How long does it take to be able to swim 1.9k

From more experienced people out there is it possible to go from 500m of drills to be able to swim 1.9k in June? Already got an event booked but new to swimming and struggling with front crawl. Am I wasting my time and money?


  • It can be done, I went from nothing to IM in 6 months, swimming is strange you stagnate then suddenly improve before stagnating again, it's often hard to see the progress but its there. Over 3 years my 1.5K times have gone from 36 mins to 27 mins yesterday but its been a long slow process. Getting to swim the distance can easily be done by June though, keep working at it and good luck.
  • Are you getting lessons/coaching? What are you struggling with in front crawl? Technique is such a big aspect of swimming lessons would be your best option. I've gone from virtually nothing to 3k easily in a year... How often are you swimming?

    Good luck though!! Its definitely possible!


  • Thanks for the words of encouragement. Nothing to IM in 6 months is very impressive, can I ask if you followed any particular training plans?
  • H0NKH0NK ✭✭✭
    A lot of people find that swimming suddenly clicks and that was the case for me. I spent several weeks failing to do a continuose 400m then the week I managed it I also did a mile. 2 weeks after that I did a 2 mile open water event.

    Going to the pool as often as possible helps, I was swimming 4 times a week at the time with one group coached session.
  • Yep swimming a lot helps, I didn't follow any particular plan but I was coached which was a huge help. I still try to swm 3 times a week, any less and it all feels very strange.

  • 5 weeks....but i had to breast stroke half of itimage

  • Thanks. I am new to swimming and the breathing seems to be the biggest issue. Thanks for replies. The plan is to go swimming as much as I can so hopefully it just "clicks"
  • Coached sessions help as you can't see what you're doing wrong.
  • SLAB,

    It is always the breathing for everyone except fish. Slow, slow, slow. Relax slwo is good. Get the breathing/stroke patterns sorted then worry about going quicker.


  • Remember to breathe out whilst your face is under the water so you have more time for the in breath when you turn your head. Sorry if that is really obvious.... But I have heard of people holding it in until the turn their head, gawd knows how they manage more than 10 metres!

    What event have you entered and where are you based?

    Good luck with it!
  • Based in London. The events are Olympic at eton at end of may and ironman 70.3 at wimbleball.

    I have had lessons at my local council pool which gave me a few tips and am currently having lessons with a professional company who have taught me alot more but I seem to be the stumbling block. I have been taught to breath out under water and the drills/techniques re rotation etc its just that when I get in the water after about half a length it all seems to go to pot re breathing and achy legs etc so I start drinking the pool not gliding across it image
  • You need to build up slowly... There is no point in bashing out more than a length if all your form has gone. Practise doing a length then resting for 15- 30 secs. Repeat lots. Once you can do a length, make it 2! I was a swimmer when I was a kid but on returning to it recently I found I ws knackered after only 3-4 lengths. Swim what you can with good technique. You will soon find you dont need all the rests and then you can really start to build distance.

    I have entered a half this year too....eek.... But Wimbleball sounds hard!! Good on ya!
  • It will all click. I went from being able to do

    50 meters in Jan to Ironman distance in summer. My revelation was to stop kicking so much. That just tired me out too much. Now I hardly kick at all.
  • +1 What Cougie says. Did the same dropped the kick to nearly none, only now putting it back in after cracking continuous 4k swims

  • Again thank you all for positive feedback and tips. I will try to put it all to good use.
  • Simply to add to the concensus, it will indeed just click although (sorry to state the bleedin' obvious) you will need to put the time in the pool for this to happen.

    Perhaps joining an adult / masters swim class may help too?  I joined one early this year and have seen swift progress over the past few weeks.

  • I started swimming in July last year without much background in it. I had never swum crawl before and I really struggled. Especially with my breathing. I had read just how technically demanding swimming is. So I decided to have a few lessons. Withing 6 weeks I was swimming 2k. Technique realy does make all the difference and once I learned how to get my breathing right, it all just came together. 



  • It takes about 27 minutesimage

    Seriously. You have plenty of time, swim little and often and as already said, break it up in to small chunks! Do sets with reps of 50s. 75s 100s. Eventually building up to 200s

    Always do a warm up main set and cool down! You will soon be doing 1500-2000m sessions, and have a few lessons if needed! Best bit of advice is to not get concerned with doing the distance in one go in training! I never do longer than 400m in one go, it's the cumulative effect of 10x400 that helps not 4k straight off
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