My thoughts on Swim Cords

I started playing around with swim cords on a consistent basis from December 2016.  From this time through to June 2017 when I competed in an Ironman, I had completed 28 sessions with an average session taking approximately 10 minutes.

From June 2017 through to June 2018 when I competed in another Ironman, I had completed 67 swim cord sessions. This time I played around with the sessions and what I was trying to achieve within my training block.

Up until this Ironman in June 2018, I had found very little value in using swim cords but I wasn’t ready to call it quits on using them because in theory, including swim cords in your weekly training makes sense.

In the past eleven weeks I had completed the following:


  • Week One: Three sessions completed as 3 x 25 reps
  • Week Two: Five Sessions completed as 3 x 25 reps
  • Week Three: Five sessions completed as 3 x 30 reps
  • Week Four: Five sessions completed as 3 x 30 reps
  • Week Five: Five sessions completed as  3 x 35 reps
  • Week Six: Four sessions completed as 3 x 35 reps
  • Week Seven: Five sessions completed as 3 x k440 reps
  • Week Eight: Four sessions completed as 3 x 40 reps
  • Week Nine: Four sessions completed as 3 x 40 reps
  • Week Ten: Three sessions completed as 3 x 45 reps
  • Week Eleven: Four sessions completed as 3 x 45 reps


Also in the past twelve weeks, I have started ranking sessions, overall disciplines weeks and overall weeks.  These are ranked on

  • Sessions value
  • Weekly Overall Discipline (moving closer or away from my goal)
  • Overall Week (taking in all training and have I moved closer or away from my goal)

While I plan to write in detail on my target rankings in another blog, I used this as part of my findings to determine whether using swim cords are worthwhile continuing or not.


My Findings 

Personally I have found using swim cords low value and as of this week, I have stopped using them. They had a noticeable negative impact on 14 sessions out of 33 completed in this time. For a person who can only get to the pool to train three times a week, every session has be high value.

It simply comes down to me wanting to protect the quality of my swim sessions.


Reasons why the low value

Between 3-5 swim cord sessions, 2 gym sessions and three swim sessions per week, it is creating too much fatigue.

If I got my strength work through hills, low cadence, paddles and core strength sessions, I would most likely continue to test and play with them but I can’t help think a good quality strength program in the gym will out rank using swim cord.

I will report back in a few months.


Tim Egge