Cheetahs among the whales
Martha on left; blue cap Ann sinking next to big butt; Isabella on the right

Ultra distance Swim

A tentative plan and journal of training for the 4.4mile 
   Great Chesapeake Bay Swim June 11 

There are eight of us, but the number is also tentative.  Five women and three men. We are aged 26 to 75.  One of us is committed, one is wavering, one is tempted, another is leaning toward the idea, and the other four say No way, but they're going to show up for the first swim anyway.  We have a plan, but it's flexible if it doesn't seem perfect.

UPDATE:Three of us have decided YES and one of us is official lap counter/timer and three of us are joining in the practice just for fun (fun?) Scroll to the bottom for our post-swim comments .

Our base: we are all able to swim a straight mile within 10 minutes of each other, the average about 30 minutes.  We will swim together once per week, the rest of the week doing our usual workouts of about 2000 yards of mixed strokes.

The general plan is to do a straight swim for time, not distance, once per month, then do the same approximate length swim, but broken, during the other three weeks.  We begin with one hour, twice our usual distance. S means swim, K...kick, P...pull, D...drill, C...choice.
All the broken swims are structured with stroke counting and reducing or varying tempo or technique work, but the straight swims are mindless to train for the actual event.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!They're IN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was an
on-line race to enter.
18 minutes after the 10am entry time, the race was filled.

MAY 24, all the indoor training is done and it's time to get into open water.  Never mind that it's around 50degrees.  Gotta do it.

June 11:   A Learning experience was had by all.Scroll to bottom

FIRST MONTH week 1 One hour, slowly, using any stroke
  week 2 1500 meters + 10x150 skpdc                   =3000
  week 3 1500 m + 100,200,300,400,300,200,100
  week 4 1500 m + 4x200, 4x100, 4x75, 4x25
MONTH TWO week 1 1 hour 20 minutes, slow, non-stop
  week 2 2000 meters + 10x200 skpdc                    =4000
  week 3 2000 m + 400,4x100,300,4x75,200,4x50,100,4x25
  week 4 2000 m + 8x50,4x100,400,4x100,8x50
MONTH THREE week 1 1 hour 40 minutes
  week 2 2500 meters + 10x250 skpdc                   =5000
  week 3 2500 m +500,2x250,4x125,5x100,10x50
  week 4 2500 m +10x50,5x100,500,5x100,10x50
MONTH FOUR week 1 2 hours
  week 2 3000 meters + 10x300 skpdc                   =6000
  week 3 3000 m + 200,2x175.3x150,4x125,5x100,6x75,7x50,8.25
  week 4 3000 m +500,10x100,10x75,10x50,10x25,
MONTH FIVE week 1 2 hours 20 minutes
  week 2 3500 meters + 10x350 skpdc                   =7000
  week 3 3500 m +600,12x50,500,10x50,400,8x50,300,4x50
  week 4 3500 m 1x350,2x300,3x250,4x200,5x150,6x100,7x50
THE TAPER week 1,2,3 2 hours, 1 1/2 hours, 1 hour open water, local lakes
RACE DAY   4.4 miles equals about 7500 meters         

Comment # 1. Before first session. J:Even more reason that you guys are crazy.
I might bring a book and enjoy the hour of your agony.

Comment #2.  Before first session. M. This is insane.  Tell me more about it.
Comment #3.
Before first session. M. Ignorance is bliss.  I'll just pretend I never saw that workout table.
SESSION #1. A. the hour went by fairly quickly and we high-fived at the end, congratulating each other
for finishing workout #1, while trying to block from our minds just how manymore of these are to come.
SESSION #3. It was a straight 4000 today and my they looked pale and with various numb body parts.  But it looks like we now have two totally committed, one sorely tempted, and a few yawners.

MONTH 2,SESSION #2.A. Can I do this set with one arm? M. It's my one leg that I can't use. R...and your wrist? Is that still useless? All. Have we gone over all our ailing parts and can we start now? Now it's I's turn to go into Doubts Mode. By next week I expect 3 totally committed entrants to the race.
MONTH 2,SESSION #3 M: Thanks so much for reminding us to have a nice day. We thoroughly enjoyed our most favorite stroke, our sort-of favorite stroke, our not-so favorite stroke, and our most despised icky stroke of all. After all the stroking, we all had a stroke and the pool alarm went off. All available guards threw themselves into the pool, without hesitation, to save the 3 armless women. If you see any limbs floating about on Monday, please return them as soon as possible, as I've written this note with my toes.
YAY YAY YAY!!! A, I, and M did their qualifying 3 milers today.  They needed to go under 2:15.  Their times were 1.35:00, 1.36:22, 1.40:30.  Tuesday is the big day, the race to the computer to get in before the race fills up in under 45 minutes. After the swim, I.  said: Overall I feel good, my neck was a bit sore and the body was tired but all those laps got me over the last spells of cold.  Now to the next, ok fast wave ..I say"fuck the whale" and you should answer " I hope she doesn't fart" (slang for good luck) Does this translate well from I's native Italian? I think we're missing some hand and arm expression.

                      !!!!!     JUNE ELEVEN    !!!!! 
    It's all over and the three ladies have a lot to process.  The results were mixed, not simply in terms of who made it across the bay and who didn't, but of the experience of five months, the friendships forged, and especially of the friendships sealed with loyalty when eachother's well-being took precedence over a good place or even finishing. 
   Of the three skinny gals one threw purity aside in favor of the safety of warmth, and that good sense of self-preservation served her well.  She got to the other side and didn't throw up until she was out of the water.  The other two, more admirable than wise, cast their 12% fat bodies into the chilly rough waters of the Chesapeake and the Chesapeake unkindly threw them back out. 
   It was quite easy for them to stay together because bare skin was conspicuous among the thick black limbs that surrounded them. It may have cost them the race, but it sealed the friendship and in the end they won far more than a tee-shirt. 
   All three spent considerable time afterwards puking with all the other swimmers, winners and losers and the rest, while muttering the usual Never Again one associates with labor pains.  We'll see.  But if they do it again, I think they'll still spurn the wetsuit, but spend much more time training in such hostile waters. 
   For the most part, the entrants seemed to be specialists in open water races, used to the cold and the rough.  Ann and Isabella and Martha are very sleek and very fast in the pool and in the usual water of triathlons, but this was a whole new game. A game they very hesitantly recommend to others. But Alaska?  English Channel?  Don't leave the lights on for any of us.

(New - A Facebook discussion group has been put up
by a swimmer doing the swim-one-mile plan. If you would
like to join or begin a discussion please go to FB 0-1650 talk

Comments? e-mail me
Introduction to Swim Workouts
50 Swim Work outs
Zero to One Mile in 6 Weeks
The Adult Learner

Minimal Training for a Sprint Triathlon