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  #1  
Old 10-03-2011
oceanswimfish oceanswimfish is offline
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oceanswimfish
Default Training for a 3km Ocean Swim

I've been training since August for a 3km ocean swim. I had been trying to teach myself TI, however found myself slipping back into my old routine. Just Slow continuous swimming and slowly losing my motivation.

Two weeks ago I managed to locate a TI Coach. Since then I have had two lessons and continue to practice my drills.

Prior to the TI training I was averaging 3 x swims a week.
1 x long pool session: 2km - 2.5km; and
2 x ocean swims 1.4km - 1.8km.

I am seeing huge benefits from the change to TI, however I am a little concerned at loosing my swim fitness.

My question is this -Given that I only have 4 weeks until the swim- Do I keep up my drills and forgo any distance work or is it best to incorporate one distance session and two drill sessions?

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

AV.
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  #2  
Old 10-03-2011
CoachKevin CoachKevin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanswimfish View Post
I've been training since August for a 3km ocean swim. I had been trying to teach myself TI, however found myself slipping back into my old routine. Just Slow continuous swimming and slowly losing my motivation.

Two weeks ago I managed to locate a TI Coach. Since then I have had two lessons and continue to practice my drills.

Prior to the TI training I was averaging 3 x swims a week.
1 x long pool session: 2km - 2.5km; and
2 x ocean swims 1.4km - 1.8km.

I am seeing huge benefits from the change to TI, however I am a little concerned at loosing my swim fitness.

My question is this -Given that I only have 4 weeks until the swim- Do I keep up my drills and forgo any distance work or is it best to incorporate one distance session and two drill sessions?

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

AV.
AV, what does your TI coach advise?
What is your goal for the race - finish, win your age group, win the race?
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Dubai, UAE
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2011
oceanswimfish oceanswimfish is offline
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oceanswimfish
Default Training for 3km ocean swim

Kevin,

I mentioned I was concerned about loosing my swim fitness and we never really discussed it after that.

My goal is to finish the race confidently, and to not get scared if someone tries to swim over the top of me.

AV.
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  #4  
Old 10-04-2011
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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I can add two pieces of encouragement.

1. Race day adrenalin usually kicks in and distances that can be a physical and mental challenge in training are easier to accomplish during an event.

2. 3km is a fairly long distance so really try to be calm at the start. There is always some hustle and body barging, but just focus on slow calm strokes and tell yourself the first 200 strokes are warm up, by then you should have clear water to enjoy the experience of the open water race in.

Also, as Terry mentions in his book, if doing the drills is keeping your heart rate up then your fitness and stamina training is taken care of.

Hope you have a great day.
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  #5  
Old 10-05-2011
oceanswimfish oceanswimfish is offline
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Andy

thank you, your advice was very helpful

Rgds

AV
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  #6  
Old 10-05-2011
terry terry is offline
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AV
The conditioning component probably accounts for 15 percent of your success in this swim. The energy-conservation component accounts for 85 percent. As well, the degree to which you can impact the 85 percent over four weeks is significant. The degree to which the 15 percent may be compromised is rather minor.
Even so, I see no reason why you should need to compromise fitness, even minimally. Keep your total hours of swimming the same - just make sure you complement the drill and skill practice you're getting with your coach with highly mindful repeats to deepen muscle memory on the new movements you're learning. And deepen your ability to stay narrowly and strongly focused on Making. Each. Stroke. Count.
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  #7  
Old 10-05-2011
dshen dshen is offline
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Originally Posted by terry View Post
just make sure you complement the drill and skill practice you're getting with your coach with highly mindful repeats to deepen muscle memory on the new movements you're learning. And deepen your ability to stay narrowly and strongly focused on Making. Each. Stroke. Count.
to add to terry's comment, some suggestions on how to do the above:

1. either as you warm up and/or after warm up, practice focal points to help improve problem areas. do this with short intervals, ie. 25y, 50m, 75y, 100m.

don't worry about rest interval - come to complete recovery which is usually 20s to 1 minute. you will know when you are recovered enough when your breathing calms down - your heart rate will drop to an equilibrium level which is your normal for the course of the workout. neuromuscular training is best done when you're not tired, or else you will get messy due to tiredness. do this from about 800y/m up to 1600y/m, as you feel works for you.

as you get through this part of the workout, focus your brain on burning into both mental and muscle memory the perfect stroke, or at least you executing the focal points correctly.

