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M_Carr
August 12th, 2008, 11:02 PM
Hey Ya’ll

This is something I need to post. Last night I was watching the women’s swimming at the Olympics with my parents. After a side comment on how I “could have been there” by my mom I realized that she was right. In high school I was a Varsity swimmer with my 100 Fr at 58.54. This was me, not trying too hard, and focusing on other things. This included skipping practices and only working out once a day on school days. I’m now newly 20, and only 3 years out of practice (only…). I want to get back to where I was, if not better.

So as of now I have decided to set a goal to get to the Olympic time trials for London 2012. It’s a big goal, as I’m also in the band, H2O polo and studying to be a Mechanical Engineer. All I said was time trials, if I make it further I’m going for it, but all I want is to make it to time trials. I have 4 years, 14 days, and about 9 hours until the opening ceremonies of those Olympics.

So what do I ask of ya’ll? SUPPORT! Please help me to keep up with my workouts (I will be joining a local masters program). I’ll also be posting more often in this forum.

Thanks for your support, hopefully you’ll start to hear my name more often.

Madeline

blainesapprentice
August 12th, 2008, 11:36 PM
was your 100free time in yards or meters?

ande
August 12th, 2008, 11:47 PM
I had the same question
is that 58.54 100 Fr yards are meters

if it's meters
you might stand a chance
if it's yards
you have a lot of work and not much hope

top be safe it will probably take a
54.0 LCM to make the 2012 team in the 100 free
maybe 53.7 to be safer

if you're truly serious
you need to move to austin and train with longhorn aquatics



was your 100free time in yards or meters?

thewookiee
August 12th, 2008, 11:49 PM
Go for it!!! You will truly discover what you can accomplish by shooting for the stars!

lefty
August 13th, 2008, 10:32 AM
if it's meters
you might stand a chance
if it's yards
you have a lot of work and not much hope

top be safe it will probably take a
54.0 LCM to make the 2012 team in the 100 free
maybe 53.7 to be safer



In your enthusiasm to put the girl in her place you forgot to read what she said. Goal is to make trials, not the team. You also missed the part about "support."

Step one to make the goal happen is to get in the water. You two: quit band and water polo. Your climb is very steep so you cannot afford the distractions. You will need to devote 2-4 hours aday for the next 4 eyars to do this. The reason that Ande was being skeptical is that most of us have heard your story before. What always happens is the person will get in the water a few hours per week and not come remotely close to giving it a real effort. Chances are you will be like everyone else. But that is 100% your choice.

ande
August 13th, 2008, 10:55 AM
not trying to put her in her place just giving her a dose of reality
plus I hoped to piss her off a little to push her in the
"I'll prove him wrong mindset" which is supporting her


In your enthusiasm to put the girl in her place you forgot to read what she said. Goal is to make trials, not the team. You also missed the part about "support."

Step one to make the goal happen is to get in the water. You two: quit band and water polo. Your climb is very steep so you cannot afford the distractions. You will need to devote 2-4 hours aday for the next 4 eyars to do this. The reason that Ande was being skeptical is that most of us have heard your story before. What always happens is the person will get in the water a few hours per week and not come remotely close to giving it a real effort. Chances are you will be like everyone else. But that is 100% your choice.

pwolf66
August 13th, 2008, 11:26 AM
Madeline,

A fine goal. Not sure what course that time you quoted was in but I will try to provide two possible scenarios. These are general suggestions and are intended as a starting point, as in all things YMMV.

LCM:
Then you're about 1.5 - 2 seconds short of where you would need to be in 2012 (assuming that the trials cut is going to be in the 57.00 range, it was 57.18 this year).

You will need to:
1) Find a team where there is at some emphasis on competition.
2) Block off at least 5-7 hours per week for swimming.
3) Incorporate dryland training that emphasizes core strength and flexibility. Block off at least 5 hours for this training.
4) Alter your eating habits depending on your current overall physiology and what your goals are.
5) Compete - this is also a crucial part of training, you need to learn how to race.


SCM:
Converting the time, puts you at about 59.61 LCM which is about 3 seconds short of where you would need to be.

1) Find a coach - by this I mean, find someone who will work with you on a daily basis, make stroke corrections, discuss race strategy, create workouts based upon your current situation and your goals.
2) Block off at least 8-12 hours per week for swimming.
3) Incorporate dryland training that emphasizes core strength and flexibility. Block off 5-8 hours per week for this training.
4) Generate a training specific eating plan that will maximize your nutrition.
5) Compete - this is also a crucial part of training, you need to learn how to race.

