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Allen Stark
December 5th, 2016, 08:25 PM
I just got back from the SPMS meet and I am in a funk. I have talked to several of my contemporaries who share my dysphoria at getting slower. From age 50-62 I slowed down very little. Ages 63 and 64 were one injury or illness after another, but at least there was a cause and I felt I would do better. Age 65 I aged up and for most of the year was healthy. That was a great year,but my times were all significantly slower than at 62. Since then it is very unusual to have one swim that is faster than I did the previous year.At 67(almost 68) I am notably slower than at 65. I have seen the graphs of how times slow with age, intellectually, if I am staying at the same rate of decline as my peers I should accept it, but I don't like it. I know most forumites are much younger and what I am saying may seem like something natural that I should just acknowledge and go on, that is what I thought until I was 63. I know that our having age groups every 5 years is a partial solution to the problem, but there is more difference between a 65 year old and a 68 year old than between a 40 year old and a 50 year old, in my experience. How do the other older swimmers out there cope and have a good attitude? The common saying in Masters Swimming is that "you are only competing against yourself",but my slightly younger self is kicking my butt and I am tired of it.

Swimosaur
December 5th, 2016, 10:29 PM
How do the other older swimmers out there cope and have a good attitude?

I went to a meet a little over a year ago, did all personal worsts, and it pissed me off. I realized that wasn't a healthy attitude. At 58, I'm not dealing with stuff at an acute level yet, but I've realized I have to start developing a new relationship with sport.

Right now, my attempts are fairly primitive. "Anything that's not a personal worst is a victory!" And I'm trying to re-imagine Ande's famous thread: The point is no longer how to swim faster faster, it's all about how to swim slower slower. :)

Here in Knoxville, we benefit from living in the same town as Bill Lauer (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/indresults.php?SwimmerID=020YV), now 82, who seems irrepressibly cheerful, no matter what. Whatever the answer is, he seems to have found it. Talk to Bill. :)

GGS5T
December 6th, 2016, 07:54 AM
I can fully understand what you are going through. I'm 70 now and I can't do the times I did when I was 55. The bonus though, is that all other swimmers of my age are slowing down too. The reintroduction of bodysuits would help enormously. I will never understand why bodysuits were banned for masters swimmers, especially those of my age. We are hardly going to pose a threat to Micheal Phelps.

joshua
December 6th, 2016, 08:41 AM
I will be 63 next month and this past year I realized that there is a big difference between understanding the aging process and actually aging. I was aware that people get old but in an irrational way I didn't think it would actually happen to me.:) Reality check! It is.
Since I'm a recreational swimmer, my goals are not really competitive and I time myself only occasionally. Since swimming is much more of a skill based sport than running, I try to learn new skills. Presently I am working on my underwater dolphin. In fact I am better at this skill now than I have ever been in my life. Of course this also helps my times but that is not my main point of focus.

Sumorunner
December 6th, 2016, 08:52 AM
I've never done a swim meet, just one OWS so far, so I'll relate my running experience. I've run 480 races since 1978 from 100 meters to half-marathons. Ran my best times between 38-42, but then had heart surgery to repair a leaky valve. I never ran up to that level again, mostly due to the drugs I'm on. I eventually learned to cope with it and adjust my training and racing strategies. By age 60 I was again getting into the top 3 in a few road races. Around age 63, the times started to go south again, even though I was still in super shape. At age 65, I could do 500 pushups in a 1 hr session, run a half marathon and swim a mile.

At 67 I suddenly got old, arthritis, etc. Yes, that's how it works. At some point, there's a big step down in performance, not a gradual decline, a point at which your body says I can't take this. That age is a bit different for each of us, but it's inevitable. So I had to slow down. I can do my pushups, maybe 150 each day, I can swim a mile, but it will take 45 minutes, and now I can't run at all, just walk. That's the way it is.

cinc3100
December 6th, 2016, 02:25 PM
I just got back from the SPMS meet and I am in a funk. I have talked to several of my contemporaries who share my dysphoria at getting slower. From age 50-62 I slowed down very little. Ages 63 and 64 were one injury or illness after another, but at least there was a cause and I felt I would do better. Age 65 I aged up and for most of the year was healthy. That was a great year,but my times were all significantly slower than at 62. Since then it is very unusual to have one swim that is faster than I did the previous year.At 67(almost 68) I am notably slower than at 65. I have seen the graphs of how times slow with age, intellectually, if I am staying at the same rate of decline as my peers I should accept it, but I don't like it. I know most forumites are much younger and what I am saying may seem like something natural that I should just acknowledge and go on, that is what I thought until I was 63. I know that our having age groups every 5 years is a partial solution to the problem, but there is more difference between a 65 year old and a 68 year old than between a 40 year old and a 50 year old, in my experience. How do the other older swimmers out there cope and have a good attitude? The common saying in Masters Swimming is that "you are only competing against yourself",but my slightly younger self is kicking my butt and I am tired of it.


I saw your 200 meter fly time and thought it was real good. I'm lucky to break 4:00 now in the 200 meter fly these days and I'm 59 years old. As a kid I think the first long course at age 14 I swam about 3:03 and got down to 2:47.4 as a 17 year old but our body changed and your a very good swimmer for your age group.

Allen Stark
December 6th, 2016, 03:58 PM
I saw your 200 meter fly time and thought it was real good. I'm lucky to break 4:00 now in the 200 meter fly these days and I'm 59 years old. As a kid I think the first long course at age 14 I swam about 3:03 and got down to 2:47.4 as a 17 year old but our body changed and your a very good swimmer for your age group.

Thank you,thank all of you. I know aging is inevitable,but I am surprised at how much slower I am now than a few years ago. The most extreme example is my 200M LCM BR is about 10 sec slower than 5 yr ago. It is still really good "for my age",but it is hard not to compare it to even 2 yr ago when I was 3+ seconds faster. It is what it is and I'll accept it,but it takes some getting used to,hence the funk.

ElaineK
December 6th, 2016, 04:26 PM
The common saying in Masters Swimming is that "you are only competing against yourself",but my slightly younger self is kicking my butt and I am tired of it.

:bighug: I feel your pain, King Frog. (No matter what, and no matter who beats you, you will always be "King Frog!" :cheerleader:)

At least this didn't happen to you until recently. I will be 55 in January (Inauguration Day :afraid:), and I've been experiencing similar (mental) pain for awhile. I watch video of my breaststroke at 47 years old, and my current breaststroke technique; and, I scratch my head wondering why I am so much slower now. (Sure, we all get slower, but I have slipped an entire column in Swimosaur's motivational charts, which I didn't do before aging up to 50!)

King Frog, all I can offer you is the same pep talk I give myself when I want to kick myself in the *&%:

"Hey Aqua Dog, be thankful you are physically able to swim, and you enjoy it as much as you do! You are healthy, fit, and happy; so, quit beating yourself up! Look around you. Most people your age are physically waaay worse off than you, so give yourself credit for all that you do to stay healthy and fit. In the big scheme of things, it is just a time on the clock for a swim race! How does that really compare in importance to everything else in life? Just have fun at the pool and at meets; and, don't worry about that clock so much! Just give it your best shot, and congratulate yourself for your efforts. AND, even if you were a human meet delay :blush: "racing" the 200 fly, at least YOU DID IT! (How many 54 year-old women can even swim a legal 200 fly race, anyway?)."

King Frog, you are an amazing swimmer (World Records!!!)! The pool isn't half-empty; it's half-full. ;)

knelson
December 6th, 2016, 04:30 PM
I can fully understand what you are going through. I'm 70 now and I can't do the times I did when I was 55. The bonus though, is that all other swimmers of my age are slowing down too. The reintroduction of bodysuits would help enormously. I will never understand why bodysuits were banned for masters swimmers, especially those of my age. We are hardly going to pose a threat to Micheal Phelps.

It would help, but you have to recognize this is a one shot (not to mention spurious) method of improving your times.

ElaineK
December 6th, 2016, 04:35 PM
It would help, but you have to recognize this is a one shot (not to mention spurious) method of improving your times.

Agreed. I would rather know my race time based solely on my efforts rather than how much it was aided by a bodysuit.

jim thornton
December 6th, 2016, 04:51 PM
I wish USMS would consider adding an age-grading feature to our meet performances, one that doesn't just go by age group (i.e., 60-64) but by actual year. This would not only allow aging individuals to see how they are doing with regards to the predicted curve of deceleration, but also let people of different age groups potentially get "Best in Meet" honors despite how long their teeth are. Rick Colella's 5:14.48 400 LCM IM at age 65 is not only the age group record by 26 seconds, but no one in the previous age group (except for Rick himself) has come within 14 seconds of this time. It would also be the third, all-time fastest 400 IM in the 55-59 age group.

