Even though I grew up a competitive swimmer, and swimming comes naturally to me, I haven’t done planned swim workouts in 20 years. Since I am a pretty good swimmer, I would like to be at my best come race day. I figure I should be able to be in the front of the pack (FOP) for the age groups, or at the least, the front of the middle of the pack.
I have been reading a lot on the Triathlon forums about how to be at your best for the swim part of the Ironman triathlon. Contrary to popular believe, to prepare yourself for a 2.4 mile swim – you do NOT just keep building up endurance. If you want to go your fastest possible for the 2.4 mile swim, without over doing it – you need to do interval swimming to build up your endurance.
Swimming interval training involves swimming on a said time. Let’s say you average 1:00 minute for a 50 yard swim. If you want to get faster and build up your endurance – the main portion of your workout would be 5 x 50 yards, on the 1:10. You never rest more than 10 seconds. After you can do that, you bump it up to 10 x 50 on the 1:10 and so on. You can do this with 100 or 200 yard swims also. As you bump up your endurance, you will get faster. Then you can go to 5 x 50 on the 1:00 minute interval and keep improving from there.
Good luck with your training. Please feel free to share your successes below.