How do you Plan?

How do you compile a training plan for a 24 mile swim?

There are hundreds of books on how to prepare for a Marathon, a Triathlon or even the longer 140.6 milers, which always include some sort of training plan, structured ones that vary in length, “IronMan training in 12 week” the plans (that vary from quality to absolute bullshit, IMO!) that try and make the most extreme challenges look easy.

Lets face it – it isn’t called IronMan because it is easy. Therefore this is where i feel the foundation training plan for the epic swim will have a foundation that I am comfortable with, my plan for Regensburg in 2011.

I have spoken to each of my 2 swim buddies Fi and the Chris “the Shoulders” and we are expecting to complete the swim in approx 13 -15 hours therefore we have decided to base it on the Ironman theory for the following reasons; these are the only training plans that are anywhere near this length of time on the course and more importantly for me – i know this works.
A lot can be said on following training plans, but if you truly believe in a plan the confidence it can give you as you stand at the start is immeasurable.

What has been in place so far? The Loch’s are still too cold to be in any longer than an hour, (Loch Lomond this morning was only 1km in 23 minutes due to decreased temp over the past few days, due to rain and temp drop) therefore the basis of all training up until this month of May as been pool and gym work. Now we are into May the training plan is based on;

May = as many shorter distance swims as possible 1 mile to 2 mile ideally each swim, average of 8 swims per week between pool, sea and Loch’s

June = increase those distances once we remove the ice from the surface of the Loch!! Probably taking individual swims up to the 5-6 mile mark by end of the month

July = increase the distances again further to 8-12 mile swims but break a long swim into shorter 2-3 mile blocks, with break(s) between swims of 10 minutes and nutrition

One of the best pieces of advice i received was “You don’t train to finish an IronMan, you train to be at the start” and this is so true, you need to be in the best shape possible on the day of the event.

I fully believe the planning will be key to whether we are successful in August. We must develop a training plan that meets work / home life balance, but ensures when we walk towards this great Loch early (5am) on that August morning and we truly have the belief that we have done everything we could to take on this challenge.


No turning back – 38.6k

We are now at the end of the Open Water Swimming season and have been blessed with a fantastic late summer. April 2012 was all that last summer really had to offer, this year it took a while for the water temperature to rise or even the ice to break but what we lacked in April and May was more than made up for later in the year.

Many of our early morning family (Loch Lomond Loonies) have been on separate journeys throughout 2013, pushing our boundaries as far as we dare go or even imagine and i will “chauner” on about these in later blogs. My journey was simple, my longest ever swim increased from 3.8k in early 2012 to a fantastic and thoroughly exhausting 15k swim in late August this year with a Luss to Balloch epic.

Loch Lomond is 24 miles, to put that fully in perspective that is 2.2 miles short of the marathon and a total of 38.6k. When i raised concept idea to Big Chris and Fiona (who both swim like fish, i am very much the weakest link) and invited them over for a chat “are you planning on a relay so we share the distance?”  They asked in stereo, I have to admit my answer was pretty sharp and it involved expletives. In my opinion relays are cheating and i told them this in no uncertain terms, all 3 of us are out there to cover every inch of the distance for ourselves, no help, just each of us against the distance.

So hear i am scribbling away, 11 months to go, the date hasn’t been set but we expect it to be one Sunday in August, totally weather dependant. but as i finish of these final ramblings I fully realise that once that [PUBLISH] button is pushed there is no turning back, i will have set my challenge and i don’t quit, I wont give in, I’m too proud, the competitive juices will be flowing. I’m not going to be the quickest, i don’t care about that, it’s a battle with myself, with my mind and my need to punish this old body again.

So here we go, the publish button needs to be pressed and i’m fully committed to the challenge, i hope you enjoy my journey

My Office wall - constant motivation

My Office wall – constant motivation