View Full Version : 45-55 year olds who compete

May 9th, 2004, 10:59 PM
After 30 years, I got back into the pool 3 months ago, and just swam in my first meet last weekend. I'm curious about how many yards a day, and how many days a week other males in my age group who are swimming to compete swim. Thanks up front for your input!

May 10th, 2004, 04:30 AM
There was a poll last year on this forum with 161 responses. Most were swimming 5-10k, 10-15k or 15-20k/wk. I'm in the 45-49 age group and currently swim 15k (3000/day, 5 or 6 days/week). I built up to this slowly over several months.

May 10th, 2004, 10:23 AM
Hi Craig,

Thanks for the info. I'm at 2k five days a week after three months but know I'll need to step it up if I'm going to make my time goals.


jim thornton
May 10th, 2004, 04:52 PM
I recently heard that Jim McConica, a legend in the 50-54 age group, swam 500,000 yards last February. It was a leap year, so he had the benefit of a 29th day, but by my calculations, he was averaging over 17,000 yards a day (almost 10 miles per day)--this assuming he didn't take a day off.

There's quite a range. Another excellent swimmer, though younger than us, is Bill Volckening (spelling?) who told me he swims one mile a day, seven days a week, which is only a bit over 12,000 a week.

Whatever approach you take, I second the idea in the earlier post: work up to it very, very gradually, adding no more than 10 percent per week. You might want to throw in some circuit weight training, too, to help guard against injuries. Good luck.

Phil Arcuni
May 10th, 2004, 07:11 PM
I'm sure that 10% figure is great advice, but I find it impossible to follow. With the conflicts of workout focus (distance or taper), work travel, illness, family vacations, and family responsibilities, I find it impossible to maintain a consistent training schedule. 10% of what?

I have been keeping careful track since last October, and my weekly yardage varies between 3,000 yards and 33,000 yards, week to week.

I know this is not ideal, but does anyone else have this problem?

May 10th, 2004, 08:52 PM
I have the same problem too. I don't compete, but I do know my PB's and cruise times. When I miss several days in a row my times climb. I think it takes a couple of workouts to get the stamina and stroke back.

My goal is to swim 5 days a week. I swim, run and do a little bit of weights just to be in shape so an "ideal" week would look something like this:

Monday: 2300-2500 yards freestyle workout followed by 3 mile run.
Tuesday: 2800-3000 yard breaststroke workout
Wednesday: 1900-2200 yard fly workout followed by weights for about 30-40 minutes
Thursday: 2600-2900 yard IM workout
Friday: 1900-2200 yard backstroke workout

About two out of every five weeks actually turn out that way. Two more of the five will be four of the above days. And the fifth week may be only one or two days of exercise. During those weeks, I can feel it late in the week. I will actually put on one or two pounds and I start to feel it - I just don't feel like myself.

Today was my first day in the pool since last Monday - and it was tough. Last week I worked about 80 hours - add to that family obligations, etc. and I was only getting 5-6 hours of sleep as it was. To give up even another hour so that I could swim just didn't seem like a good idea.

May 10th, 2004, 09:21 PM
wow swimpastor i live in salisbury nc thats like right beside your town, its pretty cool someone that there is someone that lives right near me on this huge message board

May 10th, 2004, 10:07 PM
Do you swim at the Salisbury Y? It is a great facility, and I know they have a great age group program.

jim thornton
May 10th, 2004, 10:46 PM

I think the 10 percent rule applies more to people who are getting back into a sport after a reasonably long absence. If you can swim 33000 yards some weeks, I suspect the weeks where you can only squeeze in 3000 yards total serve almost like a maintenance dosage. The point is you are in great swimming shape, and some variation is not going to dramatically affect you.

But imagine if you hadn't been swimming more or less continuously for several years, but instead were just getting back into the sport. The first week's goal: 3000 yards. The second week's goal: 33,000 yards. I don't think too many people would advocate that, unless you're a orthopedic surgeon trying to scarf up some patients.

Phil Arcuni
May 11th, 2004, 01:59 AM
It wasn't so long ago that I was starting out after many years off, and things weren't any different then. It was impossible to schedule my swimming to increase my yardage or effort gradually. Instead, I had to pay careful attention to my body, particularly my shoulders, and lay off when I started to hurt. I made an effort to avoid any sort of paddles for a couple of years, and only in the last few months have I started to use the (huge, to me) yellow paddles.

So I think advice to be added to yours is to be careful and not rush things. I always say to myself that I will be swimming when I am 90, so there is no rush; I am in the middle of my life!

May 11th, 2004, 11:44 AM
This has all been really helpful. I particularly appreciate the "no more than 10% increase per week" advice. I have been inclined to try and step it up more quickly, but don't really need to provide any additional support to my local orthopedic professional.

May 12th, 2004, 04:49 PM
yea i siwm at the salisbury y, i have been swimming with the age group program the past 6 months but i just quit doing that because it was my first time swimming real yardage and my shoudlers finally needed a break, it was hard going from 10k a wekk to 30+k a week im jsut trianing on my own now, who do you swim with

May 13th, 2004, 09:10 AM

Since we're going off topic somewhat, I sent you an email to continue this part of the conversation. Your email server has delayed delivery of that email message - so, you may need to email me if you want to pursue this.


May 19th, 2004, 12:32 AM
I agree with Phil. You have to layoff if shoulder injury or back injury or knee injury or groin injury might occur. I'm one of the swimmers on the lower side of yardage around 8,000 to 9,200 a week. This is the second year where I workout at least 4 days a week. Somedays because I swim in the evening and then early in the morning at 6:00, I will do the nite workout between 1,300 to 1,800 yards because its less than 24 hours between workouts and my aging body can't handle it. As for Jim Mcconia or some of the others they have kept themselves in shape for years but top master swimmers do have shoulder surgey,so the yardage can take a toil on your body. And I'm a 47 year old woman.