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An Hour Of Power In The Pool

The one-hour swim is a great way to test, track and challenge your training and swim fitness.

How far can you swim in 60 minutes without stopping?

The one-hour swim is a great way to test, track and challenge your training and swim fitness. Long before the event, be sure to have a personalized swim plan in place to systematically prepare for a successful swim. Talk to your coach or use your best judgment to determine what pace you can hold for 60 minutes. Just like any endurance event, it’s best to be conservative with your pace at the start. Negative splitting - completing the second half faster than the first - is a popular strategy for long-distance swims to prevent bonking and fading.

IN TRAINING: You want to build endurance, so focus on mid-length intervals with minimal rest. For intermediate swimmers, consider doing 10 x 250m with 30 seconds rest or 6 x 400m with 40 seconds rest as your main set. For advanced swimmers, extend the number of intervals. Aim to build into the set such that your splits for each interval are equal or fractionally faster than the previous interval, thereby working toward a negative split.

ON RACE DAY: Bring someone along to be a lap counter on deck. Assign this person several responsibilities including using a stopwatch to record splits for each 50 or 100 yards (or meters) you cover. They should also alert you when to stop swimming. Having accurate lap splits to analyze and compare to past or future events can be an invaluable data source for your training.

Before starting out, plan for a five minute warm-up. Include a short, sharp set such as 4x25s – building to fast - to get your heart rate elevated. Once you’re set, begin the timed swim. It’s a good idea to divide the one-hour into four 15-minute segments. Have your lap counter communicate the end of each 15-minute segment by holding a kickboard under the water at the end of the pool for you to see. Start conservatively so you can hold or slightly lower your pace each 15 minutes. Give it everything you’ve got left during the last five minutes while your lap counter is cheering you on from pool deck!

The hour swim is a simple way of measuring personal swim progress, or comparing to other swimmers, hence the increasing popularity amongst the swimming fraternity.

For the record, the current US the men’s overall record is 6,135 yards and the women’s record is 5,625 yards. Good luck chasing that! We can only dream…

By: Kerry Hale
 

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