Training for a multi stage event

j9swimj9swim CharlestonSenior Member

Hi All!
I am looking for information specifically related to training for a multi stage events such as SCARS, 8 Bridges, Kingdom Week, etc. How is this different then training for a marathon? Can you share your experiences - what worked what didn't? What kind of yards did you peak at for your event? Any information would be helpful as I review options for 2016. Thanks!



  • SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member

    @j9swim All of this is cut/pasted from the "epilogue" post from my SCAR blog, where you may find some other helpful tidbits:

    What I did: My training was adequate, but not ideal. My standard, year-round weekly volume is 15K (mostly master's interval workouts). From January through April, I upped my baseline to 20-25K, just by adding 1-2K at the beginning and/or end of masters and added weights/dry-land workouts 3X per week (always right before swimming). I also added long swims on the weekends (started with one 10K in January, then added 2-3 K per week). I started stacking back-to-back long swims in March. In April I did several 3-day in a row long swims (50K in one 3-day weekend). Total volume in final weeks was 50K, 50K, 50K, 30K, 60K, 60K, 70K, 30K. Approximately half of my long swims (10K or longer) were up-and-down ladder stuff (e.g., 1K, 2K, 3K, 4K, 3K, 2K, 1K) because I like ladders. The rest were straight swims with 30 second feeds every 45 minutes.

    What I should have done: (1) Lots of rough, cold open water. 100% of my training was in the pool (too busy/lazy to drive out to a decent lake). I paid the price for this on the windy days. (2) More race-pace long interval sets (1K/2K). I was more than adequately prepared to complete the event, so I wish I would have dedicated more time to pace.

    I'm not sure my volume was necessary. There were swimmers who performed very well on much less.


    "Lights go out and I can't be saved
    Tides that I tried to swim against
    Have brought be down upon my knees
    Oh I beg, I beg and plead..."

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member

    I wouldn't feel comfortable with less than 10 hours per week swim time for the bulk of my training season.
    Sprinkle in a few back to back long swim days..... 3-6 hours for Saturday and Sunday for example. Monthly 60 minute swims for distance as a test swim.

    Add more if it feels like you can still recover well enough between training sessions.


    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • swam 4 stages of 8 bridges in 2014. a bit older than most of the swimmers. was confidant in my usual training for any one stage (30-35k per week). i decided to extend my specific training to 5 months prior to the event and to break my training into 2 workouts per day. this enabled a nice bell curve to my training from 30k per week to 50k after 2months then slowly back to 20k in the week prior to the swim. Did not think it wise to taper too severely, but did add extra rest periods in last 2 weeks. AM swim was typically 5k non stop and PM swim was interval from 2k to 5k. my thought was to accomplished 2 things. 1- do not injure myself training 2- train my mind and body to get back in the water and swim without normal rest on a daily basis. succeeded on both accounts. competitively swam the 60,5 miles in 4 days. hope this helps

  • j9swimj9swim CharlestonSenior Member

    Besides 8 bridges, SCAR, and Swim the Kingdom week are there any other multi day (at least 3) marathon or tough swim events or training camps? Preferably water temps 60-75. Looking at 2018

  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMember

    If you're willing to travel overseas, THE BEST FEST on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca is wonderful! The 2018 dates are already set for May 26th through June 2nd.

    There are 8 events over seven days: 1.5K, 2.5K, 3K, 3.8K, 4.5K, 5K, 10K, and 4x500 relay. Points are awarded in the 1.5, 5, and 10 for awards. The remaining events are considered "challenges" and vary in degree of seriousness.

    In addition to the races, there are open water clinics and in 2017, there was a keynote dinner with Keri-Anne Payne (British World Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist).

    There's a great variety of swimmers from Olympians, and National Teams (UK and German team were there in 2017), to novices.

    I HIGHLY recommend this event and hope to return in 2018.

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