10K marathon swim in Miami

Before a swim

After a wonderful vacation in California, I flew to Miami for a 10 km swim at the time when Breaking2 attempt was broadcasting – a special closed marathon in Italy, to overcome the two-hour barrier. I watched the last minutes before boarding – 2:00:25 !! Although I had a feeling from the very beginning – “not this time” – but the fact that Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya came very close to the two-hour barrier – was very inspirational. With such a huge positive surcharge, I started my first marathon swim for 10 km.

This start was preceded by 4 months of serious trainings – 21-25 km in the pool per week( 5-6 training days). During this time, I constantly worked on the technique and I managed to make several breakthroughs. Although, as before, I treat myself as rather mediocre swimmer. My goal is not the top places. As I wrote earlier, in the New Year’s meditation the Dream came to me. And I’m going to fulfil it. This start in Miami was a test for all my training efforts and a kind of milestone for further movement.

Swimming distance of 10K and nutrition

I need to swim 4 laps of 2.5 km in the ocean bay. The water temperature was about +26 C, so I decided beforehand to swim without a wet suit. (The rules were not really forbidden it, if you indicated wetsuit during online registration). There were several other races in the program: 800 m, one mile, 5 and 10 km. Altogether, probably, around 400 swimmers. In my race – about 60. The day before the start it was necessary to show up and made check-in, and I also successfully managed to participate in a swimming clinic from the champion triathlete. Part of the theory was on land, and practice – right in the water. In general, everything turned out fine and I had additional confidence that the swim would be good. I was also lucky that one of my friends in Miami agreed to be a helper on the pier – to serve bottles with a mixture on each lap. I was a little bit lost where to store the gels)) By the way, at the very start I saw that some swimmers put the gels right under the cap! And one guy was swimming with a small inflatable buoy  on the cable, where he had nutrition …

Surprisingly, the night before the start I slept peacefully and woke up rested and calm. When it was 10 minutes before the start, I consumed the first gel  followed by water. What supported me a lot during long training in the pool – running gel with caffeine. The assistant had small bottles of good water, in which I dissolved the mentioned gels (not to waste time) and also added electrolytes. After all, the swim takes several hours in hot conditions. Each swimmer has a ribbon with the chip around the ankle – for finish time fixation. We went into the water, and – there was a start signal!

Strokes, strokes and strokes

As I said, I had to overcome 4 laps of 2.5 km, swimming around the inflatable buoys on the left side. When I turned around the first corner buoy, I felt the excitement in the bay – it was the wind blowing from the ocean. The waves intensified as I approached the distant buoy, but they were still tolerable enough. Just had to change the side of the breath, so as not to swallow salt water. I glanced at the gps watch, when they vibrated after the first 500 m – 10 minutes 25 seconds. All according to plan!

After completing the first lap, I swam to the pier, which was assigned to assistants and drank my cocktail. Amount of liquid and taste were ideal for me! After about 10 minutes I clearly felt a surge of vivacity, strength and joy – even as I sailed against the wind. Interestingly, when the waves were to your back, I caught an additional impulse from them, trying to immerse my head under the water and thus raise my legs a little.

The long swim consists of many strokes – there’s practically nothing to describe here)) Of course, swimming in open water is more difficult than in ideal conditions in the pool. Despite all the diligence and concentration, the hands and the legs scatter, and you lose the strict horizontal narrow form of the least resistance. Plus, occasionally  you have to lift your head to navigate where to swim. And as soon as you raise your head – your legs drop down and resistance sharply increases, the speed falls. If I did not watched for a while where to swim, but concentrated only at effective strokes – I was somewhere turned. I could not determine the pattern – I turned in different directions. When someone overtook me, I tried to settle down and for a time floated in the direction of the next swimmer. A wonderful decision! But a short one in my case)

Peak of joy

I experienced  peak of joy several times – closer to the end of the distance. For the sake of such experiences I’m happy to accept this challenge! When I turned the last time around the farthest buoy and a little less than a kilometer left to the finish, I began to doubt: was I wrong with the laps? I felt great, I still have a lot of strength … Maybe I need another lap? .. But then I remembered that I had drunk all the bottles with a cocktail and the helper told me – “see you at the finish” So – the finish line is ahead!

Very happy I finished in my first marathon swim for 10 km in 3:26:43. The pace was approximately 2: 04/100 m –  just a wonderful result for open water in my case. Despite the fact that the first participant swam almost twice as fast – in 1 hour 53 minutes – I did not compare, I was happy. Self-transcendence in action!

Stutisheel Oleg Lebedev after the finish of the Miami 10K Swim

After the finish

The next day, almost no pain in the arms – it was much better than after my first swim in the pool for 8 km. There at night I could not lie on my back because of the pain in my muscles. Now I rubbed my neck and a shoulders, despite my attempt to cover everything with petroleum jelly … Also the back burned slightly, despite the sunscreen … But these are all  trifles – I gained much more the lost!

The water year continues,


The SwimMiami website
Swim results for 10K
Data from Garmin watch