Swim around Key West Training Plan and Feasability

edited June 2014 in Beginner Questions
I am new to open water swimming and have decided that I would like to try to complete the swim around Key West next year solo. I want to know peoples opinions on the volume of training I will need to complete the swim and if it is even a reasonable goal. My background is 20 or so triathlons including most recently escape from alcatraz, and ironman lake tahoe. I have never swam more than 2.4 miles. My time for tahoe was respectable by triathlete standards at a 1:15. I would categorize myself as a slower swimmer 1:18/100 YD the fastest I've ever done and usually settle in around1:45 TO 1:50/100yd. I would also say that although these times are slow I can maintain them for long periods of time without any discomfort. I know that this will be a huge undertaking, but feel mentally strong after tackling an ironman. My only goal would be to finish inside the 8 hour cutoff which I think equates to roughly a 2:11/100yd for 12.5 miles. What says everyone? Thanks for the help, suggestions and training volume plans.
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Comments

  • gregocgregoc Charter Member
    Most importantly, only do the one organized by the FKCC. They are well organized and make safety a priority. The organizers do not swim their own event.

    The water will be warm >85 degrees. You will need to hydrate more than usual.

    Your speed will not be an issue. You will get a bit of a push on the gulf side of the island. At your pace you should be able to finish in about 6-6.5 hours.

    There is a lot of good info on workouts and swim prep on this forum. Build your weekly yardage slowly. KW is a fun town to hang out in after the swim.
  • flystormsflystorms Memphis, TNMember
    Graham - I'm getting ready to swim the one not FKCC here in a couple of weeks and can send you what I've done for my long swims since January. My email is adventurechick3 at yahoo . We'll see how it all works out, but can also give you an update once I'm done on lessons learned as a first-timer. I'm shooting for a 6hr race myself and hoping to get within :15 mins either direction of that. Several folks on this site have done that one.
    Kari
  • SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member
    Graham--your completion goal is well within reason. Determination & training discipline are among the most important variables, and you appear to have both. In setting pace goals, don't forget to add in a substantial amount of time for feeding/hydration (3-5 minutes an hour). Very difficult for anyone not named Graham Johnson to comment on training volume, since we are all so very different, but as a recovering triathlete myself, I'd speculate that its less than what you think. :O

    "Lights go out and I can't be saved Tides that I tried to swim against Have brought be down upon my knees Oh I beg, I beg and plead..."

  • what does it suggest on loneswimmer.com? i thought he said swim the distance every week, so 12.5/week and be able to complete half the distance in a single swim? Sorry if this information was wrongly sited loneswimmer. I swam an "adventure swim" of 10 miles last summer and that's what i based my training off of. i gotta do it again because I wore a suit :( Its a lot of time to commit but as you are an Ironman I'm guessing you've already cut that time into your daily life.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 2014
    Just a friendly reminder to please take advantage of the Forum archives for "training plan"-type questions - this a frequently discussed topic.

    For example, there is a thread titled, I kid you not:
    What is an Appropriate Weekly Mileage for Completing Marathon Swims

    There's also lots of good stuff in the training tag archive:

    http://www.marathonswimmers.org/forum/discussions/tagged/training
  • jmw1072jmw1072 New JerseyMember
    I am interested in the Key West swim as well. & any training plan or words of wisdom as well. My plan is to swim Key West in 2016. I am a lifelong swimmer, but a beginner in the field of long or marathon swim. Thanks. Will be following this topic! :-*
  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member
    Listen to Gregoc. The FKCC swim is the one to do. I've done it 4 times from 1996-1999. It's a 20K, so not overly long. It's challenging for a few reasons. You'll have to negotiate Cow Key Channel. The tide is usually coming in and the entire Atlantic Ocean feels like it's coming through. Stay it the extreme right of the channel. The water is very hot. I moved my feeds down to every 6 minutes and still suffered. The salinity of the water there seems to be a little more than other places I've been to. Make sure you've picked a good anti-chafe remedy. I like Sport Slick.

    Make sure to load up on sunscreen. Once around Dredgers Key the water becomes shallow and the bottom is sandy. Lots of light will reflect up and burn your front side. Once on this leg aim for the Holiday Inn (?) to the right of Cow Key channel.

    For me, training is the same for a 20K as well as a 20K. Get in some good yardage, but don't completely blow off speed work. You'll need to call on your legs from time to time.

    Do your best to train some in salt water. Our bodies respond to salt water than regular fresh water.

    Enjoy your training and the race.

    Chris

    IronMike
  • allanl16allanl16 Member
    edited March 5

    swimmer25k said: For me, training is the same for a 20K as well as a 20K. Get in some good yardage, but don't completely blow off speed work. You'll need to call on your legs from time to time.

    Do your best to train some in salt water. Our bodies respond to salt water than regular fresh water.

    Hey Chris I'm doing the event this year and wanted to know if you had a training plan and/or sets I could use? Thanks!

  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member

    allanl16 said:

    swimmer25k said: For me, training is the same for a 20K as well as a 20K. Get in some good yardage, but don't completely blow off speed work. You'll need to call on your legs from time to time.

    Do your best to train some in salt water. Our bodies respond to salt water than regular fresh water.

    Hey Chris I'm doing the event this year and wanted to know if you had a training plan and/or sets I could use? Thanks!

    Allan,

    Drop me an email to swimmer25k@hotmail.com and we can talk. How much time do you train per week, how much yardage do you get per workout, and what pace can you hold of you had to do 100X100s (for example). Just so I can get a feel for what you've been doing.

    The water their is super-hot, so you'll need to feed more than usual. My feeding schedule was usually every 12-15 minutes. I dropped it down to 8 for Key West. If you dehydrate quickly (like me), try looking into a product called Success Caps. Good salt replacement supplement.

    Talk to you soon, Chris

  • JustinJustin Member

    swimmer25k said:

    allanl16 said:

    swimmer25k said: For me, training is the same for a 20K as well as a 20K. Get in some good yardage, but don't completely blow off speed work. You'll need to call on your legs from time to time.

    Do your best to train some in salt water. Our bodies respond to salt water than regular fresh water.

    Hey Chris I'm doing the event this year and wanted to know if you had a training plan and/or sets I could use? Thanks!

    Allan,

    Drop me an email to swimmer25k@hotmail.com and we can talk. How much time do you train per week, how much yardage do you get per workout, and what pace can you hold of you had to do 100X100s (for example). Just so I can get a feel for what you've been doing.

    The water their is super-hot, so you'll need to feed more than usual. My feeding schedule was usually every 12-15 minutes. I dropped it down to 8 for Key West. If you dehydrate quickly (like me), try looking into a product called Success Caps. Good salt replacement supplement.

    Talk to you soon, Chris

    I am also signed up for this swim for this summer as well and was looking for some advice on nutrition, I can go about 8 miles in a pool without food or drink but I haven't swam in warm water or so far south before. Do you think I could send you an email as well?

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