Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to Build for a 10 mile Swim

In 11 days I'll be on the start line for my first ultra-swim. It's been a while in the making, slowly building volume and open water swim experience over the past year after a looooong time out of the pool. Like, swim-team-in-middle-school time since I swam anywhere near this amount.

It's been a cool process. I built my athletic career largely around running and biking, and have been at them so long that it's easy to forget what it's like to go through the learning stages of developing as an athlete. Swimming is so technique driven that I was forced to constantly attend to and adjust what I was doing. And while I'm pretty sure that I could bike or run for pretty much forever if needed, swimming forever was a different story. The perspective shift even over the past 4 months has been incredible. 5000m was my "long" swim in March/April. In the fall/winter I considered over 3000m a long time to be in the pool. Last Friday, I swam 12,000m. And happily floated through a 3000 recovery the next day.

Here's what the Garmin swim watch extraordinaire says the last few months have looked like. It's not *quite* as dramatic a bump up in Aug/Sept as it seems from May/June, since I hadn't yet figured out how to enter my open water distance into my now-OCDish weekly total tracking via the magic watch:

I was fortunate to get out for some 5k-ish training swims at Moraine State Park a handful of times this summer, as well. Thanks to our chilly-ish summer, water temp never really got above 70 degrees, but it was clear skies all around:

The hay's in the barn now - time to taper and take on the Chattanooga River!

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