Our expert says:
Well done so far. I think you've successfully negotiated what is the first of the tricky parts - getting started. And you've seen results. Often, as you will see on this forum, people will train for many weeks without results and become demotivated, when in fact they are improving. YOu've managed to do both - improve and get results on the scale.
Moving forward, I don't think that the jump to the 1200 m programme is a very big one. Of course, had you begun with it from scratch, then 800 m is along way. But in week 6 of your present programme, you are doing 1000 m so you're actually decreasing it. In otherwords, week 6 of your current programme is 1000m, which means you have an easier week when you start on the next programme.
Considering your desire to take a break though (which is fine, by the way, it may even do you good), then what I would do is start again with week 4 of your current programme. Do week 4, week 5 and week 6, and then go straight into week 1 of the next programme. That should ensure a smooth transition. If, once you are on the programme you find that you are struggling to maintain the required distances, then just drop down a week. So if week 3 of the 1200 m programme is too challenging, for example, just drop down to week 2 (or even week 1) and maintain that for a week, then go back up. The key is consistency, and you don't need to worry about losing out if you do go back a step - it's all about maintenance in that week, growth can come later.
As for the weight training, at this stage, considering how you enjoy the swimming, I would leave the weight work out until you start to feel like you need some variety in the training. Certainly don't do it until you have at least conquered the next swimming programme - you don't want to be adding too many new things at the same time.
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