Chris Stevenson did some work on the kind of age-grading calculator I have in mind, though the algorithms and sloping curves would require more refinement since last he played around with it. Nevertheless, you can enter your time by year of your age when you swam said time, get your rating, them enter your time performed at another year and get your rating for this, too.

I think that if USMS could automatically post such "ratings" beside every swim performed at a regional or national championship meet, it would give us geezers a new metric to chase that is not quite so pitiless as the ticking clock!

To give an example of how Chris's calculator works, your best 200 LCM breast time at age 67, 3:00.01, earns a rating of 100.4.

You best 200 LCM breast at age 62, 2:50.44, earns a still great but lower rating of 100.00--this despite it being 9.5 seconds faster.

Check it out. And Chris, if you read this, give us an update--if any--on the record curves. As of now, it was last updated in 2008. Since then, the body suits have been outlawed, but new and ever faster cohorts of swimmers are ascending the ranks.

http://www.vaswim.org/cgi-bin/rcalc.cgi

PS despite your increasing magnificence in age, don't get too cocky, Allen. Rick's 400 LCM IM gets a rating of 110.4!

knelson
December 6th, 2016, 05:03 PM
I wish USMS would consider adding an age-grading feature to our meet performances, one that doesn't just go by age group (i.e., 60-64) but by actual year.

I agree. USA Swimming does this with their "Power Points" system. Quite similar to Chris' rating system except they use 1000 for a record level swim rather than 100.

Trondi
December 6th, 2016, 05:08 PM
Thank you,thank all of you. I know aging is inevitable,but I am surprised at how much slower I am now than a few years ago. The most extreme example is my 200M LCM BR is about 10 sec slower than 5 yr ago. It is still really good "for my age",but it is hard not to compare it to even 2 yr ago when I was 3+ seconds faster. It is what it is and I'll accept it,but it takes some getting used to,hence the funk.

Not sure what you mean by 'funk', but if it means ' this HAS got to stop' and 'no more declining times this year' and 'look my pb this year is nowhere near world record for my age group - i am going to step up my training'

Its pretty obvious to me that us 'oldies' ( I'm 63) often give up the challenge by looking around at our local competitors, see that their times are regressing badly and take our cue from them. Ally to that Old Mens Niggles (and women's ) and we really have every excuse to stay in our armchairs too often and too long :)

I am feeling particularly good at the moment. After 5 years of shoulder injury, plus several other niggles, nearly all mended now, I recently posted my fastest 400, 800 and 1500m times since 2007! Yes, 9-year PBs!

This has taken some hard work. More training than i did in 2007 - more distance and more strength sets. Its also needed me to realise that if i want approach lifetime PBs then i must believe its possible!

I need to look at 'the best' in my age group and say to myself that i can at least track their declining times and NOT decline faster than them! This, I feel, should be the yardstick for us all as we age NOT absolute times, but relative times relative to the best in our new age groups.

We are aging but we do not need to think we cannot improve our times, especially if we never were world record holders. Old bodies are amazing and we can make them amaze ourselves if we give them a chance to maximise their potential.

Apologies Allen for going off on one, as we say around these parts :)

jim thornton
December 6th, 2016, 05:24 PM
[QUOTE=knelson;317864]I agree. USA Swimming does this with their "Power Points" system. Quite similar to Chris' rating system except they use 1000 for a record level swim rather than 100.[/QUOTE

Chris points out a couple difficulties with his system, one of which is that as records fall, the ratings would necessarily go down for previous swims. He also says that since there are so few times and records in 80+ age groups, it's harder to have accurate curves.

Both these, I think, can be overcome with the right mathematical approach. Once set up, it seems to me it wouldn't be that difficult to automate the calculations and add a new column to our meet results.

I just checked out my 500 (5:31.57) from last year at age 63, and compared this to my 500 (5:15.49) from 2003 at age 50.

Youngish Jim earns a 90.9; olderish Jim earns a 95.6. Both of these, to be sure, are well below Allen Stark's 100 and 100.4 breast strokes! Nevertheless, seeing my improvement makes me feel a bit like a bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild!

Allen Stark
December 6th, 2016, 06:05 PM
I wish USMS would consider adding an age-grading feature to our meet performances, one that doesn't just go by age group (i.e., 60-64) but by actual year. This would not only allow aging individuals to see how they are doing with regards to the predicted curve of deceleration, but also let people of different age groups potentially get "Best in Meet" honors despite how long their teeth are. Rick Colella's 5:14.48 400 LCM IM at age 65 is not only the age group record by 26 seconds, but no one in the previous age group (except for Rick himself) has come within 14 seconds of this time. It would also be the third, all-time fastest 400 IM in the 55-59 age group.

Chris Stevenson did some work on the kind of age-grading calculator I have in mind, though the algorithms and sloping curves would require more refinement since last he played around with it. Nevertheless, you can enter your time by year of your age when you swam said time, get your rating, them enter your time performed at another year and get your rating for this, too.

I think that if USMS could automatically post such "ratings" beside every swim performed at a regional or national championship meet, it would give us geezers a new metric to chase that is not quite so pitiless as the ticking clock!

To give an example of how Chris's calculator works, your best 200 LCM breast time at age 67, 3:00.01, earns a rating of 100.4.

You best 200 LCM breast at age 62, 2:50.44, earns a still great but lower rating of 100.00--this despite it being 9.5 seconds faster.

Check it out. And Chris, if you read this, give us an update--if any--on the record curves. As of now, it was last updated in 2008. Since then, the body suits have been outlawed, but new and ever faster cohorts of swimmers are ascending the ranks.

http://www.vaswim.org/cgi-bin/rcalc.cgi

PS despite your increasing magnificence in age, don't get too cocky, Allen. Rick's 400 LCM IM gets a rating of 110.4!

This actually helps, it gives me something concrete to shoot for(higher rating.)
Rick Colella is a great guy,but he is just lucky that after that terrible astronaut accident they were able to repair him better, stronger, faster.They had the technology.

Glenn
December 7th, 2016, 03:42 PM
Allen,

As we age our cardiac output declines as does how efficiently we use the oxygen we take in during exercise. When these declines come is different for each person. That, I suppose, is the bad news. The good news is despite your disappointment with your times, those times are still in the top five all-time in the World! Not too shabby.

Sojerz
December 7th, 2016, 07:21 PM
I'm wondering, Allen, if it may be more difficult to hold onto your br times than it would be for fr, fl, or bk, because of the coordination and flexibility required to swim br well. I've found it hard to get and keep my br going as I've gotten older through my 60s.

gobears
December 8th, 2016, 08:14 AM
I'm wondering, Allen, if it may be more difficult to hold onto your br times than it would be for fr, fl, or bk, because of the coordination and flexibility required to swim br well. I've found it hard to get and keep my br going as I've gotten older through my 60s.

I would think the amount of oxygen/strength per stroke used in breaststroke might affect this also. Since breaststrokers have to work against more drag resistance and and rely so much on large leg muscles for this stroke, I think you might be onto something with your hypothesis.

robertsrobson
December 8th, 2016, 08:28 AM
It's really important to think of time as only one dimension in performance, and one that you don't directly control. Think like an elite athlete and evaluate your performance in terms of a range of factors, including preparation, technical execution, mental performance etc, which doesn't mean that you don't care about times or medals, but they are just one piece in the overall picture...

Bobinator
December 8th, 2016, 11:56 AM
First of all Allen, you are an amazing swimmer and an inspiration to all of us!
With that said I think the important thing is to keep swimming in focus. We all need to look at the rest of our lives and factor in what we've got going on and our goals and commitments to others.
Personally, I'm having a terrible, stressful year. Due to issues associated with a family member I've become legal guardian of a 5 year old, I currently work (teacher at a public school) at least 48 hours away from home, and more when I finally get home. I am 61 years old, exhausted, stressed-out, and currently recovering from pneumonia. With this said I do not expect to have a good year of swimming, but I can't wait to get back in the pool and do whatever I can do.
We are strong and motivated folks, but everyone has a meltdown point, when you hit it it's best to lighten up on yourself, be kind and patient, and hopefully good times lie ahead.
I do expect to drop time if I can ever afford to retire.

