Monday, June 29, 2015

Be Prepared

Going into a big season like this, we all have to be prepared for whatever races are coming our way. We know what we're getting ourselves into when we sign up for the race (most of the time), but don't always know how we are going to get to that finish line until later.

Before beer mile training
I even did some special training for the Raleigh Beer Mile. Had to time myself chugging brews, and did a session where I chugged then ran to the end of the block and back (0.4 miles total) 3 times.

After beer mile training! Not that drunk
Getting ready for Ironman Raleigh this year meant riding with the cyclist on my relay team since he had never done a triathlon before. I got to teach him the non-drafting rules, how to pass and be passed by others. We had a lot of fun! Eric absolutely smashed his expectations and rode a 2:52 bike split.

Me and Eric after our ride
Also before Ironman Raleigh I got to run with Chris and KC on the IM Raleigh run course. KC had a blast doing her first half iron and is now settled in on her training for IM Chattanooga. Chris is starting his training for a BQ attempt.

Me, KC, Chris
Everybody has to prepare for something. I have the Big Deuce coming up again, my 4th attempt swimming this 2 mile open water race. Goal is to break my 58 minute course pr since I've been swimming much faster lately. I did actually sign up for a triathlon this year, the Battle at Buckhorn sprint at the end of August.

But the fall. Autumn is where it's at. I'm starting to ramp my volume up in the pool to get ready for the 12 mile OWS race in Charleston and I have no idea if what I'm doing is going to be enough or not. Pretty sure my aerobic base is going to be there but I have no idea if the arm mechanics of my swim stroke is going to be able to hold up.

Comparing notes with a RAM teammate who is also doing the race, I'm thinking 25-30k yards a week is going to be enough. He's wanting to get closer to 40k a week. He's never run a marathon, and if I've learned anything from my 15 marathon or longer finishes it's the importance of the weekly long run and getting some 20 milers in there.

Out on a recent run at the NC Capital building
I think 4 or 5 RAM practices (average 3500 yards in 1:15) plus a long swim will be enough to get me there. My recent advances in swim speed deserve it's own post, but I'm really amped about being able to hold a faster pace for longer. In marathon training, I love to ramp up to some 50+ mile weeks and get those long runs to to 20 miles. In swimming, the race is over 19k long, so I'll need to start out with a 5k to 10k long swim, and increase every week by 15 to 30 minutes, I guess? 10k takes about 2.5 hours in the pool. The race has a 6 hour cutoff. I think I need to get my long swims up to about 4 hours?

I've never had to prepare for anything like this before so I really have no idea what I've gotten myself into. Any advice would be appreciated. Maybe swim marathons and running marathons don't require the same approach.

But they literally have to, in my case. You see, I added the extra stupidity of signing up for 3 full marathons and 2 50 milers (in 5 different states to boot) in the 4 months that immediately follow that 12 mile swim race. So that is what I'm in for.  It's going to be an interesting summer. And I really will try to post more so you guys can follow along in my massive training for this crazy adventure. July and August will be the build phase to get me ready for the aerobic challenges in the fall.


Kristen said...

WOW, seriously impressive swimming that you're doing! I'm not sure if the same training concept applies, but know for sure you must be in stellar swim shape right now!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I really can not wrap my mind around swimming 12 miles!! But if anyone can do it, it's you. I hope that your training for that goes well! I love how you are like, 'oh and besides that I'm doing 3 marathons and 2 50 milers.' No big deal. ;) I'm glad I get run with you for one of those marathons and show you my city!!

Tea said...

Are you a member of USMS? If you google ultra distance swimming or marathon swimming....something along those should find some training plans or pointers. I swim with a number of ultra distances swimmers.
I've never done a swim like that, but I know the issues they are always most concerned about:

1.) Get your fueling down. Do you have your own kayaker with you? Or does everyone share kayakers? Cramping is always a concern, so will the kayaker be willing to massage those feet? hahaha....kidding, but seriously, cramping is a concern.
2.) One of the swimmers that I know did an 11 mile swim. I think her longest swim was 8-9 miles. On top of that, she was swimming crazy volumes in the pool during the week. She had to be swimming a 5k every other day. I know she was there before we started and was there after we finished.

Anyway, that's mostly useless information, but I'd look around the USMS website and talk to your Masters Coach. They are the best resources.

Abby said...

I saw this and thought of you:
Mile and a half swim from Alcatraz to San Fran.
I thought who in the heck swims that well... then thought of you.