Posted on Jun 2, 2015
MAJ Raul Rovira
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I recently took the 800-yard swim as my only APFT event. Based on the table (by age and time) there is a decent amount to complete this Pass/Fail event. If you practice.

Has anyone else taken the 800-yard swim test on the APFT?

What can you share to help soldiers prepare to do the swim test for the first time?

Any advice on how to improve to get better time (personal challenge)?
Posted in these groups: Swimming-logo SwimmingP542 APFT
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Responses: 3
LTC(P) Brigade Executive Officer
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I do it three times a week for something different, swimming is all about technique I would encourage someone interested in doing this to get a coach. If you have good techniques you can swim faster with less effort.
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MAJ Raul Rovira
MAJ Raul Rovira
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Sir, to get a coach is a excellent recommendation. Just like any sport, we cant do it on our own.

There are Masters Swim Teams in most cities that are worth checking. I'm not sure how many are allowed to operate on post. I've only seen this at Fort Richardson.
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LTC(P) Brigade Executive Officer
LTC(P) (Join to see)
>1 y
Doesn't even have to be a pro, my wife was a lifeguard and helped me get better technique
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LTC Jason Mackay
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I have been swimming for years and have not done well at the APFT version. Last time I did it "just to see" , I passed by 15 seconds. If you can do flip turns (which I can't) , you are good. I swim hard for 30 minutes to train in lieu of running.

I take the stationary bike event currently.
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MAJ Raul Rovira
MAJ Raul Rovira
>1 y
Sir, flips save time but they take time to learn how to do them. A coach like LTC Michael Allen mentioned, is the way to go. Swimming APFT is a tough event. And you sir passed it! even if by 15 seconds. That's still Swimming Merit Badge eligible :)
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LTC Jason Mackay
LTC Jason Mackay
>1 y
Not close enough to depend on....
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PO2 Linguist
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Swimming isn't like running....you can be a terrible runner and still pass. To shave time in swimming, you have to practice--a lot. The best thing I did for my swimmers was break down their distance (it was 500 for us) into smaller sets: 10x50, 5x100 on a time. Take your goal time and divide it by the number of hundreds you're swimming. Say your goal time for a timed event is 1:20 per hundred. Add 20 seconds to that and do your 100s on 1:40. Do it like that until it gets easier, then do them on 1:35 and so on. The only way to lower your time is to practice like you're racing.
Hope that all made sense!
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MAJ Raul Rovira
MAJ Raul Rovira
>1 y
PO2 Alana Nielson, thank you for sharing. I like your breakdown technique. I guess we cant eat the elephant in one bite, just one piece at a time. Great advice.
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MAJ Raul Rovira
MAJ Raul Rovira
>1 y
When you said practice practice you just made me think of a solder who was at the pool practicing for the 800-yard swim.

He asked, "how many laps?" I said 16. Then I asked, "When is your test?" he said tomorrow. Turns out he had never practiced. I am not sure what was his fate. This is hard to pass with no practice.
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