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Thread: 0 to 2.4 Miles

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    0 to 2.4 Miles

    Howdy -

    I'm swimming to get in shape. I've been here before but started my training wrong and hurt the shoulders and stopped (few years back now). Weight and time kept increasing and I'm back. I can do a 1700-2400 yd workout in a SCY pool now without much difficulty (been back a bit over a month, lost 15 lbs and doing some PT proactively for the shoulder support muscles, feeling better). Well someone at work talked to me about a swim they are going to (Peak's to Portland swim to benefit the Portland, ME YMCA). It is "only" 2.4 miles, open water, in the ocean (Atlantic in July.. 50s for water temp?).

    I am going to hit search here for training but looking for suggestions. I have just over 3 months to train (middle July). The other day I did 900yds without rest (I know, not a big deal but compared to a month ago, not bad) but that was a SCY pool with turns/kicks every 25yds.

    So... What is a good strategy from going from "0 to 2 miles"? Our masters class is an informal class that is a workout group that meets 2 nights a week. We have a coach who runs swim teams for younger kids and has given great help on stroke so I'll be talking to her for thoughts but I wonder where I should be and when to get to that 2.4 miles by mid July?

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    Very Active Member E=H2O's Avatar
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    Re: 0 to 2.4 Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by riseforms View Post
    Howdy -

    So... What is a good strategy from going from "0 to 2 miles"? ....but I wonder where I should be and when to get to that 2.4 miles by mid July?
    400 yd, 800 yd, 1650 yd, 3300 yd, 5000 yd. The last one is an over-swim. I suggest for 2 reasons. First is that you will have no doubt in your mind about your ability to finish, and second, 2 miles in the ocean will feel like 3 miles in the pool.

    However, you greatest challenge will be the 50+ degree water. Read Dover Solo for a great description on how to train for cold water. I've gone from a 83 pool to the 53 San Francisco Bay without preparing physically, but I don't recommend it. Nevertheless, if you are very fit, and you don't panic, you will be able to generate enough heat to stay warm. (It also sounds like you have a little insulation)
    "If you didn't swallow water in your last open water race, you weren't racing."

    www.bobswims.com/

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    Re: 0 to 2.4 Miles

    I think you could say I currently have a lot of insulation :-) Not expecting to have so much come July but I'm sure I'll still have more than I'd like (or perhaps will like with the water temps :-) ) I'll pick up the book. I'm probably going to go with a suit and will start training in open water at the lake in my town once the ice finally is gone and the water gets a bit more humane (providing I can find someone to kayak with me.. It would probably ruin my day to get taken out by one of the speed boaters/ski boats while training )

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    Very Active Member E=H2O's Avatar
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    Re: 0 to 2.4 Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by riseforms View Post
    I think you could say I currently have a lot of insulation :-) . . . It would probably ruin my day to get taken out by one of the speed boaters/ski boats while training )
    Maybe you would be taking out the boat? (SIC INT)
    "If you didn't swallow water in your last open water race, you weren't racing."

    www.bobswims.com/

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    Active Member jbs's Avatar
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    Re: 0 to 2.4 Miles

    I've done the Peaks race for several years now. Water temp is usually 60-62, though you will hit some patches of warmer and colder water. Most people wear wetsuits. It might also be worthwhile getting a neoprene hood--makes a surprising difference in how the water feels.

    Also, the swim is timed to coincide with the incoming tide, so there is a tidal push. How much of one changes from year to year. I think there's supposed to be a fairly good push this year. This affects the line you want to take. When there is little push, you want to go in more of a straight line (which takes you nearer to Fort Gorges). When there's a bigger push, it's often better to go wider away from the Fort--you swim further but can go faster.

    Bob's suggested plan sounds good to me. The only thing I'd add is to confirm your plan to make sure to get into a lake or ocean beforehand. Swimming without the black line and walls takes some getting used to--both in terms of endurance and in terms of swimming straight. In fact, my first year training for Peaks, I did very little long (500+ yards) pool swimming. Most of the pool swimming was shorter swims on low rest intervals. However, I did go out to a lake and gradually built up to around 2 miles.

    Of course, given this winter, the ice will be out when? A week before the race? Two weeks?

    Oh, and if you are going to wear a wetsuit, you should practice in that, too. It will change your body position, and the arms of a full suit (if that's what you wear) take some getting used to.

    It's a fun swim. Hope this helps some.

