PDA

View Full Version : Starting All Over Again



mbriones
October 6th, 2004, 04:53 PM
Hi everyone...I've been more of a lurker around here as I recently started working for US Masters as the web contractor, so I've been behind the scenes.

But today, I got back into the pool for the first time in YEARS. I hadn't done any kind of lap swimming for at least 20 years. I have a brand new Masters group just down the road. Problem is, they don't have a coach yet. So if someone can give me some advice, that would be great.

I did 8 laps (200 yards) breast stroke and thought I would die between each one, but it's a starting point. I would rest for about 30 - 45 seconds between each lap (watching hte clock) and then do another lap. After 100 yards I didn't know if I'd be able to double it, but I did.

Short term goal is to be able to do two laps without having to stop and gasp in between. My mid-term goal is to get my stamina back - I was very atheletic for years and most recently used to do a lot of long distance cycling, so I know it'll come back. My longterm goal is also to lose 50 lbs but know that swimming isn't the best way to do that, but it'll certainly tone me up. I'm dieting and doing other exercise but now I have pulled a calf muscle, so until that heals, swimming will be it for me.

If I had tried freestyle, I doubt I would have made it halfway across the pool!

I look forward to help anyone can offer me. I know I need realtime coaching too but that will have to wait for now.

Thanks,
MJB

scyfreestyler
October 6th, 2004, 05:14 PM
I am anything but an expert but breaststroke is the most physically demanding stroke, even more so that fly. I do a lot of breaststroke and freestyle in my workouts and the breast laps wear on me much more than the free laps do. I tend to swim an overlap style breaststroke which is extremely exhausting but no pain, no gain right?

jim clemmons
October 6th, 2004, 05:29 PM
Hi Marian,

First of all, welcome back.

Secondly, there are 1446 threads just in the general discussion area alone. "Starting over" has been addressed a number of times previously so if you just start scanning through, I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for already in existence.

There's also 590 "workout" discussions so finding workouts should be fairly easy.

Good luck. See you at a meet "soon".

Jim

gull
October 6th, 2004, 06:42 PM
Try keeping a workout log. You may not see much improvement from one day to the next, but in six months you'll be impressed with your progress when you look back on your workouts.

Swimmer Bill
October 6th, 2004, 07:35 PM
Hi Marian,

You can take the fast track to better endurance by focusing on conditioning the legs. Try doing some kicking, and try using fins. I wrote an article for Triathlete Magazine a couple years ago. This article is about the benefits of training with fins. I have attached the article for you.

Best Wishes,
Bill

geochuck
October 6th, 2004, 07:57 PM
I still like to swim distance after a long lay off. I try to swim 1500mtrs without stopping. However I usually have to rest after 500 meters. When I am finally able to do 1500 I take it up to 2000mtrs, then 2500, then 3000. It does not matter what stroKe you do, (I don't do any breastroke, bad knees) After you are able to swim 3000mtrs non stop you are ready to do anythig. It takes a race horse 6 weeks to be able to do hard work and it actually takes about the same time for a human.

George

bitwiz
October 7th, 2004, 11:19 AM
Try keeping a workout log. You may not see much improvement from one day to the next, but in six months you'll be impressed with your progress when you look back on your workouts.
I have nothing to add, but just wanted to repeat this. Workout logs are great, especially after couple of seasons as you can go back, figure out what kind of progress you've made, what worked and what didn't, you get a record of your injuries, days you've been too sick to workout, etc... I'm on my third year of keeping logs, not just for swimming, but for all my sports/workouts and the wealth of information they provide is amazing....

Guvnah
October 7th, 2004, 02:15 PM
Originally posted by 330man
I am anything but an expert but breaststroke is the most physically demanding stroke, even more so that fly. I do a lot of breaststroke and freestyle in my workouts and the breast laps wear on me much more than the free laps do. I tend to swim an overlap style breaststroke which is extremely exhausting but no pain, no gain right?

Depends on how you are doing the stroke.

Doing it with competition pace and quality is very demanding. But I recall from my childhood days (before any type of competitive swimming) that I could do a relaxed breaststroke all day, it seemed, but couldn't do freestyle to save my life at first.

Don't the YMCA (or the Boy Scouts or Red Cross, one of them, if I recall correctly) swimming classes teach breaststroke (and elementary backstroke) as "resting strokes"?

Guvnah
October 7th, 2004, 02:18 PM
Oh, and to mbriones: First day in the pool is always grueling. Second and third day too. Take it slow. Take it easy. If you can do tomorrow what you did today with even a margin of less effort, then you are making progress and you can add an extra lap or two the next time. Or decrease your rest period bby 5 seconds.

