Longer Distance Training Suggestions?

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    Gary P

    My short course pool season is essentially over, and there are very few long course competition opportunities for Masters around here. Furthermore, logistical obstacles mean Masters Summer Nationals are off the table for me this year. So to stay competitively engaged, it looks like I’ll be doing some open water racing this summer. All the events I’m considering are in the 1.2-2.4 mile range.

    Last year I pretty much trained exclusively for 100, 200, and 400/500 free. For the first 13 weeks of this year, I diversified a lot more, mixing in some stroke sets (breast and fly), as well as some free sets aimed at longer distances. I even raced a 1650 in early March. I narrowed my focus to the 50 fly and 100 free in April in preparation for the State Masters Meet. Now that that’s over, I’m ready to switch gears to distance-focused training for the next 3 months or so.

    I’m looking for training suggestions, be it general ideas or specific sets. I’m particularly keen to maximize my performance at the USMS 2 Mile Cable Swim National Championship which is June 18th. I know, that’s not very far away, and I’m not likely to be able to do much to improve my capacity between now and then. I suspect, however, there are things I can do that will help me maximize my current capacity come race day. So far, my go to “long distance set” has been 20 x 200 on 3:00, target 2:40. (FWIW, my 1650 race time was 21:17, split about 18 seconds slower on the back half than the front) So, what say you USPRT coaches and athletes? What can I do to fine tune my performance in June?

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