Allen Stark
December 8th, 2016, 04:03 PM
I want to thank everyone for their support. I'll miss this years Spring Nationals for a great reason, my oldest daughter is expecting her second child and the due date is in the same time as the meet.Grand kids are the best perk of aging.
The "shiny suits" were brought up. I didn't like the idea, there was too much sense of buying a faster time. The strange thing is that I did feel younger using them.Swimming a time I hadn't swum in 10 years made me feel 10 years younger,even though I knew it was the the suit.

cinc3100
December 8th, 2016, 10:33 PM
I want to thank everyone for their support. I'll miss this years Spring Nationals for a great reason, my oldest daughter is expecting her second child and the due date is in the same time as the meet.Grand kids are the best perk of aging.
The "shiny suits" were brought up. I didn't like the idea, there was too much sense of buying a faster time. The strange thing is that I did feel younger using them.Swimming a time I hadn't swum in 10 years made me feel 10 years younger,even though I knew it was the the suit.
Great.

mpmartin
December 8th, 2016, 10:35 PM
Just don't stop swimming Allen! We'd miss you.

FindingMyInnerFish
December 9th, 2016, 04:47 PM
I'm 66, never was fast, but I did manage to eke out a sub-2 min. 100 free last year at a meet, and lately with my swim practice times, I don't see that as a likelihood this year. Even so, I've spent enough time in this sport and in running to recognize not only the benefit of achieving goals (mine are way more modest than Allen's--wow, w breaststroke, the only chance at finishing the same day I start is doing a 25BR) ;) but also the social benefit. I love connecting with others in the sport--same true of running where I also have slowed down a lot.

After our open water swims during the summer, the coach would fire up the grill and we'd have burgers, hot dogs, and various snacks, plus beers, and relax, enjoy the bonfire, look at the stars, just hang out and enjoy one another's company.

In winter, we sometimes will go out for food/drinks after a workout or meet.

Same with the running group--the coach of that group owns a running store, and we typically gather in the back, in his office, and he sets out a case of beer (hmm... I'm beginning to see a theme here...). ;) People again relax, drink, eat whatever protein bars and such they brought or someone might order pizza to share.... And fast or slow, everyone's welcome. The coach will often give good advice--or just as often talk football or politics. ;)

I'm not getting podium finishes so much (though I do get some... aging up to 65 seems to help), but more important, I enjoy the stress beating therapy of redlining a sprint even if Missy Franklin I'm not. I sometimes try different strokes in races (working on butterfly at the moment--mine is...let's just say a work in progress), and so I know I'll have slower times in these races, but then I'll have the benefit of trying something new.

Then too, I think of friends older than I am who are still going strong, in spite of physical and other challenges they've faced... a friend in her 80s, a swimmer, who has survived pancreatic cancer... a friend in her 70s (a runner) who survived breast cancer and still beats me by a lot in races. (She was always faster--I've known her for a while.)

Sometimes I'll feel frustrated when I'm the slowest swimmer in a practice, but my coach is good about it--he's encouraging yet demanding. He'll ask for something I think I can't do, and then realize I can. And if I"m feeling ragged on a given day, I keep thinking of something the running doctor George Sheehan wrote in Running and Being about "playing defense."


There are days when you canít get the ball in the basket, no matter how hard you tryÖ. But there is no excuse for not playing good defense.

OffenseÖis a spontaneous, joyful unification of the body and the mind. Therefore there are days when it wonít happen.

Defense needs none of this. Defense is dull, boring, commonplace. It is the unimaginative plodding attention to duty. It is grit and determination and perseverance. It requires simplyÖan act of the will. There is never a day you canít play defense. All you need is the decision to put out. To give one hundred percent.

Offense is a showplace for talent and even genius. What defense discloses is character.

I enjoy my play. Enjoy having the ball. But I know that my talent is something I carry. The real test comes when that is absent. When I am filled with fatigue and boredom and the desire to be off on a vacation or a short drunk.

Defense therefore narrows down to character, the ability to persist in the direction of greatest resistance.

And sometimes, in the process of "playing defense," I find a different kind of joy.

ElaineK
December 9th, 2016, 05:04 PM
FindingMyInnerFish: :applaud: I love your attitude!

orca1946
December 10th, 2016, 12:23 PM
At last year's s.c. nationals , I aged up to 70!!! Holy "fat man" I did great except for the jerk "turn judge" that decided to DQ me for an "UNDER WATER RECOVERY" see going away from his position in the 200 fly that I would have taken 2nd in the country. I trained 43 pool day - 3 2 hour gym days - and a n night with a personal trainer that really worked me. I now find myself not wanting to work that hard this year cuz it hurts too much. Yes we are slowing down and don't like it BUT remember we are years ahead of others our age that move to ranch houses and do not do anything!!

lauraval
December 12th, 2016, 07:01 PM
Thanks for starting this thread, Allen. I am right there with you. When people used to say, Ďwow youíre fastí now it ends with Ďfor your ageí. But thatís OK. For me, I am always needing to adjust my expectations. If I didnít, I would never have fun anymore. The times Iím doing are the best Iíve done at 65ónot at 55, but again, thatís OK. Weíre all here and participating and in great shape and having fun. We donít look or think or act our age. So life is good! BTW this week I had my third Grandchild--NOTHING BETTER!

Allen Stark
December 12th, 2016, 08:25 PM
Thanks for starting this thread, Allen. I am right there with you. When people used to say, Ďwow youíre fastí now it ends with Ďfor your ageí. But thatís OK. For me, I am always needing to adjust my expectations. If I didnít, I would never have fun anymore. The times Iím doing are the best Iíve done at 65ónot at 55, but again, thatís OK. Weíre all here and participating and in great shape and having fun. We donít look or think or act our age. So life is good! BTW this week I had my third Grandchild--NOTHING BETTER!

Grandkids make everything better.

jim thornton
December 13th, 2016, 01:51 PM
I just happened upon another online calculator, this one by the New England LMSC. I sent an email to Ed (not sure exactly who Ed is, but hopefully he will reply) and copied Chris Stephenson on this, too.

It seems to me that if New England is already calculating these ratings for their swimmers, it should be possible to adapt their computer code to the USMS tabulations in general. Anyhow, here is their calculator http://www.egswim.com/ne/RatingTime.php And here is a link to their LMSC's all time 100 top rated swims for different events and age groups, men and women. Both Laura and Allen, I suspect, would place very high on these listings if they swam for New England-based teams. http://www.egswim.com/ne/ratingEvent.php

Personally, I would love to see ratings automatically added for each swim we do that winds up in the USMS database. If they decided on a single time standard--perhaps the records as of the end of each course in 2016--then used these as a baseline, you wouldn't have to update each year. New records would simply get increasingly higher 100+ scores, but an individual could look at his or her times at, say, age 44 and see how the ratings for these compare to the same events at, say, age 67. What say ye?

ElaineK
December 13th, 2016, 06:39 PM
LOVE the idea, Jim! :applaud: (Although, seeing my own ratings wouldn't do much for my psyche... :blush: )

Hey, Jim, that was another excellent article you wrote in the current edition of Swimmer Magazine. Keep up the great writing!:cheerleader:

Sumorunner
December 13th, 2016, 08:19 PM
Runners have an age grading system based on decades of data. Input age, distance and time and it gives you the equivalent for a younger/leaner you. http://www.heartbreakhill.org/age_graded.htm

jim thornton
December 13th, 2016, 09:11 PM
LOVE the idea, Jim! :applaud: (Although, seeing my own ratings wouldn't do much for my psyche... :blush: )

Hey, Jim, that was another excellent article you wrote in the current edition of Swimmer Magazine. Keep up the great writing!:cheerleader:

Actually, one of the most useful values of the rating would be to let each person compare themselves to themselves, if that makes sense. You can take your times from, say, five years ago, figure out the ranking, then compare these to your times for the same events right now. You may have slowed down time-wise, but if you rating is reasonably consistent, or perhaps even better, that means that you are holding your own, in some sense, against the Reaper!

The Reaper always wins, but a well-maintained rating suggests that you're not likely to have your ticket punched prematurely.

Thanks for the kind words on my Swimmer story. Working on a new one now!

Trondi
December 14th, 2016, 08:26 AM
I just happened upon another online calculator, this one by the New England LMSC. I sent an email to Ed (not sure exactly who Ed is, but hopefully he will reply) and copied Chris Stephenson on this, too.

It seems to me that if New England is already calculating these ratings for their swimmers, it should be possible to adapt their computer code to the USMS tabulations in general. Anyhow, here is their calculator http://www.egswim.com/ne/RatingTime.php And here is a link to their LMSC's all time 100 top rated swims for different events and age groups, men and women. Both Laura and Allen, I suspect, would place very high on these listings if they swam for New England-based teams. http://www.egswim.com/ne/ratingEvent.php

Personally, I would love to see ratings automatically added for each swim we do that winds up in the USMS database. If they decided on a single time standard--perhaps the records as of the end of each course in 2016--then used these as a baseline, you wouldn't have to update each year. New records would simply get increasingly higher 100+ scores, but an individual could look at his or her times at, say, age 44 and see how the ratings for these compare to the same events at, say, age 67. What say ye?

