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I have just completed my first 1km. How should I work up to 2km?

Swimmer On Start

Our resident Olympian answers your swimming questions


I have just completed my first 1km (slow and steady at 38mins!) and want to work up to 2km. I thought I might try 1250m this week but not sure if a 25% uplift is too much? I swim at least twice a week.
Joyce Turton

This is a good question, it very much depends on how you’re feeling when you increase your distance. I would say 10-20% is a good amount to increase if you’re swimming at a steady level and you’re pain free. If you do get any pain in your shoulders etc then don’t jump up the distance by as much, but aching in your arms is to be expected.


If you can swim a third session a week that would also assist in upping the distance. If you do put a third session in then keep that session shorter at first so your body can get used to the larger volume you’ll be swimming.


Cassie Patten won bronze in the first ever Olympic 10km marathon swim, in the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Cassie now coaches and is a frequent commentator at open water events. cassiepatten.co.uk @cassiepatten


Email your questions to: editor@outdoorswimmer.com with the subject ‘Coach Cassie’

Cover Dec18

Issue 21 December 2018

  • Ross Edgley's Great British Swim
  • Tonic of the Sea - the joys of wild swimming
  • 9 tips to cope with injury
  • Christmas gift guide
  • December Dipathon - cold water challenge!

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