Log Books

As you get older and progress farther in your swimming careers, a simple Personal Best ribbon is probably not all you need to chart your improvements.  When I swam, beginning in High School, I wrote down every workout I did.  I also recorded all my meet times with splits.  By doing this I could easily see how much I was improving from week to week and month to month and sometimes even day to day.  Most advanced swimmers keep some sort of ‘log book’.  The details and format may vary from swimmer to swimmer but most good to great swimmers keep a record.

I’ve searched out many websites and talked to other coaches about pre-set log books.  There are some out there, but most people I’ve spoken to have said the best way is simply to buy a notebook just for swimming and record what you want to record in a way that makes sense to you.  For you hi-tech folks, it may be easier for you to do it online using a blog, spreadsheet or a simple text document.

Here are a couple of examples of a log entry for a daily workout:


Monday March 15, 2010 Morning

Warmup – 200 fr, 200 choice, 200kick

Drill set – underwater dolphin to 15 x10

10×100 free on 1:30

Kick 20×25 no fins on 45


Same workout but with some detail

Monday March 15, 2010 Morning

Warmup – 200 fr (worked on my turns- 3 dolphins), 200 choice (worked my glide on breast), 200 kick – mixed strokes including back

Drill set 10×25 underwater dolphin to 15 on 40 – streamlined well and felt stronger than yesterday.  Did fly last 10m on all of them!!

10×100 free on 1:30 – was able to hold an even pace today (1:22-1:23).  Last 3 were tough but I made them!  Coach told me I did great :)

Kick 20×25 flutter kick on 45 – first time I ever made these with no fins and no cheating!

Cooldown – felt my body humming – really felt good all day today! Kept up with Charlie Champion on the 100’s!  Woot!

There are as many ways to do this as there are swimmers.  But that should give you a general idea.  You can chart in as much detail or as little as works for you.   I think the detail makes it more real and gives more value when you look back on it.

In a separate book, you can chart your best times from meets and Time Trials.  Find a format that works for you and use it!  For a good start you can go to our Hytek Team Manager Online site to view and print all of your meet and time trial times you’ve achieved as a Panther.  Go here:


Then select athletes, yourself and short course meters or long course meters times.  Then use the print option and VOILA! You have a great start!

For the view of a great swimmer I suggest you go to this site and read the section beginning with “Charting Your Progress”.


If you have difficulty with that link, try googling on “Janet Evans log book”.  Janet Evans is arguably the greatest distance swimmer of all time.