View Full Version : Hour Swim - What Should I Know

January 23rd, 2008, 06:54 PM
I am doing the 1 hour swim Sunday. What are the basics for me to know? What should I eat the night before. Should I drink water during the swim. Are their any articles I can read online to learn about how to swim the 1 hour?


January 23rd, 2008, 08:03 PM
Two things to know

1) It hurts.

2) Take it out slower than your 1000yd pace. In other words if you swim at a 1:30 100yd pace for a 1000, I would take it out at 1:35 to 1:40. This may seem real slow, but get to the 30min mark that way and if you can, pick it up from there.

Kurt Dickson
January 23rd, 2008, 08:51 PM
Eddy Merckx, arguably the greatest cyclist of all time, won many 2,000 mile plus tours, but he said the hardest thing he ever did was breaking the one hour record in 1972. There is something about the hour time frame that allows you to push hard into some kind of out of body pain threshold but not long enough where you have to significantly slow down.

Start slower than you think you ought to start and that is the only real good piece of advice. The other stuff is detail you can't change three days before your event (I don't think you can improve your fitness and I'm not sure it matters how much sleep or what you eat as everybody's different). For me, I eat a couple of hours before I do it. I usually have some GUs and electrolyte drink in the 1/2 hour before chased with a slug of maalox. A nice dump is always good (?too much information?) I wear my fastskin as it is a national championship. I don't wear a cap (get too hot). I make sure whatever idiot is counting for me knows how to use a split button (didn't do this last time) and have a backup watch going. They also need to make sure everyone stays out of your lane. You will feel like quitting about 20-40 minutes in--do and nobody will speak to you again and consider you to have the fortitude of an 8 year- old girl.
That is all--good luck.

January 23rd, 2008, 09:07 PM
Well Said Kurt.

I believe Mercks holds up his one hour record as his greatest achievement. Not the Tour or one day classics.

January 24th, 2008, 07:54 AM
This is how I would do it.

If you're not a well accomplished swimmer; start slow, use this as a warm up. When you'r up to ramming speed, use front quadrant style or even a demi catch-up style and ride the glide...you'll find you just get a rhythm and zone out...

Sing to youself underwater for entertainment...the time will pass.

January 24th, 2008, 09:43 AM
my regret is going out to fast. 1:05 for the first hundred was crazy, but I was trying to hang with everyone else who knew what they were doing (I was a noob). I should have started with a 1:10 pace (I was 11:37 at the 1,000) and tried to hold that.

January 24th, 2008, 11:16 AM
+1 on the dump.

This year was my third one. I swam it in the early morning with no pre-swim fuel and bonked hard. Wish I'd thought about some Gu. Get your fluids in before you start, you won't want to stop for fear you'll never re-start.

+1 on the it hurts.

My goal for the first year was just to flip every turn. Second year I covered a whole lot more distance than year 1, and this year I came up a few yards short of last year. I just never found a good groove and struggled for the whole hour. I count strokes pretty much every length, it helps let me know when I'm falling apart. I never did get my stroke count down to where I wanted it this year. I was pissed off at myself and swam the next day for penance, and the groove was there from the 1st 100, despite the fact that I was dog-tired from the previous day's debacle. Some days are just better than others.

Did anyone mention that it hurts?

January 24th, 2008, 05:57 PM
I just did it for the first time. My advice:

1. Definitely agree--do not go out too fast. After my first 50, I dropped into holding the pace I intended to hold for the entire swim. That worked out well for me.

2. Keep your stroke long and try not to kick very much. Kicking takes up a lot of energy that you should be conserving given the length of the race.

3. Use long streamlines off the wall (but don't really kick). Just take it nice an easy. You'll save yourself a stroke or two per lap, and that will really add up.

4. I found breathing every two to work very well. Normally I breath every 3. I tried that for the first 1000 or so and that was too long between breaths. I wound up breathing half the length to the left, taking three strokes and breathing the rest of the length to the right.

5. The hardest part of the race came in the middle for me, not the end. This is where you have to be mentally tough. I managed to stay focussed and caught a second wind that powered me through the rest of the swim. On the back end it's somewhat downhill mentally (not physically) as you get closer and closer to completion.

6. The swim is even more mental than physical. Don't psych yourself out at any point.

Good luck!

Justin Ritter
January 24th, 2008, 07:05 PM
It's not as big of a deal as it sounds Harlan, with all the swimming you've been doing lately you'll make it through just fine.

The other suggestions are great, personally I always need to break long swims like this into smaller chunks, it makes the time go by much faster. You could try doing it as a bunch of 200s where you pick up the pace just a little on every 8th length. Before you know it the time will fly by.

It's going to be fun!