General Discussion Triathlon Talk » how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman? Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply
2013-06-16 7:30 PM

User image

Regular
847
50010010010025
Akron
Subject: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?
I'm sure this question comes up a lot. Last year I swam 3 times a week, but this year it's just been hard to get into the water. I hate making time for swimming. I've only been swimming twice a week (maybe 6-7000 yards a week). I'm okay with this I think. I really don't think swimming anymore would deduct more than 5 minutes off my time and I'd rather focus on bike and run. Just curious to how much everyone swims. Last year I considered myself a beginner in the swimming part. Now that I've completed an IM last year I feel more comfortable and feel like 2 days is enough ( I plan on getting one swim in 3500-4200 yds) and another 2000-3000 for the week. Maybe even add another 1000. I'm just worried if it will hurt me during IM, meaning make the rest of my day go bad/slower. I don't think it would, but I'm curious to how you guys do it.


2013-06-16 10:55 PM
in reply to: SEADOCHA

User image

Veteran
320
100100100
Edmonton, AB
Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?
I really feel like once you can swim adequately it's such minor returns on your investment compared to the bike or the run. That being said I'm slow and for me to gain 10 minutes in the swim of an Ironman won't make a lick of difference in my finish standing. I'm much better off working on my run and shaving of HUGE time there.

Just my thoughts.
2013-06-17 12:46 AM
in reply to: SEADOCHA

User image

Master
2855
20005001001001002525
Kailua, Hawaii
Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?
personally I think the swimming helps with your overall fitness for the IM, not just the swim itself.

I try to get in as much swimming as I can, even though it's not always my favorite thing to do.

also, the crazyness of the IM swim tends to take energy away, so having more swimming under my belt makes me feel more confident.

just a few thoughts..
2013-06-17 6:15 AM
in reply to: SEADOCHA

User image

Expert
1360
10001001001002525
Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?
I'm a decent swimmer, so I switch a swim each week for a run, running will help me more in the long run. I am a 1:10 IM swimmer (though I was certain I would have been able to get 1:05 last year, but had horrible horrible sighting race day.

for the few months before each of my IMs I was swimming 2x /week, 1 time was intervals for an hour (about 3000 m) and the secon time was a long endurance set (about 3500) usually just over an hour.
2013-06-17 9:48 AM
in reply to: SEADOCHA

User image

Not a Coach
11473
5000500010001001001001002525
Media, PA
Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?
Swimming less will likely leave you slower in the IM (not just in the swim) versus swimming more. Whether you are able to do enough extra biking and running to offset that impact is more difficult to say. But, given your swimming background, I would guess it would be difficult for you to offset. This is not to say you couldn't be faster overall than a year ago. Just that you will probably be slower than if you swam more had to give back a little of the added bike and/or run that you've replaced it with.
2013-06-17 11:44 AM
in reply to: JohnnyKay

User image

Extreme Veteran
410
100100100100
Northern Illinois
Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?
I'm an IM newbie...so take my advice with that in mind.

I've been 3xweek religiously. I'm NOT a good swimmer, but have made significant gains because of my consistency. Not only have I become a better/faster swimmer, I'm more confident and in better overall shape.

About a month ago, I considered dropping a swim to add a bike workout. I posted/asked for feedback on here. Most everyone said to stick with three...I'm glad I did.


2013-06-17 12:13 PM
in reply to: SEADOCHA

User image

Master
2010
2000
Falls Church, VA
Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?
Swimming more is not so much about taking 5 minutes off your total time. It is about being able to swim more efficiently,so that when you come out of the water, even with minimal time gains, you are fresher and have not used as much energy on the swim portion. It is my belief that many people underestimate the value of an efficient swim in an IM.

2013-06-17 3:37 PM
in reply to: Nipper

User image

Elite
5313
5000100100100
Alturas, California
Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?
I'll let you know. I have done 3 IM's with a 4th coming up. I had previously swum 2-3x per week maxing around 40,000 yards in the final build. This time I am swimming 4x a week and will probably max around 55,000 yards. I suck at swimming, my IM swims are between 1:30:xx and 1:20:xx. Yes I would like to shave 10 to 20 min off the swim (Would pay you for your 1:05-1:10 IM swim), but mostly I want to get better at the swim. I think once you are a stronger swimmer you can get by on less time in the water more easily. But to get better I think you need to swim 4-5x per week even if just in the offseason. That said my plan is run 5x bike 5 x swim 4 per week. As I get closer to the date I will add in a brick run to that.
2013-06-18 8:43 AM
in reply to: SEADOCHA