Baby steps still mean you are making progress.

maori
October 7th, 2004, 02:44 PM
Welcome Marian.
Swim swim swim and anjoy your self, this is What you have to do.

mbriones
October 7th, 2004, 03:03 PM
Thanks for all of the great help here! The way I do the breast stroke is the way of yesteryear. I don't "dolphin" out of the water; I stay flat. Only thing that comes up is my head when I am gasping for air every other stroke. Once I was warmed up yesterday, sometimes I could do 3 strokes before needing air.

I talked to my sister last night, who has been a masters swimmer for over 30 years and she said stay in the pool for about a half hour and see how much I can do in that time. I've also ordered "Fitness Swimming" which was recommended here on some of the workout threads.

I'm going back tomorrow. I'm a little sore around my legs today but not bad!

Marian :cool:

jean sterling
October 7th, 2004, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by Guvnah
I recall from my childhood days (before any type of competitive swimming) that I could do a relaxed breaststroke all day, it seemed, but couldn't do freestyle to save my life at first.

Don't the YMCA (or the Boy Scouts or Red Cross, one of them, if I recall correctly) swimming classes teach breaststroke (and elementary backstroke) as "resting strokes"?

I agree. Breaststroke can be very a resting stroke, but competitive breaststroke is anything but restful - it is a very demanding stroke. I find that I dread the 200 breast as much as (or maybe more) than the 200 fly.

scyfreestyler
October 7th, 2004, 04:25 PM
Originally posted by Guvnah
Depends on how you are doing the stroke.

Doing it with competition pace and quality is very demanding. But I recall from my childhood days (before any type of competitive swimming) that I could do a relaxed breaststroke all day, it seemed, but couldn't do freestyle to save my life at first.

Don't the YMCA (or the Boy Scouts or Red Cross, one of them, if I recall correctly) swimming classes teach breaststroke (and elementary backstroke) as "resting strokes"? You are totally correct. Many elderly people swim breast at our local pool but they do it at a very sedate pace. The wave, which is the style used in competition today, is much more grueling to perform. I would rather work harder each lap than swim the gravy train for a few hours.

Bill Volckening
October 7th, 2004, 07:52 PM
Hi Marian,

As you may know, there are some more useful resources in the Fitness section of the USMS web site. It sounds like you have some swimming background, but it never hurts to take a refresher course on some of the basics. The "Getting Started" section has articles on Pool Etiquette and Using the Pace Clock -- and also a Pace Chart and Circle Swim Diagram.

The Fitness section also has monthly articles. Topics include: training, health, nutrition, motivation and other topics of interest to all types of swimmers.

If you're looking for something to stay motivated, try one of our Fitness Events:

The Check-Off Challenge encourages you to try all the different strokes and distances, and it can be done at your own pool during lap swim, or in a more structured environment such as a coached practice or swim meet.

The 30-Minute Swim challenges you to see how much you can swim in a half-hour, and is a great way to prepare for the One-Hour Swim and other Long Distance Postal Championship events.

The Virtual Swim Series is designed to take the monotony out of your trips back and forth across the pool. Now you can "Swim America's Waterways" and join others throughout the country and world in applying any pool lengths you actually do to virtually swimming some of the most interesting bodies of water in the US.

Enhance your swimming experience by checking out all the great Fitness resources offered by USMS.

Swimmingly,
Bill

Scansy
October 8th, 2004, 06:57 AM
I have a friend who took up swimming so he could do tri's. He was a runner and biker for years before that. He only works on his freestyle, because that suits his needs. But he does breaststroke as a "recovery lap". I watched him one time. His breaststroke has about as much effort in it as using the remote control to change the channels.

I work on all four strokes and a 100 SCY breast sprint - giving it all that I have - really wipes me out.

mattson
October 8th, 2004, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by Scansy
His breaststroke has about as much effort in it as using the remote control to change the channels.

You mean I'm not getting any benefits during channel surfing? Next you'll be telling me that leaning back in the recliner chair is not considered exercise. ;)

emmett
October 8th, 2004, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by mattson
You mean I'm not getting any benefits during channel surfing? Next you'll be telling me that leaning back in the recliner chair is not considered exercise. ;)

Alas, no exercise there. However getting out of the recliner (for instance, to get that next beer) is, indisputably, good solid exercise (especially if done repeatedly, for which those beers will serve as all-important carbo loading, as indicated in another post).

mbriones
October 8th, 2004, 04:17 PM
Hi everyone
Well, my breast stroke might be as much energy as lifting the remote to change a channel, but to me, it's relative. I am out of shape; this was my second time n the water. I tried doing Freestyle and lasted as I figured, half a lap, so I broke back into my breast stroke again.

