View Full Version : Please help! New USMS member training for 3/27 meet.

February 16th, 2010, 07:10 PM
Hi! I'm Elaine, a brand new USMS member located in Griffin, Georgia. Like many other members, I haven't competed since high school (1979). High school was my only competitive swimming experience and my "coach" was a P.E. teacher who didn't know how to swim- literally! Needless to say, I need a lot of help! Although I swam varsity, my best 100yd Breastroke was only 1:19.6. That is the only swim time I remember... (A recent 50yd Breastroke time was :42, diving in from the edge of the pool, due to no starting blocks, and being time by my husband.)

I would like to compete in a USMS meet on 3/27 and would appreciate advice for getting ready. I started swimming, again, last June, after moving into an adult community (Sun City Peachtree) with an indoor 25 yard pool. Until joining USMS, I was doing workouts totalling 2500 yds., every other day. A typical workout (just for fun and fitness) was:
500 free- easy- 10 min.
500 free- 8 min.
100 IM
100 back
100 breast
(no times on the above)
200 kicks- all strokes (that's it, because I don't find it as much fun as pull buoy) work!
5x100IM pull buoy (didn't time them)
500 free pull buoy- 8 min.
Mess around for a little bit of cool down...
Since it was just for fun and we don't have a clock, I didn't time much of my workout. But, I would typically get it done in 1 hour.

I've stepped up my workouts in the last few sessions to 3,000 yds. and I'm using a watch for sprint work. Any advice for workouts to do over the next month, based on my ability (as detailed above)?

Swimming every day is not an option, because I have had serious repetitive stress injuries (Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and herniated disk in back- work related) and surgeries. Been there, done that; don't want to do it again. Instead, on alternate days, I do a 11/2 gym workout, including 50 minutes total of treadmill (4.2mph), elliptical (122 strides/min), and recumbant bike. That is followed by lower body weights and hand weights, as well as 200 various crunches and stretching. (I vary it, but the above is a typical workout).

Where do I go from here? So far, I have had my husband video my strokes, so I could compare them to You Tube videos. Hopefully, that is helping, because I do not have a coach. The nearest team is a 45 minute drive away and they workout at night; not good for me. So, I joined "unattached" and I'm on my own.

Workout advice would be great! I would also appreciate advice as to how to handle meet day. How much do I warm up before my events? I would like to compete in all breaststroke events.



February 16th, 2010, 08:19 PM
Welcome back to the pool. This is my third year back and I'm still loving it. Though you don't have a team to train with during the week, you should consider dropping by Emory on Sunday mornings 8-9:30. We have a mixed group from multiple teams since it's the only Sunday practice in Atlanta. Drop in fee is $10 and you would be very welcome. Plus you might get some ideas for workouts during the week.

If you are planning on swimming at Nationals, you should consider affiliating with a team so you can swim on relays. There are others like you who don't train with a team but still are members for just this reason. My team, the Atlanta Water Jocks, has members who train with the Dynamo, Rainbow Trout, and Killer Whales or independently yet we come together for meets. The other three teams I mentioned are part of the Greater GA (GAJA) team so that they combine as an individual team for out of state meets and Nationals. They will compete against each other at the Dynamo meet, though. The Jocks are not part of the GAJA team and prefer to compete together independently. If you are interested, we would love to have you join up as I am always looking for more women so we can do relays (we have many guys but only a few women who compete).

As for training, if you want to compete in breast stroke, you need to train more in breast stroke! Good luck!


February 17th, 2010, 07:44 PM
Thanks for your reply and warm welcome! When I joined USMS, I was going to sign up with the Southside Seals, in Peachtree City, however, the team wasn't listed as an option. I need to call and find out why, because I would like to swim on relay teams at meets.

Thanks for the invite to come up to Emory, but that's a bit of a hike for me! Peachtree City is far enough, but it's even further getting to Emory. I just don't want to do that much driving, unless it's for a meet. Thanks though! I'll probably get out to Peachtree City from time to time...

As soon as I signed up for Masters, I altered my swim workouts. I have only had two since signing up, but I increased the yardage to 3,000 yds (1:20 minutes) and did the following:
500 free warm-up
10x50yd breaststroke sprints (:46-:52 with 30 seconds rest in between- I needed it!)
5x50 breastroke pull buoy
5x50 breastroke kick
The remaining 1,500 yds was IM's and misc. So, I'm increasing my breastroke... Any other advice?

February 18th, 2010, 11:27 AM
Hi Elaine,


just be more like your friend in the picture

You had injuries and surgeries.
Be very careful with changing or increasing anything in your training.

Most injuries are a stitch in time sort of thing,
you get little warnings before something worse happens.
Pay attention.
Fatigue is OK, injuries aren't.
Feel an injury coming on, STOP doing what's causing it.

