• Thu13February 2014
  • Challenge 2014 #Swimathon – when the going gets tough, have a plan

    It would be a lie to say that I’m finding training for the #Swimathon easy. Some days it feels like an uphill struggle. That said, I’ve had a few moments of clarity over the last few weeks, thanks to my session with Duncan Goodhew, advice from an awesome triathlete I know and a training plan.

    Oh I love the water, I really do, just need a plan

    Oh I love the water, I really do, just need a plan

    When it comes to running, I pretty much know by now what I need to do. And while, from time to time, I may take a sidestep from what I need to do, I always keep roughly to the same drills. I’ve even started trying to incorporate speed work and track training, which I hope will pay off. Whatever the case may be, I feel pretty strong during my runs and hope to stay that way.

    Swimming is an entirely different kettle of fish. With Duncan’s advice, I know what to do – it’s just the ‘doing’ that I find the most difficult. I’ve been using the float to perfect my stroke and even got kind of used to breathing out under water (it’s ruddy hard) but some days my lungs still feel like they’re going to explode. A tip from a triathlete that I saw at the weekend is proving very useful at the moment. She said breath out underwater like a horse and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. It’s the fear that stops you from breathing properly and once you get over it and feel more relaxed in the water, those lengths become easier. I know that I can do the distance and it is coming…slowly…together – though I know deep down that in order to complete this swimming challenge of 2.5k in the pool, I’ll need a plan.

    Luckily for me, #Swimathon has got it covered. I was pleased to find that #Swimathon offer a 10-week personalised plan for a 2.5k on their website. Now I may have just over five weeks to go (that’s half the time) but when I entered my predicted time (well over 1h30), I discovered that the training wasn’t that unrealistic.

    Week 5 entitled Endurance week (like it!) looked something like this:

    Warm Up 1                x 100 Swim (45 SRI)2                x 100 Swim with last 50 stronger   (30 SRI)3                x 50 Swim with a pullbouy or   float (30 SRI)
    Skill Development 4 x 50 Swim Hands in Fists (20 SRI)
    Main Set 4 x 100 Swim Strong (30 SRI, PTC 3:30)
    Cool Down 2 x 50 Backstroke / freestyle (20 SRI)

    When you do the math and break it all down, I need to complete 40 lengths of a 25m pool. No, they’re not all at the same intensity and some are tougher than others but having this plan on paper makes the #Swimathon feel more achievable. If you complete this session twice this week, then it’s a great base for the 2.5k challenge (100 laps of a 25m pool). Or so they say.

    Whatever the case maybe, I know I can do 40 lengths comfortably, so this training plan will build my endurance. I just need to keep working on my breathing and, as Duncan says, relax in the pool.

    Is anyone else training for the #swimathon 2014? Do you have any tips to help me improve in the water?

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