


Category: Intermediate

Why it helps: The ladder workout can take some of the monotony away from pool training. It is great to build endurance and can trick you into swimming longer when you would rather quit your workout.

Total Distance: 1500 yards

  • 500 yards freestyle, rest :20 seconds
  • 400 yards freestyle, rest :15 seconds
  • 300 yards freestyle, rest :10 seconds
  • 200 yards freestyle, rest :5 seconds
  • 100 yards freestyle


Category: Intermediate

Why it helps: Like ladder workouts, timed 50s can take some of the monotony away from pool training. They are great to build endurance and do not require tracking your distance in the pool like a typical swim workout. Just be sure to have a watch/clock/timer that is easily within view to time your intervals.

Total Distance: Variable

The easiest way to explain this type of workout would be use a set of 50 yard freestyles on the one minute.

  • 10 x 50’s yards freestyle on “the minute” or :60 seconds

This means you would be swimming 10 x 50’s yards freestyle every minute. Regardless of the point on the clock from which you begin the set, you will leave at that same point for each swim in that set. If you are swimming 10 x 50’s on the one minute – leaving on the 60 (top of the pace clock) – and you want to hold 40 seconds on each swim. This would allow you 20 seconds rest before leaving to swim the next 50.

Just for reference when I am pregnant I can’t hold this pace. I like to do my 50’s on 1:10 and I usually have about 15 seconds of rest between 50’s and can maintain that pace for 1500 yards.


Category: Beginnier

Why it helps: This drill helps develop bilateral breathing, which is essential for swimming in open water. It also gives you variation in the frequency of breathing which helps your body adjust to changing conditions.

Total Distance: 1000 yards

  • 4 x 250 alternating breathing pattern as follows:
    • 25 yards breathing every 6th stroke,
    • 50 yards breathing every 5th stroke (bilateral breathing)
    • 75 yards breathing every 4th stroke
    • 100 yards breathing every 3rd stroke (bilateral breathing)


Category: Intermediate

Why it helps: Improves kicks and timing. You will need a kick board and fins are optional.

Total Distance: 1800 yards

  • 400 yards freestyle warmup (choice of strokes)
  • 200 yards crawl alternating lengths of pull and kick (on the first 25 pull only, on the second 25 kick only, repeat — do not use a kick board)
  • 4 x 100 yards flutter kick arounds  (one length each of kicking on stomach, left side, right side and back — ok to use kick board)
  • 4 x 50 yards crawl, resting :15 between (count 3 kicks per arm stroke)
  • 2 x 100 yards IM kick only (with or without kickboard)
  • 400 yards freestyle warmdown  (swim choice of strokes slowly)


Category: Beginner

Why it helps: Improves endurance, breathing rhythm, and gain technique on  flip turns.

Total Distance: 1200 yards (plus flip turn practice)

  • 200 yards crawl warmup (continuous swimming)
  • 200 yards crawl no breath approaching wall (breathe in any pattern during swim but do not breathe within 4 strokes of approaching the wall)
  • 4 x flip turns (practice taking 4 strokes and doing a flip turn followed by 4 strokes)
  • 4 x 100 yards crawl resting :15 between (breathe every 4th stroke and do not breathe within 4 strokes of the wall, do flip turns on all turns)
  • 4 x flip turns (practice taking 4 strokes and doing a flip turn followed by 4 strokes)
  • 4 x 50 yards choice of strokes, resting :15 between (do any single stroke or mix the strokes)
  • 200 crawl warmdown (swim slowly and relax)

Hope you enjoy these 5 swimming workouts! Do you enjoy swimming laps? What is your favorite type of workout?


My 2016 Reading List

You can tell a lot about a person by who they hang out with, what they read, what they watch, and how they prioritize their time. Today I thought it would be fun to give you a glimpse into what I have been reading this year.


Here are 6 books I have read this year or by authors I love reading that I think you might enjoy too! There are 3 fiction books and 3 non-fiction books. Plus I am also sharing what is on my reading list for the rest of the year.

I wanted to note that I while I love reading I tend to do most of my reading after the kids have gone to bed and on days when Josh is at the fire station. I really try to read my bible most days during the week and when I am doing a bible study I usually will wake up before the kids to be able to spend time while the house is quiet reading and praying.


