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Thread: Swimming Question, 400m in under 10 minutes possible?

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    Swimming Question, 400m in under 10 minutes possible?

    Hi all my name is Joey and about a week from now I am taking a beach lifeguard test and the hardest thing by far is going to be the 400m swim in under ten minutes. I have been a pool lifeguard for four years and have had to do a 300m swim twice (one for initial testing and one for rectification). I have no benchmarks for time as the 300m pool swim I did was not timed and honestly I almost threw up both times after finishing it. I run competitively and my times are 17:15 for the 5k, 4:40 for the mile, and 55.xx for the 400m to give some perspective of my current fitness level. What can I do over the next several days to get ready for this test and how should I go about completing. Please not did any form of swimming since my pool lifeguard re certification test three years ago. Thanks!

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    Re: Swimming Question, 400m in under 10 minutes possible?

    At your fitness level, 400M could be under 4:30. 4:40 mile? Damn. Anyway, if you can get any coaching, probably mostly breathing fpattern, before, that would be a big help.

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    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming Question, 400m in under 10 minutes possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by 67King View Post
    At your fitness level, 400M could be under 4:30. 4:40 mile? Damn. Anyway, if you can get any coaching, probably mostly breathing fpattern, before, that would be a big help.
    I wouldn’t say just because he is at a 4:40 mile fitness level that he could complete a 400M freestyle in under 4:30. Without ant swimming benchmarks it is kind of hard to answer his question. What were the times
    for each of the 300 swims? Have you tried doing a 400M swim as a practice to see how long it takes to complete it?

    Granted I found an appreciation for the 400M in my masters years that I did not have as an age grouper or college swimmer, but I’m a 1:49/4:49/10:02 200/500/1000 yard swimmer and never went under 4:30 in a 400. That’s why I showed a level of skepticism.

    anyways, like I said, without some swimming results (even just practice times) to compare, your question is difficult to answer. If you finished your 300 swims in 5-7 minutes, then yes you can definitely get that last 100 meters done in time. If it’s taking you more than 8 minutes to do a 300 though, getting 400 under 10:00 may be a tall order without more swimming training.

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    Re: Swimming Question, 400m in under 10 minutes possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvin S View Post
    I wouldn’t say just because he is at a 4:40 mile fitness level that he could complete a 400M freestyle in under 4:30.
    Sorry for the ambiguous wording. Was trying to focus on fitness level and what is possible. Not that a non swimmer could do that, but rather that the fitness level of one who can run a mile that fast is likely on par with one who can swim 400M that fast. That is why I suggested he get some coaching to help provide some technique. He only needs to do it in under 10 minutes, at his fitness level, that should be a walk in the park. I only put a time up there to put in context where his issue is.

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    Very Active Member ForceDJ's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming Question, 400m in under 10 minutes possible?

    As impressive as your run times are, and as certified beach lifeguard myself, I concur that your running prowess isn't really going to help you swimming. (4:40 was also my PR for the mile way back in 1979.) But, because you've already been a pool lifeguard...that tells me that you can at least swim with some efficiency. Since you said that your test is in just a few days...and keep in mind that's an open water swim...at this late date I think you should just try to concentrate on the "non-stop" aspect of the swim. Because, 10:00 for the 400m isn't all that fast, and you're not going to get "faster" in just a few days. So...presuming that your pool lifeguarding experience made you somewhat of a swimmer...just worry about finishing non-stop, but with a good effort. You'll likely make the time. BUT...I have another question. What is your experience swimming in open water? As a triathlete I have helped lots of athletes from all backgrounds get into the sport. The #1 biggest obstacle for most to overcome is the fear/concern of swimming in open water. Occasionally even the best h.s. and collegiate pool swimmers just freak out in the open water when they can't see the bottom, experience surf/chop, are overly worried about aquatic life, etc. So...if you're not accustomed to swimming in the open water...get out there and do that in the few days you have. Good luck.

    Dan

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    Re: Swimming Question, 400m in under 10 minutes possible?

    I once ran 1500m in 3:57.9, and I once swam 400m in 6:14, for some perspective.
    Current PRs: 25m-:16.8/50m-:36.0/100m-1:19.5/200m-2:55.5/400m-6:14/800m-12:50/1600m-26:37

    2020 goal: Break at least one of the above pre-covid PRs!!


