I have done two two hour continuous swims in the last couple of days.
I mention these swims because it’s actually been quite some time since I last swam without stopping. Since the summer time I’ve got into the habit of doing short sprints and lots of drills. This is the kind of training Tim recommends – interval training, which is all about beating the clock – doing the same distance but at higher speeds.
The problem for me however, has been that mentally I’ve been feeling somewhat out of tune with distance swimming and I’ve been struggling to swim more than 200m at a time. So these longer swims are intended to test my stamina and concentration.
During the swims, to counter the onset of boredom and fatigue, I found myself cycling through different styles of front crawl every 50 to 200 metres. This allowed me to rest and stretch different muscle groups and test and refresh connection with the water. Changes in my stroke were largely prompted by having to do lengths. Turns can interrupt ones rhythm but also offer the opportunity to reboot and rethink ones stroke. It was quite an enjoyable swim and I’m pleased not to have injured myself. Also I think I have reduced the amount of splash I create on hand entry. I hope this is the case and I wasn’t imagining it.
In the course of long swims one needs to continually test and correct ones form in order to maintain an efficient stroke.
The swims were useful in building my self confidence and made me think that I need to do at least two or three long swims a week in addition to my interval training. This will help me assess the impact the interval training on my speed and form over a longer course.
Will speak with Tim about this tomorrow.
Also need to stay hydrated and time my swims!
Time is important Iacono! The faster you swim the quicker you can get out of the water, which for a channel swim is particularly important.
Slow swims increase exposure to cold and increase risk of hypothermia-
Stay warm – swim fast!