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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > July 2017 > MILE OR MARATHON


In the final part of this series, Fiona Ford picks up where she left off last month with a final set of training sessions to get you ready for your next swim challenge



In the third and final part of this series designed to help you prepare for open water challenges ranging from one mile to the full 10km marathon distance, we are aiming to build on your awareness of sustainable pace to improve speed endurance. As with the last issue, swim the pacing sessions in open water if you prefer and have a measured distance to work with. Adapt the sets as you need, aiming to swim the main set distance in the measured distances you have available – whether it’s 400m, 500m, 750m, 800m, 1000m or 1500m loops. Alternatively, swim in an outdoor pool environment in your wetsuit (if you are planning to race in one).

We are aiming to practise, fine tune and improve your open water skills within each key session. Continue identifying your optimal stroke rate rhythm. If you are wearing a wetsuit, this will likely be increased due to a higher body position in the water in a wetsuit. A higher stroke rate may also be more effective in changeable open water conditions and choppy water. Implement a more relaxed arm recovery to assist with this, as the torso rotation momentum is a huge energy saver for arm recovery in effective and fast open water swimmers. If you will be racing, ensure your drafting skills are well drilled to maintain a distance of around 10-30cm behind the swimmer(s) in front for up to 20% energy conservation, essential for distance swimming in a competitive environment. Practise super-minimal sighting with only your eyes lifting from the water immediately before you breathe in to the side, on a regular cycle of 6 or 9 strokes to ensure you swim exactly the correct distance.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

In this issue we are celebrating the joy of wild swimming. There is more to swimming outdoors than organised events and races; wild swimming gives you space to experience nature, adventure, freedom and creativity. Seas, rivers, lakes, ponds, streams and lochs... look at a map and any blue space is a possibility to swim. As contributor Sam Mould writes in ‘Wayfarer in the Wilderness’, her exploration of wild swimming and landscape: “I feel that I have become dislocated from the natural world, from the wild environment and the inexorable rawness of nature.” Wild swimming goes some way to redress that balance. We hope you enjoy the stories within these pages, whether you like dipping in tarns in the Lake District or swimming across lakes in Switzerland, and get some new ideas for your own wild swimming adventures around the country and the world. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming. Jonathan Cowie Editor