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  #1  
Old 02-14-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Tom Pamperin
Default Training for a 10-Mile Swim

Hello, everyone. I'm back on the forum after a long-ish break (I used to have the user name "tpamperin" but couldn't get that one working again), and looking forward to sharing thoughts and questions with everyone here as I train for the 10-mile Kingdom Swim in Vermont on July 25th.

I've been doing TI (mostly self-coached, with one lesson from Coach Dave a few years back) since 2005 or so, and have a pretty solid grasp of the basics, I think. I've been swimming pretty regularly since November, and averaging about 12,000m per week in a 25m pool.

I've never swum anything longer than 2.4 miles officially, though maybe 5-6 miles in practice as a rough guess at my longest. I'll be looking for ideas on how to develop my training between now and July to build up to holding my best stroke for a full 10 miles. I'm pretty confident of the distance, and curious about what kind of time it will take me. Sub-5:00 seems possible, but I don't really know.

So, more later about specific practices and insights, and specific questions. I've learned a lot already from this forum over the years, so I'm really looking forward to it.

If anyone has experience or ideas about how to prioritize my training, please let me know.

Happy swimming!

Tom
www.tompamperin.com
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2015
POK POK is offline
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Hello Tom,

Since you've asked about ideas for your training, I think the thread "A Formula for a faster 1500/1650" by Terry gives good ideas on how to structure your training. Worth a look anyway.
I'm also aiming for something similar at the end of the summer, so looking forward to following your progress.
I hope you enjoy the process.

Paraic
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  #3  
Old 02-16-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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s.sciame
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
I'm pretty confident of the distance, and curious about what kind of time it will take me. Sub-5:00 seems possible, but I don't really know.
Hi Tom, in order to predict your times over long distances, one way that I personally find very effective is to always have a clear picture of your current threshold pace and then practice enough aerobic sets to become efficient and consistent at paces below your threshold.
For instance, if your current threshold pace (or the avg pace your can hold for about 1500m) is 1:45/100m, you could spend enough time of your practice at paces say between 1:47 and 1:52, trying to pace yourself as evenly as possible (ie not starting faster and then slowing down). The more consistent you become at these paces, the easier becomes to predict your times over 10k and also the easier becomes for you to swim by feel (ie not aided by Tempo Trainer if you use one) in the open water and the day of the race. And when your threshold pace improves by 1s/100m (it'll happen without trying), by practicing this way you can reasonably expect that you've become 1s/100m faster in every distance from 1500m and up.

Cheers,
Salvo
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  #4  
Old 02-16-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
Hi Tom, in order to predict your times over long distances, one way that I personally find very effective is to always have a clear picture of your current threshold pace and then practice enough aerobic sets to become efficient and consistent at paces below your threshold.
Thanks; that makes sense.

I'm familiar with training as a runner with long runs, tempo runs, and speed work (at various distances from 400m to 1 mile). I've been thinking that I'll gradually try to find a way to incorporate those kinds of heart rate zones into my TI work. I had my best success as a runner when I included all 3 types of training each week. The speedwork in particular was like magic, so I'll probably want to do some short repeats at fast speeds, with plenty of rest, as well as the threshold work.

The tricky part will be staying focused more on the TI side of things, and not paying too much attention to the clock. I think my best stroke is good enough to do well in the 10-miler, so my priority should probably be working to maintain that best stroke for longer distances. Which would probably fit in quite well with your suggestion.

Thanks!
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  #5  
Old 02-16-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POK View Post
I think the thread "A Formula for a faster 1500/1650" by Terry gives good ideas on how to structure your training...
I'm also aiming for something similar at the end of the summer, so looking forward to following your progress.
Thanks for the suggestion; I'll check that out for sure. Have you used particular ideas from that thread in your own training?

And what's the event you're working toward?
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  #6  
Old 02-17-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Hi Tom,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
I had my best success as a runner when I included all 3 types of training each week.
that's pretty much the way I'm training since last summer and I'm finding it very rewarding: in a week,

1) one session is threshold oriented: the main set is typically about 2km long, at threshold pace, split in repetitions from 100 to 400m with short recoveries (10 to 20s)

2) one session is endurance oriented: the main set is typically about 4km long, swum at 3s to 6s/100m below threshold pace, split in 400m reps with short recoveries (<= 20s)

