Fink for Outlaw 2012

All training together! :-)

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IronCat5    pirate
31/10/2011 at 21:15

I'm going to bring this back up again.....Fink's swim sessions!

The base phase for Comptetitive/Intermediate have 2 x 1hr sessions per week, each a 2500m set. Every 10 weeks he adds on another 500m in within the same hour.

I swam 1900m today (first time!) in 50 odd minutes. It is unlikely that I can do a proper 2500m set in 1hour. When I have done a proper 1600m set it takes an hour including drill, main set etc.

What was the general concensus on these sessions? Fink it and go by time, or put in the effort and do the distance. It's all about the bike right?

Sits back and watches the worms escape the can....

AndyB99    pirate
01/11/2011 at 07:55
Hey Cat...i've done 2 ironman races....and its 1-1 at the moment....i've never ever ever ever followed a fink swim session.
in the winter i go the pool, do drills or swim a mile...takes me about 42 minutes in a pool. in the spring i start ow swimming and just go by how i feel. before the first race i had never swam more than a mile....swam a 1.35.. (dnf'd 11 miles into the run) for the second race the longest swim i'd done was 2000m at Bala (which was horrendous)...swam a 1.34 at IMUK (finished this one in case you wondered )
anyway what i'm saying is....the swim is the easy bit.....it is all about the bike.
if you can stick to fink plans i guess they wont do any harm...in fact it will give you a great swim split....but if not dont worry too much about it.
01/11/2011 at 08:13

That reassuring Andy!

 What are peoples thoughts on a half iron man in preperation for outlaw. Fink reccomends one about 8 weeks out. UK options seem to be Marshman and Swashbuckler? Read a lot about Swashbuckler but cant seem to find much on the marshman. Marshman is a bit cheaper which is appealing but wonder what thoughts people had?

01/11/2011 at 08:21

Cat - might depend on how good a swimmer you are.  If you can swim well, it's not such a worry, as Andy says. But if  you're not a good swimmer, you've got to get the swim training in because it's a long way you don't want to start the bike knackered.  However, bashing out the miles with poor form is only going to make you a fit crap swimmer - who will still use more energy than they need to during the race. I'd say crap swimmers need to be working on their stroke now and ignoring a plan.  They could use the plans as a guide but much more important would be having a few sessions with a coach so you know what you need to be working on.

Swimming is the one tri discipline you can safely go over distance in before The Day and at some stage you're going to want to swim the full distance, poss more than once. However long it takes you you're going to need to swim long enough to do that. But there's plenty of time for that. 

So if you can swim - it won't do you any harm to do Fink's sets, even if takes you longer than the time he suggests.  (As long as you don't die of boredom in these early days... plenty of time for that next spring! ) But if you're a weak swimmer, focus on technique technique technique.  Up to a point, in swimming you get faster by having better technique - not more fitness.

Edited: 01/11/2011 at 08:23
01/11/2011 at 08:29

Cat - have just looked at your times. If you're an alright swimmer you probably will get fitter and manage 2500 in an hour, although doing drills slows you down.  You could invest in some fins for drills.  They work your legs quite hard but they give you enough propulsion to stop you sinking while you focus on arm work.

AJ - haven't done Marshman but lots of people like it. It's very flat I think which can make it very exposed on a windy day. I've done Swash twice and it's a great race run by lovely people. Very first timer friendly. The thing about the Swash is that you need to be an ok swimmer because the swim is tidal. I think up until two years ago the tides played ball and the race happened at slack tide so it was all very benign. However, the last two races have been quite 'lively', tide-wise and this year they enforced the swim cut off (60 mins I think).

01/11/2011 at 08:32
So sorry - I do bang on, don't I? Sorry if I sound bossy. (I am bossy ).
Cheerful Dave    pirate
01/11/2011 at 08:57
AJ, a few of us did the Swash before Outlaw this year (although Outlaw was a few weeks later than it is next year).  Marshman is a smaller race but well organised I believe.  Depending on the current on the day, the Swash swim is about as far removed from the Outlaw swim as it's possible to get short of a sea swim.  The bike course has a similar profile to Outlaw and the run's not a bad course either, although a bit long at 14 miles (bike course is short).
bburn plO.dder    pirate
01/11/2011 at 08:59

At the moment, my swim sessions each week are a one-to-one lesson with a coach, and then an hour by myself practising what I've been taught. It's slow progress.

I have to say though, the coach I have been using is great, we do lots of technique work, and then the rest of the lesson is him telling me to "stop moaning, yes it is hard, get on with it!!" Which is just what I need

IronCat5    pirate
01/11/2011 at 09:25

Thanks Andy and Mother Hen . My Oly swim time was 33min, so never going to set the world on fire; I am as you put it a fit, crap swimmer.

I have some fins, and they do give the legs a workout. My calves know they've been used. And I'm fully aware it's about technique. The slower I swim the faster I get.

I'll sort out some coaching.

AJ - I'm signing up for the Marshman. A flat possibly windy course that is a good excuse to try and stay aero for the whole bike. The Swash swim cut-off is what put me of Swash. Marshman is the BH weekend too.