User image

Extreme Veteran
688
500100252525
Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?
Look at some the pros swim training. You will be surprised how much swimming they do (and they are already fast so time gains are minimal). I think the swim is ofter overlooked. It will affect your bike and run later in the day. An ironman is about overall fitness and balance in three sports. Just think total fitness when you skip a swim workout. You can get fitness from swimming without injury(or min. injury).
2013-06-18 4:10 PM
in reply to: MRDAVIDALEXANDER

User image

Expert
663
5001002525
A little slice of paradise
Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?
I have completed 7 Ironman and 3 more this year. I generally swim two times a week , about 5-7 miles, swim about a 1:15 give or take a couple of minutes either way and am fine with that. I agree swimming helps overall fitness, and it is easy on the body.
2013-06-18 7:56 PM
in reply to: SEADOCHA

User image

Member
321
100100100
Spokane
Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?
Originally posted by SEADOCHA

I'm sure this question comes up a lot. Last year I swam 3 times a week, but this year it's just been hard to get into the water. I hate making time for swimming. I've only been swimming twice a week (maybe 6-7000 yards a week). I'm okay with this I think. I really don't think swimming anymore would deduct more than 5 minutes off my time and I'd rather focus on bike and run. Just curious to how much everyone swims. Last year I considered myself a beginner in the swimming part. Now that I've completed an IM last year I feel more comfortable and feel like 2 days is enough ( I plan on getting one swim in 3500-4200 yds) and another 2000-3000 for the week. Maybe even add another 1000. I'm just worried if it will hurt me during IM, meaning make the rest of my day go bad/slower. I don't think it would, but I'm curious to how you guys do it.


If you are swimming 7000 a week, you are doing just the same as me in my 3 days a week lol. I think you are good, unless you swimming those at 2:00+/100 then you should add another session for form and more time in the water.


2013-06-19 10:21 AM
in reply to: SEADOCHA

User image

Elite
3658
200010005001002525
Roswell, GA
Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?

I don't swim a lot in my IM training.  Generally about 3k a week for 3-5 months.  Let's put this out there early:  it's not optimal.  You will be faster over all if you swim more.  I don't have the time or desire to train anymore hours than I do now, and swimming eats up a ton of time for me with the driving and showering.

Here is how I make it work:

1. I focus on my pull and being efficient in the water.  My goal is to use as little energy as possible in the swim.  

2. On race day I avoid the washing machine at all costs.  I don't have the fitness to mix it up.  I will gladly swim a bit longer or wait on the shore for a minute or two.

3. I swim stupid easy.  Seriously, if at any point I feel like I'm working or wanting to breath a little bit I force myself to slow down.  I don't have the fitness to swim fast.

Hopefully you will notice that 2 out of the 3 keys are on race day.  If you want to swim fast you have to put the time in the pool.  If you don't put the time in the pool you have to swim slow.  fwiw I'm generally around 1:20 for the swim and I am a pretty average swimmer.  

I hope that helps.

2013-06-19 4:23 PM
in reply to: SEADOCHA

New user
36
25
Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?

I am training for my first Ironman in Tremblant.

I am swimming 2 x a week but averaging 3600m per workout, so around 7.2km or 7800 yards per week.
Both are long distance swims, and focusing on effort.

Not going to gain a majority of time with the swim as my coach says, rather focus on the bike and run.
2013-06-20 10:58 AM
in reply to: Nipper

User image

Champion
19812
50005000500020002000500100100100
MA
Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?

Originally posted by Nipper Swimming more is not so much about taking 5 minutes off your total time. It is about being able to swim more efficiently,so that when you come out of the water, even with minimal time gains, you are fresher and have not used as much energy on the swim portion. It is my belief that many people underestimate the value of an efficient swim in an IM.

I agree with above.

My best IM, I swam 4x a week, and came out of the water feeling fresh and just a couple minutes faster than IMs but key was I felt better out of the water.

The IM I swam the least and not consistently, I had horrible swim, and felt off early on the bike and had a bad day whole day.

For me swim frequency and volume, helps my whole IM day go better.

2013-06-20 11:02 AM
in reply to: Ben_82

User image

Roswell, Georgia
Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?

Originally posted by Ben_82 I am training for my first Ironman in Tremblant. I am swimming 2 x a week but averaging 3600m per workout, so around 7.2km or 7800 yards per week. Both are long distance swims, and focusing on effort. Not going to gain a majority of time with the swim as my coach says, rather focus on the bike and run.

