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Christmas Presents

READERS’ RESOLUTIONS

Our team of experts answer how to best achieve your 2016 swimming goals

Q My 2016 swimming goal is to complete the 14km Thames Marathon Bridge to Bridge swim in August. I am 67 and live in Toronto. To date, my longest open water swim is 5km.

A Terry says: Congratulations. This ambitious goal puts you in exclusive company: while a million people will run a marathon this year, a much smaller number will swim one. Doing this in your late 60s is particularly special.

Having already swum 5K in open water, you’re well on your way toward being marathon-ready. Though you’ll swim 2.4x farther, I’ve learnt this is eminently achievable on a relatively modest increase in training.

My advice is to plan two training phases: from now to May, focus on improving and imprinting stroke efficiency and mental focus. Over the final eight to 10 weeks, add some longer swims to prepare for the expected duration of the Henley swim.

A marathon swim requires three kinds of endurance – mental, motor and metabolic. Mental endurance, the capacity to maintain a narrow focus on technique details, is most critical. Motor endurance – to ensure your 5,000th and 15,000th strokes are equally effective – is next. Metabolic endurance – supplying sufficient energy to your muscles – is last.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Welcome to the Christmas issue. This month we talk to English Channel record holder Becky Lewis about her seven crossings (and counting!) and to Beth French about her plan to complete the Oceans Seven in one year, despite suffering from ME. Have you ever wanted to swim an Ice Mile? We have expert advice on how to train safely for one of swimming's most extreme challenges. And if you like a bit of trail running with your outdoor swimming, we take an in-depth look at the endurance sport of swimrun. We have inspiring travel features on Italy, Scotland and the French Riviera. And as it's Christmas we have some delicious cake recipes to try! Plus all the usual training advice and sessions, news, interviews, inspirational stories and event listings for 2016.
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