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Thread: How to Train For OW 10K

  1. #1
    Swimming gives me a buzz! Bobinator's Avatar
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    How to Train For OW 10K

    My club is putting on the 10K ow National Championships next summer.
    I like ow swimming and think I would like to try the 10K.
    I have completed several ow 5K's with no problem at all (I've enjoyed them)
    My best time is 1:27 and i'm 54 years old. I swim about 15,000 meters/yards per week.
    How much more would I need to swim to complete the 10K?
    What type of training should one do to get ready for a 10K
    The course is an easy double loop in a lake that tends to be non-wavy.
    Any advice would be appreciated. If you think it would be a bad idea for me to do it please say so.
    My biggest fear is shoulder injury and burn-out!
    HTFU!

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    Distance Man tjrpatt's Avatar
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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    I remember reading on the USMS Features about Heidi George who competed in the USA Swimming Open Water Champs, 5K or 10K this summer. I think that she said that she did alot of 800s in Long Course. Since lovely Central Indiana has alot of LCM pools, this would be a problem to do. But, if you do a set of 1000 or 800 in the short course form, you should be fine.

    I know nothing about training for OW solely but My guess that you if you do a good month of training 20K a week, you should be fine. Heck, maybe have one of your many workout total 5 to 6K and you should have the endurance you need for this race. Also, maybe PM chaos since he is more of an OW guru.
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    Very Active Member chaos's Avatar
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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    the 10k. over the past decade i've learned that i can race for 2 hours without feeding (that includes water)... anything longer than that and its bonk city. this means that if i think i will be swimming for more than 2 hours i need to have a feeding plan that will start somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes into the swim.
    as the 10k will be held in a lake, and conditions will be fairly predictable, it should be easy for you to predict your time if you know what kind of pace you can maintain.
    personally, i like big yardage weeks, but i know some swimmers that have completed marathon swims (>20 miles) on 15k/week, so its really a question of finding a pace that you can sustain for that distance.

    my tips:
    - do a 3 hour pool swim, feeding no more than every 30 minutes.
    - feed mid pool on your back... keep it brief. take an end lane and have someone hand you a cup or bottle... gulp... keep swimming.
    - have a friend kayak for you. practice with this person so that they know where you like them to be and you won't need to sight the course.
    - go over your feed plan with your kayaker... let them keep track of the time and your feed intervals.
    - have fun!

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    Very Active Member E=H2O's Avatar
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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    I think it is a great idea and very doable for you. It sounds like you can swim a strong 5K so you should be able to make the transition to 10K. The biggest difference would be the need for water and calories during the swim. Water temperature can also be an issue. Water temperature which is comfortable for a 1500 may be down right cold for a 10K.

    This past year I swam a 4K OW lake swim in 54 minutes. 4 weeks later I swam a 5K OW ocean swim where the course was parallel to the shore. Given the surface conditions I anticipated finishing in about 1:15 but there was a very strong current on the return leg. I was in a small chase group fighting stroke for stroke the entire leg back. It felt like it went on forever. While I had done a warmup before the swim, I had not ventured out past the protective jetties so I was not aware how strong the current was. I finished in 1:54. This was the longest time I had ever raced in OW and while I was tried and a bit cold from the 61 degree water I never felt that I was physically in over my head. I'm sure one or both courses may have not been accurately measured, but I offer this for comparison purposes.
    Last edited by E=H2O; November 15th, 2009 at 05:40 PM.
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    Very Active Member Ken Classen's Avatar
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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    Can you swim a 10K on 15,000 yards a week? Based on your 5K time, yes. I've known a few swimmers who have, but don't do it. On 15,000 per week it will feel good to about that 5K mark but then you will start asking yourself how much further? the tempo will go away, when you feed you will start to linger, telling yourself just one more minute here hanging out and I will feel better. The freestyle starts getting broken up with breaststroke and backstroke just trying to relieve those arms. And as E=H2O stated, what seemed like a decent water temperature at the start, feels chillier and chillier and finally your mind might start playing tricks on you.