So depending on where you are now, you are either looking at an investment of at least 15 hours a week training and as much as 20+ hours a week.

Good luck.

SLOmmafan
August 13th, 2008, 11:39 AM
I would shoot for training with an elite club team with some top notch senior swimmers. Nothing against masters (I am one), but you will not get the in practice and meet competition that you need to compete at an elite level. Most high level swimmers incorporate 6000 - 8000 meters/yards per day, so figure on a minimum of 3-4 hours per day (most likely way up from your high school workouts). Also, while elite level swimmers do make comebacks after time off - it is far less common (near impossible) for mid-level swimmers to suddenly become elite later in life (and 24 will not be young in the Olympics).

With that said, train hard and see what results you get. The first obsticle will be to even match your old times (and endurace). Best of luck in it all!

lefty
August 13th, 2008, 01:02 PM
plus I hoped to piss her off a little to push her in the
"I'll prove him wrong mindset" which is supporting her

Very few people respond well to negative feedback, especially from a stranger. For example, how did you like it when I corrected your reading comprehension? (For the record, I wasn't trying to piss you off to motivate you to read more.)

chad
August 13th, 2008, 01:09 PM
Go for it!

I agree with others that you should probably look for a very active "senior" program and be prepared for pain! I also agree with "drop band and water polo" -- if you want the Trials these won't help AT ALL.

It may be that after a few weeks you say "this isn't worth it" or possibly "man, I'm out of shape, but look how far I've come". Either way, you'll be back in an activity you have respect and a love for.

If you get back into reasonable shape and decide "the" goal isn't attainable, THEN look for a Master's program to keep you going.

Again, good luck.

M_Carr
August 13th, 2008, 05:19 PM
Two responses:

1. It was 100m not yds. So that should clear up any questions on that one.

2. I know this is a huge goal, I'm not that ignorant. I work very hard for what I get, and if I can't get there...so what? Yeah, I'll be upset, but at least I will know that I did my best and it just wasn't for me. Right now I just need to prove to myself if I could have been there or if my 3rd grade goal of being in the olympics was just too much.

I have 4 years. No I will not move schools, education is more important to me that fulfilling a sport-related goal.

I have found a competitive team that has a masters program (for morning practices) and will allow me to practice with the high school elites when marching band is over in the fall. Until then I have morning practices m/w/f, water polo practices tu/th afternoon, and dry land tu/th morning. That's more than I'm used to and will carry my through December.

At that point I can move up with the elites in the spring, no more band, and still have water polo. Baylor's not that competitive, so practices for that are only 2 hours 2 days a week.

I'll have you know that I quit swimming for two reasons: one, my coach was horrible, a bitch, and didn't push us, just yelled at us for being 'horrible'. Two, I had to choose two of band, school, or swimming. And because my coach was horrible and if I stayed in band they would not let me stay in Varsity I just said (in my 17 year old hot temper) that I quit. It probably wasn't the right answer, but you really can't change the past.

Last thing. I asked for help, not criticism. I don't need a reality check because I know how hard this is going to be. I used to watch Gary Hall Jr. practice every day when I swam club at Phoenix Swim Club. I saw what he went through, but then I saw how he came out of it. I may be 20, young, and ignorant, but please don't underestimate my stupidity.

elise526
August 13th, 2008, 05:37 PM
Go for it! Don't ever put limits on yourself or let others put limits on you! The sky is the limit! Approach things with the no-limits attitude and you will maximize your potential.

ehoch
August 13th, 2008, 05:54 PM
Here is some advice - I have been to the Olympics - and I have watched some of the elite swimmers train over the last 25 years:

- I don't think you must be part of a great program (or that moving is a Must), but you do need a good coach at some point.
- You don't have to start training 25 hours a week right away, but I think any major changes in technique - if they are required - should be made as soon as possible. Maybe a visit to the Race Club in the Fall ?
- Fitness - take a good look at Dara Torres and Natalie Coughlin. They are extremely fit athletes - much of this comes from work outside of the pool and diet. I know you are taking on a lot already - but I would add to the dryland work if at all possible.
- Tell your friends and family (you have probably done that already since you are posting here) - it makes it more real
- Swim some meets (masters is ok) - even if you are way off your times and think it will discourage you. The clock tells you the truth and that's the only way you can find out exactly where you are at.

knelson
August 13th, 2008, 06:18 PM
I may be 20, young, and ignorant, but please don't underestimate my stupidity.

