MIMS Preparation

I generally try to swim 20 – 25km per week through the “off season”.

Folkestone


Photo: Folkestone – a place that I have trained at in the past


In the lead up to a big swim the goal is to double that, getting to 40km to 50km per week, but that is really just through long weekend swims of 10km or longer.

It is tough to swim in open water in the UK as the water temperature needs to be over 12°C or 13°C for a safe swim over several hours. Some of the lakes, such as the Serpentine in London, get over 12°C in mid-April, however, the sea water in Dover really only gets over 12°C in mid-May. So I am often confined to the pool until Summer. I find that there is little point doing over 10km or 12km in the pool, so once I hit 10km I just try to go a little faster or keep a more consistent pace throughout the swim.

Anyway, here is my standard training week for the 15 weeks prior to the Manhattan Island Swim.

Day Session Length
Monday Swim Club / Sprint Session
200m warm-up

3 x 200m drills (single-arm, etc.)
25 x 100m turning on 2:00 at increasing pace
e.g. touching on 1:45, 1:40, 1:35, 1:30, 1:25 and repeat

200m swim down

3,500m
Tuesday Drills Session
300m warm-up

5 x 300m drills (single-arm, kick, etc.)
500m on 1:50/100m (focus on stroke count)

200m swim down

2,500m
Wednesday Speed Session
200m warm-up

3 x 200m drills (single-arm, etc.)

1,000m on 3:30/200m
800m on 3:25/200m
600m on 3:20/200m
400m on 3:15/200m
200m on 3:10/200m

200m swim down

4,000m
Thursday Swim Club / Sprint Session

200m warm-up

3 x 200m drills (single-arm, etc.)
2 x 400m on 6:30 with 30 seconds rest between sprints
4 x 200m on 3:10 with 30 seconds rest between sprints
8 x 100m on 1:30 with 30 seconds rest between sprints

200m swim down

3,400m
Friday Recovery Day
Saturday Long-Swim
In the pool, 200m warm-up

8 – 12km in sets of 4 x 2 – 3km

200m swim down

Or in Dover, as much as I can stand in the cold water up to about 7 hours

8,400m – 20,000m
Sunday Long-Swim
200m warm-up

6 – 10km in sets of 3 x 2 – 4km

200m swim down

6,400m – 10,400m
Total 28 – 44km