    The more you train, the longer you will feel comfortable in the 10K. Training for a 10K is one area where the so called garbage yards are good. I believe the race is in mid July, think about creating a plan by working backwards. Personally I like to have two to three weeks prior to the a race working about 30K per week then tapering off about 8-days out. So as not to wreak your shoulders have a plan that that takes you from the current 15K to the 30K plateau, where you add about 1K per week (3 to 4 months) A mix of standard masters pool practices and hopefully some long and regular openwater sessions. If your pool and team allow, think about doing a standard masters practice then when everyone else is getting out, swim a straight a 1000, 1500 etc. It doesn't have to be fast, your just trying to get your body used to going the distance. Finally you need to ask yourself are you swimming to complete it or racing it? If swimming to race, then long strong interval sets become important, 10 x 200's, 8 x 400 etc., concentration on tempo and maintaining pace a bit less of the long slow distance (LSD).

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    Swimming gives me a buzz! Bobinator's Avatar
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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    Thanks for the wonderful advice. The comments are getting me fired up and in the mood to train a bit more!
    I am going to ponder over some of this advice, devise some sort of plan, then most likely be back on this thread asking more questions.
    The water will most likely be around 80 degrees. It is much more likely to be too warm than cold. I am thinking I can finish anywhere from 3 hours to 3:10. I am very steady although I've never gone longer than 1:35 in my life so maybe I will be surprised. I'm going to think positive though and assume i'll be fairly steady.
    HTFU!

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    Very Active Member Chicken of the Sea's Avatar
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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    Bob, you can do a 10k with your hands tied behind your back!!!
    What's the date? I'd love to come!
    I'll be looking on this thread for advice too cos one of these days I'd like to really improve my time.
    It was quite capable in the water, perhaps a little on the slow side, but it wasn't impressed by my appearance.

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    Very Active Member Lump's Avatar
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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    I did two 5K's and a 4.5 mile OW swim last summer and plan on bumping up and doing some 10K and more this summer and fall once SCY season is over. I probably won't swim any more/farther than I am now which is 15K-25K a week. To me, its more about what you actually doing while you are in the pool, not how far you are going. I could get in a float 7500 4-5 times a week but its boring and pointless. Get in and mix it up....distance, quality, IM, kick, pull...it all helps. If you can run/jog/walk, any cardio, outside the pool that will certainly help with endurance.

    I was a distance guy in HS and college, my days of 10K-15K a workout, 10-12 practices a week, 100K yards/wk, etc......OVER. I swim now to enjoy it and just for the health benefit. Like everyone, I want to do well and place well, but I want to enjoy it this time around and not suffer burnout.

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    Very Active Member srcoyote's Avatar
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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    I'm planning on doing my first 10K in May. I'm glad to read all of these perspectives on training. In prep for the 5K's I've done, I typically average about 18K per week peaking at about 21K. I plan to hold a similar training schedule. I think my first goal, though, is to get over that mental hump and get in a 6 to 7K straight swim (will have to be in a pool) sometime before May.

    My biggest challenge will be finding a feeding strategy. Apparently the swim I'm doing plans to have feeding stations (boats) in the course. I haven't yet found one of the one market substances that doesn't make my bp go up and leave me nauseous and weak. A little bagel and gatorade works best, but I won't have a kayaker to carry what I like.

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    Very Active Member Chicken of the Sea's Avatar
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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    Quote Originally Posted by srcoyote View Post
    I'm planning on doing my first 10K in May. I'm glad to read all of these perspectives on training. In prep for the 5K's I've done, I typically average about 18K per week peaking at about 21K. I plan to hold a similar training schedule. I think my first goal, though, is to get over that mental hump and get in a 6 to 7K straight swim (will have to be in a pool) sometime before May.

