View Full Version : 0 to 2 miles in 10 weeks

July 4th, 2012, 03:51 PM
Hi, I'm very new to this forum, but glad I stumbled across it.
I am a long time runner (avg 30-40 miles/wk), grew up around the water, but not swimming competitively, or even training. I've recently stated swimming freestyle regularly 2-3 times a week and am up to a longest swim of approx1000-1100 meters. there is a 2 mile openwater charity swim that I want to complete (not race or win, but complete) in 10 weeks.
Can anyone suggest a progressional workout to take me from 1000M to 2 miles in 10 weeks? Or, a resource that I should checkout for something like this?
thanks so much.

July 4th, 2012, 05:09 PM
ZERO to 1650 in Six Weeks

A plan for swimming the 2.4 miles in an ironman (http://ruthkazez.com/IronmanSwim.html)
http://ruthkazez.com/IronmanSwim.html (http://ruthkazez.com/IronmanSwim.html)

July 4th, 2012, 09:56 PM
In addition to the workouts Karl S provided, both Gail Bernhardt's and Joe Friel's books for triathletes provide workout designed to get you through swims up to 1 mile +. The usms discussion forum also has workouts for tri, open water and high volume, but you will probably need to adjust them down to fit your capability. In my opinion you should try:

Get your workouts to at least 1500m to 2000m as soon as you can.
Try to increase your workouts to at least 4 or 5 times per week, if you can.
Swim at least 1 or 2 3000m swims before you reach the week before the event. First one maybe broken - 2x1500m with 1 to 2 min. break in the middle. Then try 3000m resting/floating or whatever when you need. This will help build confidence.
Try to swim at least 1000m a few times in the open water environement in which you will be swimming i.e., lake. river, ocean, bay. NOt just pool swims.
Taper the week before the event cutting back the volume - but be sure you get in some intense swims that week and at least an a warmup swim the day before. Let your muscles recover the final week from the workouts.
Good luck.

July 4th, 2012, 10:45 PM
thanks for the quick reply. I see where that first link gets me to 1 mile in 6 weeks, but the second link goes from that to 2.4 miles in 6 months. Have I over estimated what can be done in 10 weeks?

July 5th, 2012, 03:09 PM
thanks for the quick reply. I see where that first link gets me to 1 mile in 6 weeks, but the second link goes from that to 2.4 miles in 6 months. Have I over estimated what can be done in 10 weeks?

That depends on your current condition, capabilites, dedication, adaptability, and confidence. Some coaching along the way in weeks 1-9 could be very helpful.

Assuming you are in good contition from distance running, i beleive you likely will be able to train hard enough in 10 weeks to make a 2+ miles swim (assuming you are now already swimming 1000m+ comfortably), but you will need to pick up your swim training pace and build-up your confidence in OW. Comfortable and confident in OW are big factors, even if you have trained and have the endurance to go that distance in a pool.

You have 9 weeks to figure it out, and should be relaxed and confident (or not) by week 10. If not, don't go. The training can only help, even if you decide "no go".

July 5th, 2012, 03:37 PM
I also swim and run, and for longer events in any sport (even biking), I'd suggest adding a little each time.

I'd do something like this:
week 1: 1200m
week 2: 1500m
week 3: 1800m
week 4: 2100m
week 5: 2400m
week 6: 2700m
week 7: 3000m
week 8: 3300m
week 9: 3500m
week 10: taper/event

It may be a bit ambitious, but I'd try to target that number for at least 1 workout per week (2 if you can). If you can get in to swim other times, I'd suggest shooting for 75% of that distance once, and another swim of 1000 or so, just to keep the feel.

The reason I show the progression to more than your event (about 3000m) is because there's a huge difference between pool and o/w swimming. If you can comfortably do a 3500m workout in a pool, you shouldn't have any problem doing 2 miles in o/w.

Prior to my first open water swim event (2.4 miles in a lake), I hadn't swum open water for years, and my longest nonstop swim was about 500 yards. I jumped off the boat, swam over to the start, and off I went, absolutely no issues. But maybe I'm the exception. I had been doing masters swimming with teams for about 5-6 years at that point, 4-5 workouts/week with each workout around 3,000 to 3,500 yards.