I have a bit of strict criteria for what I read. I won’t read books that have profanity. I don’t speak that way so I really don’t prefer to read it. I also seek out books that have an underlying faith/inspirational/uplifting message. There are already so many dark things in this world that what I put into my mind I want to be positive. And lastly if I know a book is basically soft porn I won’t go near it. And yes, I am talking about books like 50 Shades of Grey.

In March I discovered Josh had signed us up for a kindle unlimited account over a year ago. I now love kindle unlimited and have found some amazing authors!

Resolutions by Jenn Faulk

I adored this book. The storyline is about 3 friends who have 10 resolutions and a year to complete them. Emily the main character is the daughter of a megachurch pastor and the assistant to a sensational and exhausting wedding coordinator. Using the resolutions as a challenge to make life about more than being a mindless drone at work, she ventures out of her comfort zone – trying new hobbies, picking up new exercise habits, travelling abroad, helping out in new ways at church, DATING – and discovers in the process that there’s more to life than weddings and work. I deeply connected to the characters and story and was so sad when I finished. Thankfully I soon discovered that Jenn has written multiple books about these same characters.

Storm Clouds Rolling In (#1 in the Bregdan Chronicles Historical Fiction Romance Series) by Ginny Dye

This book totally caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did and took a chance off all the reviews on Amazon when I decided to read it. The first book in this series is available on Kindle Unlimited but the additional 8+ books in the series will need to purchased. Trust me. They are worth the money and you will want to keep reading this series.

The main character Carrie Cromwell comes of age as the dark clouds of the Civil War swallow the country. Born with a fiery spirit and a strong mind, she finds herself struggling between the common wisdom of the South and the truth she has discovered. If you love history you will love this book and if you don’t love history you will still love this book. I have found myself in tears, laughing, and turning the pages in suspense while reading this series. All the characters are well developed and I was given a new understanding or what our country experienced during the Civil War.

Waves of Deception by Hope Callaghan

I love Hope’s books! I had never heard of the Cozy Mysteries genre before I started reading her books. Cozy Mysteries are stories that are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community.

Samantha Rite is in desperate need of a vacation. Her life is shattered when after 21 years of marriage, her husband walks out on her, leaving her for another woman. As Sam is trying to pick up the pieces and start over, her family decides now would be the perfect time for her to take a relaxing vacation.  Sam finds herself caught in the middle of a deadly adventure of a lifetime.

Be sure to check out her other series: Made in Savannah, Southern Sleuths, and Cruise Ship.


For non-fiction books I tend to lean more towards health/fitness, parenting, and marriage topics in addition to my bible and bible studies.

NIV, Giant Print Compact Bible

This bible is so great. Large enough to read. Compact enough to carry. This compact NIV Bible makes the comfort of giant print especially portable. This isn’t a study bible but it is very easy to read the font and it fits great in my larger purses and bags without taking up all the space. I am so committed to finishing the entire book this year. I have read the New Testament the beginning of the Old Testament and still need to read Judges – Malachi.

Orphan Justice: How to Care for Orphans Beyond Adopting by Johnny Carr

This book totally broke my heart and opened my eyes to how Christians are clearly called to care for orphans, a group so close to the heart of Jesus. In reality, most of the 153 million orphaned and vulnerable children in the world do not need to be adopted, and not everyone needs to become an adoptive parent. However, there are other very important ways to help beyond adoption.

I love that this book clearly outlines numerous ways you can become involved  in caring for orphans. This book sparked amazing conversations with family and friends and I highly recommend it to anyone considering adoption/fostering or if you are just curious on the topic.

The Well-Versed Family by Caroline Boykin

This one-of-a-kind resource makes Bible memory doable – with proven memory tips and tools, engaging games and activities, quick family devotions, 90 memory verse cards, and more.

I have really enjoyed the tips mentioned in this book and have noticed that our kids have begun to memorize scripture with more ease and it has also been beneficial for Josh and I too!

In addition to the books I have read I am also looking forward to reading World’s Healthiest Foods, 2nd Edition: The Force For Change To Health-Promoting Foods and New Nutrient-Rich CookingEating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, and I know I will be brushing up On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep and also Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting From Birth to Six Years . The first two books I have just barely opened but I am super excited to dive into them and since we have used Baby Wise with both our kids I will be giving myself a refresher by skimming through the pages.