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    Re: 0 to 2.4 Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by jbs View Post
    It's a fun swim. Hope this helps some.
    Thanks JBS - I am definitely going to go with the suit for this first one, I think. Not overly accustomed to cold water (though I do enjoy swimming recreationally at York Beach when we visit there throughout the summer. Not a whole lot warmer than the temps you describe) and can stay in for some time. But with this being the first open water race I'll ever be in and knowing that the majority where them, I think I'll feel less anxious about cold related issues.

    As for the lake.. Yeah.. I live in NH on a town that borders Southern Maine, we have a decent lake (3 ponds actually but they are connected as a lake). I just don't see any sign of ice out coming soon enough to get out there.

    What beaches are good for open water swimming around here? I work up in Portland (just started working up there about 6 months ago). May just buy the suit and use it to practice perpendicular to long sands beach back and forth (though the surf area puts a kinks in those plans when they are out with their boards).

    I'm also hoping to be seeded in the last wave and just stay away from the pack for this first time, pace myself and push it at the end.

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    Very Active Member swimthegoodfight's Avatar
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    Re: 0 to 2.4 Miles

    the neoprene swim cap does work wonders

    barracuda - http://www.tri-zone.com/Details.html?cat=39&item=BAHTH

    go for the orange one... safety considerations

    blueseventy - http://www.tri-zone.com/Details.html?cat=39&item=B7SCP

    surprised blueseventy only has the single color - i imagine some posters do have a preference between the two - barracuda & blueseventy

    good luck - a maine open water would be a fantastic experience

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    Re: 0 to 2.4 Miles

    Thanks for the cap recommendations. Will look into one of those. Also going to do ear plugs, hear that makes a difference in "cold" (not that 62-65 is the coldest by any stretch).

    I'll have to visit all the wet suit threads next :-)

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    Active Member jbs's Avatar
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    Re: 0 to 2.4 Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by riseforms View Post
    Thanks for the cap recommendations. Will look into one of those. Also going to do ear plugs, hear that makes a difference in "cold" (not that 62-65 is the coldest by any stretch).

    I'll have to visit all the wet suit threads next :-)
    I've heard ear plugs work too, but I'm not sure how much more they will do in addition to the cap. The strap that holds the neoprene in place covers your ears. In fact, that's the primary reason I started wearing it--I saw the article in Swimmer about surfer's ear and decided to go with the cap to protect my ears. The warmth assist was just an added benefit. I have the B70. I'll often put a brightly colored latex cap on top to add visibility.

    WRT wetsuits--Swimmer did a big review of them this issue and produced a video. [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M5fQJLUROo"]YouTube - Wetsuit Review - SWIMMER Magazine[/nomedia]


    I've sent you a PM about open water swimming in Maine.

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    Re: 0 to 2.4 Miles

    I decided to see how my mile looked (both in terms of possibility and timing) tonight (by mile I mean 1650 SCY, not sure if I am right or not). It was my first time ever swimming that long without rest (well a slight lie, I flipped to my back for a few strokes around each of the 500, 750 and 1200 "milestones")... Sounds silly to the pros out there but I never really had this urge to swim competitively and push myself until now, at 32.

    So I did the mile in a bit over 30 minutes. Not a great pace! worked to about 1:50/1:55 per 100 but I was taking slower open turns and not pushing off with as much force since I can't push off in the OW swim. I also didn't want to push the right shoulder too much on the first "distance" try. Plus I was in swim trunks (I know.. I know... I've decided to ignore my wife's pleas and will be purchasing a pair of Jammers or two). Was actually a mental fight more than a physical fight. Feeling like this 2.4 miler is really possible and if I keep it up, I may even stay out of last place ;-)

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    Re: 0 to 2.4 Miles

    I swan the Peaks for the first time last year - great event. Having a kayaker that can help with navigation is a true asset. I think I might try it without a wetsuit this year as I was almost overheated last year.

    Your time for the 1650 looks good (I think that 72 lengths = 1 mile, so 1800 yards). I will get in a 1 hour swim sometime in June just to get used to the idea of swimming for such a long time all at once. Even during the event last year I swam some backstroke to keep the shoulders loose. Remember that swimming with a wetsuit will make you more buoyant and faster (I think I read that you can pick up 3-4 seconds per hundred).

    Keep up the commitment to training. And get ready, it really is a fun swim.

