Swimrun Diary - Similarity to Military Training

Andrew Wallace
30.05.18 02:52 PM Comment(s)

After a few weeks of swimrunning training, we are coming to the conclusion it is a brutal but awesome sport!

"Brutal" due to the distances and terrain and the constant switches between water and land. Just a 2 hour session leaves me feeling like I have gone a few rounds with Mike Tyson. But then I find myself looking forward to the next session right away.

"Awesome" as you are out in the wilds of nature the whole time. The highs you get from repeated trail runs and ocean swims are great. Just being in that environment is a great feeling.

Both John and I have military experience. We were immediately struck with how similar the training is to military training: Relentless, repetitive, fall over/pick yourself up, keep going, on and on and on.

I love trail running but I am no 'runner'. Whenever I do triathlons I tend to get a good lead on the swims, hold my own on the bike, then lose it all on the run! But a typical triathlon run is 5-10km. Swimrun is different. The run can total almost a full marathon of trail running, all offroad, interspersed with numerous open water swims and very few checkpoints to refuel.

You carry your water and nutrition. How much is up to you.

The terrain you go over means much of it is scrambling over rocks, or up steep ascents.

We have benefited from reverting back to what the military call 'tabbing' - power walking, stretching and recovering at the same time, swinging the arms to maintain momentum, yet still moving at a fast pace, still making the distance, helping us to maintain a fairly decent pace (less than 7 mins per km cross country) over the half and three quarter distance swimruns we are doing at this stage of our training.

By tabbing up steep ascents you can actually help your sore legs recover some, and reduce your heart rate and then pick it up again on the flats/downhills. By trying to run all the way, up hills, up rocky seascapes, over 40+km, you're asking for a world of hurt.

Anyway, "onwards and upwards"!

Next: we have been experimenting with various kit so will be doing a kit review...