“Am I fit enough to enter a long distance swim? I want to do the Thames Marathon, The Dart, Coniston, maybe an Ironman.” I get asked this all the time and my usual response, if a little cheeky is ‘the only way to find out is to enter it.”
But…..races for 2018 are opening and people are entering….
This then usually kickstarts 2months of frantic training from a 6month plan and by week 12 we are fed up, tired and overtrained. The gloss of the event has started to fade and the summer months are still ages away. Enter by all means but then do not panic. Set things out and manage them with regard to sleep, work and family.
6months to a key event should comfortably be 50-60 swim training sessions, maybe 70 if looking to perform well rather than just complete. 60swims could easily be over 200km of blackline torment! Don’t try to get them all done in the first couple of months. Build the volume. You are asking your body to adapt to an overload of exercise and it needs to heal and rest to absorb this and then progress. Maybe limit month one to 9 swims maximum if you are starting from an unfit base.
Make use of your rest days, aid the recuperation with massage and stretching, work on your weaknesses, improve your flexibility. If injured do not add more sessions to your next weeks total to catch them up. Let it go. You do not want to further reduce rest time between sessions hindering the bodies ability to return to health. If you do not feel like it on a certain day due to a late night, sick child, work project then don’t go. If this happens for a week then you may need to re evaluate your goal, step back or divert to a different activity for a while as you recover from some overtraining and find your mojo again.