PDA

View Full Version : Training for the long haul



Allen Stark
July 2nd, 2017, 11:50 PM
A few days ago I stopped doing a particular type of set in my workouts because I wasn't enjoying them. I have done that a couple of times before and several times I have changed sets or dropped out sets due to injuries/pain.That got me thinking about sustainability. I have been swimming Masters and competing for 43 years. About 25 years ago I set my goal to set World Records in the 3 Breaststrokes in the 100-104 age groups. To do that I must first live that long. That is certainly not something I can count on, and many things are out of my control. I can control what I eat, how much I sleep, what supplements I take and what risks I am willing to take. Then I must get to that age without any disabilities that preclude my swimming. That is a similar mix of things I can control and things I can't. Lastly I have to still want to swim and to compete. That is the purpose of this post. If you are in it for the long haul, your workouts must be sustainable both physically and mentally. Can you imagine doing the type of workouts you are doing for 60 or more years? Can you imagine enjoying them. If not,maybe you should be doing different workouts.

ElaineK
July 3rd, 2017, 06:46 PM
I hear you LOUD and CLEAR, King Frog. You just took all the words out of my head! We have had many PM's back and forth about this very thing.

It has been two months since I aggravated the scar tissue from hip surgery (again) and had my land-based elbow and shoulder injuries join me in the pool. I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. My hip is back about 80%, and my shoulder is pain-free; however, my doctor wants me laying off full butterfly and backstroke awhile longer. My elbow tendonitis will take longer to heal; however, it's headed in the right direction.

After having to miss National Senior Games again (I missed 2015 due to recovering from my hip surgery) and having to sit out Nationals next month, I have done a lot of soul searching. I was broken-hearted about missing both events, and I was depressed. Bruce has warned me many times about the intensity of my training, knowing how susceptible my body is to repetitive stress injuries. I have had too many over the years, and enough is enough. We had some long talks over the past two months, and he said, "You always say that you want to grow up to be just like Anne (Dunivin, my 100 year-old teammate). If you want to grow up to be like Anne, you're going to have to dial it down! No more USRPT and no more 6 days/week training. On alternate days, get in the pool and play, float, join the noodlers, or walk if you want... anything but train! He's right.

King Frog, I, too, want to keep swimming as long as I am alive. I'm afraid my family genes might not allow me to grow up to be like Anne; however, I am doing everything I can within MY power to try. If I am lucky, I will defy my heredity and be swimming into my 100's.

In my case, although I mentally LOVED USRPT and had success with the sets while I lasted, my mind is much more willing than my body. My autoimmune issues just don't allow me to stress my body in that way, so I had to give them up. From now on, I won't be able to set time goals the way I have in the past, because I won't be able to train at the intensity I would need to in order to achieve those goals. From now on, I will be swimming my races, instead of racing them. THAT is how I will achieve longevity in the sport I love.

cinc3100
July 3rd, 2017, 11:33 PM
A few days ago I stopped doing a particular type of set in my workouts because I wasn't enjoying them. I have done that a couple of times before and several times I have changed sets or dropped out sets due to injuries/pain.That got me thinking about sustainability. I have been swimming Masters and competing for 43 years. About 25 years ago I set my goal to set World Records in the 3 Breaststrokes in the 100-104 age groups. To do that I must first live that long. That is certainly not something I can count on, and many things are out of my control. I can control what I eat, how much I sleep, what supplements I take and what risks I am willing to take. Then I must get to that age without any disabilities that preclude my swimming. That is a similar mix of things I can control and things I can't. Lastly I have to still want to swim and to compete. That is the purpose of this post. If you are in it for the long haul, your workouts must be sustainable both physically and mentally. Can you imagine doing the type of workouts you are doing for 60 or more years? Can you imagine enjoying them. If not,maybe you should be doing different workouts.
Well, the best I did in swimming was an adult in 2003 where I swam the long course races of breaststroke of 46 in the 50 meter and 100 meter at 1:43 for breaststroke. I took off several years from meets after 2,005 and rarely workout after 2,005 until last year for the senor Olympics in Tucson where i Slowed down a lot in the 55 to 59 age group at 51 seconds in 50 yard breaststroke and 100 yard at 1:48. I just did the senior Olympics to get medals. I think I will do it next year but my mother is ill and if she dies I have to deal with closing her accounts and selling off furniture in her apartment.

