Training volume and tide assistance

jppr17jppr17 Member
edited March 2012 in Beginner Questions
Greetings and salutations!

I'm training for The 17 mile Ederle Swim in August 2012. Given the fact that there will most probably be a positive tide on a large portion of the swim how do I adjust max training distance in a non-tide enviroment like the pool or a lake?

Is there a rule of thumb, like longest swim on a lake will be 70% of tide assisted distance on a river?

I was planning to keep my longest training swim for this at 10 miles for this in a lake. and 10K in a pool.

Any advice?



  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    edited March 2012
    (See cartoon attached.)

    My 10K in the UK was down the Dart River. I hit the 4K mark about 20 minutes earlier than I expected, and hit the 8K mark about 40 minutes earlier. I finished the entire thing in 2:34.55. My 'flat' 5K time (5 x loops in a lake) was 1:47. My goal for the 10K was 3:30 based on no help from the current.

    My training leading up to it was ~3200 yards per workout, 4x per week. For a couple months prior, I'd swim 'long' on a weekend day, gradually building up to 2.5 hours.

    Way more experienced folks will respond to you, I just wanted to give you a purely amateur take on it.

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    @jppr17 There's no rule of thumb because it depends on how much of a tide/current assist you'll be getting.

    With Ederle I think it's more useful to focus on how long you'll be swimming, rather than the distance. Historically, Ederle has been a 5.5-7 hour swim (with an occasional 8-hour finish), depending on the speed of the swimmer. Plan your training swims accordingly.

    If you want to get technical, you can consult the tide tables for NY Harbor for the day of the swim, and estimate an average current assist. Then input your swim speed and estimate your finish time. However, there are other unpredictable factors that can affect the push you'll get, usually having to do with weather.

    A 10-mile training swim sounds about right, I think. Ederle can also be choppy... schedule your lake training swim on a windy day, perhaps?

    Good luck!
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    Train as if there's no assisting tide. That way this year, when the tide fails to show up on time, unlike any other year as everyone will say, you won't be caught out. As Evmo says, more rough water training is never wasted.

  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    with MIMS I just looked at a few years of finishing times, took the longest ones and trained for time rather than distance. Of course, I came second last.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    with MIMS I just looked at a few years of finishing times, took the longest ones and trained for time rather than distance. Of course, I came second last.
    I would be ecstatic to come in second to last!

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    I was!!!
  • WaterGirlWaterGirl Scottsdale, AZCharter Member
    In my limited experience, the 60% rule for the continuous swim seems like a bare minimum. My long swims are currently 5500 yards. That would be about 60% of 9000 yards, 5 miles or 8K. I'm pretty sure I could handle that, but it's pushing the envelope. To have fun, feel good, and swim decently, 70-80% would be more reasonable.

    I don't trust the weekly yardage number, except as a negative. In other words, if you're not swimming the total distance on a weekly basis, you may have problems. I've been swimming over 10 miles per week for at least a year. Right now, I'm up to about 15 miles per week. I don't think I could swim 10 miles tomorrow. Or, if I could, it would be slow and painful.

    I'm with ChickenOSea--I'm training for the worst case in terms of time. My 10-mile swim (Swim the Suck) has a cut-off of 6 hours, so I'm going to do a 6-hour swim before it. I want to have fun and swim my best, not push my endurance just to finish. If 6 hours is massive overkill (I hope!), it's worth it.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited March 2012
    I don't trust the weekly yardage number, except as a negative. In other words, if you're not swimming the total distance on a weekly basis, you may have problems.
    I don't have a good explanation for this (just experience and intuition), but... my sense is that the "target distance per week" rule-of-thumb is less relevant for shorter distances. If I had to put a number on it, I'd say anything under about 18-20km.

    I wouldn't want to do a 10K on 10K/week of training. Same for 10 miles. But I could imagine doing 20K on 20K/week of training. And I did do several swims of 20+ miles last year on (somewhat less than) 20 miles/week of training.

