Preparing For Long Distance Swims

Swim Smooth's Paul Newsome writes regularly for open water swimming magazine H2Open. In the latest edition Paul takes a detailed look at the preparation required for long distance swims of 5km and over. Click on the image to read a digital copy of the article from the magazine :
H2Open is a fantastic new open water swimming magazine that Swim Smooth are proud to be involved with. Find out more about the mag here and to subscribe go here.
We know from the emails you send us that many of you are interested in setting yourself a challenge in 2012 and taking on an open water swimming event or two. We'd really encourage you to go for it - they're hugely rewarding and a lot of fun to train for. Paul's article contains lots of tips on what your approach should be and how you should train for these events.

Here at Swim Smooth we're all very excited to see the boom in open water swimming that is under way around the world. All the Swim Smooth staff and coaches are open water swimmers or triathletes and we are all very passionate about swimming in the great outdoors and the rewards on offer - go for it!

Swim Smooth!


Anonymous said...

really amazing ! I was surprised to note than the pace in open cold water is faster than in a heated pool !

Paulo Neves said...

Hi Paul!

Fantastic article!
I am also an enthusiatic triathlete who is now entering the Open Water crossings world. This year I have proudly completed my first crossing: 7,5Km in Spain (in a wetsuit, which use was actually mandatory) at a 1:45/100m pace! I also use a Garmin 310XT. I use it under my swimming cap and I suppose you do the same. You said you set it to beep every 500m. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to use it as a wetronome as well? There could be an option somewhere in the "other" sport to set up an auto-beep for a given period. It could be an easy to implement feature to include on future firmware releases. I suggested this to Garmin but got no answer...
Now a "request"! You guys mention that only elite swimmers have the flexibility and shoulder stability to start flexing the arm at the front of the stroke keeping the elbow high... Most of us, mere mortals, would just drop the entire arm a bit more stretched and start to flex a bit later.
I am extremely flexible BUT really don't have enough shoulder stability to try and imitate elite swimmers front catch. Coudn't you give us some advice on how to improve shoulder stability. The shoulder is mainly supported by muscles, aren't there any weight training (or elastic band) exercises that could help?

Paulo Neves

Jukka Valkonen said...

I've been a lifelong swimmer and triathlete for 25 years. Yes, specific strength conditioning can improve the swimmer's ability to stabilize, thus "hold" the extended shoulder as needed. However, the exercises are not focused initially on your external, propulsion muscles, e.g., deltoid. Instead, you begin with building the support muscles that are internal, which are smaller and much more difficult to train. One needs to find a strength and conditioning coach versed with this. The Russian, Bulgarian, and Chinese strength methods are the best. Once implemented; however, it takes time and discipline to develop the necessary strength. The results you will see in your swim times and effort, not in the mirror with bulky delts. Here in the US, Anthony Eggleton is trained in the Russian and Bulgarian systems. He does use web training tools for athletes not local to him. I've applied the techniques and lessons from the Swim Smooth Master Catch DVD to the training in the pool and with Coach Anthony. At 45, I can turn a 26 50 free and a 65 100. My open water 1500s in tris are about 19 without the wetsuit and 17 with. So I am very pleased with my results and no pain in the shoulders which I used to have (former rugby player too). Good luck!

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