To educate, entertain, and enthuse those who venture beyond the shore. Over 10,900 articles on solo swims, pro races, relays, charity events, eco-swims, stage swims, marathon swims, trends, products, services, personalities, coaches, governing bodies, rules, demographics, books, films, blogs, conferences, camps, clinics, exploits and happenings in oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, dams, canals, channels, fjords, estuaries, lochs, coves, firths, straits, bays, and harbors. Sponsored by WOWSA.org.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Happy Medium of Distance and Speed
However, as swimmers need to develop different skills and mindsets to reach their potential in the 10K, competing in 5K and 25K races may also be added into the mix. Both these distances are contested at the World Championships, where the fastest athletes face each other in a variety of distances.
Some of the most versatile athletes, such as world champions Edith van Dijk of the Netherlands, Britta Kamrau of Germany, Trent Grimsey of Australia, and David Meca of Spain have competed in all 3 distances at the world championship level.
So with this variety of options where 5K demands a sustained speed, the 10K requires strategic racing, and the 25K rewards stamina and patience, what is an elite swimmer to do? In addition, since most open water swimmers do the majority of their training in the pool, what is the best way to go about training and preparing for an open water 10K?
While coaches and athletes are proponents of different theories and approaches on the optimal training for an elite open water swimmer, there are a few principles that are commonly held true.
In order to successfully race a 10K at the world-class level (under 2 hours for women and under 1:53 for men), one must have a solidly superior aerobic base. Racing at this speed requires built-up endurance. This can be accomplished in the pool in a number of ways. Athletes may simulate an open water race by doing a continuous 5K or 10K, stopping only to feed. In addition, open water swimmers can benefit from high-volume main sets. For example, perhaps the swimmer completes 8 x 1000, with 30-seconds rest between each, holding the same pace throughout. Although this breaks up the distance a bit, providing a bit of a mental relief every 1K, the set is a great way to build the athlete’s endurance. It is important to note that this aerobic base and endurance is not only essential from a physical standpoint, but also from the mental perspective. Swimming a 10K while focusing on one’s competitors in a dynamic environment can be very challenging mentally. It is crucial for a swimmer to have complete confidence that they have done the necessary training, both from a physiological and psychological point of view.
The pace of a 10K race becomes increasingly faster as the race goes on. A review of the split times at several of the last world championships shows that women hold fairly even splits and drop at least 30 seconds on the last 2.5K relative to the first 7.5K. The men, however, significantly speed up in the second half of the race, most times going at least 1 minute faster on the last 2.5K than the slowest 2.5K loop. Thus, it can be extremely beneficial to work on descending pace throughout a workout, especially on the main set.
Recently, American open water swimmer Ashley Twichell did the following set in a short-course 25-yard pool: 3 x 1000, 3 x 800, 3 x 600, 3, x 400, and 3 x 200.
This was done in a progressive descend manner. A Progressive Descend set requires that each subsequent swim is attempted to be swum faster throughout the entire 9,000-yard set. It is extraordinarily tough and quite tricky to correctly complete this set as intended and in a fashion that reaps all the possible benefits. If the swimmer begins the set too slowly, it may be too easy for him to descend throughout, and may find himself with too much left at the conclusion of the set. On the other hand, if the swimmer starts the set with an extremely fast pace, it may be impossible for him to descend throughout, or even to complete the entire 9,000 yards. It is imperative to find the perfect balance, which is best accomplished through repeated practice. The more workouts like this a swimmer does in the pool, the more prepared he will be going into a race.
So in the Progressive Descend set that Twichell did, she completed each of her 1000s descended with her first one at 10:27 and her last one at 10:20. Since her pace on the last 1000 was 1:02 per 100, she needed to start at a faster pace than this on the first 800. She swam a 8:15 on the first 800 and then proceeded to descend the 800s with her third one being an 8:09 (1:01.1 pace). The next set of swims continued to quicken the pace: her 600 times were 6:06, 6:05, and 6:04. Then the set of 400s began with a 4:02 and ended at 4:00 (1:00 per 100 pace). For the last set of three 200s, she completed the grueling workout in a 1:59, 1:58, and 1:56.
Although it is essential for elite open water swimmers to have an extremely strong aerobic base, speed work cannot be neglected. Often times, the last 500 meters of an open water race becomes an all-out sprint and races are won and lost at the very end of the race. Athletes are forced to change gears at the finish, as frequently tenths of seconds determine the outcome of a two-hour race. Preparation for this may come in the way of quality sets done in the pool. An example of a quality set may be: 8 x 100s, each 100 on 8:00. Every 100 is done as fast as possible, with plenty of time to recover after each. Another possible set done to maximize speed would be: 5 x 500, with the last 100 of each 500 at best effort. This would simulate the fast finish of a 10K race.
Like track athletes competing in the 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m races, open water swimmers with a focus on the 10K marathon need to focus both on endurance and speed. These races have varying paces, depending on how the lead pack reacts to every surge and attempted breakaway. Swimmers need to be able to adjust accordingly. Athletes are bound to have to switch into a sprint mode at the end of the race – and a few times in the second half – in order to have any hope of winning a medal. While the amount of training time spent on each facet may vary from swimmer to swimmer, it is certain that these elite athletes are focusing on each one at some point.
Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming
2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE
The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.
The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.
The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.
Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.
The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.
"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."
Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."
The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme
Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]
Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland
Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance
Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony
Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute
The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:
* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year
For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:
* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Swim Across the English Channel...
Who else is looking for a qualified open water swimming coach to help them swim across the English Channel?Chloë McCardel is a 6-time English Channel Swimmer who inspires and instructs. Access featured content by Chloë in this month's issue of the Open Water Swimming Magazine. Published monthly by WOWSA, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a digital, interactive publication made available exclusively to WOWSA members. See what you've been missing! Become a WOWSA member today!
Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.
In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.