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View Full Version : Thoughts on 4.8 miler undertrained?



ChrisM
August 18th, 2011, 01:10 AM
Goal this year was to do an organized 4.8 mile OWS, but they moved it from Oct. to Aug. As in this Sunday. Just need a little input from those that have done longer swims (and those that haven't). I've done about 200K yds this year,mostly at masters at 3K a pop. Just getting over an ear infection killed the last couple weeks.

Did our 2 local 2 mile pier to pier without a wetsuit in about 59 a couple weeks ago, but have only swam two miles straight twice this year. Can do 4K in a pool in about 1:15 without too many issues, including some IM and kick work, but that's about only halfway there. My 1.2 half ironman time is 30.

The swim would be in a wetsuit and the format (strange) would consist of four 1.2 mile legs where you have to come in to the beach (and the last two are loops, so we only start a couple miles down the beach). that's good and bad, I can rest, get fluids, etc., but getting in/out off the beach is where the effort comes in. But I can also bail every 30 minutes or so

There's a 2.4 mile option that I can fall back on, but I wanted to do the 4.8....

Just looking for objective advice whether this is stupid? go for it? It's not a typical safety open water question with the leg format. If it were a straight 4.8 I wouldn't consider it.

swimthegoodfight
August 18th, 2011, 06:07 AM
seems like you're physically VERY ready...

water temperature and conditions will play a role,

hydrate prior to the swim and on the laps - some nutrition too!

best of luck

That Guy
August 18th, 2011, 09:02 AM
In your position this is what I would do: do not warm up prior to the event, use the first leg of the race as a nice easy warmup, then if you're feeling strong pick up the pace, otherwise just maintain that nice easy pace. You should be able to cruise indefinitely.

sydned
August 18th, 2011, 10:35 AM
Do it. Do it. Do it. And most of all, have fun!

orca1946
August 18th, 2011, 06:22 PM
Go for it ! With the beach time every 1.2 , it seems as if they thought of some that might have to bail out .

fatboy
August 19th, 2011, 01:39 PM
I agree with That Guy. Use the first loop as warmup. Swim easy on 2 and 3. Get some water and nutrition after loop 2 or 3. See how you feel on 4 and just finish or push a bit if you are feeling good.

KatieK
August 19th, 2011, 09:17 PM
I'll be interested to hear your race report afterwards.

ChrisM
August 21st, 2011, 10:19 PM
So I decided on Friday to sign up, and did it this morning. Very happy that I did, and I took the comments here on pacing etc to heart, and think they helped. I am still amazed I was able to swim 100% further than I ever have in my life.

Rather than cutting and pasting the report, it's posted here http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=265634&posts=1&start=1

orca1946
August 22nd, 2011, 01:06 AM
Glad we could help !:agree:

KatieK
August 22nd, 2011, 11:10 AM
Excellent job, and thanks for the race report.

I'm not surprised that you were able to do the distance, but I'm amazed at your time. I would have expected you to be slower than your 2-mile pace (1:32/100 yards), but you were actually faster (1:29/100 yards).

Can anyone explain that? Do most people expect to hold a fast pace for longer distances than they've trained for?

I'm doing the 5K Postal Swim this Sunday. I've been concentrating on shorter races this year (1K), but I log plenty of yardage during the week (usually about 20,000).

I want to get a shockingly good time too--is ChrisM's wild success an anomaly or would you have expected it?

jbs
August 22nd, 2011, 11:41 AM
Excellent job, and thanks for the race report.

I'm not surprised that you were able to do the distance, but I'm amazed at your time. I would have expected you to be slower than your 2-mile pace (1:32/100 yards), but you were actually faster (1:29/100 yards).

Can anyone explain that? Do most people expect to hold a fast pace for longer distances than they've trained for?

I'm doing the 5K Postal Swim this Sunday. I've been concentrating on shorter races this year (1K), but I log plenty of yardage during the week (usually about 20,000).

I want to get a shockingly good time too--is ChrisM's wild success an anomaly or would you have expected it?

Congrats to ChrisM on a great swim! It sounds like a lot of fun.

Not to take anything away from that, but I wouldn't pay any attention to the per yard rate. There are a lot of things in the open water that make it virtually impossible to compare speeds from one race to another. Between current, inaccuracies in measuring distance, etc., a per yard rate can vary wildly from one race to another.

For instance, I did two 2.4 mile races in the ocean this year, exactly one week apart. One took me 62:41. The other took 47:30. These were both point to point races, so there was little difference in the actual distance swum. There was a big current assist on the second, while the current was actually against us a little on part of the first.

ChrisM
August 22nd, 2011, 02:15 PM
Excellent job, and thanks for the race report.

