Marathon / LD swim coaches and/or programmes
My first post here after pouring over it since its inception... I am only just starting out with LD swimming and was wondering about marathon / LD swim coaches and/or programmes. What are your esteemed opinions on these and, if positive, have you got any recommendations of any of the above to pass on (especially in the London/SE England area)? I'm aware from reading several Channel aspirants' blogs that quite a few have coaches. What are the merits of these? What do they provide beyond a training programme? I'm quite independently-minded and not sure I'm capable of handing myself over to the tutelage of another, but I appreciate experience is king and I have very little of it in this regard. This summer my 'training' was quite hit and miss, and I pretty much made it up as I went along - and I think was saved by the fact that the tasks were always quite achievable off very little input. I want to go about things a bit smarter next year - and am also stepping up with the challenges my swims will present (20-25k+)- so 'blagging' it isn't going fly anymore...;)
Any input much appreciated - and keep up the great work and posts on this forum. It really is an invaluable resource!
I'm also in South East England.
I swim with a Masters squad. The training isn't geared towards marathon swimmers. But I find it makes a real difference for a number of reasons:
a) Each set is different, so I am motivated to go to sessions and be surprised by the set. I always come home buzzing after Masters.
b) There are other swimmers in the lane. If I am leading the lane then I work hard trying to stay at the front. If I am not leading then I am chasing. (I definitely work much harder when squad training -I do have a tendency to plod when training alone).
c) The coach gives feedback on my stroke and is helping me to improve. My front crawl is shocking but we are working on it.......
d) The coach makes you go off certain times. No extra 5 minute breaks when feeling tired!
There are loads of Masters clubs in London / SE England.
My own approach is as follows.
- Over the winter months (October - March) I train with Masters only. Currently 6-8 hours a week, working on speed and technique.
- From March I add in a couple of pool sessions by myself when I do longer distance sets of 6K-9K, but drop some Masters sessions.
- From April I start going outside again in the local lake.
- From May, Dover training starts under the watchful eye of Freda Streeter and the Dover beach crew.
I don't have a LD swim coach, other than the training with Freda. However, there are many approaches. This one seems to work for me, given that there is nowhere within 90 minutes for me to swim outside at this time of year.
In general, I would recommend slecting a trainer (someone you cannot BS) and have them set up cross training this winter with core building and aerobic capacity before the spring ow season...get a recongnized swim coach to look at you stroke to help you start making the stroke correction....so you won't injure yourself on these longer swims....in your longer swims in the spring and summer work on your feeding...listen to your body for necessary recovery time after each long swim...watch your mind try to tell you it is time to quit...but unless there is a real problem don't listen to it...a trainer will help keep you focused, motivated and on track.....
"I never met a shark I didn't like"
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