The 12 Days of Xmas Swim

Jason and I have a tradition of doing a big swim workout over the holidays.  For the last couple of years we've done the "12 Days of Xmas Swim"; I originally got the idea from a Triathlete Mag article.  I've modified the workout to make it more our own, and mix in more of the stuff we do, and take out the stuff we don't (breast stroke - yuck!).  

This year we were away from home, and visiting my parents in the CA desert.  We stumbled across the most unbelievable pool (those who know me know how much I love outdoor pools) in Palm Desert.  The first thing that struck us was the parking lot - each spot had it's own palm tree for shade.  

Nicest parking lot ever!

The pool itself was gorgeous, surrounded by palms, mountains, and lots of different pools in the complex.  There was a 50m training pool, which we couldn't use as there were a couple of university training camps there (one of them was UBC - go T-Birds - my alma mater!), so we got to use another 25 yard pool - which was actually perfect as we were swimming 78x75, so need 25's of something.  And yards made it kind of nice as I'm not in super shape right now, so 5850 yards is only 5350 meters!

The 50m pool.

"Our" 25 yd pool.

Here's the workout (they are all 75's):

12. Free
11. Fly/back/free (25 of each - I put the fly here so we only had to do it twice)
10. Full gear (paddles, pull buoy and band)
9.  Breathe every 5/7/5 (25 of each)
8.  Free
7.  Back/free/back
6.  Kick
5.  Breathe every 3/5/3
4.  Full gear
3.  Free/drill/free
2.  Pull
1.  Free

You start with 12 and go all the way through to 1.  Then you go back to 11 and go all the way through to 1.  Then go back to 10 through 1.... you get the idea.  Last year we did it ascending, but it was mentally easier to start at 12 and go down, instead of starting at 1 and go up.  By the time you were starting at 6 through 1, the rest of the sets went by super quickly!  You need two sets of paddles, pull buoy, band, and kickboard as your gear is often on the other end.  Because you're always starting at a different end of the pool, you can't plan the workout to end off where your gear is. 

The whole thing took us exactly 2 hours; Jason was doing them on my interval but he didn't have that long to wait each time as he doesn't get that far ahead in only 75 yards.  Except kicking - I suck at kicking!  It was a nice way to celebrate the holidays and finish off our time in the desert.  We'll do it next year, so I'll post next year's version for anyone to try as well!


  1. Awesome...the pool and your swim

  2. Wow- crazy workout, and I love that you can do it when you aren't in super shape. That would kill me even in my top shape!
    That pool looks gorgeous- how can you beat a view with palm trees AND mountains!?