Do you know I didn't feel as trashed after a lap as I did on Day 1? My wind was much better. I didn't want to stop 3/4 of the way across the pool to catch my breath. There was a DEFINITE difference.

The other difference was that the other day, in 30 minutes, I got in 200 yards. Today - I did 450 yards! I timed my first lap to see my best (probably) speed and it was 32 seconds to do 25 yards of my flat breast stroke.

I felt like I could have swam more but my sister, 30 years in the Masters, told me get in for a half hour and swim as much as you can.

So there you have it!

I'm hungry now....time to raid the kitchen (not really...I'm on a diet bigtime)...

Marian the Newbie :cool:

scyfreestyler
October 8th, 2004, 05:54 PM
Originally posted by mbriones
Hi everyone
Well, my breast stroke might be as much energy as lifting the remote to change a channel, but to me, it's relative. I am out of shape; this was my second time n the water. I tried doing Freestyle and lasted as I figured, half a lap, so I broke back into my breast stroke again.

Do you know I didn't feel as trashed after a lap as I did on Day 1? My wind was much better. I didn't want to stop 3/4 of the way across the pool to catch my breath. There was a DEFINITE difference.

The other difference was that the other day, in 30 minutes, I got in 200 yards. Today - I did 450 yards! I timed my first lap to see my best (probably) speed and it was 32 seconds to do 25 yards of my flat breast stroke.

I felt like I could have swam more but my sister, 30 years in the Masters, told me get in for a half hour and swim as much as you can.

So there you have it!

I'm hungry now....time to raid the kitchen (not really...I'm on a diet bigtime)...

Marian the Newbie :cool:
Congrats on your progress. That is the stuff that will keep you going back to the pool time and time again.

Scansy
October 9th, 2004, 09:57 AM
Originally posted by mattson
You mean I'm not getting any benefits during channel surfing? Next you'll be telling me that leaning back in the recliner chair is not considered exercise. ;)

Well, if you can figure out a way to work your thumb into your swimming stroke, you can probably benefit from the "remote control aerobics".

craiglll@yahoo.com
October 9th, 2004, 03:42 PM
mbriones-
Check out the thread I started about e-mails & viruses. It is kind of freaky if indeed some one took the otyher persons e-mail address & sent to me a virus. I don't know enough to know how it was done,though. Is htere a way I can keep it from happening in the future?
thanks,
Criag

emmett
October 9th, 2004, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by craiglll@yahoo.com
mbriones-
Check out the thread I started about e-mails & viruses. It is kind of freaky if indeed some one took the otyher persons e-mail address & sent to me a virus. I don't know enough to know how it was done,though. Is htere a way I can keep it from happening in the future?
thanks,
Criag

There are loads of viruses out there that send themselves from the infected computer to people in the address book on that computer. It also picks one of the names in that address book and "spoofs" that address as the senders address.

The only way you can avoid getting such email entirely is to cancel your email service. You can stop such emails from hijacking your computer addressbook by religiously using current antivirus software - best to use something that automatically updates its virus signatures daily - because new viruses are released/discovered daily. If you've been using email long without such protection, its a strong possibility your machine is currently infected and sending such email/viruses out to others.

I use MCaffee Viruscan Online. There other such services.

mbriones
October 23rd, 2004, 01:29 PM
Hi gang

Well, I'm continuing my workouts; just completed my third week of being in the water. Made some major milestones this week. First, and try not to laugh, I did 2 laps without having to stop in between! That was major. The next thing was that I started integrating some Freestyle. My breast stroke is my strongest stroke and I used our clock yesterday to time myself - 28 seconds (25 yards). I used to race with my breast stroke and my sister and I were talking about it (she's a master's swimmer - 30 + years now!) and she remembers my fast breast stroke when I was a kid.

A lady in our group, very experienced, was coaching me and encouraged me to go slower. It had never occurred to me to do that; I have always gotten into the pool and gone flat out no holds barred. So I learned the importance of establishing a comfortable pace, which allows me to do more laps back to back and I am feeling good.

I have also noticed that my body is changing. I am toning up all over and am losing fat on my thighs. In fact, my thighs are 'flattening out' on the sides. I have never seen an exercise regime produce results like this so quickly. I have heard that fat loss is difficult when swimming, but if you swim hard enough, it'll happen. I think it is!

