training program

edited November 2012 in Beginner Questions
Hi, I am just wondering how many kilometars, hours, trainings per week do you recommend for this early part of the season if I am preparing for the races that will start in June 2013 (8-10 5km races, 1-2 10k races)? any help would be very much useful
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  • A minimum of 4 days a week, preferably 5 days. One hour to one hour thirty, seems like an average base at this time of year, increasing over the winter and spring. This is the easy time of year, 15 to 25k maybe depending on what you are used to.

    There are of course more and different answers to this, depending on the swimmer.
  • I'm at 4 sessions per week. Roughly 20 km, including one longer session of 6-10 km. Trying to improve technique at the moment. I am planning on moving gradually to 30 km in the early spring in preparation for Windermere in July.
  • do you recommend this 5-6 km per training, 5x1000, 3x1500 or 20x200,10x100+10x300?
  • also, like you/I can find training programs on the internet for marathon running, Ironman, can you find it (please, where??) for marathon swimming ?
  • There's plenty on this site (animal, lunchtime etc). Beware though, there are some pretty fast swimmers around, so if you're more pedestrian like me, try not to be too daunted, just adjust to your current pace and stamina levels!
  • Charter Member

    I'm at 4 sessions per week. Roughly 20 km, including one longer session of 6-10 km. Trying to improve technique at the moment. I am planning on moving gradually to 30 km in the early spring in preparation for Windermere in July.

    I think that sounds fine. If you can handle already 6K, you're not going to have a problem this Spring.

    I never did more than 30,000 yards in a week training for Swim the Suck (10 miles). I was usually closer to 24,000. And I think I trained more than most people who did that event. (I know I swam slower than most of them.)
  • Charter Member
    I will back up what @WaterGirl said. I averaged closer to 15K per week leading up to Swim the Suck. Work got in the way mostly, so I tried to do quality versus quantity. (Not suggesting anyone else here concentrates on quantity over quality.) I theoretically knew that I could handle the 10 miles, but I was still scared (yes, scared) that I'd not be able to stay horizontal comfortably for so long. The longest I had done in the pool was 10,000 yards (just under 3 hours), but that included short breaks where I was vertical.

    In other words, I was more concerned with time horizontal than miles on my shoulders, if that makes sense.

    So in the 3 weeks leading up to StS, I did a long day once a week where I spent as much time horizontal. That was 2 to 2.5 hours, basically broken into sets of 1500m, with less than :10 rest at the end just to get a quick drink of water. 2.5 was still only half of how long I thought it would take me to do StS. But, I had work and family commitments that I didn't want to miss out on.

    In the end it all worked out. I realized shortly into the race that I'd be able to do it. I swam it a little under 5 hours and nothing really hurt much.

    Now, I would never try anything bigger, like a solo crossing anywhere, on only 15K a week.
  • Charter Member
    I think it's also important to take into consideration what your current base is right now. If you've been swimming and are just trying to maintain for a few more months until you start building as your races get closer, then you won't need to train quite as much as if you're starting from scratch. Starting from scratch, I'd really think you'd want to be at the 4-5 sessions per week and building endurance right now. If you have some of a base and want to save some motivation for later when you need to be swimming a more intensely, 3-4 sessions with a greater focus on technique is probably just fine, too.
  • So the swim coach in me says before making a training plan or workout suggestions for you I'd be interested in some more information such as;

    About how old are you?
    What's your current fitness level, how much are you currently swimming etc?
    Do you consider yourself under, over weight or just right?
    What is your swim background, I.E. did swim competitively and if so at what level?
    When did you last time a 1500m pool swim and how fast did you go?
    What training facilities (pools) do you have access too and what are your open water (OW) training possibilities like?
    How much time can you train per week?
    Will you be able to swim with a team?
    What is your current OW experience?
    How competitive do you want to be in these races? for example just finishing them or do you want to win and at very least be in top five overall or age group etc.
    Do any of these races have web sites with results if so please link one or two of them.
    Generally, what is the water temp for these races?
    Going with or without a wetsuit?
  • Member
    Hi guys.. I have a training question and can not post yet (probationary period) and wanted to know some information.

    40 year old, doing the EC (august) and Catalina (june) this year. Need some help on my training... I plan to do the milage, but am having issues trying to fit in everything.

    1. How much speed work did you do in the last 3 months - like interval training.

    2. How much threshold work did you do?

    3. Did any of you guys use a vasa trainer?

    4. I am worried I will not be able to get longer swims in twice a week - usually lasting longer than 10 + miles. How many of you are able to commit this type of schedule for your swims. I plan to get long swims in = to the total milage of the total swim attempt, but its really difficult getting it in twice a week. I am breaking the milage over shorter swims and then committing to a long swim once a week.

