View Full Version : Buildup to first 10k

August 6th, 2013, 09:19 AM
You peeps are a great resource so I would love your input for the last 2 months of training before my first 10k (roughly) in Oct. I've done a couple 5k's now this year and am loving the distance and OW swimming!! My background is (was) in ultra running so I figured I'd apply similar logic to buildup and taper for this distance in swimming as well (several buildup weeks, a lower week, then build again to almost the race distance). Also, I'm doing 4-5k, 3-4x/week with the team during the week on regular drills etc. These Sunday swims I'm just doing the mileage, learning the best time to drink/eat, etc. Thoughts? Am I over-thinking? Any other advice? Thanks in advance. :)

I did 7k (longest to date) last Sunday and felt pretty good. Here's the rest of the Sundays until 10/5
8/11 7.5k
8/18 8k
8/25 6.5k
9/1 7.5k
9/8 8k
9/15 8.5k
9/22 9k
9/29 5-6k
10/5 Race

Rob Copeland
August 6th, 2013, 11:10 AM
Thoughts? Am I over-thinking? Any other advice? This looks like a good plan. And you can never over-think your preparations; you can get overly stressed, but great planning gets you ready for most things Mother Nature throws your way.

Just like in ultra running you need to listen to your body and pay attention to in-race and general nutrition. In race refueling is similar to running, only

Other thoughts:
If this is an escorted swim (you have a personal kayaker) then work in advance with the kayaker to get you then then used to where you want them positioned and feeding schedules. I like my kayaker 10-15 feet off at my 3:00 and feed every 30 minutes.

If the race has a feeding platform, make sure you understand where to place your stuff and how to get in in the race.

If this is a salt water swim then get in some salt water training (same for fresh water). Buoyancy, taste, chaffing, etc are different between the two.

Depending on your goal (complete Ė compete Ė win) training and race tactics and strategy will vary.

August 7th, 2013, 12:17 PM
Awesome advice, Rob! Thanks for the response. Yes, this will be a kayak supported race so I'm hoping that will make this a bit easier when it comes to timing of the food/water. That's one area I still need to do a better job with in training. I found last week I was really pooped after 7k, but realized that I hadn't had anything but Gatorade that whole time. I know better than that. LOL!

You rock!

And I'm in the complete-compete arena - I think it can be fairly competitive in this one - at least in the top 1/3. We'll see. :)

Rob Copeland
August 7th, 2013, 01:44 PM
Good luck!

A couple of additional suggestions when swimming with a kayak escortÖ

The 3 main responsibilities of the kayaker are to 1) keep you safe, 2) keep you fed and 3) keep you on course. Make sure you and your kayaker are on the same page on these and communications.

Safety is paramount, but Iíll focus on 2 and 3 in this post.

Keep you fed Ė
I find water bottles on a string work best for feeding from a kayak. A feeding stick can be problematic for a solo kayaker. Have the water bottles premixed and if you are really OCD labeled/color-coded with the feeding time for each. Have your kayaker keep them out of sight until feeding time, I had one kayaker who started getting ready for a feed 5 minutes in advance, and so I spent the next few minutes focusing on when he was going to feed me instead of the swim. Itís much nicer when a feeding is a pleasant surprise.

Keep you on course Ė
Figure out where you want your kayaker positioned relative to you and stress with then then importance of staying there. You set the speed the kayaker sets the direction. I prefer the kayak at my 3:00 (Iím a right side breather) and 10-15 feet away. If I drift right and get to close to the kayak I the the kayaker itís okay to hit me with the paddle and if I drift left then whistle to me come back right. Iíve learned that if you donít go over this then you might have a kayaker who will follow you all over a lake rather than navigate a straight line. Iíve also had a kayaker who kept pulling 10-15 yards in front of me, and while it isnít a huge deal after 8 hours of swimming it doesnít take a lot to tip a generally cheery disposition.

Other things you can work out with your kayaker are tracking stroke rate, position in the race and distance to go.

August 8th, 2013, 07:26 PM
You had me at OCD! LOL! Yes, I'll probably have things set and ready to go. I'd thought of the string on the bottle idea and am glad it's a method already in use. Thanks so much for the thoughts and tips, Rob. I really appreciate it and it settles the brain a bit in some of the controllable areas of the race. I'm so excited I can't wait!

September 6th, 2013, 09:31 AM
One more quick question.... on days I can't get the full time done in one chunk, does splitting the long workout actually make a differrence or help? So if I could get 4000 done in the morning and the other 5k in the evening, I guess this is better than just one, even though there's signficant "rest" in between. Would you do something different with these, such as speed in the a.m. and long/easy in the evening? Thanks in advance!

Rob Copeland
September 6th, 2013, 10:45 AM
As long as your body is holding up okay, 4K AM and 5K PM sounds good.

As for speed work for one and long and easy for the other; unless you are also training for pool events I would define speed work as swimming at you 1 mile race pace and not in terms of your 100 and 200. A set something like 15 X 200 at 1 mile pace with 20-30 seconds rest between. And I would define long and easy as swims at your 10K pace, working on technique and a comfortable relaxed (not slow) stroke; something like 2 X 2000 with a 30 second feed between the 2. Save easy for warm-up and warm-down.

September 6th, 2013, 12:49 PM
Thanks for the help, Rob! You've been a great source of info and support. :)

September 6th, 2013, 04:20 PM
I've never gone at past the marathon distance in running, but I was contemplating it at one point and seem to remember seeing precedent for your split swim in the ultra training regimen. the idea being that realistically very few people can run 50 miles at once to get ready a 50-mile race, so you do the race mileage over the course of a weekend: 10 Friday night, 25 Saturday midday, 15 Sunday morning.

That said I think the 10K distance is comparable to the marathon in running in terms of time, so your plan looks solid. I did a build up like that in spring of 2012 and got up to 11K in the pool (which made feeding easier), but I found it more difficult transitioning to open water in the summer (doing 2.4-mile and 5K distances) because I had all those turns and pushes off the wall imprinted in my distance experience; my pace in OW was a lot slower as a result... so do those distance build-up swims on the weekends in OW if you can, which does make feeding more problematic unless you have an escort. I'm shooting for a 10K OW for next summer, so I'm anxious to see how your plan turns out.

October 2nd, 2013, 09:49 PM
Well bummer, Rob, Slam the Dam was cancelled yesterday because of the gov't shutdown since Lake Mead is in a Nat'l Park. That said, I used a lot of your advice in training and totally felt like I was ready to conquer this bad boy this weekend and do fairly well. I sure appreciate your advice, thanks again! I'm hoping to get something else squeezed in before the end of the year, though. Not sure I can do without some form of competition between now and next spring. LOL! And to McNair, I think that training plan was working out well. Longest day was about 2.5 hours and about 9000. Felt really good. You can do it! Lemme know if you do a 10k! I'd love to hear how you do.