What pace can you hold… well, maybe not “forever,” but let’s say… indefinitely. What would your pace be if you intended to swim all day - not racing, just swimming (and given that you’re fully warmed up) ?
Imagine you’re David Barra swimming across the Catalina Channel. He’s a swimmer fully capable of a sub-10 hour crossing, but because of adverse currents it turns into over 15 hours. What’s that pace?
As I think more and more about true “marathon” swimming - I’m doing my first race over 10K in October - this seems an increasingly fundamental question. Yet it’s a question that, despite my many years in the sport, I had never thought to ask.
Now that I have more regular access to long course water, I’ve had better opportunities to answer this question. And for me, right now, that pace is about 1:24 (+/- 1 second) per 100 meters.
Obviously, since I’ve never done a swim longer than 2.5 hours, it’s difficult to say what 15 hours in the water would do (nothing good, I’d imagine). However, I’ve tested myself under a few different “adverse” circumstances - e.g., the day after a hard night of “socializing”, the day after a long weightlifting session - and it always seems to boil down to about 1:24/100m (22:30 per mile).