The 100-Day Swim Challenge

My son Danny, my sister-in-law Jenny and my brother-in-law David are part of the Lifetime Fitness Run Club. This summer and fall, the Lifetime Fitness Run Club trained hard to complete the Twin Cities Marathon, and Danny, David and Jenny did quite well in that event.  It is a testament to the program at Lifetime Fitness and the hard work completed by the runners.

After completing the Twin Cities Marathon in October 2015, Lifetime Fitness Run Club began planning for an event to train for in 2016, and they decided to set their sights on training for a Half Ironman Triathlon. A Half Ironman Triathlon consists of the following elements:

  • 1.2 mile swim
  • 56 mile bike
  • 13.1 mile run

While the club has the running down pat, the team needs to train for the bike and the swim portions of the event.  That is where the challenge for these runners really gets interesting.

Swim Training for Triathlons

Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and many of us Minnesotans know how to swim in the pool or a lake.  We practically were born and grew up in the water!

However, swimming 1.2 miles in a competitive race is another matter.  Triathletes I have talked with struggle with the swimming portion of the event.  Swimming is a full body workout, and it can be tough to stay focused and keep pushing yourself forward.  After all, one mile in a 25 meter pool is 72 lengths/36 laps, which can be a tough and tedious endeavor.

In addition, these triathlons are done in lakes, which adds a whole new dimension to the race.  Factor in cold water, currents and waves created by wind and other swimmers, and it can be tough for an unseasoned swimmer to get through that portion of the race.  We found that out firsthand on Sunday in a crowded YMCA pool that had lap swimmers and swim team sharing a cramped pool!

The 100-Day Swim Challenge Idea and Rules

David and Danny recognized that swimming portion of this triathlon was going to be difficult, so they developed the 100-Day Swim Challenge to help train for the triathlon.  Fortunately, they found a couple willing participants including my wife Julie, her cousin Adam, my father-in-law Dan and me.

Starting on November 1, 2015, our group dove headfirst into the 100-Day Swim Challenge.  We are all following a set of simple and straightforward rules outlined below:

  • Swim location can be any Fitness Center
  • Choose ¼, ½, or the 1 mile a day swim challenge
  • Complete 25 miles, 50 miles, or 100 miles by the end of the day, February 8, 2016 and win a shirt (see below)
  • Fail to complete= failure (receive NOTHING)
  • Swim logs must be posted weekly (Sundays) on this event page.
100 Day Swim Challenge Shirt

The Prize: 100-Day Swim Challenge Shirt


Since Sunday, most of us have been working through the Challenge daily, and David is keeping stats for everyone. David set up a private Facebook event page to log our results, talk smack and be goofy during the Challenge.  I have decided to post my results here on Small Scale Life as well on the private 100-Day Swim Challenge event page.  It is a great accountability check for me to stay focused and stay on track with this event, especially when I will be doing some small trips for work in the near future.  It will be really easy to slack off and not complete the training.  Here is my progress so far (and I need to get to bed so I can swim in the morning):

100 Day Swim Challenge Progress Update on 11/3/2015

100 Day Swim Challenge Progress Update on 11/3/2015

My goal is to complete a ½ mile per day (36 lengths of the 25 meter pool), but I have been overshooting my daily goal.  This is NOT a problem, and I am doing this by design.  I want to change and improve, and the one way I know how to do that is through hard work and pushing myself to work harder and go farther.

In looking at the tracker above, you may have noticed that I started the training a week before the actual event.  I started early to get ready for the event, and I am tracking that work because it is a great source of motivation for me.  I want to see some progress in my swimming technique, my overall health and my reduced waistline (this is a KEY goal in doing this challenge).

Next Steps

I am going to be posting my progress over the next few months, and I hope that you stay engaged and root for us.  I have already been dreaming up and implementing some low cost and effective ways to track my swimming progress while in the pool.  There are a myriad of things to talk about with this Challenge, and I am finding new resources to help me improve my swimming technique and workouts.

Who knows where we’ll be at the end of this 100-Day Swim Challenge, but I know one thing: we will all be better off for trying it!

Plus, I want that shirt!

Your Turn

Feel free to comment and interact.  I am curious of the following:

  • How are you challenging yourself?
  • Have you ever tried something like this?  What were the rules?
  • Are you interested in trying something like this?

I ask the last question because the results may fuel future endeavors once this is over.