    My biggest challenge will be finding a feeding strategy. Apparently the swim I'm doing plans to have feeding stations (boats) in the course. I haven't yet found one of the one market substances that doesn't make my bp go up and leave me nauseous and weak. A little bagel and gatorade works best, but I won't have a kayaker to carry what I like.
    What 10k are you doing? Can you arrange to have gatorade on one of the boats, if that's not what they serve? Are you ok with Gu? A couple of gu's up my suit works fine for me
    It was quite capable in the water, perhaps a little on the slow side, but it wasn't impressed by my appearance.

  11. #11
    Very Active Member Leonard Jansen's Avatar
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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    My $0.02, for what little it's worth...

    Since you can do 5k, you CAN do 10k. However...
    1) Dave's comments about feeding are spot on. 2 hours is about the limit for anyone. You CAN finish a 10k without feeding - been there, done that - but it is miserable.
    2) Get familiar with doing some longer swims at race EFFORT, not pace. You are trying to figure out the effort you can sustain since pace varies so much in the pool to OW transition.
    3) Assuming that you aren't trying to set any world records, there are 4 physiological abilities that you will need to consider as part of your training plan:
    a) The ability to go from a stop up to race speed at the beginning of the race.
    b) The ability to maintain a decent pace for a long time in the middle of the race.
    c) The ability to increase your effort for relatively brief periods of time in the middle of the race to overcome conditions or competitors.
    d) The ability to finish strongly at the end of the race.

    It's b & c that you will be most interested in since that is where you will be spending most of your race. Since exercise/stress adaptation is fairly specific, a reasonable training program will include the type of things that help train those abilities. IMHO, longer paced swims (per Dave above and any number of variations), longer intervals (or shorter intervals with less rest) and the like are good for b. For c, I like doing longer swims where I throw in bursts every once in awhile. For example, 1 hour, sprinting 50-100 yards on every 5 minute mark. Or 2 hours, sprinting 200-300 on every 10 minute mark. Another trick I've used is to get to the pool about 30-60 minutes before master's practice, fill that time with a fairly hard continuous per one of the above and then do the master's workout, too.

    Rotator cuff injury prevention lifting is good, as is core strength exercises.

    Work your technique relentlessly - I always suggest watching the FIRST "Karate Kid" movie for this - the part where the old man has the kid paint his fence, wax his car and sand the floor is pretty much all you need to know about practicing technique and why.

    Plan ahead and BUILD towards the race. There are no awards for being in the best shape of your life in February only to be injured/sick/burhed-out by summer.

    I would guess that a 1:27 5k ability, with proper training and some feeding support during the race will get you in the 3:00 - 3:10 range; perhaps better.

    You CAN do it! Don't let the pool ballerinas tell you otherwise.

    -LBJ
    "Excitable boy" they all said.

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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    Besides the recommendations from other members, if I were you, I would try to swim at least 7K in a practice swim in the venue 2-3 weeks ahead of time. You should also be practicing feeding (i.e., hydration or fueling) during your workouts, if you are not already doing so. Nearly all the experienced elite swimmers stick 2-4 gel packs in their swimsuits in a 10K, so if they miss a feeding, they can always take a gel pack at their convenience. Most people would not do a 2-3 hour run without drinking something, so swimmers should not do a 2-3 hour swim without refueling. Good luck.
    Steven Munatones
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    Very Active Member srcoyote's Avatar
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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken of the Sea View Post
    What 10k are you doing? Can you arrange to have gatorade on one of the boats, if that's not what they serve? Are you ok with Gu? A couple of gu's up my suit works fine for me
    My hope is to place some gatorade on the boat. Unfortunatley, Gu was one of my failed experiements. Anyone else have the elevated bp, nausea, and weakened legs after one of these?

    The one I will be attempting is the double-crossing of Pensacola Bay. So while my best 5K time is 1:18, I did it in calm lake water and not choppy bay water. I will count a finish in the 3 hour range a success. Could be interesting.

