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swmbkrn
May 25th, 2004, 01:22 PM
I am training for a 5k ocean swim in North Florida and looking for advice.

I have a one mile ocean swim and some lake swimming experience. My pool training has been 3500-4300 yds., 3-4 days a week in the past few months. I am a strong swimmer but the distance worries me.

Wondering if I should go for it or race the one-mile again.
Any suggestions?

Rob Copeland
May 25th, 2004, 03:24 PM
I assume the North Florida race is the Amelia Island Open Water Challenge, on June 12th.

I too go about 3500-4500 yards a workout, 3-4 days a week and I am swimming the 5K. Iíve done longer races on fewer yards in the past, which doesnít help make me competitive, but for me, itís enough to feel comfortable with getting through the time in the water.

Obviously, you need to decide if you want to go with whatís comfortable (the 1-mile, which youíve done before) or try to stretch and go the 5K. And without knowing more about your abilities (pool mile time?, do you do flip turns in practice?, how long time wise are your practices>, etc.) itís hard to give definitive advice. However, I would typically advise, if your goal is the 5K, to GO FOR IT.

swmbkrn
May 26th, 2004, 10:58 AM
Thank you for the encouragement.
Yep, the swim I am refering to is the Amelia Island Open Water Challenge. The location is beautiful and the staff/volunteers are very friendly. Had a great time last year.

My workouts are about 1:15-1:30 and I do flip turns. I have also been incorporating a few 100's of practice sighting (breathing with my head forward & out of the water). This swim is about achieving a goal versus competing.

Physically I am probably ready, but mentally I am nervous. Last year, I touched a sea creature (prob. a minnow) and freaked out (which helped speed my pace).
Any suggestions for nerves?

Rob Copeland
May 26th, 2004, 12:37 PM
Iíve been training and competing in open water events for over 20 years, and I still get freaked out every now and then. This usually occurs when I run into something unexpected or something unexpected runs into me, or I see a something that looks like or is a dorsal fin. My advice to myself and others is to always pay attention to your surroundings, relax your breathing, focus on the race, realize that the chances of mishap are minimal, and while we are in the fishes domain remember that most of them will try to steer clear of us, a very few are curious, and practically none look at an open water race as a buffet.

And finally if you get to Amelia Island early enough on Friday, make sure to get in, with some others for a get acquainted with the sea training swim.

swmbkrn
May 26th, 2004, 02:46 PM
I will try to make it early enough Friday to reacquaint myself with the water. Good idea.

You are right, no creature out there wants to eat race participants (or other swimmers). Just need to focus instead of letting my mind wander.

Thanks again for the advice. Good to know experienced open water swimmers (like yourself) still get the heebie geebies from ocean creature run-ins. I won't feel so crazy if I run into a fish and start sprinting again.

Leonard Jansen
May 26th, 2004, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by swmbkrn
Good to know experienced open water swimmers (like yourself) still get the heebie geebies from ocean creature run-ins. I won't feel so crazy if I run into a fish and start sprinting again.

During the 2001 Swim for Life 5 miler (Chestertown, MD), I was swimming along merrily when something suddenly grabbed my right hand/wrist and wouldn't let go. The water was very murky and it turned out that it wasn't too deep and I had entangled my hand in an abandoned steel basket-type crab trap. It took me a few seconds to realize what happened and about 15 seconds to stop and get my hand out. My heart rate was at least 500 and I wish that Olympic team qualifying for the 100 meters had been right after that. Of course, I had zero adrenalin after 100 meters or so and crashed and burned horribly.

You'll be fine.

-LBJ

swmbkrn
May 27th, 2004, 10:27 AM
Wow, that story is a gem. Kudos to you for staying in the water afterwards. I may have heart failure if something like that happens.

Thanks for the note of encouragement.