Cross Training For Running: 1 Kilometre Swim

I did a lot of research into cross training for running back in February, when my feet got so blistered in a Half Marathon that I couldn’t run properly for two weeks. I love swimming and did a lot of it up until the age of 18. Perhaps that’s why I can not swim for six months and dive straight in and do 40 lengths?

Anyway, my reason for adding swimming to my training mix is that I’m toying with the idea of doing my first triathlon. I don’t own a bike, goggles, swimming hat, tri suit or any of the required tri apparel, so am currently trying to track down bargains on Gumtree and eBay! On the triathlon entry form it asks what your 400 metre swim time is, in order that they can allocate you in to the correct ‘wave’ of swimmers. Looking down the results of a previous race, I noted that swim times for the 400m ranged from the very speedy 5:30, to the much more realistic 9-10 minutes. So part of my reason for swimming last night was to gauge how fast I might be able to swim 400 metres in!

The Swim

I began with a warm up of ten lengths or 250 metres (it’s a 25m pool). Quite a long warm up but I figured better be safe than sorry, as I hadn’t been swimming for so long! Then, using the clocks at either end of the swimming pool, I swam 16 lengths (400m) of front crawl as fast as I could. It’s just like running in that the first part is the worst, as your body gets into exercise mode. My arms felt on fire after two lengths and I realised I must have gone off far too quickly! So I slowed it down a bit, got into a nice rhythm of arm, arm, breathe, arm, arm, breathe and managed to keep going for 400 metres. I did this in just over 8 minutes, however this included stopping every other length to empty the water out of my (five year old son’s) goggles! I think I could quite comfortably swim 400 metres in 7:30 under race conditions, so I’ll put that down on my form. By this point i’d done 26 lengths so I carried on swimming (breaststroke) to reach 40 lengths (1km)

Next Training

Running club tonight with Purbeck Runners – who knows, it could be an easy run, a speed session or hill repeats! It’s The Beast (13 miles) race on Sunday so probably be taking it fairly easy…

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