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ssumargo
October 4th, 2016, 03:07 PM
Hello,

I have read all the Masters Swimming 101 articles and I am still not sure what it means to be in a masters swimming class and how it is different from a regular advanced swim class.

I am able to swim a lap (50 m) without stopping, freestyle and breast stroke. And I swim mainly to work out. I'm looking for someone to help me improve my form and swim more efficiently. It would be nice to participate in some of those swim competitions at some point, but I know I am nowhere close to being ready for that.

My gym offers a Masters Swim class in the mornings. I am usually there during that time, and I've never seen anybody providing any coaching. I just see a bunch of people come in at that time and start swimming on their own. I've tried to ask the gym's swim department for more details, but they have been very vague. They say Masters Swim Class is more coaching whereas their adult swim class is for learning.

Can someone describe what typically happens during a masters swim class? Should it the class be a re-occurring class or is it a one time clinic type of session? Should a coach be physically present or do you just get instructions to do on your own?

Thanks!

Sumorunner
October 4th, 2016, 03:58 PM
Another newbie here. I entered my first two classes last year. One was called a swim clinic and focussed on technique and style. The coach did not assume you knew anything and explained in great detail what and why she asked you to do a certain drill. The whole session might have added up to 800 or 1000 yards at most. The second was a 10 week masters swim workout at the local high school. It assumed you knew all the jargon of sets and repeats and the techniques of each drill. The coach explained nothing unless you asked a pointed question. 200 free warm up, then 10 50s on 2:30 followed by 100 pull bouy, etc., etc. I did not understand a word of it and we did in excess of 2000 yards each night. This year I've signed up for 3 more sessions of the clinic where not only is everything explained, but she makes videos and emails it with comments.

Bobinator
October 4th, 2016, 04:30 PM
I would guess that a master's swim class would be an interval-based swim workout geared to adults. I believe an advanced swim class for adults would focus on properly teaching the strokes, perhaps a good base of stroke drills, and maybe master's swim team etiquette and "how to read and understand an interval workout." Please advise us once you find out for sure.

Muppet
October 5th, 2016, 12:45 PM
I have read all the Masters Swimming 101 articles and I am still not sure what it means to be in a masters swimming class and how it is different from a regular advanced swim class.

First off, every masters program is different, and even within the same team or area, the experience could vary vastly from one place to the next. This is due to a variety of factors, including but not limited to the coaching situation, lane space, time, and the existing athletes. In your case, since the staff is less than helpful, you should go ask one or more of the masters swimmers for more information straight from the horse's mouth. You might get a better feel for the program that way, and maybe get a chance to find out how your goals mesh with their mission.

Sojerz
October 5th, 2016, 09:10 PM
I would guess that a master's swim class would be an interval-based swim workout geared to adults. I believe an advanced swim class for adults would focus on properly teaching the strokes, perhaps a good base of stroke drills, and maybe master's swim team etiquette and "how to read and understand an interval workout." Please advise us once you find out for sure.

I think Bobinator did a good job of summarizing the likely difference between these 2 offerings. If you want to learn more technique and mechanics then take the advanced class for adults. If you want to practice what you've learned (perhaps with little or no coaching) then take the master's swim class. As mupett indicated ask someone about the level of coaching and the level of swimming expectations and check to see if there is a swim lane with a speed that fits your ability.

If you decide to take the swim class, there is some lingo associated with a coaches written workout, and it may take a while to learn it, but there are explanations of the lingo typically in the beginning of the various workout forums. Its usually a "sticky" at the beginning of the thread and titled "Terminology". Try the "Basic Workout" thread first: http://forums.usms.org/forumdisplay.php?96-Basic-Training-by-Mark-Johnston.

It might turn out to be easier to practice what you've learned in the advanced class on your own for awhile before trying to keep up in a group class or team setting where the expectation might be swimming a workout of 1.5-3k in an hour.

Lots of swimmers prefer to practice solo. As long as you are taking the advanced class, you won't be practicing and grooving the wrong technique. If you practice solo you can use the workouts forums to design your own workout and swim at your own pace.

scales
October 6th, 2016, 01:34 PM
I think that you are still in the learning phase. When I joined Masters, I had the expectation that I would need to be at a certain level to practice competently (swimming a mile non-stop, for example). That expectation rang true, and me being able to do > 2000y consistently was not even adequate. For over a month I have been very much in that *learning* phase. Yet I was able to push myself enough to nearly complete the workouts in the allotted 1h 15m.

We swim no less than 3000y for every practice, and my coach says I'm moving into the practicing phase, but this is only freestyle. That said, I'm fortunate to have found a very involved coach who is always talking and happily answers questions.

I say all this to make the simple point: you should probably continue to work on your own before jumping into Masters. You don't want their workouts to bring you down. You're still in the "easy" and early successes part of swimming, where times drop rapidly and distances increase exponentially. Stay there for a while.

lapras
October 7th, 2016, 01:32 AM
One other perspective ... I can *barely* swim a 25 freestyle, can't do butterfly at all, can sort of do backstroke but it's ridiculous, and am fairly competent at breaststroke. I tried out a master's swim this evening and I did much much less than the other people there but the coach got me doing things I haven't done in 20 years. He was very involved and was giving me specific feedback that I was able to implement right away and swim much more competently. He gave me kicking drills and had me do different strokes and then he critiqued them. The other swimmers did a full workout, with all four strokes, and he was talking with them and giving them feedback as well. I am exhausted and also I love it. :)

It sounds like the experience of others is that masters coaches aren't that involved, but my experience (with just this one guy) is the opposite. I think I learned more tonight than I did in four weeks of group lessons. So maybe check out some programs, lessons, etc, and see what fits you. There is no way to know how any individual situation will be without giving it a try. :)

orca1946
October 7th, 2016, 11:20 AM
Coaches are the leader of the team. Most of the ones I have been with do a great job of building "newbies" into team swimmers. Learning to swim is another matter left to swim classes, not a team competition workout setting.
Learn where you feel most comfortable in getting the stroke info to practice and later try a "team workout"

ssumargo
October 7th, 2016, 11:29 AM
Thank you everybody!

For the last two months, I've been swimming an hour every morning. I can do only freestyle and breast stroke. I estimate that I do about 1800 m each day. I could most probably do more if I had more time. I just want to get faster and get a good workout. My first masters class is this coming Wednesday. Fingers crossed!

orca1946
October 9th, 2016, 07:24 PM
Ask questions that you want to learn about. Let us know how it goes.
You need to learn the other strokes some time in the future,

ssumargo
October 13th, 2016, 08:01 PM
Had my first class. She used lots of lingo, I had her explain it to me since I was the only one in the class. She had me swim a few laps as a warmup and to see my form, then she had me do some drills. I will continue with it because it's nice to have someone to help you figure out how to achieve your goals.