This is what my coach told me as well. I'm super comfortable in the water and seem to have around the same swim average per 100yd no matter how much or little time I put in prior to a race. 

I think this answer is highly dependent on your swim background and comfort level.

2013-06-22 3:12 PM
in reply to: SEADOCHA

User image

Veteran
740
50010010025
The Woodlands, TX
Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?
I'm a slow swimmer and tend to factor wet suit vs non-wet suit into the equation. If I know it's a non-wet suit swim, I spend more time at the pool (3-days a week minimum). For a wet suit swim, I do good to get to the pool once a week.


2013-06-22 8:13 PM
in reply to: g_shotts

User image

Expert
1038
100025
Noosa
Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?

I struggled to get the 3rd swim in for my IM this year but I always made sure I did the important breakthrough swims during the week and left the weekend swim as optional.

Towards the end I got a bit worried about missing so many of these weekend swims so I decided to do a few more short swims during my taper and just concentrated on technique and being smooth.

On the day I swam a relaxed 1:14 and felt great getting on the bike. My weakness is cycling so next time I'll stick to 2 swims and add extra cycling, I'll also do those short technique swims in the taper again - they're not stressful on your body and reinforce your feel of the water.
2013-06-23 1:13 AM
in reply to: copa2251

User image

Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?

I think swim fitness is extremely important to your overall race.  People who were competitive swimmers in the past may not need as many days/yardage to maintain good swim fitness, but most people have to put in some decent time, yardage, and frequency.

The fact that swimming is low impact, and is the only part of triathlon that works your arms is a good reason why we should not choose to swim less.  If we substitute a swim for a bike or run, chances are that additional workout will impact your other bikes or runs...so you may not be gaining as much as you originally thought.

2013-06-25 9:09 AM
in reply to: SEADOCHA

User image

Regular
789
500100100252525
Subject: RE: how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman?
I was swimming between 7k-10k yards per week. Swam 1:13 for an IM which I took it easy on the second lap and I had also suck at sighting so I prolly swam 2.5 miles .

But to cut back on swimming because there is minimal gain -- I don't agree necessarily since a poor swim can set you up with being exhausted later on in the race since you had to use that much extra energy to get through the water.
New Thread
General Discussion Triathlon Talk » how much swim time do you get a couple months ahead of Ironman? Rss Feed  
RELATED POSTS

Shipping a bike ahead of time

Started by JBrashear
Views: 978 Posts: 3

2010-06-02 3:54 PM wstchstrTriathlete

I am getting ahead of myself?

Started by Geno19
Views: 2212 Posts: 24

2009-11-05 1:44 PM Geno19

first time ironmen/women and anyone doing IMCDA '10

Started by ironlib
Views: 715 Posts: 3

2009-07-05 2:07 PM trishie

HIM swim time vs IM swim time

Started by tripletmom01
Views: 1635 Posts: 19

2008-07-31 7:08 PM gerald12

6 months enough time for first Ironman?

Started by husun
Views: 1618 Posts: 6

2006-04-29 5:05 PM skavoovie
RELATED ARTICLES
date : December 22, 2011
author : writingrunner
comments : 1
Where to find the time WITHOUT getting up early
 
date : April 28, 2011
author : fivecents
comments : 5
What my first sprint distance triathlon taught me about myself.
date : December 12, 2009
author : EndurancePlanet
comments : 0
Listen in as to how Peter overcame his shoulder injury in the middle of training for his first Ironman and how he had to modify that training.
 
date : November 16, 2009
author : Tri Swim Coach
comments : 0
Discussions on a good stroke count, getting faster on the swim, swim drills to get faster, recommended swim drill time and 'my wetsuit is making me slow'.
date : September 24, 2008
author : Amy Kuitse
comments : 0
I am running Boston in April and Ironman Lake Placid is in July. I have been told that it is ambitious to think about doing an IM so close to a marathon due to the recovery time. Any suggestions?
 
date : February 7, 2008
author : AMSSM
comments : 0
The off season should be just that – a time to rest your body, to rehabilitate injury, and to plan ahead on how to improve performance and prevent injury in the season to come.
date : August 17, 2007
author : scoli121
comments : 6
I quickly browsed an article in Men's Health that talked about doing a triathlon, and how it wasn't really that hard. With a "tsk!" I quickly turned the page while thinking, "Yeah, right!"
 
date : April 11, 2007
author : Snoball
comments : 0
California 1/2 Ironman: The run was my biggest fear. Prior to training, I had never run more than two miles at any given time.