Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    191
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    how hard is it to swim 4 miles?

    Im 26 and dont know how to swim... Im hoping that in 3-5 years ill be in good enough shape to do a triathlon.. so for someone who doesnt know how to swim how long will it take to be able to do 4 miles?? I have a swimming pool in my apt complex that i can use to help.

    thanks for any input

  2. #2
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    My Bikes
    Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
    Posts
    29,613
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What race are you thinking of entering? Because even the ironman distance swim is only 2.4 miles (3.8 km).
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  3. #3
    Prefers Aluminum Sprocket Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Honolulu
    My Bikes
    Wife: Trek 5200, C'dale Rush Feminine, Vitus 979 Me: Felt S25, Cervelo Soloist, C'dale Killer V500, Miyata Pro (fixie)
    Posts
    2,671
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by viros20 View Post
    Im 26 and dont know how to swim... Im hoping that in 3-5 years ill be in good enough shape to do a triathlon.. so for someone who doesnt know how to swim how long will it take to be able to do 4 miles?? I have a swimming pool in my apt complex that i can use to help.

    thanks for any input
    What triathlon are you planning to do that requires you to swim 4 miles? Even an Ironman is "only" 2.4 miles.

    On a positive note: you're young so you probably have more energy and time than an old guy like myself (42). And you have 3-5 years to do it.

    Possible area of difficulty: Unless the pool at your apartment complex is 25 yards or longer and has a dedicated lap lane, you may have difficulty getting enough quality yardage in to become a decent swimmer.

    Swim gains can come quickly with dedication, though. When I first met my wife, she could barely swim. But I helped her a little, she took formal lessons and she spent a lot of her free time doing laps. Within 2 years, she completed the Waikiki Roughwater Swim (2.4 miles in the ocean).

  4. #4
    Prefers Aluminum Sprocket Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Honolulu
    My Bikes
    Wife: Trek 5200, C'dale Rush Feminine, Vitus 979 Me: Felt S25, Cervelo Soloist, C'dale Killer V500, Miyata Pro (fixie)
    Posts
    2,671
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Once again, beaten by Caloso, aka "Rocketfingers".

  5. #5
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    My Bikes
    Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
    Posts
    29,613
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sorry. It's a slow day at work.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    191
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    What race are you thinking of entering? Because even the ironman distance swim is only 2.4 miles (3.8 km).
    there isnt any one in particluar..

    but I saw one advertised as a 4 mile swim, 16K bike ride and a 5k rum which got me very interested. I saw others that were 4 miles aswell. I thought that was a standard.

    as you can tell i dont know much about triathlons..

  7. #7
    Member long_legs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    My Bikes
    Prince 08, Trek TTT 06
    Posts
    44
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That is a weird swim distance. Run and Bike seems like Sprint distance. So I guess there is a typo, swim leg must be 400 meters.

  8. #8
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    My Bikes
    Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
    Posts
    29,613
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think there might be a missing decimal point and that it's a 700 yard swim.

    Generally the distances go: Ironman is 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run; half-IM is 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run; Olympic is 1.5km swim, 40 km bike, and 10 km run. There aren't standard distances for sprint triathlons but generally the swims are under 3/4 of mile, the bikes are under 20 miles, and the runs under 4 miles.

    But to answer your original question, if you start swimming now, and keep at it, I bet you could very easily enter a sprint tri next season, not 3 years from now.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Kansas
    My Bikes
    Trek 7.2
    Posts
    103
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    4 miles is a long f'ng ways. But to agree with everyone else, find a lap pool and start working on it. It will suck at first but in one year you can make enough gains to make a sprint or probably Olympic distance swim.

  10. #10
    Bike Dork
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    234
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    4 miles is a long damn swim. I was a competitive swimmer in high school, although not a distance swimmer particularly, and a "swim-a-thon" nearly ended my career. It was basically a two hour continuous swim for fundraising, after collecting pledges on a per-pool-length basis, so there was incentive to swim fast. I probably did about four miles in that, but strained my rotator cuff in the process, such that for several days I could barely lift my left arm over my head.

    Anyway, if it turns out you really want to swim that far, you can find couch-to-1-mile swim programs on the internet that will have you swimming a mile after a couple months or so; once you get that far, you can probably just add a bit more yardage each week (~10% increase per week). However, I strongly recommend you look for some coaching. That's an awful long way to swim if your stroke is no good.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    No Va but ride also in So Md
    My Bikes
    Cervelo SLC-SL, Guru Photon, Waterford, Specialized CX
    Posts
    8,393
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You should go back and read those distances again. A 4 mile swim for any tri distnace doesn't make sense.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  12. #12
    Senior Member bvfrompc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1,278
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by long_legs View Post
    That is a weird swim distance. Run and Bike seems like Sprint distance. So I guess there is a typo, swim leg must be 400 meters.
    Agreed, either they missed it or you did, but there should have been a decimal point in there.

