I did it and nearly a full month faster than 2020. Last year it took me until Sept 30th to reach 1,000,000m. This year I had a chance to reach this mark on August 31st, but willing took a rest day on the 30th, so I would swim past the million meter mark on Sept 1st during our first Lane 1 distance workout of the fall.
Last year I lost a lot of motivation after reaching one million, but this year I am even trying to raise money for WaterAid. I am hoping this keeps me swimming, at least through October. It would be great if my friends could help me with this charity event.
We have not had a Swedish nationals for Masters since 2019, and there are currently plans for holding them the first week in December. This would be another motivator to keep me swimming through out 2021. Last year I finished with 1221 km, so only 221 km over the last three months. With four months remaining this year, who knows this year I could reach over 1320 km. My dad asked last year, what’s next? I jokingly replied I am not sure from 1000 km to maybe 1000 miles. However, that is a huge jump from 1220 to 1609 km. if I am going to be able to race in a pool again I am not going to be able to swim just for the sake of swimming to get meters. I am going to have to focus more on speed, technique and recovery. All of those things have been neglected for the past 16-18 months. I can almost say for sure I will again try for a million meters next year, but I will most likely focus on the 800m pool race and attempt go sub 10. At the same time I have not given up hope on a sub 19 1500m either.
This will get long and I’ll most likely revise it a few times as more memories come back to me or I find more photos of me during the race.
I’d like to start this race report off with a huge thanks to my wife. Back in September/October 2019, pre Covid, I asked her if it was ok if I were to attempt a 42km race. I explained that it would mean lots of extra swimming for me. She gave me the ok. Little did anyone know what was coming our way and a 11 month training plan would eventually turn into a 23 month commitment. Without her understanding of the level of training I wanted I would not have been able to be in the swimming shape I am today.
Sept 28, 2019 I get an email from Vidösternsimmet with the official invite to swim a special 10th anniversary double Vidösternsimmet they called The Viking Edition 42+km. They gave two options. I could either swim solo or with a partner. I was quick to decide to swim with a partner and that partner would be Hampus Carlsson. I wasn’t sure how long it was going to take to get Hampus onboard with my plans, but 2-3 texts later and we were registered.
Sunday the 8th of August will not be a day that I forget for a long time. The plan was to leave home around 0720, drive up to the lake in Stenungsund arriving about 90 minutes before the last check-in time, eat an early lunch or big snack, swim as fast as I could and be home by 18:00.
I leave Växjö on time, but get informed that Pär and Emelie have car problems about 120km north of the race. I offer to pick them, up, but Pär thought they could make it. As I get to my exit for the lake I get a call, they only made it 60km, so I offered to pick them up so he could make it to the race on time. So my 90 minute window got reduced to 5-10 minutes. I continue north and find them on the side of the road near a highway on ramp. We quickly get them and their bags in my car and go back south. After taking the scenic route to the lake, we get lucky with a parking spot close to the lake, walk to the race area and check in with 2-3 minutes to spare.
Earlier this week I got information about a fund raiser for WaterAid, and I felt like it was something that I could really get behind.
The idea is set up for anyone who can swim and has time can attempt to swim a marathon 42.4km during a period of 12 weeks. Since I have been averaging about 25km/week this year, and will racing in a 42km race on August 13th I signed up to help raise money for WaterAid.
My intention is to try to swim as many kilometers as I can from 1 August until the end of October. But my main challenge will be swimming 42km starting around 23:30 on the 13th of August and hopefully finishing on or before 14:00 the 14th.
It would be great if you would join me in my support of WaterAid and donate to my effort.
In the area of Sweden I live, week 8 is our winter break, or a direct translation from swedish is sport break A large portion of the people in sweden use week 7,8 or 9 to go skiiing every year. The country splits up this week off so that only 33% of the country try to go up north skiing each week during the winter break.
I don’t usually write about specific workouts here on my blog. Maybe that’s because I have a training journal that I document everything I do on Jogg.se. Since the fall of 2018 our Masters group has been greatly improved by the presence of a former Syrian distance swim coach Nidal. During his first fall session with us he was there to help our newer swimmers with their technique. Watching everyone in the pull and offering tips on how they could improve their technique. That kind of one on one feedback was greatly appreciated. Then I am not sure how it happened, but with all my traveling in 2019 he took the initiative to offer our distance swimmers a distance workout on wedensdays as an option to the sprint workouts I was writing. With only three lanes, that group swam in lane 1. Up until 2019 we rarely swam anything over 400m at practice, and when we swam what I thought were hard series it was usually base pace for the shorter series and base pace +5 for the longer series.
Since I am hoping to get another eight swims and even a few Crossfit workouts in this year I am not ready to summarize 2020, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that I stay healthy and can keep my motivation up for next summer.
I only have on goal for 2021, and that is swimming the first 42km Viking Swim in Värnamo on Aug 13th to the 14th. Or if the weather looks good, maybe we start at midnight so the entire swim will be on the 14th. This year I swam 42km in 14 hours with short stops every 3km. Next year with the start being around midnight I will most likely need to get in an energy stop every 40-45 minutes, but only for 45-60s to avoid getting cold, or starting to cramp. Since I will be swimming with a partner, our biggest challenge this spring/early summer will be planning those feeding breaks and what to give the kayaker to hold for us.
I found it interesting that I did not write about this, but based on my OW season totals I thought I would be able to pass 1,000,000m swimming around the 20th of Sept. But getting sick on Sept 1st did not help. I eventually surpassed the 1 million meter mark on Sept 30th.
Back in April as the world was shutting down I was contacted by Mark Johnston about an online event that he was putting together. It didn’t take more than a day or two and then the event was online, and I was registered and started to recruit others in Sweden and the US to join in.
The idea of being able to compete in a time when all IRL races were being postponed or canceled felt like a really good idea. Nothing beats the heat of the moment, but knowing someone somewhere else was trying to swim faster than me was going to have to be enough this summer.
Last year in October I was one of 14 swimmers with the honor to be able to sign up for 42+km swim. The race was called The Viking, and was a two way swim of Vidösternsimmet (21+km). The 14 of us would start at night Friday the 7th of August, calculating average swim speed in order to get to the start of the return no later than 07:00 the 8th. I went all in for this race. I had one of the strongest swimmers I know (Hampus Carlsson) as my partner for the first half night swim, and I started pushing myself on our Wednesday distance workouts like never before with our super distance coach Nedal. In January I took on the 1,00,000m challenge to help motivate me to get the distance training I would need for this years goal.