Swim, pull and kick More breastroke in practice

consider weights or exercises, if your Doctor or physical therapist allow,
get a trainer to show you how to properly exercise

Here's a few resources for you:

Swim Faster FASTER (http://www.usms.org/forums/showpost.php?p=205225&postcount=1375)

I've blogged all my workouts since March 2005
It might be easier to modify sets & intervals than to make them up

Ande's Swim Blog Jan 2009 - Current (http://www.usms.org/forums/blog.php?u=3156)

Ande's Swim Blog Sep 2008 - Jan 2009 (http://andesswimmingblog.blogspot.com/)

Ande's Swim Blog 3/2005 - 9/2008 (http://www.usms.org/forums/showthread.php?t=4298)

ALL USMS BLOGS (http://www.usms.org/forums/blog.php)

Leslie's Blog (http://www.usms.org/forums/blog.php?u=4677) might be a good one for you to follow

2010 Approved Womens Tech Suits (http://www.swimoutlet.com/SearchResults.asp?Click=766231&Cat=279)

hope this helps you stay injury free and swim faster faster


February 18th, 2010, 01:42 PM
Hi, Elaine! Welcome to USMS!!!!!!!! I swim coachless, too (there's a great team in my area, but joining just isn't an option for me right now). Unlike you, I haven't had the guts to sign up for any meets yet.

Anyway, I was going to suggest interval training. It sounds like you are already heading in that direction (with your 10 x 50's with 3o secs rest). I am thinking more long term--I don't know how much you should add at this point with your upcoming meet. Are you swimming anything besides breast in it?

February 18th, 2010, 06:32 PM
I am swimming NAtionals and plan to ride BRAG which takes place in Fayetteville with an overnight stop in Griffin. Would love to swim with you when we are in Griffin. Hope to do the UGA meet the Sat. before BRAG (Bike Ride Across Ga). Do you know anything about the Griffin Inn and Suites...is it a dump or is it okay? I am staying there when riding BRAG. Best of luck. I have been swimming Masters for over 30 years...26 with GAJA and 4 with Colorado. I started in the 25-29 and now midway through 60-64! I love Masters Swimming!

February 18th, 2010, 06:54 PM
Hi Ande, Suzy, and WPSWIMS,

I'm new at posting on forums, so I'm still trying to figure this out... If it's ok, I'll just answer you all in this reply:

Ande, thanks for your advice! Those will be great links to follow up on. And, your advice to take it slow is well-taken. I have been VERY careful and make sure to revise my workouts whenever my body tells me so. If my shoulder hurts, I do all lower body work in the gym. Etc. But, your reminder is one to always keep in mind! :)

Suzy, thanks for the warm welcome and reply! I'm going to stick with just breastroke, since that is my strongest stroke and I would like to take Ande's advice... I do the other strokes in workout to keep it fun, utilize other muscles, and sharpen my stroke skills, but my focus will be breaststroke.

Finally, WPSWIMS, I don't know anything about the Griffin Inn & Suites, because I am new to Griffin. But, I DO know the Iris Inn is a good, clean place to stay, because I stayed there twice; once when we came to look at our new community and the other when we came to close escrow. Try www.irisinn.net (http://www.irisinn.net). And, tell them you would like the special rate given to Sun City Peachtree. I work in the Sales Center and we refer prospective clients there... :agree:

February 20th, 2010, 04:09 PM
Look into swimplan.com for free workouts.

February 20th, 2010, 06:26 PM
I just logged off from that website before reading your post! :D
You had made the recommendation in another thread post, so I checked it out and signed up. Thanks!!!

February 20th, 2010, 08:41 PM
Regarding attachment:

You may be able to "adopt" a team for a meet. My coach has picked up "strays" who are Unattached and do not train with a team when he did not have many swimmers to coach. That gives the swimmer some temporary teammates to hang with on deck, people to cheer/and be cheered by; and some feedback. Maybe even a social meal afterwards.

Sometimes the meet director can help with that. If there are some other swimmers you know at the meet, that helps.

We have also permanently attached some strays. We only see them at meets but it is still more fun for all of us. Understand that if coach has his swimmers in your heat, you may not get much feedback.

February 20th, 2010, 09:03 PM
Thanks, Nancy, for filling me in on how that works. I ended up speaking with the president of the Southside Seals, the closest Masters team to where I live. He has offered to "adopt" me and have my membership changed to join their team. I decided to go on out to meet his team this coming week. And, hopefully, since they need breaststroke on their relay, I will fit right in.

February 22nd, 2010, 12:58 PM
2010 Approved Womens Tech Suits (http://www.swimoutlet.com/SearchResults.asp?Click=766231&Cat=279)


Ande, I've been thinking about your suggestion to get a tech suit for meets. How much difference in time would a tech suit make over my training suit in 50 yd. and 100 yd breaststroke races? At my level, is the cost really worth it if I'm on a budget? I currently use a Speedo Endurance training suit that I bought at swimoutlet.com (close out for $35!) and thought about using it in meets, at least until I improve more! Thanks, Elaine