If you have any books you think I might like to read please let me know! I am always looking for great recommendations!


The 5 People I Know Who Have Had The Biggest Impact On My Faith

The 5 People I Know Who Have Had The Biggest Impact On My Faith

These people would all be the first to tell you they are not perfect. Everyone of them has their own habits, hurts, and hangups but what they all have in common is that they have allowed the power of the Holy Spirit to work through them.

There are so many people who have poured into me over the course of my life. If that applies to you I say thank you. To those of you mentioned below I also say thank you. You have impacted my life greatly and I am very appreciative for the time you have spent that shaped me into the person I am today.


I have to start with my Mom. I watched her from the time I was young have her quiet time, can remember her taking my brother and I to church Sunday mornings, and witnessed the women she surrounded herself with encourage and uplift her. When I was younger I didn’t understand her desire for bible studies, journaling, or prayer. I get it now.

I often think of the Andy Stanley quote “Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise.” I pray that I can encourage my own children’s faith journey the way my Mom encouraged and created an environment for mine to start to grow.


At the church I attended in junior high, Sun Valley Community Church (this was before they had a building and met in a movie theater), I attended a weekly discipleship group (or d-group). These groups met in the leaders home with several other students and discussed life from a biblical worldview.

My leader Melissa was a mom of 3 boys and each week she invited myself and a handful of other girls into her home. Melissa helped me memorize scripture that to this day I still have memorized, taught us girls how to make “booger” cookies (cookies made with pistachio jello), and showed a love for Jesus that I had never witnessed before.

She lived and breathed Jesus. She still does. After our d-group ended she continued to meet with me every few weeks and we tackled several Max Lucado books together.


When Josh and I started dating he hadn’t been attending church on a regular basis. He went when family was in town or for holidays. I had grown up going to several different churches for a period of a few years before my family would switch and try another church. When Josh and I started dating I was craving a church family and wanted to find a church home.

When Josh suggested we look for a church together I was excited and nervous. Excited that we were going to start going to church together and nervous that we wouldn’t be able to find a church that we both really felt at home in. For weeks we tried different churches and we were excited when we found a church that had a Saturday evening service also. We stepped into Chandler Christian Church on a Saturday night 10 years ago and have been attending services there ever since.

The senior pastor Roger Storms and the staff at Chandler Christian Church have been a huge part of our life this last decade. Roger’s faith and his love for his family and community are a beautiful thing to witness.

I have engaged with God more, developed a habit of asking the Holy Spirit to speak into my life, and have become more confident with communicating biblical truths since attending Chandler Christian Church under Roger’s leadership.


This one. There is so much I could write. Livonia came into my life through Chandler Christian Church. Shortly after Josh and I were married we signed up to take a weekly marriage class facilitated by a pastor at our church and his wife. The class used various books (Love and Respect, Sacred Marriage, Boundaries in Marriage) for weekly reading/homework and “Papa” Joe Beam’s videos. All of the other couples in our class had been married 8+ years so we were the babies having only been married a few months.

The class was great, we learned so much, had conversations we would have NEVER had at that point in our marriage, and met some pretty awesome people. One of the things our church recommend we do after getting married was find a couple who could mentor both Josh and I over the next year. From this marriage class we found our mentor couple. Livonia met with me weekly while her husband met with Josh.

Livonia, a mom of 4 kids and a business owner, allowed me to be part of her life. I went grocery shopping with her, hung out at her house, prayed, and we would read our bibles together. I could tell her anything and everything and I did. Stuff I couldn’t talk about with anyone else and she totally got it. I can’t tell you what a relief it was to be able pour out my heart to someone and not feel judged but only understood. She taught, showed, and prayed God’s grace over me and my marriage.


I know this isn’t technically a person. Last year I committed myself to joining a bible study. Caden’s preschool happened to have a bible study group at the same time he was in school and they had free childcare for Maisie. I took a deep breath, was totally out of my comfort zone, and within minutes of my first time attending felt so welcomed and loved on.

This group of ladies has blown me away with their love. They support and encourage others and showed me what being the hands and feet of Jesus look like. I am looking forward to studying, learning, and being challenged more together this year.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post there are so many people who have spent time guiding me and shaping me over the course of life. My life is messy and I am still learning daily to show grace to others and most importantly myself.

I would love to hear from you! Who has influenced your faith?

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