Hi Jim
Not too sure why you would want to have a single time standard. I like the idea of each ranking always being compared with the 'best' at any one point in time. That to my mind is a current ranking. If some faster guys come on the scene then i have got to do something about it to maintain my ranking.
i hope someone can let me know the point i have missed :)

T

knelson
December 14th, 2016, 10:47 AM
Hi Jim
Not too sure why you would want to have a single time standard. I like the idea of each ranking always being compared with the 'best' at any one point in time. That to my mind is a current ranking. If some faster guys come on the scene then i have got to do something about it to maintain my ranking.
i hope someone can let me know the point i have missed :)

T

I believe what Jim is looking for is some measure that will allow you to evaluate your swims over time. A shifting scale wouldn't allow that. Besides, we've got the event rankings to see how our times stack up against our peers at any given time.

GGS5T
December 14th, 2016, 12:22 PM
At 67 I suddenly got old, arthritis, etc. Yes, that's how it works. At some point, there's a big step down in performance, not a gradual decline, a point at which your body says I can't take this.

Since reading this, I've started feeling my age (I'm now 70). I've noticed, just in the last few days, that the aches, painful knees and lack of mobility are affecting my swimming. Thanks for making me think about it!

Chris Stevenson
December 14th, 2016, 03:32 PM
Personally, I would love to see ratings automatically added for each swim we do that winds up in the USMS database. If they decided on a single time standard--perhaps the records as of the end of each course in 2016--then used these as a baseline, you wouldn't have to update each year. New records would simply get increasingly higher 100+ scores, but an individual could look at his or her times at, say, age 44 and see how the ratings for these compare to the same events at, say, age 67. What say ye?



Not too sure why you would want to have a single time standard. I like the idea of each ranking always being compared with the 'best' at any one point in time. That to my mind is a current ranking. If some faster guys come on the scene then i have got to do something about it to maintain my ranking

This disagreement -- and there are good arguments for both sides -- is one of the frustrations of doing something like this. I guess personally I would like to see a single time, unchanging, standard but the trend seems to be the opposite: most "official" rating systems like FINA's update over time, even the age-group motivational time standards do so. But a changing standard is harder to understand, and you get the questions (or maybe complaints) that "my rating was X just last year, and now the same time/age gives me a rating of X - 10."

Updating infrequently (say, every five years) seems a reasonable compromise...but then you get a bigger delta with every update. Sigh.

Speaking of motivational standards, don't forget the unofficial masters version:

http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?25989-2016-Masters-Motivational-Times

Unlike the case of adopting and using a rating system, it would not require as much IT work to just post and update such standards. Is there a preference for a rating or standards-based system? The rating system is more versatile but more complicated to implement and use.

mayleechung11
December 14th, 2016, 07:21 PM
consider, older, slower, but maybe swimming farther? I did a one and a half mile swim a year and a half ago. I was 39.

swoomer
December 18th, 2016, 10:19 PM
This is such an interesting conversation. When I began swimming Masters in 2005 at the age of 60, after a 41 year break from competitive swimming, someone told me I'd get 7 good years of improvement. As it turned out, I pretty much had a new best time in every event for about 8 years. Then not so often. My last best time was in 2012 at the age of 67.

At first, the decline was very subtle, but at 69, I felt as if I were falling off a cliff. At 69 I had major spinal reconstruction and as expected, I took more backward steps. When I aged up at 70, I had a great year, with times close to my best. But at 71, I'm frustrated by really slow comparative times. I honestly believe that everyone ages in their own way, and we can go from a gradual slope to a precipitous cliff in spite of our training. Also, I've noticed more impediments to training due to physical issues, travel, family dedications, and a more thoughtful approach to life, savoring more moments outside of swimming.

Allen Stark will always be awesome, always be on the leading edge of the age group, and always at the top of the rankings. Time is relative!

OliverK
December 19th, 2016, 10:15 AM
consider, older, slower, but maybe swimming farther? I did a one and a half mile swim a year and a half ago. I was 39.

I believe in the contrary movement: The older you get, the more important becomes strength training. Strength and muscle mass apparently can be stabilised, but from a certain age on that doesn't work anymore with swimming alone, but weight training must be added -- stronger impulses are needed.

Dan Kornblatt
December 27th, 2016, 04:50 PM
I believe in the contrary movement: The older you get, the more important becomes strength training. Strength and muscle mass apparently can be stabilised, but from a certain age on that doesn't work anymore with swimming alone, but weight training must be added -- stronger impulses are needed.

I would like to amend Oliver's advice to read "Fewer, stronger impulses are needed" Muscle mass loss is inevitable with aging. The first ones to go are fast twitch. So we are unable to "spin up" our stroke rates like we used to. But as Oliver and the great story on muscle aging in Swimmer point out resistance training can help most people. And by taking fewer, stronger strokes we do gain some drag reduction and efficiency as every stroke does increase drag a bit.

On a related issue have any of my fellow "older and slower" buddies noticed the following: My kick sets have not slowed down speed wise as much compared to swim times. There was a thread several years ago in this forum which stated that leg muscle is different than upper body muscle in composition. Somewhat like dark vs white meat in fowls. The point is that as we age should we make changes to our stroke that rely on more propulsion from our kick and less from our arms?

Marykaye
December 28th, 2016, 11:31 PM
Getting older can mean a limited daily activities but I think, it only depends on your lifestyle issues.

no200fly
January 4th, 2017, 04:31 PM
I question how much of my decline is due to mental rather than physical factors. Over the last several years I have moved out of the fastest lane in workout and I am content with swimming slower intervals. I know there was a point at which I could have continued at the faster intervals and I probably could now, but I don't have the desire that would make the pain worthwhile.

Does anybody else feel like a major part of a decline in performance is mental rather than physical?

smontanaro
January 4th, 2017, 05:02 PM
Does anybody else feel like a major part of a decline in performance is mental rather than physical?

I'm not in the same category of swimming eliteness as most folks here, so my experience might not be typical. I started swimming masters at age 50, and had a nice run of eight or nine years, then I started being plagued with shoulder issues. I've been in and out of the water for much of the past five years. The first two or three times I tried to get going again, I fairly quickly hurt my shoulder and was back out of the water for an extended period. (I was mentally prepared for surgery, and the orthopedic surgeon was sharpening his scalpel. Then an MRI failed to show the expected rotator cuff tear.)

This year, I started very slowly, after concentrating on rotator cuff exercises for several months. I've managed to be in the water for the past year (FLOG goal in 2016 was 50 miles, 100 for 2017). Even though I'm back in the water with some regularity, I no longer consider "garbage yards" to be garbage. Yards are yards. :) I warm up carefully, don't get carried away trying to build back up to anything like "speedy" (not that I really ever was), and my workout distances are much shorter. I think I hit 2500 yards once or twice last year. 1000-1500 is more typical. That's okay. I have a bike and know how to use it.

I have no idea how much of that is mental, but I'm pretty sure a sizable chunk of it is.

scales
January 5th, 2017, 09:21 AM
I wanted to share my perspective, and hopefully inspire a bit of confidence, as a brand new 28 yo. swimmer in Masters. The first meet of my life was in November of last year. It was a blast, obviously, but I will tell you the two most memorable things for me at that event.

The first was watching a 18-24 competitor put on an Olympic performance in the pool, which had everyone out of their seats obviously. It was incredible, and helped me understand how much dedication, training, and technique is required to achieve that level of swimming.

But the second was far more important to me in my growth as a swimmer. My coach is 61 years old. He was a former NCAA All-American in backstroke, but I had never seen him swim. Some of my teammates were competing in the same heat as he was. Now, I knew my coach was a good swimmer, obviously, but he doesn't appear outwardly "in shape" to me. Like he maybe let himself go, or something. I didn't think about this daily, nor did I judge him for this or anything, but I just had that picture in my mind.

Watching him swim was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen in athletics. That someone of his age and body could demolish the other swimmers in his heat (all half his age), and do so while looking like he's taking a leisurely swim... I mean it blew me away. It was the most inspiring thing I've seen in a very long time.

I internalized every moment of that race. When one of my teammates congratulated me on my performance at the meet I said "Yeah, I've got a long way to go, though", and they said "You have a long stroke like Bill (the coach), you will be great". That was the greatest compliment I could've received that day. Or this entire month/year, etc. That statement, and his performance, are what continue to inspire me in the pool just as much as the Olympic level swimmers that I look up to. The difference is that my coach is with me everyday.

