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nancym
July 26th, 2009, 03:40 AM
I've been swimming competitively since the age of 8, and I've had the same issue for nearly as long. I swim pretty fast in workouts and while training, but when I go to swim meets, my performance is pretty lackluster.

I avoided swimming in a meet until just recently, where the coach guess entry times, and thought mine would be faster than they would. The people who swim in my lane during practice all swim 5-10 seconds faster (in sprints & mid-distance) than I do in a swim meet.

This happens regardless of how in shape I am. And happens less often in distance events than sprints, which makes me wonder if I just have a switch turned off in my brain that should make me really "work it" when I'm in competition.

Any advice? :confused:

That Guy
July 27th, 2009, 12:51 AM
Think about the races/days when you DID bring it. How did you prepare? What did you think about? Try reproducing those preparations and thoughts before your next competition and see what really works. If it works again, keep doing it. If it doesn't, then repeat this exercise.

lefty
July 27th, 2009, 11:18 AM
There was a girl on my college team who had the same problem. I can think of countless times where she was actually faster in practice than at meets. As That Guy suggested, what/how are things different in practice than meets? My guess is that it is your mental preparation, not your physical perparation. What goes through your mind before races?

reikokorin
July 27th, 2009, 02:56 PM
I'm very much the same way. Mental preparation before a race is definitely a huge deal, and really focusing on that has helped me a lot. I try to take 10 or 15 minutes before a race to listen to music, close my eyes, and really focus on my race. Visualizing the race can be useful, and sometimes it helps to just get a good, upbeat song stuck in my head.

It can be really frustrating to get beat by swimmers that you routinely beat in practice, but try to ignore them and set individual goals for yourself, like setting a PR or focusing on your breakouts.

Cheers!

dslippy
July 27th, 2009, 06:26 PM
I have the same 'difficulty' I have concluded that it is the warm up. In training, and properly warned up.I can swim - well a little bit faster. At a meet, I do a warm up, sit around for half an hour or so, and then try to swim a 100m whatever.

The reality is that five minutes (at the most) after a warm up, and sat on the side, I might as well not have bothered. The 100m swim is as if from cold. it is awful. It is deadly. It is slow.

Most masters meets are not at venues where we have a constant warm up pool, and nor can we confidently reverse calculate where we might for example go for a run to re-warm up being sure that we will be on time to swim.

ande
July 28th, 2009, 04:00 PM
Each swimmer has their own unique ratio of practice times vs meet times, it's frustrating to get beaten in meets by swimmers you regularly beat in practice. Swimming isn't about THEM, it's about YOU.

Your practice vs meet time ratio is what it is.

If you want to swim faster in meets, swim faster in practice.

If you wear drag suits in practice, your meet times should be much faster in comparison.

Keep training harder smarter faster further, more often, with a coach, with a team and you'll get faster.

ande


I've been swimming competitively since the age of 8, and I've had the same issue for nearly as long. I swim pretty fast in workouts and while training, but when I go to swim meets, my performance is pretty lackluster.

I avoided swimming in a meet until just recently, where the coach guess entry times, and thought mine would be faster than they would. The people who swim in my lane during practice all swim 5-10 seconds faster (in sprints & mid-distance) than I do in a swim meet.

This happens regardless of how in shape I am. And happens less often in distance events than sprints, which makes me wonder if I just have a switch turned off in my brain that should make me really "work it" when I'm in competition.

Any advice? :confused:

nancym
July 30th, 2009, 03:49 AM
That's what I'm thinking, Ande. Maybe if I'm shooting to get a 1:05 in a 100m free, I should try swimming closer to 1:15 in practice.

Also, as someone mentioned earlier, perhaps my warmup should be close to the swim?

I cannot recall when I got a time that was fast enough to surprise me. It had to be the 500 freestyle in high school. That particular coach used to have us doing a lot of distance in workouts, and I was swimming 5 days a week, sometimes twice a day, and weight lifting.

Admittedly, my masters regimen is pretty lax compared to that!

FridayGrrl
July 30th, 2009, 08:42 PM
I often do the same thing. For me, I know it is all mental. I am just not a very good racer. Am a type A, perfectionist type in many areas of my life, and when it comes to racing, I think I put too much pressure on myself to perform. Sometimes when I dive off the blocks, my brain goes into negative chatter mode, and my muscles won't work. It doesn't happen all the time, or I would quit going to meets completely.

I have a wonderful, positive lane mate who has tried to help me with it, with some success, but I still struggle.

If you figure it out-- let me know!