So I'm at 500 yards right now in a half hour. I'm going to increase it by 10% starting Monday. I read in the "Getting started" article section that an increase of 10% is healthy and will avoid injury. I also bought the Fitness swimming book loaded with workouts. I have to get the syntax down on the names of the strokes, but I see some workouts in there I can definitely do!

Off to eat breakfast. A light breakfast.

geochuck
October 23rd, 2004, 01:51 PM
I may have posted this before, but here it is again...

If you have been out of the water for a longtime, your first work outs should be slow and easy trying to hold good form.

A good start would be to do 1 mile or 2000 mtrs a day (don't forget to take a day or two off a week). Stop as many times as you wish using any stroke, until you can complete the swim without stopping. Don't increase your distance during the first week. After the first week, or once you attain the nonstop swim, go an little farther.

Compare yourself to a race horse that has been turned out and rested. Go at a leisurely speed or you will breakdown. This slow work builds the capillary system.

A race horse jogs or does easy work for six weeks before it starts to do timed work outs. Don't do repeats or sprints until you are ready. Again be sure you take one or two days rest each week.

George Park www.swimdownhill.com

mbriones
October 23rd, 2004, 02:03 PM
Swimming that kind of distance seems very excessive for yours truly at this point. Eventually, sure, but for now, I need it to be in manageable chunks. I feel like I can add 50 yards now as I am comfortable, and have learned to take it slow and easy so maximize my pace and my endurance.

Thank you though, I aspire to swim like that!

newmastersswimmer
October 23rd, 2004, 04:57 PM
My longterm goal is also to lose 50 lbs but know that swimming isn't the best way to do that,


mbriones,

I don't agree about swimming not being the best method of weight loss.....I am 5'11'' and medium framed but weighed 275 + pounds in Mid May....I started swimming again (after a lay off of about 18 years) around Mid May and having been swimming regurly every since....Now I'm down to 210 pounds. The fat literally melted right off of me. I think swimming is amongst the best exercises for losing weight. I also started like you...I could barely swim 2 or 3 laps at first....Now I swim several miles at a time with no problem....I swim multiple 100 butterfly sets and 200 I.M. sets with no problems.....You WILL get better....It won't even really take that long.....Just keep doing it and you will see. You may not see that much improvement for a few weeks..BUT it will come.....You will be amazed 4 months down the road how far you came....and that 50 pounds will be long gone!!



newmastersswimmer

AnnG
October 23rd, 2004, 05:47 PM
I am curious as to why you think swimming isn't going to help you lose weight, I am happy to see in subsequent posts that you are finding otherwise. It's the only exercise I use, and this spring in combination with a low carb diet I lost 17 pounds which have stay off through the summer and several vacations. I am determined to keep the weight off and so far its been easy. Exercise is exercise, expending more calories than you consume however you do that will take off weight. The trick is finding something you love to do so you will keep doing it. For me, that's hitting the pool . . .

mbriones
October 23rd, 2004, 06:16 PM
I have heard that it isn't optimal for losing weight but I step on the scale myself and realize different results. I guess if I were leisurely paddling around the pool without getting my heart rate up, that's one thing.

So I wish to quash my opening comment that I thought it wasn't good for weight loss. Clearly it is. :o

AnnG
October 23rd, 2004, 06:34 PM
Maybe those who say a person can't lose weight swimming don't have the skill level to train aerobically, i.e., they are just paddling around in the pool. I would venture a guess that if a person just strolled around the block once a week would not lose weight either.

geochuck
October 23rd, 2004, 08:51 PM
Originally posted by AnnG
Maybe those who say a person can't lose weight swimming don't have the skill level to train aerobically, i.e., they are just paddling around in the pool. I would venture a guess that if a person just strolled around the block once a week would not lose weight either.
I believe a person who cannot swim well has a better chance of losing weight than an efficient swimmer, the not so good swimmer has to fight harder.

George

Scansy
October 23rd, 2004, 10:09 PM
There is a lot of belief among those who do "dry" workouts that swimming isn't good for weight loss. I don't agree - I lost 35 pounds myself, so I know it works.

gull
October 23rd, 2004, 11:09 PM
If you expend more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. There is absolutely no reason why you cannot lose weight swimming, unless of course you continue to consume more than you expend.

newmastersswimmer
October 24th, 2004, 10:40 AM
So I wish to quash my opening comment that I thought it wasn't good for weight loss. Clearly it is.


I guess it's "possible" that we can allow you to retract that statement....(just kidding of course!)

I am very glad to hear how well you are progressing! Keep up the good work!.....(and don't starve yourself too much.....You're allowed to indulge a little when you're working out).