cinc3100
July 3rd, 2017, 11:42 PM
I hear you LOUD and CLEAR, King Frog. You just took all the words out of my head! We have had many PM's back and forth about this very thing.

It has been two months since I aggravated the scar tissue from hip surgery (again) and had my land-based elbow and shoulder injuries join me in the pool. I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. My hip is back about 80%, and my shoulder is pain-free; however, my doctor wants me laying off full butterfly and backstroke awhile longer. My elbow tendonitis will take longer to heal; however, it's headed in the right direction.

After having to miss National Senior Games again (I missed 2015 due to recovering from my hip surgery) and having to sit out Nationals next month, I have done a lot of soul searching. I was broken-hearted about missing both events, and I was depressed. Bruce has warned me many times about the intensity of my training, knowing how susceptible my body is to repetitive stress injuries. I have had too many over the years, and enough is enough. We had some long talks over the past two months, and he said, "You always say that you want to grow up to be just like Anne (Dunivin, my 100 year-old teammate). If you want to grow up to be like Anne, you're going to have to dial it down! No more USRPT and no more 6 days/week training. On alternate days, get in the pool and play, float, join the noodlers, or walk if you want... anything but train! He's right.

King Frog, I, too, want to keep swimming as long as I am alive. I'm afraid my family genes might not allow me to grow up to be like Anne; however, I am doing everything I can within MY power to try. If I am lucky, I will defy my heredity and be swimming into my 100's.

In my case, although I mentally LOVED USRPT and had success with the sets while I lasted, my mind is much more willing than my body. My autoimmune issues just don't allow me to stress my body in that way, so I had to give them up. From now on, I won't be able to set time goals the way I have in the past, because I won't be able to train at the intensity I would need to in order to achieve those goals. From now on, I will be swimming my races, instead of racing them. THAT is how I will achieve longevity in the sport I love.
Do what you enjoy, I have been known to swim everything from 3600 to 7,200 yards a week. I do some time 200 yard Im's varying in speed for 4:18 or 4:19 to 4:28 to 4:31 in practice. Its how you feel in the water without hurting yourself.

orca1946
July 4th, 2017, 12:26 AM
This is my 31st year of Masters and have found what works for me. I can do 3 hard pool workouts and 3 drylands/gym/weight workout per week all season [sept. to may] and then I drop off mostly to enjoy the summer with easy bike riding. I need a physical and mental break from it all to regain my mind set for the next season. I have tried to go all year but, it does not work for me.
At age 71 , I need to dial back when I need to. I M H O

Sumorunner
July 4th, 2017, 08:33 AM
On the other hand, I'm still a relative newcomer to swimming. Running was my forever sport until arthritis put a crimp in those plans. I ran for 40+ years and swam on and off only for cross training. It would have been very nice had I been able to continue doing what I wanted, but as a chronicler of the sport I knew that very few people continue even as long as I had. Then there came a time to say, what else can I do to remain active and vital.

I was a writer for the local runners club and a couple times even wrote about longevity in the sport, so I did a lot of research into the subject. One finds that distribution by age group has been fairly consistent over decades, meaning that as one ages there is diminution in physical as well as psychological abilities to continue. There are illnesses and accumulated overuse injuries that are unpredictable, so some are forced out at 45, some at 65, and a lucky few keep going seemingly forever. Almost all long-term athletes feel as Allen does. We hope and pray to keep going, but the odds are stacked against us in the long term. What we can and must do is resolve to remain fit by whatever means our bodies will allow.