Wednesday, June 24, 2020

When An Hour Is Not Enough

If you take your training quite seriously then you may be thinking about how to improve your swimming in the future and achieve some better performances.

One common limiter to getting fitter is that many swimmers limit themselves to 60 minute training sessions. Swimming for an hour, twice, three or four times a week is great for most swimmers and you can make a lot of improvements doing that but there comes a time when you might be needing to swim a little longer once a week to find those next gains. That's a mental step but an important one.

If you are a triathlete then you'll be familiar with the concept of a long steady run or ride to give you that base training effect and exactly the same is true in swimming. At first keep the pace steady and begin stretching one session a week out to 90 mins with mostly steady paced aerobic swimming.

Nothing gets you fit like a longer swim!

The Swim Smooth Guru contains a great variety of sessions to do that (subscription required):

Once you reach 90 minute sessions and are comfortable doing so you can stay as you are or continue to push things a bit further. You have a couple of choices to do that, either increase the intensity so the session contains Red-Mist pace:

Or go slightly longer again, out to 2+ hours in length. Take some fluids to the pool or open water with you and some nutrition to feed off too:

You can of course complete longer swims like this in open water too - either in a long continuous swim or by swimming something a little more structured varying your pace swimming laps around a shorter fixed loop.

Remember this isn't for everyone. Sessions like this are for committed swimmers looking for a good pathway forwards. They can be tough but the physiological benefit of longer sessions is huge and you'll quickly feel the benefit to your speed and economy in the water!

Swim Smooth!

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