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    Re: Swimming Question, 400m in under 10 minutes possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by 67King View Post
    Sorry for the ambiguous wording. Was trying to focus on fitness level and what is possible. Not that a non swimmer could do that, but rather that the fitness level of one who can run a mile that fast is likely on par with one who can swim 400M that fast. That is why I suggested he get some coaching to help provide some technique. He only needs to do it in under 10 minutes, at his fitness level, that should be a walk in the park. I only put a time up there to put in context where his issue is.
    word. Didn’t mean to make it seem like I was jumping down your throat there (if it was at all perceived that way)!

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    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming Question, 400m in under 10 minutes possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by ForceDJ View Post
    Occasionally even the best h.s. and collegiate pool swimmers just freak out in the open water when they can't see the bottom, experience surf/chop, are overly worried about aquatic life, etc.

    had so much trouble with this when coaching a women’s college team. On training trip, tried to do an open water swim, and that was on a beach that had an enclosed area to keep large marine life out/limit surf and I got so much pushback from the ladies over getting in and swimming. To say that a few of them were scared sh*tless would be a gross understatement.

    i couldn’t see what the big deal was!

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    Re: Swimming Question, 400m in under 10 minutes possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skuj View Post
    I once ran 1500m in 3:57.9, and I once swam 400m in 6:14, for some perspective.
    Good lord y'all are some fast runners. I did a 4:45 mile and thought I was special. I'm probably a 7 minute miler now. Can darn sure swim a 500 yard or 400M faster than I run a mile, though!

    FWIW, my daughter does a 4:34 400M, and I think does a mile in about 6 minutes, but that was for PE in school last year.

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    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming Question, 400m in under 10 minutes possible?

    My best mile was 4:59 from high school. My best 5k is 20:04 (one day I hope to break that elusive 20:00 barrier) and my best 10k is 43:30. Also have a 1:47 half marathon to my name.

    (those last couple times are all from the past few years)

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    Re: Swimming Question, 400m in under 10 minutes possible?

    I'm going slightly off topic here, but.....

    My fav running event was the 1500m, and my fav swimming event is the 400m. Both have similar WRs!! (3:26/3:32(SC)).

    Of course, there's no hope in hell that I will ever swim a sub4. Sub6 maybe?
    Current PRs: 25m-:16.8/50m-:36.0/100m-1:19.5/200m-2:55.5/400m-6:14/800m-12:50/1600m-26:37

    2020 goal: Break at least one of the above pre-covid PRs!!


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    Re: Swimming Question, 400m in under 10 minutes possible?

    I concur with everybody. :) Zongace, you are a fit dude. My general rule of thumb is time for 1 distance swimming is like 4 distance running. 400M swim is roughly comparable to a mile run. The big difference is running is largely instinctual; swimming is mainly technique. With your running time, if you are worried about finishing 400M in 10 minutes, there is an issue with your swimming skills. Probably fixable. Maybe fixable rapidly. Here's a 4 day plan: one lesson from a coach (or any half decent teacher), one practice by yourself, a second lesson, one rest day. Then hit it.
    Last edited by MickYoung; May 25th, 2020 at 06:24 PM.

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    Re: Swimming Question, 400m in under 10 minutes possible?

    Take coached lessons, join a masters program. You have more than enough horsepower, you just need to find out how to use it in water

    video feedback also effective

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    "Don't float through life orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming Question, 400m in under 10 minutes possible?

    A quick lesson in breathing and stroke will make a big difference.

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    Re: Swimming Question, 400m in under 10 minutes possible?

    Assuming you pass this test, I think it would be wise for you to work on your swimming proficiency. If a 300m swim nearly made you throw up, what would you do if you had to swim 300m, rescue a drowning victim and bring them back to shore? I'd want to be confident in my ability to make a rescue, not just get the job and hope for the best.

    California State beach lifeguards must complete an 8 day/80 hour training program. To be hired you must complete a 1000 yard open water swim in 20 minutes as well as a 200 yard run/400 yard swim/200 yard run within 10 minutes.

    Good luck!

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    Re: Swimming Question, 400m in under 10 minutes possible?

    There are so many fast runners here!!! My mile run time is only about 6'45" and my 400 m swim time is about 7'10". Getting my swim time under 6' seems a mission impossible to me.

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