Disclaimer: My training plan is not based on any sort of science, or on advice from any kind of professional coach, but instead on conversations with veteran open-water swimmers and my own experience. It is also based on a conversation with the guy who sold me my wetsuit a few years ago, who says as long as you get in a decent amount of yards/meters every week, it doesn’t matter how many days you swim.
Goal: To finish the 4.4-mile Great Chesapeake Bay Bridge Swim on June 12, 2011. The operative word here is “finish.” I’m not looking to win here, just complete the distance.
Plan: Right now, I’m swimming two to three days a week, 3,000 meters per workout. I’ll maintain that schedule, making sure I’m swimming three days per week as the race gets closer. Starting sometime around March, at least one of these days will be a long swim.
Long swims: 4.4 miles is roughly seven kilometers, so I’ll make my longest swim 7,000 meters, and aim to complete it sometime between May 29 or June 5. I *have* to start working up to that distance with increasingly longer weekly swims in early May, but I’ll likely start adding a weekly 5,000-meter swim long before that.
Fuel: I swim roughly 30-minute miles in open water, so I’m hoping to finish the swim somewhere around two and a half hours. That’s almost long enough to think about refueling mid-swim, which is something I’ve never, ever messed with. If you have, please share advice on the topic: Do you stash a gel in your wetsuit? Or … what?