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View Full Version : Diving back in--Need advice, Ande and friends



Nathan T
June 20th, 2008, 12:26 PM
All,

I have decided to get back into swimming primarily for fitness, but also for a hobby and competition. I turn 36 in July and really haven't been back in the water since I was 18.

I began competing at 5 and continued through my Sr year of high school. I can't believe that I have been out of the water longer than I was in the water. That is dissapointing to me.

I am in good health at 5' 10" 165 lbs. I have done spurts of exercise my entire adult life. Most of which were 4-6 months of cardio work either on a treadmill or in spin classes. But find myself getting bored and lose focus.

Swimming has always been in the back of my mind and I feel that for me to stay committed to exercising, I need extra motivation. Therefore, I am determined to compete in a SCY meet in late February.


My initial focus will be on conditioning and stamina. My last attempt at swimming was somewhat shocking at how little I could do. I thought I would be able to jump right in and do 1500 yds on day one. Didn't happen. In fact, the most I could go without stopping was a 150. I ended up doing a set of 6 x 75's sloooow and then 2 x 100's.

This was 3 years ago and I did build it up some, but my commitment wasn't there and I only last about 3 months.

Now that you know my background, I have some qustions on how I should start.

What should I do to build up my stamina, endurance, and conditioning? I figured that I would spend about 2-3 months focusing on conditining and then be in a position to focus on training for events. Is that a good plan? I f so, how do I go about it?

Any advice would be great. I plan on leaning on you guys for answers and support. This seems like a great community.

Thanks in advance.

Nathan

JMiller
June 20th, 2008, 01:27 PM
Nathan,

It's good you've decided to get back in the water. Don't blame yourself for such a long absence, age-group swimming is so different than masters... At least you did some cross-training and stayed in good condition. If you're looking for ways to improve your swimming without over-training, take a look at my thread.
http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=9092&page=2

ande
June 20th, 2008, 01:40 PM
start where you are with what you have

find a team and train with them

figure out what your goals are

consistently train

accept where you are and work to improve

do a little more each day

track your training yardage and times

don't get caught in the
I'll be happy if ... trap
ie I'll be happy if I can do a 50 in 24.99
be happy to train

Read Swim Faster Faster (http://www.usms.org/forums/showthread.php?t=4229)
use some of the ideas

read my blog (http://www.usms.org/forums/showthread.php?t=4298)

good luck,
you'll be swimming faster faster

Ande

Nathan T
June 20th, 2008, 02:16 PM
Thanks guys for the quick responses. It is funny--I have read through both of your blogs/posts prior to posting my query. I find them very informative and inspiring.

After my last attempt at swimming for execise a few years ago, I kind of feel as though I am in a class by myself. What I mean is that I am not a newbie, but I am not a swimmer who just sat out a couple of years.

I believe that I have good form and know-how, it is just that my conditioning is crap when it comes to the water. I assume a lot of it is due to lack of strength.

How should I build up my conditioning? Should I start out with just swimming laps and then move toward doing interval training?

I appreciate your answers and the answers of anyone who replies. I feel good about my choice to get back in the water.

hofffam
June 20th, 2008, 04:50 PM
I was out of the water much longer than you - from 18 like you until I was 45.

I agree that joining a team is one of the first steps. I did it mostly to have some people around me even if I didn't swim their workout. The first coach was awful and I ignored everything he said. Hopefully you can find a team with a reasonable coach. If the coach is bad - ignore him and do your own workout. (Our small masters group has a very good coach now). Ande has an apparently good coach but it seems he ignores her workouts most of the time!

I would NOT delay returning to interval training. I get really bored with long swims. I would much rather do 15 x 100 than a straight 1500. The total elapsed time would not be that much different for me.

Nathan T
June 23rd, 2008, 01:07 PM
Well...I did it. I got back into the pool this weekend.

Saturday: 10 x 100 on 3:00 intervals. Swam very relaxed and surprizingly comforatable. Did them all between 1:20 and 1:28.