Why am I saying this? Because even if you feel you are not performing your best any longer, you are still setting an example in the pool. If you need another reason to perform, imagine some brand new kid to the sport sitting in the stands watching you display a complete mastery of the art of swimming. What could be more inspiring?

I like to observe my age-group peers because they help me develop realistic standards, but it is the older people in the pool that I look up to. My goal is to be a swimmer for life, not to be the fastest man in the pool for 5 years and then walk away from it.

VintageDirt
January 5th, 2017, 11:02 AM
I like to observe my age-group peers because they help me develop realistic standards, but it is the older people in the pool that I look up to. My goal is to be a swimmer for life, not to be the fastest man in the pool for 5 years and then walk away from it.

Some great observations Scales! I never thought of being ďlooked up toĒ by the younger oldguys. Iíll try to be a better role model from now on. Maybe even stop feeling like the ďrealĒ swimmers are laughing at me. :drowning:

Go Lobos!

Jimbosback
January 5th, 2017, 01:07 PM
Some great observations Scales! I never thought of being ďlooked up toĒ by the younger oldguys. Iíll try to be a better role model from now on. Maybe even stop feeling like the ďrealĒ swimmers are laughing at me. :drowning:

Go Lobos!

It is absolutely true. On time I was sitting with some older swimmers at a social, and they started complaining about the things they 'used to' be able to do in the pool. It was more than I was doing, and I realized I was still 10 years away from the years they were looking back on. It is significant when we realize what a lifetime sport swimming can be.

scales
January 5th, 2017, 01:11 PM
It is absolutely true. On time I was sitting with some older swimmers at a social, and they started complaining about the things they 'used to' be able to do in the pool. It was more than I was doing, and I realized I was still 10 years away from the years they were looking back on. It is significant when we realize what a lifetime sport swimming can be.

I originally chose to try swimming because I knew it could be a lifelong sport. Other contenders were recreational boxing and cycling. I love swimming so much now, I look back and wonder how I could have considered anything else. I am so thankful for the privilege to swim, and I hope I can keep it in my life forever.

VintageDirt
January 6th, 2017, 10:37 AM
I originally chose to try swimming because I knew it could be a lifelong sport. Other contenders were recreational boxing and cycling. I love swimming so much now, I look back and wonder how I could have considered anything else. I am so thankful for the privilege to swim, and I hope I can keep it in my life forever.

My only regret is that I didnít like swimming in the 1970s as much I love it now. I walked away from swimming in 1978 (a little bitter I'll admit) and didn't look back until 2015. Haven't done a swim meet yet, or even a time trial.

flystorms
January 6th, 2017, 05:12 PM
My only regret is that I didnít like swimming in the 1970s as much I love it now. I walked away from swimming in 1978 (a little bitter I'll admit)...

I wish there was a good way to capture some of those folks earlier who burned out of college. We have a young lady (22-23ish?) on our team who just started recently who has been so excited to not have the same level of intensity that she had in school. She quit after 2 years because it was just too much and not fun anymore. Wouldn't it be great if we could get some of these "kids" back in the pool and enjoying the fun side of it that we all know well?

Scales, what a great story, thank you for sharing it. I love seeing this from a new perspective.

Syd
January 7th, 2017, 04:25 AM
I question how much of my decline is due to mental rather than physical factors. Over the last several years I have moved out of the fastest lane in workout and I am content with swimming slower intervals. I know there was a point at which I could have continued at the faster intervals and I probably could now, but I don't have the desire that would make the pain worthwhile.

Does anybody else feel like a major part of a decline in performance is mental rather than physical?

Yes, I do.

I train on my own and sometimes it is difficult to motivate myself. It is for this very reason I always have a tempo trainer in my swim cap and a stopwatch on my wrist. I use the tempo trainer to keep my intervals strict and the stopwatch to measure my progress. In addition, I always give myself a goal for each practice: a specific time for say a 50M, a 100M or a 200M. Sometimes it might even be a goal for 25M of dolphin kick, but I always have a goal.

Despite this, I have noticed my times getting slower over the last year. Mind you, I always have a good excuse. It's usually: I didn't get enough sleep the night before, feeling sick, arms too tired after the morning strength workout, got leg cramps, etc. More recently, it's been pressure at work and water too cold. I'm sure everyone recognizes some, if not all, of these.

Every now and then, I get some external motivation. This motivation comes in the form of a high school student who likes to train with me when he has the time. My transformation is remarkable Suddenly, I am making intervals a full two seconds faster than the previous day and interval times I had all but given up hope on of ever achieving again. I am throwing down multiple repeats of these intervals as if I were a 20 year old. It is at times like these, I realise I have been slacking off and allowing myself to settle for second best. I realise that it is 90% mental and not age or any of the other excuses I have been feeding myself.

Recently, I took a look at the USMS Top Ten list and saw that some people in my age group(45-49) are still doing 53.XX for the 100M Free. That's a time I only dream about. But that is a huge inspiration for me. I see no reason why I can't do a time like that if they can. I am the same age, physically in good shape... I tell myself it is in the mind. I can do it if I really want to do it.

Trondi
January 7th, 2017, 06:41 PM
?.....................


Recently, I took a look at the USMS Top Ten list and saw that some people in my age group(45-49) are still doing 53.XX for the 100M Free. That's a time I only dream about. But that is a huge inspiration for me. I see no reason why I can't do a time like that if they can. I am the same age, physically in good shape... I tell myself it is in the mind. I can do it if I really want to do it.


totally agree Syd. - if we want to continue to swim fast we need to compare ourselves against the best and say if they can do it then with more training i can get my times closer to theirs. They only got 'there' in the first place by hard work.

Allen Stark
January 7th, 2017, 10:02 PM
totally agree Syd. - if we want to continue to swim fast we need to compare ourselves against the best and say if they can do it then with more training i can get my times closer to theirs. They only got 'there' in the first place by hard work.

I'm reminded of something that Rich Abrahams said motivated him, what he called "SIISCIWHTY." Some idiot in Southern California is working harder than you. I know for me, wondering what Bob Strand is doing motivates me.

jmurray
January 10th, 2017, 11:20 AM
I just got back from the SPMS meet and I am in a funk. I have talked to several of my contemporaries who share my dysphoria at getting slower. From age 50-62 I slowed down very little. Ages 63 and 64 were one injury or illness after another, but at least there was a cause and I felt I would do better. Age 65 I aged up and for most of the year was healthy. That was a great year,but my times were all significantly slower than at 62. Since then it is very unusual to have one swim that is faster than I did the previous year.At 67(almost 68) I am notably slower than at 65. I have seen the graphs of how times slow with age, intellectually, if I am staying at the same rate of decline as my peers I should accept it, but I don't like it. I know most forumites are much younger and what I am saying may seem like something natural that I should just acknowledge and go on, that is what I thought until I was 63. I know that our having age groups every 5 years is a partial solution to the problem, but there is more difference between a 65 year old and a 68 year old than between a 40 year old and a 50 year old, in my experience. How do the other older swimmers out there cope and have a good attitude? The common saying in Masters Swimming is that "you are only competing against yourself",but my slightly younger self is kicking my butt and I am tired of it.

I reset my PRs every five years to help with this.

cinc3100
January 27th, 2017, 12:24 AM
Personality, I went to local senior Olympics in town because I wanted some nice medals. Lost most from childhood because of moving. My Times were not hot for 55-59 and even for 60-64 which I will be in another 3 months. Interesting I swim a 100 yard Breaststroke now better than a 50 yard breaststroke because my body can't handle the all out sprint anymore. Its like I only had a three seconds spread from the 50 while when I was younger it was 4 to 5 and when I swam in my 40's one meet it was 6 seconds between 50's.