    I used to only swim distances at cruise pace. I've begun to mix occasional sprints in and some entire workouts which are IM or sprint based. I've seen my cruising pace quicken as a result. Cut off a full 5 seconds per hundred so far. I usually never have difficulty finishing strong. Once I get within 800 yards of finishing, the mental aspect takes over and I tend to swim really hard just to finish whether I like to or not. My barriers are always around 1/3 to 2/3 mark. That second third of any long swim is a mental killer for me.

    Unfortunatley, due to limited budget and schedule, all of my training will be in a 25y pool for this one. I might get in a warm up swim in Pensacola Bay the day before to acclimate to choppy conditions, but that will be it.

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    Very Active Member Chicken of the Sea's Avatar
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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    Never had that with Gu, luckily.
    If you can maybe get your own drink bottles on the boat, maybe try perpetuum instead of gatorade (or as well as)? one or two drinks of that would do for a 10k. I switched to it this year and it doesn't taste great but it seems to work. Probably won't work if you have to carry all your own stuff, although I know a couple of people who mix it into a very strong paste which you could possibly carry on yourself.
    It was quite capable in the water, perhaps a little on the slow side, but it wasn't impressed by my appearance.

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    Very Active Member cantwait4bike's Avatar
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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobinator View Post
    My club is putting on the 10K ow National Championships next summer.
    I like ow swimming and think I would like to try the 10K.
    I have completed several ow 5K's with no problem at all (I've enjoyed them)
    My best time is 1:27 and i'm 54 years old. I swim about 15,000 meters/yards per week.
    How much more would I need to swim to complete the 10K?
    What type of training should one do to get ready for a 10K
    The course is an easy double loop in a lake that tends to be non-wavy.
    Any advice would be appreciated. If you think it would be a bad idea for me to do it please say so.
    My biggest fear is shoulder injury and burn-out!
    your about in the same boat i'm in on time,training and age i and continue to find little detailed workouts for the 10k. hear is one i've been building to if it helps. i try to do it every other week..

    march

    1x500
    2x400
    3x300
    4x200
    5x100
    all with 10 sec recovery per 100

    april

    1x600
    2x500
    3x400
    4x300
    5x200
    6x100

    May

    1x700
    2x600
    3x500
    4x400
    5x300
    6x200
    7x100

    June

    1x800
    2x700
    3x600
    4x500
    5x400
    6x300
    7x200
    8x100
    --------------------------------

  16. #16
    Very Active Member E=H2O's Avatar
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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    Quote Originally Posted by cantwait4bike View Post
    your about in the same boat i'm in on time,training and age i and continue to find little detailed workouts for the 10k. hear is one i've been building to if it helps. i try to do it every other week..

    march

    1x500
    2x400
    3x300
    4x200
    5x100
    all with 10 sec recovery per 100

    april

    1x600
    2x500
    3x400
    4x300
    5x200
    6x100

    May

    1x700
    2x600
    3x500
    4x400
    5x300
    6x200
    7x100

    June

    1x800
    2x700
    3x600
    4x500
    5x400
    6x300
    7x200
    8x100
    Others may disagree, but I think your yardage is fine. I would just add a bit more rest between swims and work on swimming faster. Get into OW as much as possible. Throw in a couple of 10K training swims. I find them useful for confidence building. Decide on feeding and practice. I have done one with as little as 4 gel packs tucked into my suit (I take at least 6 now)
    "If you didn't swallow water in your last open water race, you weren't racing."