OK, we won't! :banana:

pwolf66
August 13th, 2008, 07:10 PM
OK, we won't! :banana:

Be nice, Kirk, you knew what she meant. :duel:

pwolf66
August 13th, 2008, 07:11 PM
Two responses:

1. It was 100m not yds. So that should clear up any questions on that one.


Was it SCM or LCM? If it's LCM, then you have a very real shot at a Trials cut. SCM, still a shot but will require even more effort.

ande
August 13th, 2008, 07:29 PM
hello Madeline,

sorry if we / I seemed harsh, w've seen this a lot

a 58 LCM 100 fr is decent
the 2012 womens 100 fr OT LCM cut is likely to be 57 something


for help

give us more info about you

height & weight then & now

50 100 200 fr times lcm scy

the type of training you did when

you basically need to
set your goal
figure out your starting point
list your reasons
make a plan then
implement your plan and
track your outcomes


to improve you need to:

join USS & USMS

get in shape to train
then push your limits each day
test you abilities often

swim in a few USS meets, there will be several at the swim center in austin (http://www.utexas.edu/longhornaquatics/meets/)

train consistently

lift weights & exercise to get strong

some people say Swim Faster Faster (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=4229) has helped them

consider starting a swimming blog
here's mine swim blog (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=4298&page=121)

if you ever find yourself in austin
feel free to drop in for the longhorn masters practices
http://www.utexas.edu/longhornaquatics/swim/schedule.html#masters

keep us posted on your progress

Good luck

ande


Two responses:

1. It was 100m not yds. So that should clear up any questions on that one.

2. I know this is a huge goal, I'm not that ignorant. I work very hard for what I get, and if I can't get there...so what? Yeah, I'll be upset, but at least I will know that I did my best and it just wasn't for me. Right now I just need to prove to myself if I could have been there or if my 3rd grade goal of being in the olympics was just too much.

I have 4 years. No I will not move schools, education is more important to me that fulfilling a sport-related goal.

I have found a competitive team that has a masters program
(for morning practices) and will allow me to practice with the high school elites when marching band is over in the fall. Until then I have morning practices m/w/f, water polo practices tu/th afternoon, and dry land tu/th morning. That's more than I'm used to and will carry my through December.

At that point I can move up with the elites in the spring, no more band, and still have water polo. Baylor's not that competitive, so practices for that are only 2 hours 2 days a week.

I'll have you know that I quit swimming for two reasons: one, my coach was horrible, a bitch, and didn't push us, just yelled at us for being 'horrible'. Two, I had to choose two of band, school, or swimming. And because my coach was horrible and if I stayed in band they would not let me stay in Varsity I just said (in my 17 year old hot temper) that I quit. It probably wasn't the right answer, but you really can't change the past.

Last thing. I asked for help, not criticism. I don't need a reality check because I know how hard this is going to be. I used to watch Gary Hall Jr. practice every day when I swam club at Phoenix Swim Club. I saw what he went through, but then I saw how he came out of it. I may be 20, young, and ignorant, but please don't underestimate my stupidity.

M_Carr
August 14th, 2008, 12:09 AM
Here is some advice - I have been to the Olympics - and I have watched some of the elite swimmers train over the last 25 years:

- I don't think you must be part of a great program (or that moving is a Must), but you do need a good coach at some point.
- You don't have to start training 25 hours a week right away, but I think any major changes in technique - if they are required - should be made as soon as possible. Maybe a visit to the Race Club in the Fall ?
- Fitness - take a good look at Dara Torres and Natalie Coughlin. They are extremely fit athletes - much of this comes from work outside of the pool and diet. I know you are taking on a lot already - but I would add to the dryland work if at all possible.
- Tell your friends and family (you have probably done that already since you are posting here) - it makes it more real
- Swim some meets (masters is ok) - even if you are way off your times and think it will discourage you. The clock tells you the truth and that's the only way you can find out exactly where you are at.

Thank you. Everything you said is what I need to hear. Especially the healthier diet thing. I have the training, I have the dicipline, I just need to keep going. :-)

M_Carr
August 14th, 2008, 12:13 AM
OK, we won't! :banana:

Thanks, but by stupidity I am pretty sure you know what I meant. As in I'm too stupid and young to do what's logical. And this is not logical.

