Monday, January 24, 2011

Training for a mile swim

The title of this post seems a little grand, considering that I haven't actually been training that much for my upcoming mile swim. I've only gone swimming 5 times this month so far, for an average of 1,170 yards per workout. This compares to 10 pool workouts in December (average = 893 yards) and 8 in November (average=913 yards).

On Saturday I will gather with my YMCA Masters Swim Team to complete a mile swim, or 1,650 yards. Since it takes a long time to swim a mile, this is not a typical Meet where multiple teams will be represented. Instead, we will time each other and send in the results to the regional organization to be compiled and compared against the other competing teams' self-reported race times. So it is a race, but an informal one. I have never swum 1,650 yards all in one workout before. The closest I've come is 1,400 yards completed in a 60-minute workout (by myself) with plenty of rest between laps. I have also done 1,400 yards during a swim practice with my personal coach, but again, this was a 60-min session with rests between sets of exercises. What's another 250 yards? I know I can swim a mile, but the question is can I do it without stopping to rest? I regularly go 500 yards without rest and once I was able to go 650 yards without resting. At this point my heart rate is fairly low (140 beats per minutes) during these long sets, so I should be able to swim at a slow pace indefinitely, or at least for a time long enough to swim a mile. I think my body can do it, but do I have the will power to keep going after I pass the 650 mark?

The point of this blog is to establish goals publicly and come back and report on my results. This ultimately pushes me and makes me responsible for following through. So I will be brave and state here and now that on Saturday I plan to swim continuously for 750 yards. I will be feel free then to take a break at the end of the pool and start again after a minute or less on a set of 100 yards, and I'll keep doing sets of 100 until I get to 1,650. My race time doesn't matter because I have no record to beat (and I'm already the slowest swimmer in my age group!). I just want to finish.


  1. You can do it. Just find your rhythm and enjoy the water. I know that is ahard to do but I think you can! I can't wait to read about how it goes!

  2. Thanks Christi! I appreciate your kind words. I will let you know how it goes.