I find long continuous swims in a pool, especially solo, very boring. I'd rather do 6 x 500s @ 7:30 (an interval that lets me somewhat recover, 30-45 sec when I swim at 80%) than swim 3000 yards nonstop. Plus with the 6 x 500 you can mix up how you work the 100s in each, and do that last one all fast.

July 5th, 2012, 06:03 PM
Thanks for the guidance and encouragement guys. I really appreciate it. Bill, you are right, confidence is going to be a big part of it. I'm at 1200M for my long swim this week, with at least 2 others, one at 800 and one at 1000M. There will be additional water time as I can squeeze it in.
Tim, I thnk What I've got on paper now is very similar to what you are sugesting...that is to stretch the long swim by 200M each week, and the shorter swims by 150M each. That will put my at 3000M+ for the long swim, and allow for a week of taper.
Also, I failed to mention, I am splitting my water time between the pool and the lake in which the event will be held. I actually perfer the longer open water option over turning around every 25M. Plus, I find myself loosing lap count in the pool, where, in the lake, I have a 400M stretch that I know other swimmers have measured out. It's a little harder to lose count when a round trip os 800M.

July 5th, 2012, 06:56 PM
I'm doing something similar - I let myself get out of shape. Starting in mid-May, I've been preparing for "racing" 2.25 miles at the end of July. That's 10 weeks.

For me, at 59 years old, the fastest I can get into shape is to swim every other day. YMMV. I've been stretching my shoulders every day, using exercises a physical therapist showed me.

I worked on distance with very slow pace and a variety of stokes (Free, Breast, back, kicking. No butterfly.).

About 2 weeks ago, I got to 4000 yards - but very slowly for that distance. Then about 10 days ago I switch to alternating a distance workout, then one pacing workout of about 1 mile, then an interval workout.

Although I'm doing the workouts and it seems successful, I think it's too short a time.

I would have been much better off with even an extra week or two. I've been taking an unreasonable risk with my cardiac health, I think. I've had the serious "f*ckitalls" on my days off. Many uncompleted tasks on my to-do list.

With a strong background of running, you probably don't need to worry about your heart. That wouldn't be much concern for anyone under 35, unless they have some serious family or personal history.

I think 16 weeks or more would be ideal.

July 6th, 2012, 12:32 AM
Please rethink this !!! Many of have seen new to open water swimmers flounder & get into trouble in mass starts!. I think you need more open water swimming & getting used to the push/bump/climb/ kick at these type of starts.

July 6th, 2012, 10:25 PM
Thanks for the concern. I think I mentioned above that I'm doing as many of my swims in the lake as possible. Also, although there is a 'race' aspect to this event, it is more of a charity event. https://sites.google.com/site/lhsdamswimfordrew/
They send out 10-15 swimmers in each group- 3 minutes apart, that are grouped by projected time (ability). I have no problem standing on the dock 15 seconds after my wave takes off, then bringing up the rear, and swimming wide of them. It is a stright 2 mile swim across a lake...so, there is no chance of the faster/more competitive swimmers coming up on me in a wave of elbows flinging all around.
Does that make it any better? :)

July 7th, 2012, 02:23 AM
Yes !! Thanx for making. me at least, feel better about your swim. I want all of us to have long & safe swims into old age - Oh I guess that is the elder speaking out in me! Good luck! It sounds as if they race director is keeping safety in mind.

July 7th, 2012, 02:48 PM
Definitely practice swimming more than 2 miles. Since this is an open water event, if there are waves, currents, or wind, 2 miles won't necessarily feel/be like 2 miles.

While it's important to focus on endurance, stamina, and distance, remember to still work on your technique. A more efficient technique equates to less energy consumption. Then you can go further, faster, with less effort.

Good luck!

July 8th, 2012, 08:52 AM
Last spring I was swimming 1-mile 3 x per week; until I finally decided that if I wanted my mile time to get better I should swim some over-distance. Within about 8 weeks I was swimming 4-5 times a week; 2000 yards all the way up to 2-3 miles.

Pay attention to technique too. Maybe incorporate some drills into that yardage.