View Full Version : Me: a '94 Ferrari F-40 with the engine of a Honda Civic

July 20th, 2009, 07:29 PM
Go to the question in bold to skip all the preamble and get to the point, if you're that kind of person.

So I have been swimming for half a year now. Tomorrow is my 21st birthday. 21 on the 21st. Naturally, I'm looking back at my progress with swimming so far. I've come a long way. In January I was around 207 pounds when I first jumped into the pool with a team, now I'm 175. Then, I was about 6'1. Now, I average about 6'2.5. Has all that swimming been stretching me out? I guess. But I've also been meticulously sleeping without a pillow and avoiding all the bad foods (notably soda and candy). Or maybe that's all irrelevant and I'm just having one last growth spurt. Or it's a combination of both. Who knows.

Anyway, destroying things (like fat and by extension, weight) has been easy enough in its own way. Destroying is naturally easier than creating. It's creating that's the real tricky part, and over the last few weeks I've been realizing that while my body is plenty glad to oblige my weight-loss mindset, it's much more stubborn when it comes to building HEART and LUNG CAPACITY. And it is those two things which I pretty much want most right now. They are my... *cough*heart's*cough* desire. See what I did there? I'm so bad. Anyway, beyond all technique development, those two things are what I want most. I know I (most likely) have the foundations for powerhouse heart and lungs. My father, in the military, when he got a knee injury while running, did underwater stuff in a 150-meter long pool (low impact and all that). They had him in full gear carrying his rifle. He was supposed to jump up when he needed a breath but then something happened (I forget what) that forced him to walk the entire length of the pool underwater for three minutes until he finally reached the ladder (stars and all). Maybe the drill sergeant on deck lied to him about being able to jump up. Anyway. And my mother, when pregnant with me (who swam three days a week when she was pregnant with me btw) once went for a swim in Turtle Bay off Oahu, and suddenly found she could swim for the longest time without breathing. A metaphysical experience, she called it. Anyway. So I've got potentially a very big jumpy funhouse, but it's nowhere near inflated to full genetic allowance, you know what I mean? Before 2009, I was sedentary for six and a half years. Literally sitting on my butt in front of a computer like I am now.

So besides just continuing swimming and swimming without relent (and I must admit, after my team's season ended in April, I had a lax period for about two months- stupid me), what else can I do to speed up the development of the efficiency of the heart and the capacity of the lungs? I have been working on deeper, longer breathing, for starters. I've already noticed a difference there.

Right now, I'm what I described in the title. :bitching:

Eyeland Sachs
July 20th, 2009, 07:54 PM
Try massive doses of niacin. Even if you don't get any more volumetric efficiency, you will feel HOT.

July 20th, 2009, 09:36 PM
Happy birthday! (Ok, you knew that... ;) )

AFAIK, lung capacity is what you are born with. You can train yourself in breath control, to a degree. Pppl who do like your mom did sometimes find themselves passed out at the bottom of the pool.

Heart: run up and down stairs. Become a tri. Enjoy life.


July 20th, 2009, 09:37 PM
They are my... *cough*heart's*cough* desire.
Awesome, kudos for the pun!:applaud:

So I've got potentially a very big jumpy funhouse, but it's nowhere near inflated to full genetic allowance, you know what I mean?
Awesome, funny metaphor.:D

Wish I could say the same. My parents smoked like chimneys so I have no idea what my genetic potential is/could have been. I can tell you that at age 40, I've been able to strengthen my lungs and heart through swimming. It's taken me 3 years, but when I started back I barely finished 400yds during my first workout, and felt like hammered doo-doo afterwards. Muscles were spent, rib-cage ached, and it was a chore to breathe deeply for a few hours after that first swim. Long story short, my guess is that if a 40yr old fart can get back into swimming shape, you should be able to as well. Probably one thing I had going for me is a semi-decent aerobic base laid out 20 years ago through 4 years of high school swimming, but we didn't do the mega-yardage that the age-groupers did (we averaged about 20,000yds a week).

Sometimes improvements come in spurts. I'd say just keep pressing on, provided you stay injury-free. Good luck and hang in there.

Jazz Hands
July 20th, 2009, 11:39 PM
I don't get it.

Why? How do you even tell what the capacity/efficiency/whateverweirdvariable of your lungs and heart are?