Sunday: Same as Saturday. I wasn't as comfortable as my shoulders were a little sore and tight from the day before.

Monday: 200 warm up then 9 x 100 on 2:30 intervals. Swam all between 1:20 and 1:25. 150 easy cool down

As I suspected, my conditioning just isn't there. I know I could have done more and gone faster, but I am trying to avoid being too sore and to drained that I won't go back the next day.

My goal is to swim everyday--slowly building up the yards until I feel comforatble with my conditioning. Then I will start concentrating on workouts that will help me improve my speed and prepare me for events.

I will determine what events I plan to swim after about 2-3 months of conditioning work.

Thanks to all for your responses, and thanks to those responsible for this site. I feel comfortable saying that I wouldn't be nearly this excited about swimming without this forum.

Nathan

Midas
June 23rd, 2008, 02:05 PM
Well...I did it. I got back into the pool this weekend.

Saturday: 10 x 100 on 3:00 intervals. Swam very relaxed and surprizingly comforatable. Did them all between 1:20 and 1:28.

Sunday: Same as Saturday. I wasn't as comfortable as my shoulders were a little sore and tight from the day before.

Monday: 200 warm up then 9 x 100 on 2:30 intervals. Swam all between 1:20 and 1:25. 150 easy cool down

As I suspected, my conditioning just isn't there. I know I could have done more and gone faster, but I am trying to avoid being too sore and to drained that I won't go back the next day.

My goal is to swim everyday--slowly building up the yards until I feel comforatble with my conditioning. Then I will start concentrating on workouts that will help me improve my speed and prepare me for events.

I will determine what events I plan to swim after about 2-3 months of conditioning work.

Thanks to all for your responses, and thanks to those responsible for this site. I feel comfortable saying that I wouldn't be nearly this excited about swimming without this forum.

Nathan

It sounds like you're up and running, but when I got back into the pool after my 15 year layover (seems almost like the mandatory minimum...) I found this plan that gets you up to being able to swim a 1650 straight in six weeks: http://ruthkazez.com/ZeroTo1mile.html

I didn't need six weeks personally, but I did each workout 2-3 times and when I felt ready, moved up to the next one. You might be able to give this a shot skipping the first few weeks. You'll be back in good shape before you know it!

I stayed away from joining a masters team for about 5 months in order to get myself into reasonable shape. I have since joined a team and it has indeed made a world of difference. It's a lot easier to motivate through a tough set if you (a) don't need to write it on your own and (b) have others swimming it with you for support/peer pressure.

Good luck and welcome back into the fold!

Nathan T
June 24th, 2008, 01:15 PM
Midas--thanks for the info and link. I am feeling pretty good about swimming again. I agree with your approach of getting back in shape before I join a team.

That's the plan for now.

Today I did 5 x 200 on 4:00. Did all of them pretty easy in 3:00 working on stayng streamline off the turns and keeping form. then a 250 cool down.

I am going to continue doing 1250 yards this week and then up it every week thereafter. I think if I push it too hard, I won't want to go back the next day.

I am learning that I don't have enough strength in my core muscle group. I guess crunches need to be added. Ugh!

ImFree
June 24th, 2008, 03:21 PM
Like others, I was out,.. burned out, for 15+ years, then it took another 5 to get semi serious about it again. I started with a masters team, and that helped keep the momentum, and it became a nice social network as well <insert long story of masters team drama over the years>. When I started with the team, would lightly do the workout for about 30 mins, then add 5 - 10 mins or so each time (sometimes I'd rewind a bit if I missed a few days), until I could feel decent in the 90 minute workout. Then I'd start cranking on one set, then tanking on the next one, until I could go pretty hard for most of the workout. The other thing, at least for me, that may worth some extra focus as you get back in, is take extra time, and slow it down, on technique. Swimming seems to me to be much more technical than it was in my day (late 70s), so its a good time start off with some new and good habits. I'm still fighting lazy distance turns that I developed from overtraining 30 years ago... but still can't slow down to learn to do them right. Old habits die hard, even after a long layoff.