The first step should be to plan which events you want to take part in so that you know what distance you are going to swim in all of them. This will make it easier to schedule your training according to the total volumes of the competitions and also to account for these in your daily/weekly training plans.
It will allow you to avoid falling into excessive volumes that could lead to overloading, or in the worst case scenario, injuries and recovery or transition periods of varying lengths.
It may seem obvious, but it is important to be sensible with yourself and evaluate your swimming technique before beginning. Analysing your technical efficiency will help you avoid future muscle and tendon overloading, or even joint wear, while enabling you to avoid injuries to the joints. All of these aspects can be corrected by improving the effectiveness of your stroke, enabling you to cover the same distance in fewer strokes and yet more quickly (then you will be more efficient).
Also, as far as possible, you should train in the sea or in a lake at least once a week. The training doesn’t necessarily have to be to swim non-stop for an hour or to plan a long swim that may entail to safety issues. It is more feasible for you to begin by swimming between the coastal buoys so that you have a clearer perception of distance and consequently the number of metres you have covered. Along these lines, we recommend using a tow float. Make sure it’s brightly coloured and has a dry compartment for gels and bars for refuelling.
Finally, physical training on land is also important. If you want to come out of the water feeling good, without overloading or discomfort, you should do training on land to strengthen the structures that will help you withstand so many strokes for so long. We have already seen how swimming technique plays a fundamental role, but it is essential that you also devote training sessions to developing upper body strength, core exercises, balance exercises, compensating exercises and stretching.