The Daily News of Open Water Swimming has a nice, almost poetic piece on the experience of open water swimming:
The Daily News of Open Water Swimming: The Open Water, An Otherworldly Experience:
I am not a mystically inclined person, but swimming in a large open water body (sea or river) I have had occasions where I felt deeply connected to the rest of the world through the water, especially when swimming under water.
This morning was much less poetic, as I did a pool swim of 23 kms, my longest swim in a pool ever, starting at 4.15 am (Asha taking me to the pool at 3.30!). My program was 2500 free + 500 back + 500 free + 500 back + 1000 fs) x 4 + 2500 fs + 500 back.
Total swim time app. 7 hours. All really fine and fast up to 15 kms, still ok up to 20 kms, then really slowing down, feeling the fatigue of the days before, not having properly carboloaded and muscles and tendons hurting. Mixing it up with backstroke probably makes it a little harder, but it has the advantage of making the workout more varied.
I am now at the point where I can swim 2/3 of the target distance, which is earlier than expected. Next week will be an easy week of 20-25 kms with shorter interval trainings for recovery and a max. 15-km long swim (total 20-25 kms), the week after somewhat longer (30+ kms), and the week after that should be my biggest ever training week (60+?), two weeks before the Cork distance week.
I had wanted to get to 25 kms (to achieve a week total of 50 kms), but the straw that broke the camel's back was when diesel fumes of a nearby generator started wafting over the water and made me feel sick. At 48kms still an excellent week (Tuesday 6 kms, Wed 10, Thur 4, Fri 5).