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Gills
August 25th, 2008, 02:39 AM
Hi,

I'm a newbie on this forum, just getting back into swimming again after a few decades of not competing (read "not swimming at all") practically since high school. Are there others in the 55-plus category out there who'd like to warn me of the pitfalls, share war stories, etc.?

For starters, just this evening bought one of those tank type suits at the biggest Sports store in the city. It was either black or some non-descript peptobismol color, so I chose the black. Only two were left in my size. I don't look quite the same as I did when a teen in these for some strange reason. Ladies, don't they have some sort of garment to wear under these things for support, for cryin' out loud?!!! Looks like I'm wearing a fat suit under it! OK, so for my reward, I'm going to get the next smaller size as soon as I'm, well, the next smaller size from all this exercise I'm going to get. Hopefully, by then, there will be a wider selection (that DIDN'T come out right!).

I'll be starting out doing laps and other things to get myself into a little better condition before I attempt to get the coaching, but I look forward to improving my stroke with that, so won't wait too long. I'm an old backstroker, but want to work on other strokes, particularly free.

Much of my goal has to do with wanting to feel better with more energy and endurance. I have been slowed down a bit (decades) with undiagnosed celiac disease and gluten sensitivity and it's repercussions, but now that I'm treating that with diet, I'm all better, just out of shape. Exercise, particularly swimming gave me so much energy in my youth, so I'm hoping that will happen again.

Also, I've been a caregiver for some family members and still caring for my mother who has advanced Parkinsons. She is essentially completely helpless from the paralysis, and the condition also makes her very stiff, so the strength I gain from exercise should certainly make me better able to care for her.

What is the recommended time period that one should swim for those just starting out doing laps who aren't in all that great a shape? Also, can I do laps every day for that length of time, or should I alternate, swim a given no. of times a week at that rate, or does it matter?

Also, is there a publication somewhere that will define all the terminology, that I find in the others' posts here? I don't remember any of this, and it would be nice to study those before I start with a coach.

How does one find people starting at the same age and level in one's geographic area? It would be nice to have a friend join me to keep both of us motivated.

Thanks for reading all this, and nice to be aboard.
Sincerely, Gills

norascats
August 25th, 2008, 08:16 AM
I'm 64 so I appreciate your position. The only suit I really like is the Lands End tugless tank. It has legs that end where my legs end. However it is not that chlorine resistant. I go cheap until I find what I want, or something that lasts. Most Sports store suits are made for skinny 19 year olds.
As for going back to swimming, how much and how hard is determined by your comfort level. Start out easy and work up. Switch strokes when you get tired.
My issue is wind. I lose my breathing if I push too hard. So I do a lot of slow laps (compared to the young) I've been seriously back to swimming since the winter, and have been swimming in a 50 meter pool this summer. I work mostly on form and technique. Now I do 1500-2500 meters in a 90min practice. When I started I did about 30 min and refused to count laps.
We do need a thread for us oldsters.
Keep swimming. Those layoffs hurt.

geochuck
August 25th, 2008, 08:24 PM
Lots of old geezers here. They are set in their ways and live in the past. Thank goodness I am one of the younger guys here. Well if not younger better looking.

jim clemmons
August 26th, 2008, 12:01 AM
Are there others in the 55-plus category out there who'd like to warn me of the pitfalls, share war stories, etc.?

Gills,

Just so we're clear on something, 55-plus does not (necessarily) place you, or anyone else for that matter, into the category of "old geezer" :cane: , capisce?

I'm not sure exactly where it does start, but it doesn't start at 55 (or 58 either).

:cool:

Old Navy
August 26th, 2008, 07:31 AM
Gills,

Mel Goldstein, a well known coach in Indiana and elsewhere, co-authored a book, "Swimming Past 50", you might like to pick up. It covers the topics you ask about and more to get started and continue with swimming.

http://www.amazon.com/Swimming-Past-50-Ageless-Athlete/dp/0880119071

For now the suggestion of starting with thirty minutes and not counting your laps is a good one. As far as frequency, at try at least three time a week, remembering consistency will be key to improving skll and fitness.

Just Keep Swimming :)

Ron Lockman
August 30th, 2008, 12:37 PM
I`ll be 57 in October. I swim 3 times a week in the Ocean,..just about a mile each time, at a slow pace, around 30 minutes a mile. Swimming in a pool is not much fun,..my knees are shot, I cannot do a flip turn. When I do swim in a pool I use a lap-timer/counter and try to keep my laps ( 50 yards ) at no more than 53 seconds. My goal....to be able to swim 6 miles in the Ocean,..I`ve done 5. Then I`ll be looking to do 7 and so on. The reality of it all is that I am addicted to swimming in the Ocean,..its always different,..always challenging. I wear a white rash guard top ( so I don`t look like a seal ) and a LOUD dolphin knee length lycra trunks. Swimming is supposed to be FUN!!!! I really enjoy swimming around the Oceanside Pier,.its about 3/4 of a mile and I usually take around 25 minutes,..I`m continually trying to beat my previous time. Linda, my wife ALWAYS watches from the beach, and we ALWAYS go out to dinner afterwards,..last nite, the OUTBACK Steakhouse,..boomerang shrimp, an "oil can" and a shot of Chivas scotch. Life is grand!:wine:

JPSWMCCH
September 2nd, 2008, 10:12 AM
Hi Gills and other so-called "geezers"!!

We swim in our state (Michigan) with many older swimmers, many of whom are over 80: Lois Nochman, Don Korten, Bob Doud, J.John Reese, and several others. They don't think of themselves as "geezers"; they just love swimming and and see it as a challenge to swim various events. Once in awhile they might have a surgery but they seem to get beyond these glitches and come back to swimming as soon as they can. They are my heroes and role models!

So it's great you've come back to swimming, Gills. Take it easy and enjoy your swimming to begin with, then you can challenge yourself with sets and times. And it's always great to find a swimming buddy if not a swimming group to work out with. Not only might you enjoy better health and strength,
but some wonderful social interaction and camaraderie. Our swim group thinks of itself as a "family"! Welcome back to this really great sport! JP

NanaSwims
September 4th, 2008, 01:20 PM
I am 52 yrs.old and have always loved swimming. I was never on a team or never have swam with a group.
My grandson swims and I read about the Senior Games. I did some research and I started my mission in Jan.
I went to the pool everyday and did other training classes, weights, etc.
I swam in the INDIANA Senior Games in June. I qualified for the National Senior Games in San Francisco in August 09.
It was tough doing it on my own. No group, no buddy...but I did and made it "my thing" to do.
I am obsessed!!! Why didn't someone warn me?!?!?
I am sitting here with a new air/boot cast and crutches due to some kind of ligament injury. This is going to be tough.
NANA is very grouchy when she can't get in the pool!!
I like the idea of communication with other swimmers my age and level.
If someone has had or knows of someone with this kind of injury and can give me some info, that would be appreciated.
Keep me entertained so I don't hurt anyone!! Maybe I'll just get some Chivas and sip!:wine:

Animal
September 5th, 2008, 05:15 PM
One there are no old geezers in Master swimming, just people who love to swim. Some of us love to race, some us just like to workout with others who share are passion. I have watched a 91 year old swimming backstroke for 800 meters and nearly break world record. The joy was on his face the whole way. That was awesome. I have over heard others say, "See you vertical". Meaning hope to see you alive next time, this was from a couple of nearly 80 somethings in the locker room. I have said good bye to two friends in there 40s, one who died a week after he swam his best adult times at a State Championships. I miss him very much. So, there are no old geezers in Masters, just people who love to swim.