3) one session is not quite speed oriented, it's more about getting used to change pace for a while and then settle down to cruising pace again: the main set is typically 1.6km long, swum slightly faster than threshold, split in 100m reps with little bursts of sprint on 1 or 2 lengths out of 4 and simulating open water starts and sighting (short recoveries again)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
The tricky part will be staying focused more on the TI side of things, and not paying too much attention to the clock.
This is an example of how Shinji typically trained for the Rottnest Channel Swim (19.7km, next saturday by the way). You could find the whole thread interesting.
I, fwiw, don't find it that hard to stay focused on the TI side of things during my sets, always count SPL, use my favourite focal points etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
I think my best stroke is good enough to do well in the 10-miler, so my priority should probably be working to maintain that best stroke for longer distances.
Thanks!
The major concern I would have if I had to swim such a long distance (10 miles or 16km) would be adapting to stay 5h in cold water. Are you planning anything to address this?
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
I, fwiw, don't find it that hard to stay focused on the TI side of things during my sets, always count SPL, use my favourite focal points etc.
Yes, that is usually true with me, too. But I want to make sure the clock doesn't start dictating what I do. I want my speed to be the RESULT of my TI practice, not the goal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
The major concern I would have if I had to swim such a long distance (10 miles or 16km) would be adapting to stay 5h in cold water. Are you planning anything to address this?
It seems likely it won't be too awfully cold. The organizers report temps ranging from 68 F to 75 F. And I'm well insulated enough that I don't think that'll be a problem. Of course, I'll do as much open water swimming as I can between now and then--I should be able to swim in the local lakes by early May, giving me 2 1/2 months before the swim.
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  #8  
Old 02-17-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post

1) one session is threshold oriented: the main set is typically about 2km long, at threshold pace, split in repetitions from 100 to 400m with short recoveries (10 to 20s)

2) one session is endurance oriented: the main set is typically about 4km long, swum at 3s to 6s/100m below threshold pace, split in 400m reps with short recoveries (<= 20s)

3) one session is not quite speed oriented, it's more about getting used to change pace for a while and then settle down to cruising pace again: the main set is typically 1.6km long, swum slightly faster than threshold, split in 100m reps with little bursts of sprint on 1 or 2 lengths out of 4 and simulating open water starts and sighting (short recoveries again)
Thanks--this is helpful to check against my own plans. Thinking like a runner (not sure how productive that is, but it tends to be how I approach planning my training sessions), I've been doing something similar:

1) 1-2 sessions where endurance is targeted: long repeats (400m for me right now) on relatively short rests (30s now, but this will drop little by little). 4000m is my longest session right now. I think I may decrease pace and decrease rest a bit--I have probably been doing these a little too fast right now.

2) speed work (don't know what else to call it--it's definitely not all-out sprinting), each session concentrating on various times to swim at an effortful pace. This mimics my running, where I'd run repeats at various distances, much faster than race pace but by no means sprinting. So, something like:

400m running repeats (1:15-1:30 each) become 100m swimming repeats (about 1:20 now)

800m running (3:15-3:30) become 200m swimming repeats (about 2:57 now)

1600m running (6:30-7:00) become 400m swimming repeats (about 6:48 now)

Each of the above examples would be done in a different practice session, so I hit 1 or 2 different lengths of "speed work" each week.

All this on 1-2 minutes rest/easy recovery (good for drills/tightly focused slow repeats in the pool, probably), though I wasn't very strict--wanted to be fairly well rested for each repeat. In running, I started with 4 x 400 and added a repeat each week up to 10 x 400, descending times slightly (if not, it meant I started too fast).

I never did more than 3200m speed work no matter what the distance was for that week, and worked up to max reps gradually over several weeks. Then dropped down to periodize effort. I really saw my pace improve over the season by hitting a variety of distances with faster-than-race-pace efforts like this. Since I was racing long (50k to 50 mile) races, I didn't have to be very fast for this to be "speed" work.

3) The threshold/tempo pace repeats--I will experiment with adding this (steady but fairly fast effort for 10-15 minutes within a longer repeat or session). I'll probably work on longer (400m and up) repeats, bookended by easier-paced repeats for warm-up and cool down.

It'll be interesting watching how this approach works with swimming. Thanks again for the suggestions so far--I'd be very interested to hear other ideas, too. Especially from those who have already done a long swim event!
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Last edited by Tom Pamperin : 02-17-2015 at 07:40 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Another question to help me plan my practice as I work toward my 10-miler.

Seems like the conventional wisdom for endurance sports is to spend a lot of time in the low effort/easy training range, and also prioritize the high effort/speed work range, and avoid the middle "comfortably hard" range that many of us use by default.

Do you think that holds true for swimming as well?

Seems like the low effort/easy yardage would be a great opportunity for mindfulness, technique, and neurological training.

High effort/speed would be great for mindfulness, maintaining SPL at higher tempos, TT work, staying relaxed, etc--all while developing aerobic capacity.

So I guess it's perfectly compatible with TI practice to prioritize your training this way. Does anyone have any thoughts about that, or experience with organizing your own training that way?

Thanks!
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  #10  
Old 01-28-2018
jamesdave
 
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10 miles swim, seriously, I can't imagine it
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