Michael Heather
July 21st, 2009, 01:59 AM
Studies have shown that there is no real way to expand lung capacity. Use what you have wisely and efficiently and that will be enough. Keep swimming and cross train whenever possible for heart conditioning. It is a muscle and will respond to appropriate training. Sitting around for extended lengths of time will conversely destroy any conditioning, so if you want to keep the F-40 running well, you must keep it in tune.

Redbird Alum
July 21st, 2009, 10:31 AM
Lung capacity is what it is. But...

One thing you can strive for is more efficient exchange (CO2 for O2) while breathing. This occurs not just in the lungs through proper exhale/inhale ventilations, but also through sufficient transport and exchange at the cellular level via the bloodstream.

There is a school of thought that hypoxic (Spelling?) training, wherein you force yourself to go greater and greater distances in workouts on fewer lungfuls of air, will cause the body to produce more red blood cells to more efficiently use the O2 that is available. Some even train at altitude over extended periods to achieve this effect (as there is less O2 per measure of air). There is a reason the USA Olympic team uses Colorado Springs for one of their training centers!

Make sure you check with your doctor and have someone with you before you try this out on your own, the last thing we want is to have you found at the bottom of the pool!

July 21st, 2009, 12:18 PM
you asked

what else can I do to speed up the development of the efficiency of the heart and the capacity of the lungs?

you're just 21, for some reason I thought you were older,

What are your goals?

my answer for you is the answer I tell everyone,
"train harder smarter faster further, more times a week with a great coach and team."

Why not train with a USS team?
That would really whip you into shape.

This made me think of a question I heard in a Michael Phelps press conference, a reporter asked,

"Michael, what do I need to do to get an amazing swimmers body like you?"

Phelps said, "Swim."

You could follow your fathers footsteps, join the military, go to boot camp, if you joined the Navy, you could attempt to become a SEAL. The training will get you in the best shape of your life.

What are your goals?

July 21st, 2009, 02:38 PM
This made me think of a question I heard in a Michael Phelps press conference, a reporter asked,

"Michael, what do I need to do to get an amazing swimmers body like you?"

Phelps said, "Swim."

This quote is relevant to my recent training breakthrough. For some crazy reason, I prefer to train for distance open water events. At first it was to break the mental and physical barrier of completing longer and longer non-stop distances. Now I'm trying to bring down my 3K and 5K times. I couldn't seem to get off the dime of averaging about 1:28 per 100 yards. Then it occurred to me that the only way to swim faster was to swim faster. I'm now down to 1:25 over those distances and getting better.

July 21st, 2009, 04:40 PM
thanks for the birthday wish, Vive!

funky: yeah, I don't have the whole "swam in high school" thing going for me, like you do, but on the other hand... I am still quite young and spry. :) I also thought of saying "punintended" but that would be far, far too bad. Would I be saying, "pun intended" or "pun unintended"? You decide!

Redbird: it's funny you mention Colorado because I am going there for five days in September. There's a masters pool in Boulder near where I'll be staying that offers four free days of swimming... I'm getting ideas. It is a wedding weekend, though... I'll have to sneak in whatever swims I can. Thankfully I am not in the bridal party. Five days... it's certainly not the monster three weeks that Michael Phelps and NBAC spent there before going to Santa Clara this year, but hey, it should give me at least a taste, right?

ande: yeah, I look older than I really am, plus I just come across as older, but indeed, I'm 21. Just last night, my masters coach at Santa Clara took great surprise to the pronouncement that today I would for the first time be legally able to drink and gamble (not that I'm really interested in either). Maybe she didn't expect such a hairy person to be a mere 20 years old...

Just last month, I started swimming with a USS team at the invitation of my college team's assistant coach, for next season which starts January. Unfortunately I started swimming with them on the tail-end of their year, so they're all tapering for their last big meets this month, and afternoon practices don't start again until September (mornings in October! jeez-louise). All I'll have is masters once again, and even the guys at Santa Clara are taking a break for the last week of August, meaning I'll have to revert to using up my community center swim passes that I got all the way back in November. This is why it's really dumb that I went and lost steam and momentum way back in May and the first part of June. But once September comes around, I'll having a swimming tripod set up for the first time- my USS team, the college team (which starts training in the fall), and SC masters.

I have a few modest goals and one really audacious, ridiculous goal. It's not totally ludicrous like qualify for Olympic Trials or anything like that, but it's still quite possibly absurd. Who knows.

Now I gotta go swim. Bye.

July 21st, 2009, 05:47 PM
Hey, do a season with a masters team , then tell us about the gains you feel. Good luck !