The Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon is mostly about the swim, it's 1.5 miles long (a little less than 2.5 km) and done with a strong current and in cold water. This will be the longest competition swim I have done so far in my triathlon career and it will be a very challenging task to complete. This is why I have started to preparing for longer distances when swimming.
Stålmanden Triathlon has previously been the longest swim I have done in a competition. This is a triathlon with 70.3 distance (half ironman), which would make the swimming about 1800 meters. I am pretty sure the Stålmanden swim was shorter than that, because my time that day was a little bit too quick compared to my abilities. But then again, it could've just been my best swimming day ever.
My goal yesterday was to try swimming 2500 meters in one go, with potentially a couple of water stops. My biggest worry before doing this was that I would get cramps in the arches of my feet, which usually happens around 2000 meters when I swim intervals.
I haven't been swimming for at least a month. One of the reasons has been the wisdom teeth surgery in December. Once I got in the water I realized that the surgery might become an issue for some time more, with pain shocks through the nerve every time colder water got into my mouth, making it painful to swim. Hopefully this will get increasingly better in the weeks to come.
Swimming though was very nice, and the month away from the pool doesn't seem to have slowed me down too much. My original plan was to see how things went and then take it from there. Once I got to 700 meters I got my first cramp. I paused for ten seconds, stretched, had a gulp of water and went back to swimming. After that it all went swimmingly!
It felt like I needed to hydrate, but apart from that I felt great. I didn't strain myself too much, and I managed to swim constantly from 700 meters until I was done. As you can see above, my average speed was 1:52min/100m, not blazingly fast, but a result I am very proud of achieving without straining myself too much.
Even though yesterday's training sessions was good I am by no means done with my preparation for the Alcatraz swim. This was done inside, in warmer water, with no current and no other people to fight with for the swimming spot. I will continue to swim further, in order to improve my endurance and swimming technique and I will, when the time and temperature is right, go outside to swim in more rough conditions.
But yesterday was a good indicator of what I can do in the swimming pool, and I won't stop working towards this race in order to dominate!