View Full Version : Finished first 5k. Six weeks until 8k, training suggestions?

August 14th, 2011, 11:17 PM
I just finished my first 5k swim yesterday. I hadn't swam that long before and trained for it by doing a couple of 1.5 mile swims in a pool followed by one 2.5 mile open water swim each week. I finished in great time (relative to my goal, not the overall standings) and want to do an 8k swim in six weeks at 'Slam the Dam' in Lake Mead.

I suppose my question is, can I realistically be ready to increase my distance that much in just six weeks? I felt great at the end of my swim with just a little bit of shoulder discomfort (been battling rotator cuff tendonitis for months). My goal is to do one or two pool swims during the week at about 1.5-2 miles each, accompanied by one or two runs of about six miles each (all on separate days, of course). Then, I want to do a long open water each weekend, starting with another 5k this weekend, gradually adding on a quarter of a mile to the previous week's open water swim.

Assuming my shoulder holds up and I practice doing several feedings (only had to do one for the 5k) I hope to be ready. My lone goal is to finish, not to place high in the standings. Any suggestions?:cane:

August 15th, 2011, 12:48 PM
I can only share my experiences.

Each summer since 2008, I typically swim 4-5 open water swims culminating in the 5K Big Shoulders swim in Chicago. I train in pools working out 4-6X per week. In the mix of workouts each week, I do a couple that are distance based with continuous swims of up to 4K, I do a couple that have medium distance swimming on intervals, and I do a couple that focus on IM and/or fast interval swimming of 100's and 200's.

This year I decided to add the 4.5 mile Chattanooga River Rat Race to my itinerary and was contemplating the 10 mile Swim the Suck this October. I did the 4.5 mile race in June, and I have to say there is a pretty big difference between 5K and 4.5 miles. I was in the best shape I've been in since high school and I found the last half mile to be painful. Had plenty of cardio stamina left -- just no shoulders left. A little bit of rotator cuff pain, but mostly it was delt and trap soreness.

I did feed once at the beginning and once at about 3 miles, but that was it. I typically don't feed in 5K's.

I just did a 2.4 mile Saturday and felt good the whole way. But because that 4.5 miler ended in shoulder pain and I haven't been able to increase training to more than 4500 yards per work out, I am seriously reconsidering entering the 10 mile in October.

I am wondering if there is something key to pre-race diet for the longer distances.

August 15th, 2011, 12:48 PM
You will definitely be able to finish the 8K, but you will probably slow down more than you expect to. IMO, long pool practices are better than long OW practices for keeping your speed consistent.

You could probably do the 8K without even adding additional distance, but the more training you get under your belt the more fun it will be.

Last year, I did two 7K swims (actually 3 separate events with a few minutes rest between). I think the longest swim I did prior to that was 4,000 yards (~3800m). The first 7K wasn't fun at all. I didn't have any trouble finishing it, but I did have trouble *wanting* to finish it. That's the only time in my life I have ever felt miserable while swimming.

The second one was about a month later. Piece of cake.

Incidentally, the reason I didn't do enough long swims before the first 7K was that I was having trouble with fatigue. In hindsight, I realize that I wasn't eating enough. As you increase your distances, you're going to have to be mindful of eating more.

August 18th, 2011, 06:28 PM
5k to 8k seems do able given your training base. Good luck.

August 19th, 2011, 07:39 AM
hydrate, eat well and good night's rest

slam the dam on lake mead should be no problem

August 19th, 2011, 02:12 PM
Matt - since I'm really leaning on doing the same swim, might I suggest the following: You shouldn't swim an extra stroke between now and Slam the Dam! You're good. :D