2. as you move into the main set, you can either use a tempo trainer or not but here I tend to like the tempo trainer as way of forcing a rhythm, and then it trains your nervous system to perform within that rhythm, which is the way to train it to perform perfect repetitions over a long time, like in a race.

3. you can start with shorter intervals, ie. 25y, 50y or 50m, and a slower tempo to gradually bring your nervous system up to long sets. depending on your fitness/skill level, this can be do an interval, holding your perfect stroke and/or focal points. then increase the tempo by .1 to .2 seconds. repeat. if you find that on an interval your perfect stroke/focal points get messy by the end of the interval, you've found your critical point where you'd probably want to spend your most time at, trying to improve in/around that tempo (this is why I use a tempo trainer for working out; it allows me to figure out at what tempo my problems begin and then i can come back to it the next workout; without a TT, i could never reliably come back to the same condition where i was having problems the last time).

4. then start the main set. when you're starting out with this kind of training, you might want to pay more attention to fatigue as it will cause messy technique when you're trying to push the tempo, in an attempt to gain speed. so you'd want to be conservative with your tempo and find the tempo at which you can complete a 3-4000m workout but maintain perfect stroke/focal points execution the whole time. that could be a lot less than the critical point tempo you found with the previous exercise.

as you get more fitness/skill, you can start approaching your critical point tempos as you increase the intervals in which you swim.

5. the concept of the main set, therefore, is a combination of slowly increasing your workout intervals from 50m to 200s to upwards of 400s, and also increasing your workout tempo gradually too.

you can also play with the tempo as well, varying up and down per some of the suggested workouts that terry and other coaches have suggested.

however, your goal is to maintain perfect stroke and/or focal points the WHOLE interval, EVERY interval.

if you cannot maintain perfect stroke/focal points, then increase your rest period. In fact, as you're developing technique, you can be less strict about your rest periods. most coaches force a declining rest interval onto you, in hopes that increases fitness. yes it works, but it presupposes a level of mastery of technique first, which most people do not have. if there is no mastery, you will be burning in bad movement habits which will make for you swimming harder but not necessarily faster.

or you can back off on interval lengths for a workout or two and then start increasing again.

this can be a great prep in the weeks leading up to the race. your fitness will rise right up alongside your nervous system which is what you want.

progress can be linear, or exponential (whoo hoo!), or frustratingly stop/start for a long time. but don't worry about that - your body and brain are adapting. do not let up on your focus even if it seems like you are moving backward in progress. keep it up and you will get to the race finish line feeling like you swam fantastically.
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  #8  
Old 10-05-2011
CoachKevin CoachKevin is offline
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Originally Posted by oceanswimfish View Post
Kevin,

I mentioned I was concerned about loosing my swim fitness and we never really discussed it after that.

My goal is to finish the race confidently, and to not get scared if someone tries to swim over the top of me.

AV.
Ouch! Sorry to hear that. Are you sure your coach is a "real" TI coach & isn't an imposter who only says they teach TI?

Based on your feedback one suggestion I'd make is to eliminate race day distractions as much as possible. You can't control what other swimmers will do, so do what's necessary to mitigate their interference. If there is a pack, stay away from them to minimize the liklihood of someone running over you. You may have to swim a little farther or wait a little longer at the start, but move to the outside of the group or to the very back. Let everyone get going then do your thing.

During the swim I'd suggest you choose 2 or 3 "focal points" or stroke thoughts to use. Cycle through them occasionally using stroke counts, breaths or even your internal clock to decide when to switch to another one. If you do each one for about 350 meters you'll only go through them 3 times during the race which will do your swimming a lot of good & should make the race fly by. Since you haven't been learning TI for too long yet, use FPs that work well for you.

You said you're seeing huge benefits from TI so far, so what 3 things are working well or feeling good?
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2011
oceanswimfish oceanswimfish is offline
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Kevin, thanks for your advice. I headed out on my first 1.8km ocean swim since learning TI. I set off well and each time I found my technique dropping a little I returned to skate drill. I managed to maintain my technique through the slight choppy conditions and remembered to keep my head down and stay relaxed with wide arms- another first for me as I'm not a fan of choppy water

It was very empowering.. The best thing was that if the water wasn't so cold I probably could have swum further. Today's temp 17.7C or 63.8F.
AV
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