I want to swim 3000 m non-stop for an event coming up next month.
I have got three different plans for training to that event, them coming from a great coach.
Those plans are concentrating on the 20*100 m and 10*200 m

Now my question is, for swimming that long distance (3 km), should I add a long distance in plan in my schedule. Like 2*1500 m or so?

Ironmen and great swimmers out there, Please suggest.

  • I am expecting a general answer, so that all those who are training for long distance swimming can benefit from this.
    – Freakyuser
    Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 15:10
  • 3000m pool swim or open water swim? if open water, are you comfortable in open water? Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 15:49
  • 1
    How far can you swim straight now? And why, if you have a "Great coach", are you not trusting the coaches plan?
    – JohnP
    Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 16:19
  • @RyanMiller I am confident in swimming in a dam but haven't tried the ocean yet. But I don't know what you are getting at.
    – Freakyuser
    Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 16:25
  • 3
    @Freakyuser if you weren't comfortable in open water, i'd would then suggest you do a 3000m straight for mental readiness and/or focus on getting comfortable in open water first, then worrying about specific sets. Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 16:29

4 Answers 4


In general, it is not really necessary to swim overlong long distance sets, as there is no real training benefit other than mentally knowing that you can swim the distance. Even for competitive swimmers doing the 1500, workouts will rarely have that distance in the plan.

There is more benefit to swimming a set such as 6x500 on :10 rest than there is in swimming 2x1500, or 1x3000, and if you can complete a set like that, then there shouldn't be any problem in being able to swim the distance straight.

Example for clarification: If you have a 3000m race, and you are thinking that you can swim that in 1 hour (60 minutes), then you should be able to do 6x500, at the pace of 10 minutes per 500 (2:00/100) with a :10 rest interval. If you can't do 6x500 on 10:00, :10 rest interval, then your race pace is too ambitious and you need to aim for a slower pace. If you simply can't even swim 6x500m, then you have larger problems than worrying about pacing.

If I were training for this, I would make sure that my workouts in total were more than 3000m, and that I had longer (400-800m) components to each set, but I wouldn't be overly concerned with set components longer than that.

  • +1 for a great piece of advice. I didn't know that sets of that length aren't necessary. I will do the 500 m sets tomorrow, thank you.
    – Freakyuser
    Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 16:24
  • 6x500 on :10 sounds rough. valid, yes. curious as to what effort you would recommend this to be done at? race pace? comfortable? easy? i'm not disagreeing with your answer. i'm used to doing something like 7x400 with at least :30 rest which is why I am curious on the effort with :10 rest. thanks. Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 16:26
  • @RyanMiller - Rest is determined by effort level. The more intense the effort, the longer the rest. If you have a race pace that you are aiming at for a 3000m race, then you should easily be able to do that set at that pace with rest breaks. However, for familiarization purposes, even doing it at 70% effort is good. If you can complete a 6x500 set on :10, (or really, even at :20) then you should be able to do a 3000m swim straight, even if it is at a slightly slower pace.
    – JohnP
    Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 16:54
  • @RyanMiller - See clarification example in my answer.
    – JohnP
    Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 16:58
  • Extraordinary, going to try this tomorrow 6*500 on 10 mins with rest included. My pace is more or less that. I swim 10*100 m on 2 min with 10 sec rest included. Let me see if I can do what you have suggested. Will comment tomorrow. And yes I swim more than 3 km every session.
    – Freakyuser
    Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 17:07

Although there is only some need for full distance training and @JohnP's answer is useful for most of your training, it really can help with strategy, psychological conditioning, and for practicing pace to do an occasional full distance swim. Healing after your first full distance training session will produce an excellent training effect as well. I have done full distance training for up to 7750 yards.

  • Yes, nice point, I will try this once before the event.
    – Freakyuser
    Commented Jun 14, 2013 at 5:26

set goal for 50 200 400 800 1K while maintaing the form, what I use is Ti(Total Immersion). This style is meant to be letting you swim for a long distance and effortlessly.

  • +1. Thank you for the suggestion. I will definitely try that approach.
    – Freakyuser
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 16:41
  • Glad to help. Good luck
    – mko
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 17:31

I am swimming now for a couple of years, with a frequency of 2-4 times a week 3.000m each training session, in blocks of 6x500m, 10 min per 500m. Easy training is 6 times 500m in 9.30 minute and 30sec rest. Very intense 6 times 500m in 8.45 and 1.15 rest. In this way you can play with the speed and the rest. Because of the regularity of the sessions it is a good way to monitor your effectiveness of your technic and efficiency. You can try out or modify your technique and see if your speed improves or, if you get less tired over the same time and distance. I have a polar watch and can very nicely monitor my training sessions. I do this al the time. I know I should have more variation in my training sessions, but somehow this suits me, I am still making nice (little) progress and can easily monitor my effectiveness of swimming because I am so used to the sets.

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