Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The 50/50 Swim Challenge

Ah October! The month where the weather in Vancouver turns, I get a Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner, and then there's the start of the 50/50 swim challenge.

(sorry, this'll be a boring no photos post)

The start date of the first inaugural 2008 Swim Challenge was quite arbitrary - I wanted at least a week of recovery after running the Victoria Marathon - but it seems like a good time of year for most triathletes to spend some quality time in the pool.

Now, you might ask yourself, "Why would I possibly want to swim everyday for the next 2 months?" And really, I don't have an answer for you. If the idea of getting up really early to hit the pool, or putting off dinner so you can get in some lengths right after work doesn't float your boat, I got nothin' for you.

Oh, and there's a facebook group to stay in touch with all the other crazy swimmers out there!

For those who remember all the good times, pruned fingers, and missed social occasions of last year, of if you're new and want to try it out, here's the official rule book:

Begins: Monday October 19th
Ends: Tuesday, December 8th

This is an opportunity for those of us who are water challenged to get a headstart on swim training for the 2010 race season. Remember, this challenge is for personal benefit only and is supposed to be fun, but should also be a good motivation for training in the water.

1. We will record workouts individually on the honour system; most of us are on WorkOutLog anyway so we can print off our accomplishments on a weekly or monthly basis

2. There is no need to complete one swim each day; multiple swims are allowed, as are rest days (see point 4 below)

3. An individual swim workout must be at least 1000 metres to qualify, with the following exceptions:

  • 1-on-1 sessions with a swim coach count even if you don’t swim 1000 metres
  • Open water swims that last for more than 5 minutes count as a swim (but honestly, it’s October, so this shouldn’t be a problem)

4. If attempting to do multiple swims in a single day, 1000 metre swims won’t cut it

  • To count two swims, one workout must be at least 2000 metres, or the total of the two workouts must be 3000 metres
  • To count three swims, one workout must be at least 3000 metres, or the total of the three workouts must be 6000 metres
  • If you try to count four swims, we’ll know that you’re cheating

5. Dry-land training doesn’t count. That’s weights

So clean out those goggles, dust off your swim cap, and get prepared to mercilessly disregard all of life's other commitments (thanks to James, one of 2008's finalists, for that one).

~ Doug


  1. Like it... What's with rule 2? Seems like someone missed a swim and didn't want to get DQ'ed.

  2. Nah, last year I had some renovations planned and knew that I'd miss a day or two.

    Also, without rule #2 you wouldn't have people attempting 3 swims in one day...with hilarious results!