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    Very Active Member srcoyote's Avatar
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    Re: 0 to 2.4 Miles

    It sounds like you're on track and have realistic goals about this swim. For my first open water swim, my goal was just to finish and have fun so I adopted a very smooth stroke, making sure to keep my shoulders and entries wide (less stress on the shoulder) and had a blast.

    There is a temptation (especially in 60-62 water) to start of swimming like mad -- maybe even trying to keep up with the others. I recommend starting towards the back of the pack with a few breast strokes to bob your head in the water until the hyperventilation slows and move into freestyle from there.

    Watch out, though. You do this swim, and you'll be hooked.

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    Re: 0 to 2.4 Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by srcoyote View Post
    Watch out, though. You do this swim, and you'll be hooked.
    I can see that :-) I had a good visit with PT for the first time today to work on some things for my slight shoulder pain I've been experiencing. His assessment and plan has me excited as well.

    I actually also entered a 1.2 miler two weeks before this 2.4 miler to get used to OW in a competitive environment. It is a calm pond so it should be a good confidence builder. Plus there is a free OW clinic the night before the 1.2 miler for all entrants. I'll be taking plenty of mental notes there.

    Yeah my goal for these first two swim events of my life (First OW/First race) is to not DNF.

    I'll have a kayaker familiar with the area with me for the Peak's to Portland swim and I told him to expect a slower pace and to do some navigating help for me, especially if I take a few "rest" backstroke shots.

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    Re: 0 to 2.4 Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by geographic View Post
    this may be of interest, it is in line with jbs' comments:

    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/dsdt/cwtg/natl.html

    btw ... have you found your "forever" pace?
    Thanks. Yeah guess the high 50s was a bit cold, looks more like 60-62. Still will likely opt for wet suit.

    That first 1 miler I did in the pool felt like it may have been a forever pace. Stopped for a few reasons other than the too exhausted to go on/etc. So in a pool, I'd put that around 1:50-2:00/100. Now I just need to figure out my 1.2 and 2.4 mile pace so I can push it a bit harder ;-) And the OW pacing.

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    Re: 0 to 2.4 Miles

    The regs more or less require the kayak escort unless I sign a waiver. I am definitely going to grab a kayak escort, actually already have one familiar with the area who'll help me out. Should give me some breaks from navigation. Definitely looking forward to this first OW event and hoping my pace is better than that easy pace I had for the first "can I even do a mile?" swim. I've set a few goals:

    1.) Don't drown
    2.) Don't DNF
    3.) Be at least one better than the last one who didn't DNF.

    As we get closer, I continue to increase endurance, strength, get in better shape and I do that 1.2 miler the goal may change (hopefully up) but either way knowing I have these events is a definite motivator to training harder which has the side effect of making the pounds keep coming off, the shoulders looking different, the energy increase, the resting pulse relax and the Mrs. making comments about new dimensions

    As long as the PT I've started to work on shoulder issues helps and I can stay with it (Upper Cross syndrome... great, strong anterior muscles, though shortened and not stretched as well... inferior, overstretched and weak posterior - spinati, scapularis, etc) it should be a fun summer of getting in shape and some new personal goals with the swims. Who knows maybe next year I'll look for a longer swim if things go well this year :-)

    I even just ordered a pair of jammers (to my wife's disappointment, she doesn't get it, I'm looking forward to seeing the difference in feel for water with those compared to trunks). Looking forward to doing some OW swims once it warms up a bit and ice melts some more 'round here with some groups. Think swimming with others and continuously may keep the distance training swims more interesting than watching the black line ;-)

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    Age Grouper in Training jaadams1's Avatar
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    Re: 0 to 2.4 Miles

    I even just ordered a pair of jammers (to my wife's disappointment, she doesn't get it, I'm looking forward to seeing the difference in feel for water with those compared to trunks)
    Trunks are for going to the beach with the non-swimmers. Swimmers use briefs/jammers/etc. You'll never want to swim in trunks again!!

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    Re: 0 to 2.4 Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by jaadams1 View Post
    Trunks are for going to the beach with the non-swimmers. Swimmers use briefs/jammers/etc. You'll never want to swim in trunks again!!
    Completely agree with the last sentence. Jammers came in last week and hit the first swim with them last Thursday night. What a difference! Definitely a much better feel and either I was faster or the psychological effect made me feel faster. Either way great experience. In fact, I sat in the hot tub for the shoulders a bit after and couldn't help but get in and do another 200 just because I enjoyed swimming in 'em.

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