    .4

  13. #13
    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Putting the 'fun' in dysfunctional
    My Bikes
    Cannondale CAAD8, Trek SU200
    Posts
    225
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by long_legs View Post
    That is a weird swim distance. Run and Bike seems like Sprint distance. So I guess there is a typo, swim leg must be 400 meters.
    What he said....
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Yet more proof that I'm.. well, pretty much right about everything.

  14. #14
    Oil it! sfrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,202
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    What race are you thinking of entering? Because even the ironman distance swim is only 2.4 miles (3.8 km).
    I always thought it was 4K (2.48mi).

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    138
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    On the point of absurd swim distances though, I was amazed to find out the other day that there are actually Deca-ironman races! 24mile swim leg!

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    32
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'll also throw in my vote with the 4 miles being an absurd distance.

    I didn't know how to swim (well, I could float and get from one end of the pool to the other...but not with any known stroke) and signed up for swim lessons in February. I finished my first sprint triathlon a couple weeks ago! It was only a half mile open water swim though... So if it really is 4 miles, prepare to suffer for it. I suggest taking a class or finding a pool with lanes either way.

  17. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's .4, don't worry.

  18. #18
    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Putting the 'fun' in dysfunctional
    My Bikes
    Cannondale CAAD8, Trek SU200
    Posts
    225
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tissuedigester View Post
    I'll also throw in my vote with the 4 miles being an absurd distance.

    I didn't know how to swim (well, I could float and get from one end of the pool to the other...but not with any known stroke) and signed up for swim lessons in February. I finished my first sprint triathlon a couple weeks ago! It was only a half mile open water swim though... So if it really is 4 miles, prepare to suffer for it. I suggest taking a class or finding a pool with lanes either way.
    heh, half mile is still a pretty healthy distance for a sprint....
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Yet more proof that I'm.. well, pretty much right about everything.

  19. #19
    Happiest on 2 Wheels fzrdave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    My Bikes
    Cervelo Soloist Carbon, Trek 5200, Bianchi Volpe, Quintana Roo Kilo
    Posts
    55
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Itís definitely not 4 miles.

    As to how long will it take to get to 4 miles if you actually want to do that one day, well, there's just no way anyone can know that based upon you now being 26 and not being able to swim. What it really comes down to, in my experience, is whether or not you can become comfortable in the water. If you can become comfortable, if you work at it with some instruction, and you get in reasonably good shape, then you could probably get there pretty fast; definitely within your three to five years target goal. However, and this is a very big however, some people never get over their fear of the water. I donít want to sound like the sole doubter here, but this is not a remote possibility with you already being 26 and not being able to swim. I've seen many adults while I was in the Navy try to learn to swim and many of them just could not get over their fear or even terror of the water. If you're one of those people, then you'll never be able to swim 0.4 miles much less 4 miles. On the other hand, if you want it bad enough and you apply yourself, then you'll get there probably faster than you ever thought possible. Good luck! Swimming is one of the great joys of life.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Snicklefritz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    In the middle of horse country, in The Garden State
    Posts
    3,112
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by viros20 View Post
    there isnt any one in particluar..

    but I saw one advertised as a 4 mile swim, 16K bike ride and a 5k rum which got me very interested. I saw others that were 4 miles aswell. I thought that was a standard.

    as you can tell i dont know much about triathlons..
    oh, a 5k rum? I hope you have a designated driver to get you home.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Sac/Dublin, CA
    Posts
    1,307
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    this seems like a good topic to ask this question.

    how quickly do you guys do the swim in an olympic tri? like time wise.

  22. #22
    Senior Member bspurrie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    155
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Edonis13 View Post
    this seems like a good topic to ask this question.

    how quickly do you guys do the swim in an olympic tri? like time wise.
    Gut Feeling - Most will be within 20 and 40 minutes.

    Geek answer based on data from my last olympic - Mean was 30:54 with a standard deviation of 5:00. So using a Standard Normal Distribution 67% would be between 25:54 and 35:54 and 95% would be between 20:54 and 40:54. This was a small race but I'm sure the results would not change much by using a race with a larger sample size.

  23. #23
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    My Bikes
    Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
    Posts
    29,613
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Edonis13 View Post
    this seems like a good topic to ask this question.

    how quickly do you guys do the swim in an olympic tri? like time wise.
    My last one was 30:30. Some of that included running over the beach at the start and into T1. Fairly middle of the pack.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  24. #24
    Member long_legs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    My Bikes
    Prince 08, Trek TTT 06
    Posts
    44
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

  25. #25
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    14
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    viros, I was a few years older than you and though I was comfortable in the water, I didn't know formal swim strokes. I was a very good runner and a fair biker. I joined a good masters swim club and with the benefit of three practices per week swam first competitions within six months and went on to swim the Chesapeake Bay swim three times over next three years. Learning stroke technique and building strength and endurance will come much faster if you can join other swimmers and trainers. Swimming is a whole different animal with its own challenges and pleasures.
    Last edited by SnuffyP; 08-22-07 at 08:44 PM. Reason: spelling

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •