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dwlovell
October 8th, 2008, 04:32 PM
So I am new to Masters. Swam in HS and barely in college before getting burnt out. It has been about 10 years since then. I am 32 now.

I have been practicing for about 6 weeks for 3-4 evenings a week, and about 3000-3500 yrds per workout.

My high school personal best in the 50Y Free was 21.53. After only 2 weeks of workout, I did about 27-ish and in my recent meet this weekend, I went 25.41, so I have already improved somewhat, but I think getting down to 21s may take some time.

So I was just curious if anyone else had a similar story, how long did it take to get back to your HS times, if it was even possible for you? Years? Many Years?

-David

JimRude
October 8th, 2008, 04:40 PM
I started swimming masters in mid 2007, after a 21 year lay-off. In the interim I ran marathons, rode centurys, and got fat.

As a junior/senior in high school, I was a :58 100yd breastroker. In college I went :55, and 1:04 long course.

This past summer, after being back in the water for a little over a year, I went :30 and 1:08 for 50m and 100m breat (LC).

So I am now as fast or faster than in high school; I doubt seriously if I will approach my college times.

YMMV.

hofffam
October 8th, 2008, 05:29 PM
You haven't said what kind of shape you were in when you started swimming again....

I started swimming again in 2004 - 28 years after I graduated from high school. I didn't swim in college although I swam in intramurals meets for which I "trained" two weeks. I was not particularly fast in HS and never raced 50 free.

Six months after I started swimming I remember swimming a 100 IM in 1:07. In college intramurals I swam a 1:01. I think my first 50 free race was a 26+.

About a year later I swam a 1:02 IM and a 25+ 50 free.

I am a little faster across the board two years later.

So my point is that my biggest improvement occurred between my 1st and 2nd year after resuming swimming. I am very near my HS times for short events. I doubt I will match my HS 200 IM time (2:12) - I swam a 2:20 at SCY nationals.

Midas
October 8th, 2008, 06:21 PM
I've been back in the pool for about a year after a 15 or so year layoff from college. In my first two meets back, after maybe 3-4 months of training, I swam pretty poorly. Until then I had been training by myself. Right before my second meet I joined a masters team. By my next meet, which occurred maybe 10 months after I got back into the pool, I was getting pretty darn close to my high school times in everything 100 and shorter. My 200 breaststroke time is nowhere close. I chalk that up to the massive amounts of conditioning I did in my youth that I no longer can maintain. You'll have a good chance of getting close to your HS times if you keep with the training.

Good luck and welcome back to the pool!

tjrpatt
October 8th, 2008, 08:09 PM
I am no where close to high school times. I am doing times that I did when I was 14 and that took me a 8 to 10 months. Before that, I would train for a few months and then take time off for the last few years. I am hoping this season that I can do times that I did when I was 16. People progress at different levels. It seems that you are progressing at a high rate. It must be easier for sprinters or something. Plus, you must have been in great shape before you got back in the pool.

Good luck with your swimming! I only lasted a year in college swimming. College swimming isn't for everyone.

pwolf66
October 8th, 2008, 08:18 PM
David,

I started 15 Sep, 2007 after 19 years off. My current 23.18 50y free is a little over 2 seconds off my lifetime best. Started out at 6'3", 278 and am still the same height :bliss: and 25 pounds lighter. I was in OK land shape but in horrible swim shape when I started. I'm now in decent to good swim shape and am working towards excellent.

From talking to other Masters at meets, the consensus seems to be it takes about 2-3 years of training to reach optimum results.

But everyone progresses differently and you will see results if you keep at it. Think of this as a 'rest of your life' experience and don't rush it.

The Fortress
October 8th, 2008, 08:21 PM
So my point is that my biggest improvement occurred between my 1st and 2nd year after resuming swimming.

Me too. Although I am still improving -- at the moment. I'm not near my college times in anything but maybe 50s though.

24 years off. Was in good shape, but not swimming shape, when I started back in masters. Be patient. Work on technique.

dwlovell
October 8th, 2008, 09:43 PM
Thanks for all the replies. As for what shape I was in, during my 10 or so years away, I had gained about 50 pounds at the peak, but about a year ago I got really really sick and lost 40 pounds in 1 month. I gained about 15 back when my health returned, so I started swimming on my own and doing some treadmill work for a few months prior to joining the masters team. As of now I am about 225-230 and I think my ideal weight will be something like 200-205. So I dont know exactly what that means as far as "shape", but I was definitely probably in better starting shape than some. I think if I can lose about 15-20 pounds I can remove that barrier to my times.

But I am going to focus on maybe 2 years to try and work really hard to get as close to my original best times as possible. I dont expect it to happen overnight.

mazzy
October 8th, 2008, 10:54 PM
My story is pretty different but same question, I swam like a boy for 2 years at age of 9-11 before to quit.
Last year I'm come back in pool, I was in terrible bad swimming sharpe, I can't even completed a single lap(25m) in free before to be winded, otherwise in average sharpe, absolutely not overweight (6'0-1/2 for 144 lbs).
I had to completely rebuild all my strokes from the ground, and still working at it.

I'm the top guy Vs same-level swimmers but with more years of training under their belt on 25s (16.7sec 25m free wall-to-wall), but I've less endurance, so the 50s are still pretty taxing for me at free/back, a complete no-go at fly, a walk at breast, so my question is normal to have this type of (slow) start ?
Yes I'm much improved but I was expecting more, maybe too much ?.

currently I train for 50min 2 times at weeks (yes it's too little, I'll add more soon), last year used to train 3 times at weeks mostly of time for 50min.

dwlovell
October 9th, 2008, 12:41 AM
mazzy,

I think the good news for you is that you will likely improve a lot with training and wont have old records to shadow you as you try to improve.

I think for someone who is almost completely new to the sport, close to a 30 in 50 free is pretty good, keep at it and work on your technique and I think you will see a lot of improvement. I am 6'1", but weigh 225-230, so if you are 144 at 6'0", you may need to build some muscle to improve your speed. Regular practicing will do this, but some swimmers like to introduce some weight training as well. I could not tell you the best weights exercises tho.

jjpj
October 9th, 2008, 01:25 AM
i started swiming 4 weeks ago trust me i could hardly keep up with sets but i had to push myself a little-it pays off big time -. Now there is problem we do on average 4500-5000yds. My time for 50m from block is 32sec-slow but if i consider that i just started and have not swam past 15 years i think that's good. patience is the key-iwill do some weights ,
I swim ~2hours Monday -Friday then weights on Sat or Sunday.



jjpj
:wiggle:

Rykno
October 9th, 2008, 01:26 AM
So I was just curious if anyone else had a similar story, how long did it take to get back to your HS times, if it was even possible for you? Years? Many Years?


I started back in fall 2006 after 10 yrs and 62lbs later, started racing again march 2007 and my times were a joke compared to my HS and College times. in June 2007 I decided to really try to lose weight. back down to 184 (only 8 lbs over my competitive days)since I only swim meters now I'll have to make convertions to compare, so it won't be a 100% comparision. (times in yds)

100 breast
Feb 96 1:02.??
Feb 2007 1:10.98
Mar 2008 1:07.75
Sept 2008 1:07.22

just for fun 100 free
Feb '96 52.50
Aug 2006 1:02.71 (after 3-4 weeks)
sept 2007 59.79
sept 2008 54.90

so even though I thought of myself as a breaststroker in HS and College I am closer to my freestyle times then I am my brest times. even funnier is my back time

feb 93 1:06.20
sept 2007 1:07.96
march 2008 1:04.80
sept 2008 1:03.86

IM and fly are so far behind not sure if I will ever catch up.
200 IM '96 2:04
200 IM now 2:13 But I think i can get to 2:10

100 fly '96 53
100 fly march 2008 1:03
But I am fairly confident that I could swim under 1:00

I've got 2 yrs and 4-8lbs left to go before my next real big meet. I am hoping that my times drop between now and then, but i am not by how much.

Mary1912
October 9th, 2008, 09:21 AM
This is a great thread. I am back in after 20 years and I am finally to the point where I am beginning to do more structured workouts. Considering I'm much heavier (I won't say how much LOL) than I was when I had my best times (when I was about 14 ish) I'm doing pretty well. I've dropped 8 seconds on my 50yd free in a month. I'll have to report back after a couple of more months. I'm hoping to join a team after the first of the year.

daveindc
October 9th, 2008, 09:28 AM
I actually set a PB in my first meet in the 50 free and my 100 free was right on target with my old times. I was out of the water for 7 years and had only been training about 6 weeks (very lightly too). I am much stronger than I was before though and stayed in good shape in the years off with basketball and weight lifting.

Lump
October 9th, 2008, 09:34 AM
Thanks for all the replies. As for what shape I was in, during my 10 or so years away, I had gained about 50 pounds at the peak, but about a year ago I got really really sick and lost 40 pounds in 1 month. I gained about 15 back when my health returned, so I started swimming on my own and doing some treadmill work for a few months prior to joining the masters team. As of now I am about 225-230 and I think my ideal weight will be something like 200-205. So I dont know exactly what that means as far as "shape", but I was definitely probably in better starting shape than some. I think if I can lose about 15-20 pounds I can remove that barrier to my times.

But I am going to focus on maybe 2 years to try and work really hard to get as close to my original best times as possible. I dont expect it to happen overnight.

Hey David, good to see you on here! You and I are in the same boat, although I'm a little heavier and "used" to be a distance guy. Just keep up with the training, try to incorporate some weights/drylands/cardio on the off days if possible (I know how its tough with kids, full time work and all). Most likely you are a good bit stronger than you were back in HS so you'll have at least one advantage there. If you want to focus on the 50 you'll want to focus in on explosiveness and turnover....off the blocks, break out, walls.

Me, I just don't have the fast twitch muscle to pull it off. I may be okay for low/mid-level meets but I'd get waxed at bigger meets. I need to get back into the middle distances where I belong!

Michael Heather
October 9th, 2008, 10:16 AM
Thanks for all the replies. As for what shape I was in, during my 10 or so years away, I had gained about 50 pounds at the peak, but about a year ago I got really really sick and lost 40 pounds in 1 month. I gained about 15 back when my health returned, so I started swimming on my own and doing some treadmill work for a few months prior to joining the masters team. As of now I am about 225-230 and I think my ideal weight will be something like 200-205. So I dont know exactly what that means as far as "shape", but I was definitely probably in better starting shape than some. I think if I can lose about 15-20 pounds I can remove that barrier to my times.

But I am going to focus on maybe 2 years to try and work really hard to get as close to my original best times as possible. I dont expect it to happen overnight.


David,

Welcome to Masters swimming!

Although my story is different from yours and most others here (I started Masters straight out of College), I would caution you not to make your best times the end-all be-all for your swimming. Remember, you have the rest of your life to swim and live, try to enjoy the trip. That being said, HS times are a great goal to work for, as long as you realize that training now is not as simple as when you were in school. Unless you have won the lottery, you have work, family and other social commitments to deal with, so put swimming into perspective, but enjoy the time you have with it.

This may seem like a lot of burden to deal with, but I have witnessed too many good people set high swimming goals for themselves. Even if they accomplished some of the goals, they burned out getting there. USMS is a lifestyle, not just a sport. We want you when you are 90, too.

knelson
October 9th, 2008, 10:18 AM
I'm doing pretty well. I've dropped 8 seconds on my 50yd free in a month.

Yeah, I'd say that's pretty good! Nice job and keep it up!

As for "how long does it take?" My feeling is you can get back in pretty good shape in a few months. Yes, it's easier to get reasonably close to times in the 50 than longer events. Still, half a second in a 50 is quite a bit, so perhaps percentage wise it's the same. When I first started back into it I was only swimming three days a week. I found that I really needed to swim at least four to start improving substantially.

dwlovell
October 9th, 2008, 11:03 AM
David,

Welcome to Masters swimming!