    What's special about the 18-20km threshold? I'm not sure. But for me, 5-6 days per week of "about an hour" of swimming gets me to 18-20km in a week. Actually, I think "about an hour" of swimming, most days, is just a basic requirement for keeping a decent feel for the water. If that hour of swimming includes some intensity - such as the workouts described in the Lunchtime Set Thread - then I think a swimmer can actually accomplish quite a lot with this sort of training.
  • Wow! This forum rocks! Thanks for the advice you all. I'm shifting my " training paradigm" from distance to time on the water. Will incorporate rough water swims (Coney island or long Beach in choppy days). Thanks again!
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    EC pilot Mike Oram is fond of saying; "Experience is something you usually gain - just after you need it" .

  • molly1205molly1205 Lincoln, NebraskaSenior Member
    I've been researching training for the English Channel on several blogs (thanks loneswimmer and several others on the forum) and books and developed a DIY plan that I hope will prepare me for my attempt next July. I'm using weekly distance as my yard stick, so to speak, but planning my week so I am doing quality pool workouts during the week, focusing on speed and technique, and getting in a long swim (in open water whenever feasible) on Saturday or Sunday. The plan doesn't have a seasonal cycle - just one long progression to next summer. And, I know there will be blips along the way that will mess up my intended weekly training. I'd appreciate input on the plan and suggestions for improvements. In addition to swimming, I'm doing yoga, some strength training and cycling when I can squeeze that in. And, working fulltime and volunteering for a couple of non-profit organizations.

    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska

  • SharkoSharko Tomales BayGuest
    I think time in the water in various conditions is what is used...if the swim is expected to take 15 hours then I think an 8 hr swim is probably enough..knowing my mind can get me the rest of the way and why beat the body up more than is necessary....Pool interval training helped and then a long swim on the week-end..upping the time in water each week and I think it is important to be able to pick up your speed at anytime of the swim including the end of the swim thinking of breaking through a tide along the French shoreline....I seem to recall a section in Lynne Cox's book where her coach suggested she be able to sprint for a mile when she was already tired....probably good advise for some swims where the end (wind and tides) can change and be unpredictable...kind of like the Alcatraz swim this morning with a strong flood...I am saying to much faster do I need to swim to make it to the "rock" this case much faster on a 3.4 flood...I wonder if this is how it felt when the escapees were washed out the Golden Gate to the Farallons on a strong Ebb???

    "I never met a shark I didn't like"

  • EODEOD Member

    This seems to be a geed thread for an Ederle question-My first question is the Ederle Swim still active? @evmo stated the swim is usually completed by most participants in the 5.5-7 hrs range, which seems kind of fast for a swim that is 17.5 miles, as the crow flies. This is one of the long swims where I have heard people talk about training for "time in the water swimming", as opposed to preparing for the mileage to be swum. is this because of the current assist? I swam a 2 miler a couple years ago and a gentleman who finished not far in front of me, actually completed the Ederle a couple years earlier than that, in a " swim MPH " that was clearly faster than he swam in a lake that day with me, a lake on a day in perfect conditions, with no wind. So my main question is how much typical current assist is there in this swim? Also, do they determine, based on tide, which way the race will be swum? For example, Battery Park to SH, or SH to Battery Park. looks like I have seen it done in both directions. But i'm still interested. Thanks!

  • JustSwimJustSwim Senior Member

    I did the Ederle in 2013 in 4:51. Times were from 4:40 to around 6 hours in my group. We went from Manhattan to Sandy Hook. I know it has been swum both ways but I don't know why one way was chosen over the other. There is talk of the Ederle coming back in some format. I know there is plans afoot to do similar swims from Coney Island to Sandy Hook (?) in the future.
    I loved the Ederle, but you never forget your first marathon swim.
    I would love to see the Ederle return.

  • EODEOD Member

    That's a fast time @JustSwim looks like the whole field swam faster times than maybe normal that day, It looks like you guys caught the Ederle on a fast day, But great job! the only way I could go 4:51 on that track would be on a kayak :) .. As a point of reference for me, would you mind me asking back in the summer of 13' when you were preparing for that race what would you would estimate was your 1500 scm or 1650 scy pool time? trying to get a point of reference for how much variation/push the Ederle can give on any given day.

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