BettyL
February 23rd, 2017, 10:15 AM
So bummed out after practice today. Did 4200 yards in 90 minutes but about 1500 of them were kick/swim with fins and 500 with paddles. But I either couldn't make the intervals I set, or if I made them, I wasn't happy with my swim times.
i didn't start competing until I was 55, I'm now 61. Never did anything athletic in high school or college. So from 55-59 I had huge time drops . Now I stink, sometimes getting personal worsts. Losing speed and endurance. I've always been a 200+ swimmer because I have no kick for sprint speed. I try to improve technique, not sure if I am doing so or not, but I'm definitely always thinking about details ( admittedly not always executing them on the tough intervals). I've heard the only way to swim fast is to swim fast but I just can't swim fast! A friend told me today I need to do sets in which I feel uncomfortable for a long time. She said I need to do more repeats even if I don't make the interval and the back half of them are done with no rest. Yuck! So hard mentally as a solo swimmer. Kind of opposite to the USRP approach. Getting tougher and tougher for me to want to endure a really high heart rate. I always feel sluggish in warmup and tired in my sets. Doc and lab tests say I'm healthy. I usually swim 5-6 days per week, and lift twice per week. On the lift days I just do drills, mainly 25s with lots of rest at the wall. I don't think I'm doing too much, but am I for an old lady? It's so depressing to feel like I'm working so hard only to go backwards. And listening to my friend, she said, I've been wasting my time if I stop for rest after too few reps just because I fell off interval. Not supposed to let the heart rate drop. That's what really sent me into this funk. That I've been wasting time and gaining nothing for my efforts? Any thoughts? I know I sound like I'm whining, or making excuses. I just wish I didn't have to be so hard on myself. Is the only solution to just woman up to the killer heart rate- even more uncomfortable than the past because I'm getting older? I'm tempted to try doing less, but nervous to try that approach. I'd like to think I'm "broken down" right now and it's all going to be good when I get ready for championships, but I don't really trust that either. Not likely to be a miracle if not seeing improvements during the season. Any words of encouragement or advice?

knelson
February 23rd, 2017, 10:34 AM
I think you are working out a lot and maybe that IS breaking you down. If you've got a championship meet coming this spring I would stay the course for now, but think about changing things up after that, especially if you don't swim as fast as you hope to. You may just be stuck in a rut. Try more race-pace training. It doesn't have to be USRPT, but do more fast swimming with more rest.

I also don't believe in beating your head against a wall. If you are not making intervals I see no problem in stopping to regroup.

cinc3100
February 23rd, 2017, 10:45 AM
I think you are working out a lot and maybe that IS breaking you down. If you've got a championship meet coming this spring I would stay the course for now, but think about changing things up after that, especially if you don't swim as fast as you hope to. You may just be stuck in a rut. Try more race-pace training. It doesn't have to be USRPT, but do more fast swimming with more rest.

I also don't believe in beating your head against a wall. If you are not making intervals I see no problem in stopping to regroup.

Makes sense to me. I do moderate swims and more sprint swims with longer rest. I looked at the NT's and the only stoke I within 10 seconds is 100 yard breaststroke.

Allen Stark
February 23rd, 2017, 12:19 PM
I don't agree with everything about USRPT, but some of Rushall's ideas make sense to me. First, that training the neuromuscular system is very important(he would say most important.) This means that what you train is what the system learns, so that training to swim slow trains to swim slow. Second that adaptation comes from going to failure.He defines failure as not making the interval.For myself I have expanded that to not keeping my stroke count. If you are not able to make your interval you are way past failure. Rest is where the adaptation happens,without enough rest you are breaking down, not adapting.
The "you have to keep your heart rate up" idea makes some sense, up to a point, but as the only measure of work it certainly has limitations. How much does your heart rate drop during the rest, probably not much.
My way of training is different from most peoples in that I focus mostly on the race pace. If I can't make my goal time I increase the rest and or shorten the distance(like goal time for 100 at 200 pace is 1:18, if i don't make it I rest longer, if I still don't make it I change to 50s shooting for 38.) I have found I need more rest than I did when younger. This irritates me, but it is part of adapting. I recently was having more shoulder and knee problems than usual, so I increased my warm up 50% and that helped.
I was not satisfied with my starts and turns at my last meet,so I decided to do them until I do them right. When I am doing sets with a start, if I don't do the start, pullout,and breakout "good enough",I flip and swim back to the wall, get out and go again.If my turn is not "crisp", again I flip and do it again. This, of course, blows my intervals, but my starts and turns seem better, and they are much of the race in SCY.

knelson
February 23rd, 2017, 12:20 PM
Makes sense to me. I do moderate swims and more sprint swims with longer rest. I looked at the NT's and the only stoke I within 10 seconds is 100 yard breaststroke.

I think it depends on which events you are training for. Someone swimming events 200 yards and greater is definitely going to want a solid aerobic component to their training, but that doesn't mean your training needs to be all or mostly aerobic, and I don't think it should mean you just keep swimming if you're missing intervals consistently.

knelson
February 23rd, 2017, 12:41 PM
If you are not able to make your interval you are way past failure. Rest is where the adaptation happens,without enough rest you are breaking down, not adapting.

Well said, Allen!

BettyL
February 23rd, 2017, 02:10 PM
My targeted meet is in June, national senior games, so I have a few months to tweak how I'm training.
unfortunately, what I swam in the state games was all the 200 strokes, 500 free and 400 IM. So now I'm kind of stuck doing at least some distance at that meet. I'm able to enter shorter distances only if I do the event I qualified in as well. For example, I can enter 50 fly only if I swim the 200 fly also. So I'm thinking I should focus on 200 pace training and not add too many dimensions to what I have to practice. If I train for 200 strokes, I should be able to swim 400IM without too much suffering. So maybe I should focus on USRP as 50s at 200 pace, which wouldn't actually be sprint. What's the better adaptation if I'm not able to hold my dream pace at 20 sec rest? Accept a slower pace? Or give myself more rest?

ande
February 23rd, 2017, 02:16 PM
Tired of getting of getting older and slower?
Consider weights, sprinting & T E S T O S T E R O N E


I just got back from the SPMS meet and I am in a funk. I have talked to several of my contemporaries who share my dysphoria at getting slower. From age 50-62 I slowed down very little. Ages 63 and 64 were one injury or illness after another, but at least there was a cause and I felt I would do better. Age 65 I aged up and for most of the year was healthy. That was a great year,but my times were all significantly slower than at 62. Since then it is very unusual to have one swim that is faster than I did the previous year.At 67(almost 68) I am notably slower than at 65. I have seen the graphs of how times slow with age, intellectually, if I am staying at the same rate of decline as my peers I should accept it, but I don't like it. I know most forumites are much younger and what I am saying may seem like something natural that I should just acknowledge and go on, that is what I thought until I was 63. I know that our having age groups every 5 years is a partial solution to the problem, but there is more difference between a 65 year old and a 68 year old than between a 40 year old and a 50 year old, in my experience. How do the other older swimmers out there cope and have a good attitude? The common saying in Masters Swimming is that "you are only competing against yourself",but my slightly younger self is kicking my butt and I am tired of it.

Rich Abrahams
February 23rd, 2017, 03:02 PM
Tired of getting of getting older and slower?
Consider weights, sprinting & T E S T O S T E R O N E
I sure hope you are joking Ande. BTW, the slope gets much steeper after 70. Learning to cope.

Allen Stark
February 23rd, 2017, 03:22 PM
Tired of getting of getting older and slower?
Consider weights, sprinting & T E S T O S T E R O N E

I thought that was cheating, but if you say it is OK...

ElaineK
February 23rd, 2017, 05:12 PM
My targeted meet is in June, national senior games, so I have a few months to tweak how I'm training.
unfortunately, what I swam in the state games was all the 200 strokes, 500 free and 400 IM. So now I'm kind of stuck doing at least some distance at that meet. I'm able to enter shorter distances only if I do the event I qualified in as well. For example, I can enter 50 fly only if I swim the 200 fly also. So I'm thinking I should focus on 200 pace training and not add too many dimensions to what I have to practice. If I train for 200 strokes, I should be able to swim 400IM without too much suffering. So maybe I should focus on USRP as 50s at 200 pace, which wouldn't actually be sprint. What's the better adaptation if I'm not able to hold my dream pace at 20 sec rest? Accept a slower pace? Or give myself more rest?

Betty, we are in a similar situation. I qualified at the Georgia Senior Games in 200 fly, 200 breast, 400 IM, 500 free, and 50 breast. I'm picking up the 200 IM as my extra event.

I started focusing on USRPT doing 50's at 200 pace, and I am also doing 25's of breast at 50 pace to train for the National Senior Games. I've only changed to this type of training just last week, so it's new to me. So far, I'm already seeing improvements, and it's giving me more confidence. I love that first 50 after a failure and sitting out a send-off. It feels great, and it gives me encouragement to keep going. For butterfly, I have been able to swim a lot more yardage per session and with better results.

Look for me in Birmingham. I would love to meet you and cheer you on! :cheerleader:

no200fly
February 23rd, 2017, 07:12 PM
I'm reminded of something that Rich Abrahams said motivated him, what he called "SIISCIWHTY." Some idiot in Southern California is working harder than you. I know for me, wondering what Bob Strand is doing motivates me.


