Iron Mike's Marathon Swims The life so shorte, the crafte so long to lerne

10,000 yard swim complete!

April 21, 2017 / by ironmike

Had a great workout today. Great because I did it. Great because my niggling elbow didn’t bother me. Great ’cause it’s my birthday!

I wanted to do something big for the big 5-0. I did 50 x 100 for my wife’s 50th, but I wanted/needed something longer. So I took 4 hours off from work and went straight to the pool. I did this work-out:

400
4×100
400
2×200
600
2×300
600
3×200
800
4×200
800
2×400
600
2×300
400
2×200
400
4×100

This workout I created from a 25K workout that the incredible marathon swimmer Evan Morrison did prior to his incredibly successful season back in, I think, 2010. My workout, however, is only 10,000, or 40% of Evan’s. My pool being SSCM (that is: short-short course meters), where it takes three laps to do 100 yards (100.67 yards, to be exact), that means 300 laps for the above workout. For that I have a lap counter for my finger.

The workout starts out easy with the base-400 sets. But by the time I’m past the base-600 sets I’ve already done more than my usual weekday workout. The middle four, base-800 sets, is about what my usual workout is, distance-wise.

Going into the workout, I had in mind a concept that was suggested to me by another awesome marathon swimmer, LBJ. He had done Manhattan in the past, and he told me about the transition from the East river to the Harlem river. Apparently, after some time spent with the current pushing you in the East river, you get hit with current against you all of a sudden when you swim into the Harlem. His suggestion? Swim for two hours, then sprint for 10-15 minutes.

Sure enough at around the two-hour mark, I thought I’d try it. So the first of the 2 x 400 I really pushed it. By no one’s definition would it be called sprinting. But I certainly did increase the heart rate. I’d say I went from 50% effort to 75%. I sure was breathing hard after it. But I felt great! It’s at this point I realize I hadn’t swum beyond two hours straight since last July in Issyk Kul. I wondered how my elbow would do after this point. It did great! In fact, I “sprinted” all the multiple sets from that 2 x 400 on, except not the 4 x 100 at the end. Those four were spent doing backstroke and (very) easy free.

Nutrition-wise, at around the two-hour mark I started to get hungry. I had plenty to eat prior to swimming, so it wasn’t that. I just think it was calories burned in those first two hours. I brought three small water bottles with me and drank two of them. The water started getting boring pretty much from the start, so next time (in a month?) I’ll use my calorie-free powder to give the water some taste. I was missing or yearning for salt at a little over two hours, too. When I was done swimming, I went to the front desk and called the embassy cafeteria and ordered chicken nuggets, so they’d be ready for me when I was showered and dressed. Damn, did they ever taste good!

So, 3 hours and 7 minutes after starting, 10,000 yards complete (10,067 to be exact)! In one month, perhaps I’ll try 13,000?

2 thoughts on “10,000 yard swim complete!

  1. evmo says:

    Well done, Mike! This will set you up nicely for a successful Manhattan swim.

    • ironmike says:

      Thanks Evan! Your workout was the impetus for this years ago and now I can’t imagine doing 10,000 any other way!

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