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How to prepare for a long distance Ocean Swim?


Hi Gary

I have decided to do a long swim. 12.3km across an ocean. I swim two to three times a week for about a hour plus I run and bike. I was wondering if u can recommend a training schedule I should follow. I’m in my 40s



Hi Stacey,

Wow, that’s a long swim.

My suggestion in your one hour swims is to try a combination of sets like:

1.  3 x 1000m holding a time as fast as you can,

2. 2 x 1500m solid swimming

3. 1 x 3000m in a good pace.

You can make up many other sets around the 3km in length for these sessions.

In the months before you do the final swim, you may want to do some longer sessions (once a week) like:

1. 100 x 100m with 10 seconds between each one – 10km

2. 20 x 400m freestyle with 30 seconds rest between each – 8km

3. 10 x 1000m with one minute between each – 10km

4. 1 x 10,000m swim – 10km

These will all help you prepare for a 12.3km ocean swim and while they will take a lot longer than one hour to complete will be invaluable when it comes to the final swim.

Other coaches with more experience than me in long distance open water swimming may also have some ideas.

Finally, I have received some great feedback on the Mastering Freestyle Technique program especially in the area of stroke improvement, which will make it a lot easier to swim the long distance you are aiming for.



The Swimming Expert

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