Does anyone have a training plan for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge 4.4 mile swim? I've been making up my own plan as I go (3 swims a week - 2 focused on speed and drills, the third a distance swim starting at 3000 meters and adding 500-1000 meters each week) but I fear my winging it will leave me unprepared.
I'd also welcome such advice.
Here's one article that seems pretty good:
I'm not going to be much help in terms of training plan, since I just went to masters to get ready. Hopefully, people who have done distance swims (and trained specifically for them) like Paul, Phil, Kevin, Amanda, Chris, or Amy can chime in. Just a point, which I'm sure you guys are already aware of: the current can change dramatically from year to year and can really alter your time/effort. They give the current information in the pre-swim briefing, and many people who do it have done it in the past and will give you information about how best to swim it (don't get it from me; a kayaker had to come get me to tell me I had overshot the exit from the channel, just proving once again that I can get lost anywhere, including on straightaways).
I did it in 2007 and sort of made up my own plan, but think I did great on race day. I swam 4 days a week. 3 practices of about 3000 yards each and one long on on the weekends. I built up to 8000 yards. Of the three shorter ones I did one techinique focused, one speed focused and one "mental training" focused. The first two are self explanatory, but for the third I just tried to find a workout i was scared of for some reason and do it. For some reason I have a block against doing lots of 200s so I made sure one "mental" workout was that. I would pick a crowded lane and try and navigate around everyone and then make sure that my mind was going over all the things that could go wrong and how to fix them. The long workout was basically just grinding out yards and figuring out what I could eat before, during and after a swim workout like that. I would do like 1,000 yard repeats or something. I always started every workout with drills and finished every workout with some fast stuff. I made it across in what I thought was a reasonable time with very little after effects except the wetsuit chaffing issue. My only gripe with the whole thing was that the current was the weakest it has been in years so I will always wonder if I could have done it in harsher conditions.
i did it in 2008, and i was most worried about swimming too much, too soon - and avoiding injury. i had no clue what i was really doing, so i took some advice from some people that had finished it and built my own training plan.
i built up to 6000m, two weeks before, and - like you - made sure i only added 500m each additional week leading up to my big set (6000m). then taper.
i swam 3 times a week m-w-f.
my goal was to finish, and i wasn't worried about my time, just getting to the finish line. and i completed the race (app 7000m).
make sure you swim down at sandy point a couple of times, as the water was pretty cold the week before.
i brought 4 gels with me and did not have to stop for water (i drank a little bay water - gross, i know but i didn't care). its a great race. make sure you look up at the spans when you are midway through the race. its an amazing view!