M_Carr
September 16th, 2008, 03:30 PM
So it's been what a month ish? Well things are going well. I've got 6-9 hours a week in the pool, 4 hours for dryland, and an extra 4 hours in the pool working out with water polo. I've lost weight, at least I think I have, I never weighted myself in the first place...

I'm consistently swimming 100fr on the 1:10 interval at practices. And considering that I've been out of the water for what...3 years?...That to me seems pretty damn good. My 100bk seems to be a bit faster than my 100fr at this point.

I have realized that I really need to work in my turns and my calves. I had surgery on my right ankle this summer to reconstruct the ligaments. I have full flexability back, but the strength is an issue. Turns are where I am falling behind.

My coach (he's the masters coach and high school coach) has made minor corrections in technique, but he thinks what I really need is to up the endurance because my technique is pretty good.

Now do ya'll believe me that I'm not going to just up and quit? I'm not sure what more I need to prove to ya'll to get any respect for at least TRYING to achieve a goal. I mean seriously, even if I try and don't meet my goal, I should at least get the credit for getting my butt back in the pool and giving it a shot....

3strokes
September 16th, 2008, 03:41 PM
Thank you. Everything you said is what I need to hear. Especially the healthier diet thing. I have the training, I have the dicipline, I just need to keep going. :-)

Madeline
Apart from all the (seeming) joshing, you will discover that 99.999999% of forumites here will be pulling for you and trying to help and hoping that you will make it. (After all, if you do make it, it will be BECAUSE of all the support you got here, USMS Forums and WE will take all the credit possible.)

pwolf66
September 16th, 2008, 04:02 PM
Now do ya'll believe me that I'm not going to just up and quit? I'm not sure what more I need to prove to ya'll to get any respect for at least TRYING to achieve a goal. I mean seriously, even if I try and don't meet my goal, I should at least get the credit for getting my butt back in the pool and giving it a shot....

Whoa there. I understand that some folks may have expressed doubts but please don't lump everyone into that category.

It sounds like you are on right path. But consistently swimming 1:10s in practice will make you really good at swimming 1:10s. If you are not already, mix it up, do some lactic sets of 10x100 on 5:00 sprints. If you're training SCM, fast 125s. Throw in descend sets, kick sets, wall drills (EZ free between the flags, sprint free inside the flags), kick sets, kick sets, kick sets.

Sounds like you are doing the right thing for you, keep it up and keep us posted!!!!!!

craig68
September 16th, 2008, 04:40 PM
Madeline:

I think it's a great goal! You gotta spend your days doing something....

After being out of the water for so long, you are sure to improve quickly with hard work. Why not test yourself every couple of weeks? Start with a 50 free all out on the clock. Make a list of the things you could have done better (tighter streamline, not dropping elbows, etc.) and work on those as part of your workouts over the next two weeks. Then set a goal for yourself to go faster than the previous swim and then race! As you get faster, you'll likely keep yourself motivated day after day. After a while, you may hit a plateau, but these little tests (and little celebrations for faster times) should keep you motivated for the first few months. This worked for me after I returned to Masters after several years out of the water.

Good luck!

elise526
September 16th, 2008, 05:50 PM
Madeline - Sounds like you are doing great! Impressive intervals, especially considering that you have been out of the water!! :applaud: Keep up the work and give us another report soon!

swimshark
September 17th, 2008, 08:03 AM
I'm just reading this for the first time and I want to give you my support. Go for it girl!

pwb
September 17th, 2008, 12:16 PM
So what do I ask of ya’ll? SUPPORT! Please help me to keep up with my workouts (I will be joining a local masters program). I’ll also be posting more often in this forum.
Madeline

Madeline,

Nothing like a Big Hairy Audacious Goal to get you up in the morning and keep you focused. I applaud your ambition.

There have been a number of good ideas in this post thus far. IMHO, the "easy" things to focus on (though not necessarily to do) have been mentioned already: pool training, eating/diet, fitness via outside pool activities like lifting/pilates/running/yoga, etc. Most of these are focused on increasing your propulsion (pool, fitness) and reducing your drag (diet). However, I think that you need to put significant focus on your technique -- learning how to further reduce drag, increase stroke length and reduce the energy you expend to move forward each yard -- as this is going to be a critical way to get faster. I think one of the big differences that we as adult swimmers can bring (and generally have to bring given our reduced time allotment for training) is to focus more mindfully on our strokes.

