PDA

View Full Version : Back in the pool after several year break



christin
August 10th, 2011, 03:03 PM
Sorry if this has been posted before, new to the site and still learning to navigate.

I swam competitively in high school. That was 10 years ago. Have been in the pool on and off, but nothing steady.

Recommendations on how to ease back into shape? Should I focus on distance workouts?

I am just looking to get in some cardio, not interested in competing or getting faster.

I am shocked to find myself winded after more than a 50/ 75. I can do a pretty easy 200 when I get in. If I take a 5-10 second rest after each 50 I can swim a strong 50, have great technique and feel like I could swim for hours - however when I try to swim a 100 in the middle of my workout I find myself getting fatigued quickly.

Recs on how to structure workouts after being out of the pool for several years - obviously I'm very out of shape :/

Thanks!

knelson
August 10th, 2011, 06:03 PM
Yes, this same question has been asked before, but we forgive you! Just use the search function and you'll see lots of previous discussions.

Most of us have experienced the same thing you did when getting back in the water after a long hiatus. I think the best advice is to ease back into it and don't try to do too much too soon. Make sure you are always using good technique. If you keep at it the aerobic component will be there soon and you won't feel like you need to stop at the wall every 50. Good luck!

Look in the workouts section of the forum for ideas. There's also a blog section where lots of us blog our workouts.

qbrain
August 10th, 2011, 08:23 PM
I have returned twice now, and each time I was unable to wash my back for about a week I was so stiff.

This is what I remember worked for me. Frequency was more important than distance, so swimming every day for 30 minutes is better than 3x/week for an hour. Work up to the base yardage before adding speed, if you expect to swim 3k/workout once you are back in shape, build up to the 3k first, then start worrying about adding some speed to your work.

Something to consider, each time I returned, I managed to cause myself shoulder problems by adding yardage and speed too quickly, which resulted in boring kick only workouts for a few weeks, then building back up yardage with focus on technique, ignoring speed (puke), so listen to you body and take it easy.

The easiest way to stick with it is to join a team. My team has a roster of about a 100 and attendance is around 30-40 (we have a 50Mx25yd pool, so we don't even circle swim during short course) and out of all those people I am the only one who competes in the local meets. I think my team is considered large. For the Christmas relay meet and if Zones are local, more people will come out to swim relays, but the team does not focus on competing. We have a ton of triathletes, from sprint to ironman and I have never been asked to compete in their events either, but I do ask my friends on the team to try to make it to the Christmas Relay meet... otherwise I can't go either :)

If you have a local masters team, find out what their trial is and give it a shot. It is a completely different world to the super structured intense training USA-S swimming of my childhood. "Fly, you want me to do Fly? Very funny." I rarely miss team practices, but miss my planned solo practices all the time.

bud
August 10th, 2011, 08:52 PM
Do you prefer to swim on your own?... or with a group?

If I swim on my own, I like to choose a time to be in the water. 45 minutes is a good starting place for me if I've been away a long time... I've done up to 90 minutes or more when I got a good run going (for several months). In that time I try to do as much as I can, some days I push harder than others. But I always (unless really feeling bad) stay in the water for the allotted time. I tend to do shorter distances, and rest as long as I need to. How quickly you build up your strength and endurance will depend on how often you practice. 3x/wk is generally regarded as a minimum. As you get conditioned, you can string shorter distances together to make longer sets. And you will get more distance in for the same amount of time. Eventually you can increase both distance and time.

If you like structured workouts there are lots of options... the ones suggested here (at USMS (http://forums.usms.org/forumdisplay.php?forumid=95)), or just google, etc., and you will find a lot of webs providing you with ideas.

If you prefer swimming with a group, that will make it a lot easier, and you will likely progress a lot faster. All you have to do is show up. You will have folks to share the experience with, and a coach to give you a workout, and help you improve your technique... plus they will probably be better at maximizing the effect of your time in the water.

There is probably a USMS affiliated practice near you... just check Places to Swim (http://www.usms.org/placswim/) at the USMS web. If that does not help, there is probably a tri-group nearby.

:)

couldbebetterfly
August 10th, 2011, 10:03 PM
Work up to the base yardage before adding speed, if you expect to swim 3k/workout once you are back in shape, build up to the 3k first, then start worrying about adding some speed to your work.



+1

My 1st comeback after 8 years off I went straight into a Masters practice, met a lot of very friendly people, all with different goals and abilities, and realised how totally out of shape I was. So I gave it a couple of weeks and felt like I'd never stopped swimming (although I was an awful lot slower than before) If you can find a team, go for it!

However if that is daunting to you, do as q suggests and work up to a yardage, then start mixing the strokes and speeding thing up into a more "proper" workout - this is what I did on my 2nd comeback after a 3 or so year break (had another baby, moved, life etc).

At the moment I'm swimming solo, and people are always telling me about this and that Master's practice (too far/too early/any excuse) so go get wet, find some fellow swimmers and enjoy!

havepoolwillswim
August 11th, 2011, 03:22 PM
Welcome back to the pool! I got back in several years ago after a 25 year taper. My first workout was, "Medic!" Now swimming is a part of my life again. Masters is cool because you don't have to raise your hand and ask to go to the bathroom.

Karl_S
August 11th, 2011, 05:06 PM
Masters is cool because you don't have to raise your hand and ask to go to the bathroom.
Priceless!

knelson
August 11th, 2011, 06:01 PM
Masters is cool because you don't have to raise your hand and ask to go to the bathroom.

Or, better yet, you actually leave the pool to go to the bathroom.

marksman
August 12th, 2011, 01:32 PM
Or, better yet, you actually leave the pool to go to the bathroom.

who does this.

MickYoung
August 12th, 2011, 04:44 PM
If I take a break longer than a month (and I do. A lot), I always start back with three sessions of slow swimming, in the most relaxed way possible and a day of rest after each. I tell myself "You dont' ahve to do anything except get in the water and float around for 20-25 mintues"

Then I work up my distance. Usually three weeks or more. But then I'm twice your age. Probably a week or two of working up distance, though. Gradually, With lots of rest days.

If you're sedentary and you start swimming 3 times a week, you do not have to swim hard nor long to dramatically imoprove your condition. Sometimes I use "relax" as mantra for each stroke.

Then I actually start working out after I have a base for it.

"I'm built for comfort, babe. I ain't built for speed." Mr Howling Wolf.