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I SERIOUSLY need advice for distance swimming and how to prepare for it.

  • Hi, I plan on swimming the 1650 freestyle soon and I wanted to know what I should do to prepare for it or even what techniques should I use while swimming it. I know it can be a very tough swim since it is 66 laps but I just wanted to know what would be best to build up for my race for the 1650 freestyle. It's my first time that I'm swimming it and I'm very nervous as well as excited about it.

  • Kudos to you for taking on a challenge to swim a 1650! I think one of the best ways to prepare for an endurance event, is to break it down into smaller pieces. Rather than trying to practice swimming the distance as one long swim where we tend to have our technique break down over time, it is better to build endurance by swimming shorter repeats on short rest. In other words, try building up to swimming it as a 20 x 100 on an interval that gives you 10 seconds rest. (That is more than the total distance, but it will prepare you well). You can start by swimming sets of 5 x 100 and build up to the total distance. This way you can work to maintain your form by repeating better technique, with just short rest as a reset for your technique. You'll notice as you get better at executing the workout, that even though you won't really feel ready to start the next 100, you'll be able to, and you'll feel fresh on the first 25 of each 100. Fight to hold your form through the rest of the 100. (Note that if you were to take longer rest between 100s, then it wouldn't really be an endurance set.) Using an interval or "send off" can help you find your pace and allow you to measure each 100 repeat. An example of an interval would be as follows: Using a clock and round numbers--if you know that you can swim 100 yards at a comfortable pace, say, in 2 minutes, then use a swim interval (or Send Off time) of 2:10. That way you will swim and get your rest within that 2:10 interval. So, you will push off from the wall every 2:10. Assuming you start at the "top of the clock" (or :00), your next push-off would be on the 2:10, then the 4:20, then the 6:30, and so on. This will also give you the opportunity to see if you can repeat your swim times each interval, or if you are getting slower or faster on each one. Try to maintain your pace on each 100 repeat. You'll notice that each repeat gets a bit harder the deeper into the set you go. But, you also get into a rhythm, the deeper into the set you go. Hope this helps!

  • I swim the 500 and the 1000, but I've never built up to the 1650. I have a lot of distance swimmer friends and they all suggest that you breathe every other stroke. Also, if you start off at a decent pace in between sprint and easy, you'll be able to hold it for the entire race, as long as your endurance is good. Work the kick, whIle keeping your strokes long. Your coach will also be able to help you in this. Don't worry too much about the race, just swim it and do your best!

  • Tempo Trainers are great for long distance because it is a constant reminder to keep pace and not loose your goal. Having a friend to train with is also a big plus.

  • Hi there! I'm 2-time Olympian Chloe Sutton! Hopefully I can help!

    Deborah had GREAT advice for training for a 1650! Distance training is all about consistency. You want to be a machine. Breaking down the race into smaller segments in training and taking short rest between is a great way to build up endurance.

    Other things that I think are good to address are fueling for your race. Make sure you have a small snack pretty close to the time you will begin racing. Half of a bar, a handful of trail mix, a banana, etc. are great fuel. With longer races, you want to make sure that your body has energy to work off of. I also recommend making sure to drink a lot of water or a sports drink in the few days leading up to your race.

    Make sure you have someone to count for you! In your first 1650 it's really easy to lose track of how many laps you've swum. Have someone to count for you and help you out.

    Make sure you have a strategy going into it. My favorite strategies were:
    500, 400, 300, 200, 100, 150 with each segment getting faster.
    3 x 500 with each 500 getting faster, then a 150 fast!
    It's best usually to build up the race starting relaxed and strong and then getting faster as you go.

    REMEMBER you are SO much stronger than you think. Have confidence, have fun, and go for it!

    GOOD LUCK! let us all know how you do! :)

    • Chloe

  • deborah great advice also if you wanted to do a 1650 every practice and try to negative split the best you can when you get to the race its just like playing a song you reverse it every day and every day you get better at it and then you have reversed it so much when the race comes you have it down hope this helps

  • Thank you, Chloe, for the advice! I am an open-water swimmerace, and my pool routines get boring!! These are some sets I can work into my workout. I have a 5K coming up and my sets are getting long!

    Ever thought of moving from distance to endurance events? I wonder about these Olympians who spend more time in the pool then me... y'all could blow us amateurs out of the water! Why do we only have one 10K-er on Team USA?

  • Thank you all so much!! I've been a swimmer for 5 years and I'm just hoping for the best

  • Colleenswims17,
    I hope your training is going well. When is your event? Please let us know how you felt.

    I just wanted to offer one more piece of advice. Enjoy the 1650 and focus on the process. You've trained and built up your endurance--DON'T FOCUS ON THE END RESULT before you start your event. Yes, you may have a goal, but what's most important is the PROCESS to get there. Focus on the process to get you there. Make a plan to ensure you have all the things that you need (cap goggles, snack, etc) and give thought to and rehearse in your mind how you will approach the race from the moment you walk up to the block. Break the distance down in your mind, just like you have done in training, and think about how you'll swim each chunk. Follow your plan, stay focused, TRUST YOURSELF, good things will happen, and you'll feel wonderful when you're done.

    Wishing you the best of luck, and have fun!!

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