Right then, if I’m going to do Windermere again next year and if going to break 7 hours I need to have a serious training plan. Training up for the swim last year was all about just getting the miles in. I didn’t care how long it took me, all I wanted to do was finish. And with very little swimming experience I knew I just had to swim as much as possible to get my body ready for it.
This time it’s different for a number of reasons:
1 – I’ve done it before, so I know what to expect
2 – I have longer to train (I only decided in April last time)
3 – I have a target to aim for
So, to get a different outcome, I need a different approach. This time I’m going to set training targets for myself and train hard to achieve them. For October my plan will be to get four sessions in a week – 2 swimming and 2 gym. However, I will merge one of the swimming and gym sessions to make it only three trips to the gym – I like doing this as it also teaches my body how to swim when it is tired. It’s hard to get a 6-mile training swim in in the pool, but this way I can make it feel as if I’m doing mile 6.
Those 3 / 4 sessions will look like this:
Monday morning- swimming
– 50m sets – time 50seconds, go every minute, 1-min break between sets: 2-3-4-3-2
– 100m sets – time 1min 45, go every 2 minutes, 1-min break between sets: 2-3-4-3-2
– 200m sets – time 3mins 35, go every 4 minutes, 1-min break between sets: 2-3-2
Thursday evening – gym
– Bike: 20 minutes, Random setting, target 11kms, increase level if achieved (currently level 13)
– Weights: various arm and shoulder exercises
– Treadmill: c. 15 minutes, increasing to run up to 2.8kms
Saturday morning – gym & swim
– Gym: as above
– Swim: 1.6kms, at a leisurely pace (c. 35 mins) to include some breaststroke
I know it’s not much to start with, but it’s good to get a plan together. I also need to be careful to create a realistic plan that is achievable given my other commitments. What I don’t want to do is start to miss sessions after only a couple of weeks and then give up on it. That said, in November I plan to add another hard swim session into the mix, probably on Friday mornings.
Wish me luck.