Thanks to this comment I have moved back to the fast lane and swimming more often. For me it was "those idiots in the next lane are working harder than me."

BettyL
February 23rd, 2017, 09:04 PM
Elaine, I'd be delighted to make a new friend! I guess we'll see each other at the blocks! 400 IM, bring it on!
I think you're going to kick my butt on 200 breast!
Look for me in the cheetah cap.

ElaineK
February 23rd, 2017, 10:32 PM
Elaine, I'd be delighted to make a new friend! I guess we'll see each other at the blocks! 400 IM, bring it on!
I think you're going to kick my butt on 200 breast!
Look for me in the cheetah cap.

Hey, we're in different age groups (I just turned 55), so we don't have to be concerned with any butt-kicking. Besides, I'm sure you'll kick my butt in 200 fly! :blush:

orca1946
February 24th, 2017, 12:53 PM
AAHHHH ----- the 200 FLY is the event that almost all swimmers shy away from!

ElaineK
February 24th, 2017, 02:52 PM
AAHHHH ----- the 200 FLY is the event that almost all swimmers shy away from!

​I may be slowwww, but I love the challenge of it! :banana:

krebert
March 4th, 2018, 05:03 PM
:bighug: I feel your pain, King Frog. (No matter what, and no matter who beats you, you will always be "King Frog!" :cheerleader:)

At least this didn't happen to you until recently. I will be 55 in January (Inauguration Day :afraid:), and I've been experiencing similar (mental) pain for awhile. I watch video of my breaststroke at 47 years old, and my current breaststroke technique; and, I scratch my head wondering why I am so much slower now. (Sure, we all get slower, but I have slipped an entire column in Swimosaur's motivational charts, which I didn't do before aging up to 50!)

King Frog, all I can offer you is the same pep talk I give myself when I want to kick myself in the *&%:

"Hey Aqua Dog, be thankful you are physically able to swim, and you enjoy it as much as you do! You are healthy, fit, and happy; so, quit beating yourself up! Look around you. Most people your age are physically waaay worse off than you, so give yourself credit for all that you do to stay healthy and fit. In the big scheme of things, it is just a time on the clock for a swim race! How does that really compare in importance to everything else in life? Just have fun at the pool and at meets; and, don't worry about that clock so much! Just give it your best shot, and congratulate yourself for your efforts. AND, even if you were a human meet delay :blush: "racing" the 200 fly, at least YOU DID IT! (How many 54 year-old women can even swim a legal 200 fly race, anyway?)."

King Frog, you are an amazing swimmer (World Records!!!)! The pool isn't half-empty; it's half-full. ;)



Although your post is almost two years old - thank you for that, @ElaineK! I really need this today. My times have really dropped over the last year and I'm not sure whether it's work interfering, age, injuries or a combination of all of the above. Did a meet today and although it didn't feel bad, my times were just awful for me. Thanks for putting it into perspective.

ElaineK
March 4th, 2018, 06:22 PM
Although your post is almost two years old - thank you for that, @ElaineK! I really need this today. My times have really dropped over the last year and I'm not sure whether it's work interfering, age, injuries or a combination of all of the above. Did a meet today and although it didn't feel bad, my times were just awful for me. Thanks for putting it into perspective.


You're welcome, K! Thank you for letting me know I was able to help you. Reading it back myself helped me to keep those thoughts in mind if my times aren't what I hope them to be at my upcoming meet on St. Patrick's Day weekend!

cmolnar65
March 4th, 2018, 07:49 PM
I needed to see this today as well. When I was 16-21 my breaststroke times were great. 32 years later I recently found some journals from back then (yes, I was OCD and wrote almost everything down) and got so disgusted with my current times. This old thread popped up at a perfect time.

cinc3100
March 6th, 2018, 09:50 AM
I needed to see this today as well. When I was 16-21 my breaststroke times were great. 32 years later I recently found some journals from back then (yes, I was OCD and wrote almost everything down) and got so disgusted with my current times. This old thread popped up at a perfect time.


Well, the master swimmers within 5 seconds of their youth times are in pretty good physical shape. Also, on the ladies side, the top swimmers like Laurie Val and others have been swimming masters since their 30's or early 40's. This helps to built a swimming based and makes it easier to be within 5 to 7 seconds of your youth times in a 100 yard. Many swimmers that take up masters swimming years later and do it more on and off can be 10 to 30 seconds slower than their youth time in a 100 yard.

Swimspire
March 6th, 2018, 01:32 PM
In order to continue to feel satisfied with your progress as you get older, I would suggest trying out the following:
1) Set goals (but be realistic). What do you hope to achieve in a year, or even in 5 years? What do you need to do to achieve these goals and can you do what it takes to achieve them? Make sure these are realistic goals, however. If you were an NCAA DI competitive swimmer over 30 years ago and quit swimming for 20 of those years, it's not realistic to hope to achieve a lifetime best. Which leads to the second point...

2) Try not to compare your current times with previous times from years back. Instead, start by comparing them to recent times you were able to achieve within your current age group. If you surpass those times, wonderful - you then know that you can set a slightly higher goal for yourself. But comparing yourself to a previous stage in your life when you were training every day twice a day in college is a recipe for frustration - and failure.


3) Keep track of your progress. Whether it's in the form of a yardage chart, or a time log for meets that you attend, keeping track of your progress will help you manage your expectations and feel more satisfied at progress you make. It will also keep you in the here-and-now instead of dwelling on your much faster past swim life.


"Finding the Motivation to Train" can offer you some more extensive tips to help you progress even as you get older - I wrote this with this forum thread in mind! http://www.swimspire.com/the-motivation-to-train/

quicksilver
March 6th, 2018, 02:02 PM
Re: Getting Older,Getting Slower

By no means should a drop-off discourage anyone from doing what they enjoy. If you're lucky enough to be racing into your golden years - it should be reassuring to know that everyone else is showing up the same aches and pains.

We're all going to get slower. Sooner or later that V8 engine is going to be running on 4 cylinders if you stay in there long enough. The key is to not slow down at the same rate as your counterparts. :)

__steve__
March 6th, 2018, 03:53 PM
After i turned 50 I didnít slow down much, I instead became much less resistant to injury and require more and more rest

kchuangharris
March 17th, 2018, 04:32 PM
Yes injuries are a big factor in getting older and they seem to take longer to heal.

My only consolation is I swim in a lane with some 25 year olds, half my age! I try to make myself feel better that it's okay if they beat me!

Allen Stark
March 18th, 2018, 11:19 AM
Speaking of injuries,I hurt my shoulder and will miss at least Indy. Orthopedist suspects a subscapular tear. Xrays were fine, awaiting approval for MRI. I get really bored with kicking workouts.

Swimspire
March 18th, 2018, 12:04 PM
Hi Allen, sorry to hear this. Hope your shoulder heals soon. I know kicking workouts can sometimes be tedious, but they will keep you in the game. A bonus is that when your shoulder heals, you may have additional kicking strength which will hopefully give an overall boost to your swimming performance!

Allen Stark
March 18th, 2018, 12:17 PM
Hi Allen, sorry to hear this. Hope your shoulder heals soon. I know kicking workouts can sometimes be tedious, but they will keep you in the game. A bonus is that when your shoulder heals, you may have additional kicking strength which will hopefully give an overall boost to your swimming performance!

Thank you.

__steve__
March 18th, 2018, 12:26 PM
Speaking of injuries,I hurt my shoulder and will miss at least Indy. Orthopedist suspects a subscapular tear. Xrays were fine, awaiting approval for MRI. I get really bored with kicking workouts.Iíve been kicking a lot latelyJust had an arthrogram: circumferential labral tear pronounced posteriorly and anterior inferiorly. Proximal tearing of the posterior inferior glenohumaral ligament from the labral complex. And changes in the acromyclavicular joint.
Not sure if this is the source, or result of my problem. Or if it just sounds worse than it is. My kicking however has improved in some regards

Allen Stark
March 18th, 2018, 01:34 PM
Iíve been kicking a lot latelyJust had an arthrogram: circumferential labral tear pronounced posteriorly and anterior inferiorly. Proximal tearing of the posterior inferior glenohumaral ligament from the labral complex. And changes in the acromyclavicular joint.
Not sure if this is the source, or result of my problem. Or if it just sounds worse than it is. My kicking however has improved in some regards

Sorry to hear that. Are they recommending surgery. I certainly hope you recover quickly.

ElaineK
March 18th, 2018, 09:31 PM
Speaking of injuries,I hurt my shoulder and will miss at least Indy. Orthopedist suspects a subscapular tear. Xrays were fine, awaiting approval for MRI. I get really bored with kicking workouts.

