Andy Horsfall-Turner’s key sets for Kona’s 3.8km

British rising star, Andy Horsfall-Turner, recently picked up a £3000 ($4200) pay cheque for setting a new course record at the Outlaw Triathlon. In only his second ever long-distance race, he set a stunning time of 8:26:27. Now he’s targeting the Kona swim course record and a top Age Group finish on the Big Island. He’s shared some of his goals and swim training plans with us.
Andy Horsfall-Turner’s key sets for Kona’s 3.8km

There’s $2000 on offer to any Blueseventy sponsored athlete breaking the Kona swim course record. Having recovered from the Outlaw, Andy has now got his eye on Jan Sibbersen’s Kona swim course record of 46:29. 

How do you rate your chances of getting the record?
In some respects, it’s easier to target it as an Age Group athlete than a PRO because the PRO race is much more tactical in terms swimming in packs. I’ll have to go all-in whilst measuring my effort with the rest of the triathlon in mind.

What training will you do in the lead up?
Where I live in South Wales, UK, the pools were closed for ten months during the pandemic so I’m a little behind where I would like to be, but I’ve got time for a focussed swim block now for the next eight weeks.

I have two main training objectives, which are to increase my session durations so that 3.8km feels ‘short’ and I will regularly use my PZ4TX (swim skin) to adjust to its feel and maximize performance.

What might your typical swim sets look like?
A typical Kona swim set will be 4km long, with a classic session of 10 x 400 descend 1-5/6-10 off 5:00min. I plan to swim five or six times a week, so I’ll do variations of this type of set and mix in some sea swims and recovery swims where needed.

Do you do any swim specific land work?
During lockdowns I had to do a lot of band and mobility work. I use bands sometimes before a session to ensure that the muscles are firing correctly. 

Do you do much core work?
3 x 20mins a week, mainly focus on holding positions such as planks. This helps to solidify body position in the water.

How will you pace the swim in Kona and will you treat it any differently to other 3.8km?
I will swim it like I do all my races; open fast over the first 400m (to make sure no one gets onto my feet)! I then settle into a mid-swim rhythm at around 1:13/100m pace, before bringing the legs back in over the final 400m to make sure they are warm for the bike.

What is your overall goal in Kona?
Overall, I will be aiming to try and top my age group and depending on the race day conditions target the amateur course record (8:24) and a personal best long-distance time.

What are you most looking forward to about going to Kona?
The Blueseventy Coffee Boat and being immersed in the spectacle of the world championships.

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