Training Advice for Newbies

evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
edited December 2014 in Beginner Questions
The forum has many pages of valuable advice about training for marathon swims in the TRAINING category, which can be accessed from the right-sidebar. A friendly reminder to please read these threads thoroughly before posting super-general (non-specific) questions about training.

If, after browsing through the forum archives (using the category & tag listings in the right sidebar) and using the search box, you still cannot find an answer to your question, feel free to post it to this thread.

Examples of useful details you might include (hat tip to @lakespray for these ideas):

- 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?


  • Advice on break from training for injury.

    I need some advice please from those of you in the know. I have been training for a 20k open water ( Rottnest channel ) swim for most of 2014 with weekly distances of 10 - 12k. Since October I have pushed up to 20k a week and completed my first 10k ocean swim. I found this swim difficult but managed to complete it.

    Two weeks ago I injured my back ( disc protrusion L4 L5 ) and was ordered complete rest. No lifting, no swimming.......

    Now I have been cleared to return to training after two weeks of physio and stretching. With the swim on the 21st of Feb I am wondering,

    How quick do you lose fitness/strength and how quickly can you get it back?

    Thanks for any advice you might have.
  • mczeemczee Member
    edited May 17

    24 years old, part of a team, some open water experience but no a lot, I want to just finish races

  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member

    Wow, totally missed this thread last year. Sorry to @TerryKeogh for no responses.

    I've had up and downs in my training, mostly because of personal reasons. But now I'm stuck in a place with few options for swimming in the winter. I just got back in the pool a few weeks ago and it took me about a week until I got my wind back, at least to handle an hour of straight swimming w/o pain.

    But speed. Well. I do have experience from a year or so ago. Two years ago I trained pretty hard and averages about 3.4k per hour (good for me). I managed Swim the Suck with no unusual pain or anything like that. In fact felt great enough to push it hard the last 45 minutes (of the 4:44).

    Fast forward a year (to 2014) and with little training at all, my usual (slow) 5K of 1:40-ish turned into a nice round number of two hours. And I felt like I was pushing the same. Still no problem finishing the race, none at all. But I was shocked when I saw the time.

    So I think it'll take time to come back. This is probably moot by now.

    @mczee, if you just want to finish races, then get lots of "horizontal" time. That's what I call it anyway. You want to get used to staying horizontal for quite a while. No stopping at the wall in OW! Do some long slow swims with little to no stopping.

    N.B., that this advice is coming from a very new, inexperienced marathon swimmer whose only marathon swims are in the 10K to 10 mile range.

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