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How to train for a 10km swim

The 10km marathon swim is now an Olympic event, and at this year’s London Games takes place in Hyde Park’s

Serpentine, and is one of only a few free-to-view events. It should
therefore att racted thousands of spectators and inspire many to
att empt the distance themselves.
While 10km might seem signifi cantly more achievable than, say,
swimming the English Channel, good preparation and the right
training is still absolutely essential for not only being competitive
in your age group but actually completing the distance.
Here we off er a best-practice guide for preparing for your fi rst, or
fastest, 10km open water swim – drawing inspiration from many of
the professionals we are fortunate enough to work with over here
in Perth, Australia.

Calculating training time

The key to sensible 10km training is to ensure you don’t go at your

programme in a mad panic to get yourself fi t ‘yesterday’ – a weekly
progression increasing volume by 10 per cent is what you need to
aim for. For those currently swimming 2-3 times a week for up to
3.5km at a time, allow yourself 16 to 20 weeks preparation time. If
you swim four or more 4km-and-above sessions per week – let’s
call you a ‘competitive’ swimmer – your lead-time should be around
12 weeks.
Here’s how a 20 week programme might look, from a progressive
perspective. (Competitive swimmers can pick up this programme in
week eight). Note: this is a guide only, but it is a good baseline from
which to work.

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Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.