01/11/2011 at 11:38
Technique work's bloody hard work, too, isn't it? Knackering.
01/11/2011 at 19:36
Cat I have never completed a fink swim session I usually do as much as I can of the session within the hour and generally only do 2 sessions a week until half way through the build I then start sticking in a long open water swim of around an hour , but this this year for IM Wales I binned the pool completely and tried to get in two shortish 40 min and one long open water of an hour for the last 15 weeks of training and hey presto a swim PB of 1:12 , by comparrison my IM first swim time was 1:40 when I stuck most closely to the fink swim proram so I must be doing something right Oh I didnt loaf with the time I saved binning a swim session I stuck an extra bike session in IMHO everybody (including me) gets too hung up on the swim its just a nice warm up for the bike
M...eldy    pirate
01/11/2011 at 19:57
Cake wrote (see)
Chilibean wrote (see)

Good for you, Steady!

Bike skills seem such a good idea. Though it would help if I knew someone who cycled! 


Any throughts are we going to do anouther mentor's thread girls and germs? Don't want to persume i speak for everybody if i start one.


Dont we already have one?
O.rangeCannon (kona-7)    pirate
01/11/2011 at 21:48
Re fink swims.... That's what put me off the fink program..
In year 1 I just swam, once or twice a week, building my long swim from 30mins up to about 1hr15mins . My longest swim was 3.4 k, but I was lucky to hit 3 k most weeks
I didn't enjoy swimming too much....

Last year I got some swim coaching, ie got some technique and also swam the full distance 3 times - ended up knocking 15-20 mins off the swim time. I enjoyed swimming a lot more

This year I am a swim god!
( still slow but enjoying it!)

So I think fink swim sessions are great if you are already an established regular swimmer, or really enjoy swimming. Otherwise I would use them as a guide, doing what you can, but make sure you build the distance in the spring
Edited: 01/11/2011 at 21:53
01/11/2011 at 22:04

Very reassured by all this swim advice.  I'm a really slow swimmer (1900m 52 mins) so I've gone back to basics and just booked some 1:1 endless pool coaching in TI.  Plan is to concentrate just on technique for now and forget distance, so I might do 45 - 60 mins in the pool (as per Fink)  but distance will be tiny.  Hopefully come Spring I can reap the benefits and start to get some distance up.  I'm tempted to still do one endurance swim a week to keep some swimming fitness and confidence up but don't want to imprint more bad form.  My swim coach suggests 70 - 80% drills. Any thoughts welcome.  Ta.

O.rangeCannon (kona-7)    pirate
01/11/2011 at 22:10
Oh and hennie is right about the HR zones
I worked out my z1 run hr to be 129, with z2 being 139
I am currently using a hr cap of 143 for my runs....

That being said I've now been running 5-6 years, and my hr has consistently dropped. Ie it used to be 155 for an easy jog.

So as a newbie you need to run at a hr that is sustainable in an IM, and need to train at a hr that encourages all the fat burning / physiological changes needed just to keep going.
However a slow run pushes your hr up to anaerobic levels
I think to generally run slowly, keeping Hr down even if that means more walking than running. Fitness gained over the year will change things to a degree, but endurance beats speed
However faster runs/ higher hr has a faster/ bigger effect on fitness....

My missus is going through this conundrum and I am not sure of the best way to go or advice to give.......
IronCat5    pirate
01/11/2011 at 22:20
Thanks OC. Coaching is on the roadmap.

Soupy - your swim time is fine!

For the record my Z2 limit is 173 (based on the last sprint in a 10k). It could be higher...Hennie and I discussed our HRs a lot of pages back!

Average for Beachy Head marathon was 156 (for what the avg HR is worth - probably bugger all).
01/11/2011 at 22:40
Forgot to say, loving the comments on here about this being a journey.  Its perhaps an overused phrase (especially to Strictly adicts) but that is exactly what it feels like and that now I'm just saving up for my ticket.
02/11/2011 at 10:08
Soup Dragon wrote (see)

Very reassured by all this swim advice.  I'm a really slow swimmer (1900m 52 mins) so I've gone back to basics and just booked some 1:1 endless pool coaching in TI.  Plan is to concentrate just on technique for now and forget distance, so I might do 45 - 60 mins in the pool (as per Fink)  but distance will be tiny.  Hopefully come Spring I can reap the benefits and start to get some distance up.  I'm tempted to still do one endurance swim a week to keep some swimming fitness and confidence up but don't want to imprint more bad form.  My swim coach suggests 70 - 80% drills. Any thoughts welcome.  Ta.

Soupy - sounds a really good approach (although I agree with CAt - you're not THAT slow!   You'll be a swimming goddess by July!)
02/11/2011 at 11:44

Back from Dublin with a very pleasing PB just under 4 hours. Pleasing as a PB by 20 mins but also as the rain started pouring down as I collected my kit bag!.

A great marathon experience with a good crowd and on narrow roads at the end giving great encouragement. And of course post race Guinness must be good for rehydration and replacing essential nutrients.

Back home and Fink has arrived so I can read the theory and start planning, whilst I enjoy some recovery time!

I'm with most of the above on the swim trtaining and was going to replace some sessions with more bike, certainly during the base. I'm also at about 50 mins for 1900 and despite enjoying swimming and putting in effort to train/improve form I appear to have reached my peak! I also want to put in OW training as I suffer from the initial "claustrphobic" panic, aside from "keep doing it" any other advice for that?

I've looked at Marshman and its a possibility, just being a few hundred miles away and bank holiday weekend (I think) it might be a journey too far.

02/11/2011 at 12:20
floreat salopia wrote (see)

I've looked at Marshman and its a possibility, just being a few hundred miles away and bank holiday weekend (I think) it might be a journey too far.


I'm based in Manchester so have looked at Marshman but cba with the distance.

 I'm considering The Beaver, May 26th. I would be interested in anyone's opinion of race and timing's in relation to The Outlaw.

 Cheers 

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