    I am not looking for the world record, I just need some help to put this all in perspective. Any and all advice is welcome... please help. I am freaking out a bit.
  • I'll pipe in here. I said the same thing to someone else recently on the channelswimmers listserve. The Channel is a fickle beast. There is no one answer, no one way. You do want to have a modicum of distance under your belt , HOWEVER... there are many parts to the Channel. Know how to tread water! Know what you want feed on, what works and have a fall back plan. Know how to and be comfortable swimming at night. Know your crew.. or make sure your crew knows you. KISS, Keep it simple......
    The 6 hour swim is a MINIMUM unless you are Petar or Trent ( or Michelle or Marcia or Anne or or or.)
    There is no one definitive amount of yardage. Some people whom you would swear were shoo ins, don't make it. Some whom you wouldn't think could go past the 6 hour mark.. zip across.
    The weather plays a HUGE part, you may not even get to go. ( not so true w Catalina but very true w the Channel) Trust in yourself and yet always push yourself.
    How's that for wishy washy?
    I love swimming
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com
  • And channel swims are cold, which makes it tough to acclimate for those of us more than a thousand miles from the nearest ocean. I'm doing lots of stationary laps in an ice bath a few times a week. And, as Suzie pointed out, there's no singular approach. Most of the Brits I've chatted with think the weekly mileage we put in is crazy. I'm doing quality intervals (5-6000 scy) during the week and get in a long swim, 4-6 hours on Sundays. I take a rest week, reducing the volume by a third, every 4th week. Your mileage may vary!
    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska
    http://mollysbigswim.blogspot.com/
    www.facebook.com/molly.nance
  • edited March 13 Member
    About the cold... those training from Dover usually only get to swim "cold" water on the weekends and they do just fine. Yes, there is a physical need to become acclimatised but... there is also a mental preparation.Not to say they aren't both important! If you go in thinking "it's cold" yes, it's going to be cold. Donal's blog has superb information on it.
    It definitely is more difficult from the hinterlands but certainly not impossible. Denver, MN, IN,IL, SC all have successful EC crossers! @ mollynance! you are doing great!!
    Come to SF.. we'll get you your 6 hour in in 5 days.....
    I love swimming
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com
  • edited March 20 Member
    I've been following and adapting the Complete Conditioning for Swimming, which is a staple text for swim coaches and serious (non-marathon) swimmers. So, using those guidelines, I had my "mid-season meet" set at Charleston 12 mile in October and "Championship meet" set for Tampa Bay Marathon. I try not to think about my highest yardage per week, but I do keep track of the weekend long swims....I will peak at back to back swims of 12 miles before my taper settles in..just 10 more days!! My weekly yardage is about 60K this week, might be more.
  • said:

    I've been following and adapting the Complete Conditioning for Swimming, which is a staple text for swim coaches and serious (non-marathon) swimmers. So, using those guidelines, I had my "mid-season meet" set at Charleston 12 mile in October and "Championship meet" set for Tampa Bay Marathon. I try not to think about my highest yardage per week, but I do keep track of the weekend long swims....I will peak at back to back swims of 12 miles before my taper settles in..just 10 more days!! My weekly yardage is about 60K this week, might be more.

    Have fun in Tampa. A few words of advice. Don't breathe to the left and avoid looking at Tropicana Field. You're in a left-hand turn at that point and that sucker doesn't move. Also, don't look for the Gandy Bridge. It doesn't get any closer either. :D
  • said:

    Hi guys.. I have a training question and can not post yet (probationary period) and wanted to know some information.

    40 year old, doing the EC (august) and Catalina (june) this year. Need some help on my training... I plan to do the milage, but am having issues trying to fit in everything.

    1. How much speed work did you do in the last 3 months - like interval training.

    2. How much threshold work did you do?

    3. Did any of you guys use a vasa trainer?

    4. I am worried I will not be able to get longer swims in twice a week - usually lasting longer than 10 + miles. How many of you are able to commit this type of schedule for your swims. I plan to get long swims in = to the total milage of the total swim attempt, but its really difficult getting it in twice a week. I am breaking the milage over shorter swims and then committing to a long swim once a week.

    I am not looking for the world record, I just need some help to put this all in perspective. Any and all advice is welcome... please help. I am freaking out a bit.

    I was swimming 10k per workout and Saturdays was about the same, but out in the ocean.

    I didn't do much speed work while training. Mostly terrible sets like 5x2000s or 3 hour pool swims. I know every way to cut up 10000 yards. I sometimes got to swim with the USS team, which had intervals and sets for max speed. It was a nice change of pace.

    I didn't break 10:00 in a 1000 at a meet that year because my speed was totally gone, but I did have a fast EC time. Slow and steady wins the race.

    I found that I would naturally build during long workouts, so it wasn't necessary to deliberately focus on threshold swimming. I wouldn't sweat it. Again, Slow and steady wins the race. Marathons are about the grind and being able to hold on to an indefinite pace.

    Before Tampa Bay one year, there was a super-fast NCAA swimmer doing pace 100s in the hotel pool. That was completely unnecessary and probably didn't help him in the race. I also realized that he didn't have much of an idea of what he was doing, which was to my advantage. He learned a lot during that swim and a few months later he completed the EC with a very good time.

    I didn't use a VASA trainer at all. IMHO, if you have time to workout, it should be in the pool instead of being on a machine. If it's all you've got, go for it, but there's no substitute for water.

    Keep your head in the game and don't freak out!
  • edited March 25 Member
    said:

    Have fun in Tampa. A few words of advice. Don't breathe to the left and avoid looking at Tropicana Field. You're in a left-hand turn at that point and that sucker doesn't move. Also, don't look for the Gandy Bridge. It doesn't get any closer either. :D

    Thanks! I breathe to both sides and generally just turn my brain off when I swim. Not very hard to turn it off. :D Turning it back on again is another story!
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