Oh no, King Frog! I hope it's not a tear! I've been wondering how you and Seal Girl have been doing since our last PM's back and forth. Please let her know I'm thinking of her, too, and keep me up to date. Ok?

:sad:

__steve__
March 19th, 2018, 01:51 AM
Are they recommending surgery.If a shot and second round of PT doesn't help. To stay in the water I've found IM kicking has kept swimming fairly interesting, the fly part has been done as 12.5M UW's mixing some atlantis. Atlantis seems to be a good workout

Sorry about Indy training Sir, I do wish you a quick and full recovery.

kchuangharris
March 19th, 2018, 11:34 PM
Yes I agree with kicking. Try kicking with a snorkel to keep your shoulder in a good position. I also did alot of one arm strokes with my good shoulder - my one arm fly is really fast now! LOL!

timmount
March 27th, 2018, 09:26 AM
Iím not competitive (except with myself). But what is an OK time for off-the-wall and flip turn for various crawl and backstroke distances for a 69 year-old? All I can find are records but that ainít gonna happen.

Sojerz
March 28th, 2018, 12:31 PM
Iím not competitive (except with myself). But what is an OK time for off-the-wall and flip turn for various crawl and backstroke distances for a 69 year-old? All I can find are records but that ainít gonna happen.

I'm 68.5 and a middle of the pack swimmer. I hear you about the records and qualifying times - I don't think I will ever be able to get back to that kind of performance, although I haven't quit trying yet.

Crawl - For 50 scy free from a push during repeats >5 I try to stay under :50 and can go around :45 for < 5 repeats (swimming them on :60 si). In a meet from a block, I'm about :33 to :35. For 100 scy repeats I'm trying to stay under 1:45 swimming them on 2:00 si. I can go around 1:17 in a meet. For 200 scy I can go around 3:15 from a push in practice swimming on 3:30 si but my limit is about 2- 3 before im doa for the rest of a 200 set and need to stick fins on to keep up. In a meet I'm under 3:00 for a 200 and have gone faster a few years back. I'm dreaming about a 2:30 for a 200 and under :30 for a 50 from a blocks, but who knows if I'll ever get there. I'm swimming 3x per week about 4k each time in a team practice where I'm the pokiest but also the oldest by far. I would need to kick that up to 4x or 5x times per week to go faster. but I'm not sure if I can handle that and recover.

I don't have much to share on backstroke times, cause I don't swim it for 50s or 100s very often - too much water going up my nose during the turns and aggravating my already testy sinuses. In a meet I think I'd be around :40 for a 50 bk and in practice doing repeats trying to hold about :55 or :60 might be realistic for me for 50s. I just don't seem to be able to generate speed on my back anymore, possibly cause I don't practice. :) My 100 bk would be very slow.

In my opinion there are a lot of very good swimmers still at it in our age group, so don't get discouraged. My theory is that only the best of the pack remain at this age. My mistake was the 40+ year hiatus and waiting too long to be able to get back what was lost. So, I just compete with myself and try not get any slower.

__steve__
March 29th, 2018, 01:22 PM
Iím not competitive (except with myself). But what is an OK time for off-the-wall and flip turn for various crawl and backstroke distances for a 69 year-old? .

Keep in mind the following were done mostly in racing suits, tapered, from the block, shaven, and rested. Typically add a second or two to get an idear

http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/eventrank.php


Go to EVENT RANKINGS (to the left side on the page) and plug-in the age, course, stroke, distance, and rankings in order of time, typically 200 would include all of the 50 backstroke races swum for a particular course. This list can be very humbling and encouraging at the same time.

Allen Stark
April 6th, 2018, 02:59 PM
Getting older seems to mean that the injuries accumulate. Just saw the orthopedist today. Frayed biceps tendon and partially torn subscapular tendon requiring surgery. I was told I would be out of the water 3 mo and no pulling for 6 mo. The only good part is that I'm 69 so I should be healed by the time I age up next year. I will miss Nats this year of course, and I was looking forward to Indy.

ElaineK
April 6th, 2018, 03:32 PM
Getting older seems to mean that the injuries accumulate. Just saw the orthopedist today. Frayed biceps tendon and partially torn subscapular tendon requiring surgery. I was told I would be out of the water 3 mo and no pulling for 6 mo. The only good part is that I'm 69 so I should be healed by the time I age up next year. I will miss Nats this year of course, and I was looking forward to Indy.

:cry::bighug: I'm sorry, King Frog. It looks like you won't be able to hop around on the lily pads for awhile, either. When will you be having your surgery? I sure hope it goes well for you! I'm sorry you won't be able to go to Nats., and I'm even more sorry you will be out of the water for several months. I'll bet you'll have VERY strong frog legs by then, though. :agree:

mmlr38
April 6th, 2018, 03:37 PM
Getting older seems to mean that the injuries accumulate. Just saw the orthopedist today. Frayed biceps tendon and partially torn subscapular tendon requiring surgery. I was told I would be out of the water 3 mo and no pulling for 6 mo. The only good part is that I'm 69 so I should be healed by the time I age up next year. I will miss Nats this year of course, and I was looking forward to Indy.
Oh no, Allen! Oregon is going to miss you at Nats this year. What a bummer!

I've been having some pain in my biceps tendon lately and am worried that I might be causing some damage to it. What was the cause of your frayed biceps tendon (could it have somehow been prevented?) and how did the orthopedist diagnose it?

Good luck with your surgery and recovery.

ElaineK
April 6th, 2018, 03:41 PM
Sorry to hear you have had pain as well, Fly Trap!

King Frog, what were your symptoms? Do you have pain all of the time or only when you swim? I thought it might be helpful for Fly Trap as well as others to be able to differentiate tendon pain from muscular or joint pain.

Allen Stark
April 6th, 2018, 06:47 PM
Oh no, Allen! Oregon is going to miss you at Nats this year. What a bummer!

I've been having some pain in my biceps tendon lately and am worried that I might be causing some damage to it. What was the cause of your frayed biceps tendon (could it have somehow been prevented?) and how did the orthopedist diagnose it?

Good luck with your surgery and recovery.

I was having some pain at the top of the arm(biceps insertion) and then I tripped and caught myself (hard) to stop my fall. Then I had pain on the insweep of BR and the back part of free pull. Dr. said the injury likely was the last straw, but it was a repetative movement problem in that once it started to fray it rubbed against the bone and got worse. Iftwas diagnosed by MRI. Surgery is May 10, first day of Indy.

mmlr38
April 6th, 2018, 07:17 PM
I was having some pain at the top of the arm(biceps insertion) and then I tripped and caught myself (hard) to stop my fall. Then I had pain on the insweep of BR and the back part of free pull. Dr. said the injury likely was the last straw, but it was a repetative movement problem in that once it started to fray it rubbed against the bone and got worse. It was diagnosed by MRI. Surgery is May 10, first day of Indy.
Thanks for all of the details Allen. I'll be thinking of you when I'm in Indy.

ElaineK
April 6th, 2018, 08:34 PM
I was having some pain at the top of the arm(biceps insertion) and then I tripped and caught myself (hard) to stop my fall. Then I had pain on the insweep of BR and the back part of free pull. Dr. said the injury likely was the last straw, but it was a repetative movement problem in that once it started to fray it rubbed against the bone and got worse. Iftwas diagnosed by MRI. Surgery is May 10, first day of Indy.

Yes, thanks King Frog. It sounds typical of repetitive stress injuries, which I have experienced plenty of over the years! Typically, there is that last straw. When I had a repetitive stress back injury when I was 25, a terrible sneeze is what finally blew out one of the disks. There was a "last straw" with my other two major RSI injuries that led to surgery as well.

I wish you the best with your surgery. I hope it is successful! :agree:

Allen Stark
April 6th, 2018, 09:23 PM
Yes, thanks King Frog. It sounds typical of repetitive stress injuries, which I have experienced plenty of over the years! Typically, there is that last straw. When I had a repetitive stress back injury when I was 25, a terrible sneeze is what finally blew out one of the disks. There was a "last straw" with my other two major RSI injuries that led to surgery as well.

I wish you the best with your surgery. I hope it is successful! :agree:


Thank you. And to Matt, swim fast at Indy.

antpappa
April 7th, 2018, 12:57 PM
Here is my general thought, who cares. You are in the pool and in the 1% of Americans that regularly swim for fitness. I am 57 and started late to swimming I am still improving, but not as fast. I also notice that weight training does not result in as much muscle development as when I was in my 20's. Keep at it, and set realistic goals...For me I hope to be in great shape in retirement and for my future Grand Kids :)