Although my story is different from yours and most others here (I started Masters straight out of College), I would caution you not to make your best times the end-all be-all for your swimming. Remember, you have the rest of your life to swim and live, try to enjoy the trip. That being said, HS times are a great goal to work for, as long as you realize that training now is not as simple as when you were in school. Unless you have won the lottery, you have work, family and other social commitments to deal with, so put swimming into perspective, but enjoy the time you have with it.

This may seem like a lot of burden to deal with, but I have witnessed too many good people set high swimming goals for themselves. Even if they accomplished some of the goals, they burned out getting there. USMS is a lifestyle, not just a sport. We want you when you are 90, too.

This is really a reply back to everyone who posted, I appreciate the encouragement. As to the comment above, I definitely agree not to focus solely on those original times, I want to do this for fitness first. Those times are just a good motivational tool for me. Even if I never reach them, I will still enjoy getting as close as I can!

It would be really neat if there was a site where you could track your race times over weeks/months/years and see a graph of % change, etc etc. Then after enough data was gathered, you could see averages by age group.

ehoch
October 9th, 2008, 11:57 AM
It all depends on how much you swim, how you train, and what kind of shape you are in.

Straight talk:
6'1 and 225-230 = not in shape. Unless you are some sort of body builder. On a good swimmers body, you are 35-50 pounds over weight - and I bet you are that amount above what you were in your 21.5 days.

How much do you train - 3x times a week is great for a Masters swimmer, but not enough to get back into racing shape for most.

How do you train - our team does almost no sprint work and if we do it - it's at the end of practice. Speed needs a lot of fast swimming.

Having said all that - at 32, there is no reason you can't swim under 22 again.

quicksilver
October 9th, 2008, 12:14 PM
It would be really neat if there was a site where you could track your race times over weeks/months/years and see a graph of % change, etc etc. Then after enough data was gathered, you could see averages by age group.

You can check your times against others in your age group here: http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/toptimes.php
And back to your earlier post, in due time your speed will be back. 32 years old is relatively young.

I started up again at age 41. After about 8 months of lap swimming I entered a meet.
My 1st 50 time was like a 24 low. (I had been :21.2 and :46.5 when I was 21.)


Some 5 year later I have clocked a few :22's. But I'm still looking for the elusive :21.
The weight room and push-ups just might make the difference this season.

dwlovell
October 9th, 2008, 01:52 PM
It all depends on how much you swim, how you train, and what kind of shape you are in.

Straight talk:
6'1 and 225-230 = not in shape. Unless you are some sort of body builder. On a good swimmers body, you are 35-50 pounds over weight - and I bet you are that amount above what you were in your 21.5 days.

How much do you train - 3x times a week is great for a Masters swimmer, but not enough to get back into racing shape for most.

How do you train - our team does almost no sprint work and if we do it - it's at the end of practice. Speed needs a lot of fast swimming.

Having said all that - at 32, there is no reason you can't swim under 22 again.

I agree. I said earlier I have about 20 pounds to lose before I am at my ideal weight, it may be closer to 30. I dont know if 180 will ever be healthy for me without sacrificing some muscle, but I could be wrong. I was 180 in high school. Currently I am doing 3-4 evening workouts of around 3000-3500 yards, I will add saturday at some point. Our team does a decent mix of distance and sprint training, but when I start hitting a wall, I will re-focus my workout appropriately, I have plenty room to gain just getting back into shape.

pwolf66
October 9th, 2008, 03:02 PM
Straight talk:
6'1 and 225-230 = not in shape. Unless you are some sort of body builder. On a good swimmers body, you are 35-50 pounds over weight - and I bet you are that amount above what you were in your 21.5 days.


Ouch. :doh:

But some truth there. Wonder what you would say about 6'3" 250?

At my fastest, I was 218 so I guess that is pretty close to your range there.

Lump
October 9th, 2008, 03:14 PM
I'm 6'1 and 240-245 and most likely you wouldn't say "that guy is out of shape" if you saw me swim.

"out of shape" is a relative term.....compared to what? Compared to what I was at 21, then yes. Compared to most 37 year olds, I highly doubt it. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

I certainly have a long way to go to where I want to be but I certainly don't consider myself out of shape based on my size...or even my athletic ability right now.