I'm not surprised that you were able to do the distance, but I'm amazed at your time. I would have expected you to be slower than your 2-mile pace (1:32/100 yards), but you were actually faster (1:29/100 yards).

Can anyone explain that? Do most people expect to hold a fast pace for longer distances than they've trained for?

I'm doing the 5K Postal Swim this Sunday. I've been concentrating on shorter races this year (1K), but I log plenty of yardage during the week (usually about 20,000).

I want to get a shockingly good time too--is ChrisM's wild success an anomaly or would you have expected it?

Thanks. :) I have my two mile splits as a 1:41, and this as a 1:37 (based on a 1760 yard mile). It's still faster, and especially considering the 1:37 includes walking through surf and up /down the beach, etc.. But as mentioned, you can't put too much stock in open water distances. These were supposed to be four equal 1.2 mile legs, but everyone's second 1.2 split was 2-6 minutes slower than all the others. Either 1, 3 and 4 were short, or 2 was extra long. Probably a bit of the former, since that first leg was super easy and sure didn't feel like a 32 minute 1.2.

Another big difference, well, two other big differences, the 2 miler was very choppy and was without a wetsuit. This was glassy calm with a wetsuit. I'd say the wetsuit accounted for most of the time difference. As much as I like swimming bareback, the suit does make it easier

KatieK
August 22nd, 2011, 02:21 PM
Not to take anything away from that, but I wouldn't pay any attention to the per yard rate. There are a lot of things in the open water that make it virtually impossible to compare speeds from one race to another. Between current, inaccuracies in measuring distance, etc., a per yard rate can vary wildly from one race to another.

For instance, I did two 2.4 mile races in the ocean this year, exactly one week apart. One took me 62:41. The other took 47:30. These were both point to point races, so there was little difference in the actual distance swum. There was a big current assist on the second, while the current was actually against us a little on part of the first.
I agree that conditions play a big part in open water times. Chop and swells slow you down, and currents throw all bets off. But, based on the course map, I don't think current was a major factor.

The only possible current assist on this swim would be a current that goes south to north. (The in and out would cancel each other out.) If there were a south-to-north current assist, the last two legs would be the slowest, since those are the only loops where the swimmers have to swim south. His splits don't show any evidence of that: 32:30, 36:45, 33:00, 33:22.

Another factor you can use to gauge performance in an open water competition is overall place. That's even more fickle than 100-yard pace IMO, but a useful data point nonetheless. CrisM was in the top 40% in this race. That's about where I'd expect a 59-minute 2-miler to land him.

And, even if you throw out both of those data points, there's the consistency of his splits. The 2nd leg was the slowest. (I'm guessing that's mental--Oh no! I'm not even halfway thru.) But the other splits are remarkably consistent. Without training for long distance, I would have expected the last loops to be slower.

I went to a lecture on goal setting recently, where the speaker mentioned that the marathon at the end of an Ironman should only be 4% slower than a marathon on fresh legs. That blew me away. My instinct is not to race when I think I'm in over my head--maybe that's a mistake.

http://www.distanceswimchallenge.com/images/course_map2.jpg

ChrisM
August 22nd, 2011, 05:54 PM
I think currents do a play a bit of a role. But I was never good at readng them, so..... The prevailing current in this area at the time of year is a south to north current. This race is about 10 miles north of the 2 mile pier to pier. Both days were reported to have some current.

Of all the things from this race, i am most happy about the consistency of the splits. It tells me I paced well (thanks to your guys' advice), my effort level increased, but all that did is allow me to go about the same speed as I fell apart. I took a page from other long course training I've done, the issue at any given moment isn't how fast can I swim "now" but how fast can I swim so I am still swimming well at "X" miles. It takes concentration to back off, even if getting passed. I also mentioned it in the report, it's not always about who goes the fastest, but who slows down the least.

And I agree about the running analogy, though opinions differ I've always run half marathons in a similar way, i.e., easy 5K, steady 5K, build 5K and then hang on 5K, and want my 1st and 2d half splits to be about the same.

There was also a mention at the end that the course might have been a little short (I don't believe in short courses :) ). I have a friend that used a garmin and have asked if he took splits (for what it's worth, as it may not be totally accurate at swimming speeds).

I think I just might have to try a 10K next season!

ChrisM
August 23rd, 2011, 12:32 AM
map of surface currents (with historical data too)

server is slow, so it can take a while before the maps refreshes

http://www.sccoos.org/data/hfrnet/fullpage.php?r=3

Cool link! 7 am yesterday, 1/2 hour after the start, shows a north to south current

KatieK
August 23rd, 2011, 10:13 AM
Cool link! 7 am yesterday, 1/2 hour after the start, shows a north to south current
That means you probably did speed up on the last two legs. Your splits are only a little slower, and you were swimming part of those loops against the current.