    www.bobswims.com/

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    Very Active Member cantwait4bike's Avatar
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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    Quote Originally Posted by E=H2O View Post
    Others may disagree, but I think your yardage is fine. I would just add a bit more rest between swims and work on swimming faster. Get into OW as much as possible. Throw in a couple of 10K training swims. I find them useful for confidence building. Decide on feeding and practice. I have done one with as little as 4 gel packs tucked into my suit (I take at least 6 now)
    i only do this workout once every two weeks, other workouts are a mix of zone 2,3 and 4 swimming effort. the pool is so boring, i would to get into open water but lakes are still in 40's here, need another month then gradual phase in from 98% neoprene to 0% over 2 months.

    a little more detail would help on the gel packs. what type of suit are you wearing? (brief,jammer, trisuit,?? ) where are you sticking 6 gel packs in? pre-opened? i would have a hard time seeing 6 gel packs with those sharp edges shoved in the front of a brief.

    also the gel packs do float and i've been told by a race director that anything that floats can't be used in their usms swim event in minnesota....still waiting to hear from her on foam ear plugs.....quite extreme interputation aye
    --------------------------------

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    Very Active Member E=H2O's Avatar
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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    Quote Originally Posted by cantwait4bike View Post
    i only do this workout once every two weeks, other workouts are a mix of zone 2,3 and 4 swimming effort. the pool is so boring, i would to get into open water but lakes are still in 40's here, need another month then gradual phase in from 98% neoprene to 0% over 2 months.

    a little more detail would help on the gel packs. what type of suit are you wearing? (brief,jammer, trisuit,?? ) where are you sticking 6 gel packs in? pre-opened? i would have a hard time seeing 6 gel packs with those sharp edges shoved in the front of a brief.

    also the gel packs do float and i've been told by a race director that anything that floats can't be used in their usms swim event in minnesota....still waiting to hear from her on foam ear plugs.....quite extreme interputation aye
    I use GU. I started with Espresso Love but switched over to Vanilla because it leaves no after taste. I wear Jammers so I can tuck the packs down the sides of my hips and thighs. GUs are small so that's another reason I use them. I thought that the sharp edges would stick me, but if I carefully put them in (don't place one on top of the other) then I never feel them. I don't open them ahead of time but I have thought of cutting a bit of the edge so I could open quicker - although I've never had a problem.

    Can't take them because they float? I would call them buoyant neutral.
    "If you didn't swallow water in your last open water race, you weren't racing."

    www.bobswims.com/

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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    leonard janson is right you dont want to go all out to swim to much at first, I am at the moment working with a swim trainer who has helped people cross the english channel . I am also traing for a10k in june and 10k nationals in july. you want to build your distance slowlly to avoid injurie, Also doing drills to streanghen your core is good too. My trainer has me doing alot of dirll work to make my stroke rate lower, such as counting strokes each leanght in the pool to keep a even tempo so then when your stroke rate increase you know your slowing down, but by doing this you build a natural even tempo in open water. He says to slowlly build till the day of so your not worn out. Also he has me bike some days to keep up cardio but let body rest. you will do great!! At first I though I had to do each week a 3 mile swim twice and then that same week a 6mile. Turned out I was over training too soon, each week or ever other he gives me longer swims to do. So by race day you dont drop your speed casue if you trained supper hard for 4 months or so you would not set the best time. Talke to leonard he is great when it comes to smart training

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    Very Active Member cantwait4bike's Avatar
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    Re: How to Train For OW 10K

    Quote Originally Posted by E=H2O View Post
    I use GU. I started with Espresso Love but switched over to Vanilla because it leaves no after taste. I wear Jammers so I can tuck the packs down the sides of my hips and thighs. GUs are small so that's another reason I use them. I thought that the sharp edges would stick me, but if I carefully put them in (don't place one on top of the other) then I never feel them. I don't open them ahead of time but I have thought of cutting a bit of the edge so I could open quicker - although I've never had a problem.

    Can't take them because they float? I would call them buoyant neutral.
    do you roll on back to get them out of jammer? or just stop and thread water?
    do you pull them out from bottom or from waist?
    i will practice in pool this week with 2 and work up to 4 maybe.
    --------------------------------

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