View Full Version : How to improve recovery(rest) time between 50's etc.

February 14th, 2015, 11:29 AM
Hi all,

My question: What, if anything, can I do to reduce the time it takes me to recover after a 50yd free swim? It's currently taking me a full minute after swimming 50 freestyle in 1:05, obviously I'd like to reduce my recovery time a lot.

I'm a 69yr old female, swam as a child, self-taught (no proper technique) and stopped at about age 14; for the last 6 months I've been swimming seriously, learning proper stroke technique etc. with a coach.

I'm 40lbs overweight, dieting healthfully and losing 2 - 2.5lbs a week.

I swim 75 minutes 3 x week as part of a group with a coach and 45 - 60 minutes 2 x week on my own. I also do 45 minutes of strength training 2 x week with a personal trainer.

Am I being impatient? Will a certain type of nutrition consumed at specific times in relation to workout help?

Thanks in advance for any and all advice.


Gary P
February 14th, 2015, 01:57 PM

Good for you for taking steps to improve your fitness. 10 months ago I started eating healthy and working out. I'm down 59 lbs and feeling better than I have in 20+ years. Swimming has been a big part of my success.

Swimming can be the ideal cardio exercise for us as we get older because it's so much easier on bones and joints than running, biking, or even brisk walking. That said, swimming is a much more technical exercise than any of the others mentioned. Water has ~1000x the resistance of air. Each small technical imperfection adds considerable drag against your attempts to propel yourself through the water. The key to swimming faster (or, as in your case, the same speed with less fatigue) is often more a matter of better technique than conditioning. If you'd like to be able to spend more time swimming and less time recovering on the wall, work with your coach on your technique. You probably need video feedback. If your coach lacks the equipment or time to give that to you, you may want to seek out a specialized clinic.

In the mean time, you might start by doing 25's instead of 50's. Start with ~25 seconds rest (50 sec per 50 y) and then work your way down. Maybe by shortening your segments, you can improve your work/rest ratio quicker.

February 14th, 2015, 06:54 PM
Thanks Gary,

I do tend to let my form get sloppy when I'm using the clock. I guess I was hoping for a "magic" quick-fix of some sort.

Your suggestion makes sense and I know it'll make my coach happy (smile). I'll pay attention to my technique and not worry about trying to swim my fastest. I like the idea of reducing the amount of rest time a little bit at a time also.

Thanks again for the encouragement - I'm really glad I started swimming seriously, but I do wish I'd done it years ago (chuckle).


February 16th, 2015, 01:12 PM
Congrats on getting back in the pool!!

Gary had some great points. Here's another thought that goes along with his suggestions. Maybe you are trying to go too fast in your 50 repeats.

Is the 1:05 an all out effort (100%) or more of an 80% effort? What's your average 50 time when you do a continuous swim of 50 yds or more? Time yourself for a 500 or 1000 yard swim and calculate your average 50 time. Add 25 seconds (or 30 ) to that time and see it you can do repeats.