Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Swim Challenge Follow Up

by Justin Daerr

For over five years, Endurance Corner has put together a swim challenge for our athletes and for the last two years, we have posted daily workouts on our site to help encourage a broader participation level. If you are interested in seeing the workouts we posted this year, you can find them here.

Generally speaking, we find that most age group athletes that are doing consistent swim training are likely swimming 3 x 60-75 minute sessions/week. There are certainly those that are doing more, but again, generally speaking, many more are doing much less. With this in mind, we like to encourage athletes to potentially double their weekly volume for a two week period, which might result in somewhere between 6 to 8 hours of total work. This jump in volume is typically a safe “push” for most athletes and it’s also not so extreme that they cannot return to their normal training loads the following week (but hopefully now 1 to 2 seconds/100 quicker).

Like many triathletes, I learned to swim as an adult and I understand the frustrations and challenges that can come with that. One of the reasons we like to put on the swim challenge is for athletes to see themselves as swimmers and not just as triathletes. The progression athletes can make in a short period of time by simply showing up and doing the work every day can be encouraging and can help them break out of the mindset of believing they aren’t a “real” swimmer.

This January, I opted to join a group of pro triathletes in Texas for a swim-focused training camp that coincided with our own EC swim challenge. These types of challenges are applicable for all athletes from newbie to professional. Making a commitment to a goal, working towards the goal and reaping the benefits of that work is something that always needs to be implemented.

Towards the end of my training camp last week, I finished a session and told the coach “there is no way I would have believed I would be doing that set when I showed up here on day one.”

And that is what these challenges are all about: putting yourself in a position to do something you’ve never done before.

Happy swimming.

Justin Daerr is a professional triathlete and co-owner of Endurance Corner. You can follow him on Twitter @justindaerr.
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