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sarge
November 14th, 2008, 08:50 AM
OK, let me say this right now. I'm not real competitive. To me a good race (in anything - water, land, dirt, mud) is one where I don't DFL. And I'm stoked if I'm in the first 2/3 of finishers. I count my place from the back, not the front.

I didn't swim for almost a year prior to the last two Tiburon Mile swims I did. My training didn't start until June for the fall swims. This year I went without a wetsuit and my goal was to finish and not DFL my age group. I met that goal.

I'd swim more and swim harder but the thing is I bike about 5000 miles a year. Now, as we all know, with middle aged men and endurance sports, the line between bad-ass and dumb-ass is a thin one. I've crossed it a few times. Like when I rode a hard 40 miles on my fixed gear in 100 degree heat and then went for a long course masters workout a 5:15 in the afternoon. My hamstrings knotted up when I pushed from the wall about 1500 meters into the workout and that night I bordered on incoherent.

Right now, NorCal has the best cycling weather I've seen in years. Dry, calm, with highs in the 70's. No way I'm going to stay off my bike. And it's really hard to not try for a PB on my 14 mile commute when it's 75 degrees and zero wind at 4 in the afternoon.

So my question is this. If I swim 2-3 times a week and hang out in the slow lane for the next few months until spring and then ramp up my training before the Aug-Sept swims (Tiburon and Alcatraz) will I be in a better position than I was the last two times when I didn't even get in the water until June? The really good cycling weather doesn't really go away until January when the winter storms kick in. Spring gets windy and I often take the train or the bus home and I'm a teacher so I don't really ride much when I'm not commuting 30 miles a day to work. So I could see myself starting to swim more around Feburary or March.

Or even if I took it easy until June when I'm off and got more intense in the water when I had the time. Times the other factor. It's not uncommon for me to spend 1.5 to 2 hours a day on my bike. If I do that and then spend another hour in the water it can add up to three hours. Subtract 30 minutes (what my commute would be if I drove my car) and that's over two hours a day exercising. I have other obligations besides riding my bike and training for open water swims. At least that's what my wife tells me.

FlyQueen
November 14th, 2008, 09:37 AM
You are absolutely better off trying to get in the water a of days a week as opposed to not at all. It will help you keep your feel for the water. Your training can be basic endurance in a slower lane if that's what you have time and energy for. I would make the focus of the water sessions technique. With how much you are biking you don't need a ton of endurance work. Since the races you do are long you don't need a ton of sprint work. I would focus on technique and pacing.

Typhoons Coach
November 14th, 2008, 09:49 AM
You are absolutely better off trying to get in the water a of days a week as opposed to not at all. It will help you keep your feel for the water. Your training can be basic endurance in a slower lane if that's what you have time and energy for. I would make the focus of the water sessions technique. With how much you are biking you don't need a ton of endurance work. Since the races you do are long you don't need a ton of sprint work. I would focus on technique and pacing.

I agree whole-heartedly with this post!

Chris Stevenson
November 14th, 2008, 12:31 PM
So my question is this. If I swim 2-3 times a week and hang out in the slow lane for the next few months until spring and then ramp up my training before the Aug-Sept swims (Tiburon and Alcatraz) will I be in a better position than I was the last two times when I didn't even get in the water until June?

Absolutely.

Training also should not be a chore. If you are jazzed up by cycling right now, go with it.

Follow Flyqueen's suggestion and you'll be good to go. Since you do longer/OW swims anyway, there will also be pretty significant carry-over from your cycling training.