I'd recommend you get yourself videotaped and analyzed by a coach with a strong emphasis on technique. I'd highly recommend you look into the books and videos by Terry Laughlin's company, Total Immersion (www.totalimmersion.net (http://www.totalimmersion.net)). Full disclosure: Terry was head coach of my age group team back when I was like 11 to 13; but over the years since that time, he's spent considerable time thinking and innovating on how to teach swimmers to swim fluidly and more "fish-like." I had basically been stagnant as a Master's swimmer since I got back in the water in 2001, but decided to get a stroke analysis in early April this year by one of Terry's TI-trained coaches, Anne Wilson of Camelback Coaching (www.camelbackcoaching.com (http://www.camelbackcoaching.com)). I had been training harder to try to do well at the Austin Master's, but had just swum some absolutely crummy times at our Arizona Master's championships.

When I viewed the videos, I was stunned with how many things I was doing wrong. Mind you, I was a serious competitor in college and, although I wasn't world class, I swam at UT-Austin back in the day (85-89) and had come within a second of making Trials in both the 400 free and IM. However, even with that strong base, there were a number of areas that I could instantly see were increasing my drag in the water and decreasing my speed. I spent the next 5 weeks prior to Austin focused almost exclusively on technique, averaging about 15K yards per week. Although my performance was nothing that would get written up in USMS magazine, I dropped times in all my events, notably 3 seconds faster than my previous Masters' best in both the 500 and 400 IM.

As I train now, I'm devoting considerably more 'thought energy' in my workouts to how I am swimming versus how hard or how fast I'm swimming. It remains to be seen if this will translate into further time decreases, but, based how much more in control of the water I feel these days, I'm anticipating further time drops.

Patrick

Allen Stark
September 18th, 2008, 04:33 PM
If the technique is good the conditioning will come.I agree that more speed work is good.Also,waterpolo is a good cross-training sport,at least for the next year or 2(probably swimming and swimming related dryland work for the last 2 years though.)If you want it enough you will get there.

mjtyson
September 18th, 2008, 04:50 PM
Hey Madeline,

Go for it! Hell, I'm in a similar situation, with even less hope.

I started swimming seriously only 6 years ago, at the age of 35. I managed to get my 100 Free (SCM) time "down" to 1:27.4 which I was happy with. That was 3 years ago. I now do 100 Free (SCY) repeats in 1:28 at the age of 41. I'm happy with that.

But how is my situation like yours?

Ever since I was in high school, I have wanted to "do" a modern pentathlon. You know, the multi-sport event which includes: 10m air pistol, epee fencing, 200m swim, equestrian jumping and 3000m cross-country run (all in one day). As a kid, I couldn't afford to take any of those sports, besides running and swimming, which I did (10Ks, triathlons, etc).

Well, I grew up, joined the military, got married, had kids, got busy. But I still want to do modern pentathlon.

I'm doing it! And the best part is, as a master level pentathlete, I only have to compete in four of the five events (no equestrian). I plan on competing in a Masters-level pentathlon (actually a tetrathlon) in 2011 in Europe. Additionally, for us fat and slow masters, the swim is reduced to 100m and the run is reduced to 2000m. Even better!

So what I'm trying to tell you is: JUST DO IT. You're young, in good shape (I'd die for 1:10 repeats!), without kids (I assume) and have the support of your family and your new USMS family! GO FOR IT!

Cheers, and good luck,

chowmi
September 18th, 2008, 06:00 PM
Go Madeline!

Yours is a completely realistic and attainable goal - to qualify for 2012 US Olympic Trials. Given your club swimming history and that mid 58 swim, there is no physical reason why you can't get to the cuts.

It is not impossible and it also doesn't take the sacrifice of your life, schooling, or other activities! You CAN do them all (and well), you just need to make sure you are training right for YOU.

Not sure if you are only interested in the 100 free, or whether you are more a 50/100 swimmer or a 100/200 swimmer. Since you only mentioned the 100 free, i'll assume that is your one focus.

Try breaking down your goals into 3-4 month increments with a reset after each major breakthrough.

From here to December, try swimming some USA meets - can you qualify for US Nationals in Dec in Atlanta?

100 free 51.89 SCY or 58.89 LCM
50 free: 23.89 SCY or 27.29 LCM.

Then you'd get back to national competition. Best of all, that meet has a LCM Invitiational on the last day (Sunday, I think) that is open only to the qualifiers.

If not that meet, then train for some fast meet near year end 2008. See where you are. Adjust training after that. Then train for whatever sectionals or grand prix type meet come up in the spring.