Swimming equivalent to marathon run? Ultra run?

Senior Member
edited April 2014
Marathon swim equivalent to running a 26.2? 50 miler? 100 miler? My guess would be 10K, 10 mile, 20 mile respectively. Any ideas?

• Arlington, VACharter Member
I swear we talked about this somewhere in these forums. Can't remember what we came up with, but I think you're close. Had to do with what the elites do in those distances, time-wise, then what distance our elite marathon swimmers do in the same time, rounded to a nice number.

For ease with my triathletes, I multiply by 4. Or divide, depending which way I go. I tell them I'm doing a 10-miler, I tell them that's equivalent to them running 40 miles.

Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

• Charter Member
tortuga said:

Marathon swim equivalent to running a 26.2? 50 miler? 100 miler? My guess would be 10K, 10 mile, 20 mile respectively. Any ideas?

Actually having done all these, I would say @IronMike's "factor of 4" rule is pretty close. However, there is a wear and tear to running/walking races that you don't get in swimming. At the same time, swimming races have extended periods of total isolation that you don't get in running/walking. Throw in cold water, lampreys, men in grey suits, seasickness, drunks in boats and waves and maybe swimming sounds tougher. Throw in altitude sickness, getting lost, snakes, drunks in cars and bears and maybe running/walking sounds tougher. (I was once in a race where a guy fell over a bear.)

But it's all good clean fun for kids.

-LBJ

“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

• Member
Equivalent for whom? I have only briefly considered running a marathon and only if it was at the end of an Iron Man race. But somehow swimming got in the way of that goal. If we use the ratios that Iron man uses it is a 12:1 ratio which is ridiculous. I think IronMan needs to up the swim by a factor of 3 (off topic comment). Once I complete a 28 miler I may revisit the run a marathon goal. I don't want to ever have to admit to having run farther than I have ever swum.

-Sumner