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Seagurl51
January 5th, 2005, 07:14 PM
On February 20, I'm hoping to go to my first swim meet......ever! :eek: I swam on the team when I was younger, but I never competed. I'm incredibly nervous already and I have no idea what to expect because I have never been to a meet before. I swam with my friend who is a coach, and I have what seems like a lot of work to do on my strokes. How realistic is it that I be ready by February? Obviously I won't be at the top of the field, but I'm hoping to at least not make a fool out of myself. But what I really want to know is what to expect. How do I train, and how do I taper? When do I start tapering? Do I even need to taper? Any good pre-meet workout ideas? Any thing that anyone can suggest would be helpful!!! Thanx a bunch!!

~Kyra

thisgirl13
January 5th, 2005, 08:11 PM
Count me in for EEK! too, Kyra....I'm attending my first meet January 23rd.....

as far as tapering, since it's just a regular season meet, I wouldn't worry about tapering...if you swim for a team (can't remember at the moment if you do, chlorine's clogging my thinking spouts), you can check with your coach about workouts or something like that.....

I can recommend some food ideas though, that will help you feel less *sluggish* I think is the word I'm looking for.....

Stick to some carbby foods for a couple nights before, plus a little bit of protein (that old pasta rumor is still in effect).....for the meet, plenty of water, plus your favorite sports drink or whatever you prefer is good, plus some old fashioned bagels or carrot sticks or healthy things like that won't do you wrong.

If you're really H-E-hockey sticks bent on tapering before the meet, or you're afraid you'll look foolish, you can stick to freestyle, and do a little mini taper the week before the meet.

Remember, Kyra: It's your first meet. Baby steps, darlin'! Just go, and enjoy it, and enjoy hanging out with other people who love swimming as much as you do!

I'll be rooting for you!
~Steph~ (Eeek partner in crime!)

Fred Johnson
January 5th, 2005, 10:55 PM
Here's a couple of thoughts:

(1) work on starts and turns between now and then. They can mean several seconds in even a short race.

(2) if this is a mid-season meet (as opposed to the end of the season championships) you might only taper a day or so before the meet. Tapering means backing off yardage and spending some workout time on starts and turns and stroke mechanics.

(3) check out the schedule of events so you know what day and what time you expect to swim. If I recall typically medley relays and the 1650 were the first day as well as some other events. That could have changed or my memory could be bad (after 20 years).

Have a great time. Meets are fun. Good luck.

Seagurl51
January 6th, 2005, 01:05 AM
Do you have any ideas about how to work on starts? The pool I swim at doesn't have blocks so how can I practice diving off the wall for block diving?

~Kyra

mattson
January 6th, 2005, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
Do you have any ideas about how to work on starts? The pool I swim at doesn't have blocks so how can I practice diving off the wall for block diving?

If you have any doubts, you can start from the water. (Just let the referee know before the race that you are doing a wall-push, and ask what you should do.)

During the warm-up before the meet, most of the time one or two lanes will be designated as sprint lanes. Start from the block, swim the length, then get out and walk back. (Sprint lanes are like 1-way streets.) This is your chance to practice starts, especially if your coach is on hand for advice.

Guvnah
January 6th, 2005, 01:15 PM
I'll second the notion about trying out some starts -- even if it's only at warm-ups the day of the meet.

If you've never started from a block before, be prepared for how high above the water you feel as you are standing on the block. The taller you are, the higher it will seem -- even though the block is only 24 inches high or so. You could stand on the steps at your house about the same height up and look down, and it won't seem like anything out of the ordinary, but for some reason when you get on that block at the pool and see it, especially for the first time, it might feel like you are standing on the high dive! Don't worry about doing any technique for the block-start the first meet. Just be sure you can do it so that when you get up there when it's your event, you'll have the confidence knowing that you've done it before. (And be sure your goggles will stay on!) If you can't get it to work for you in warm-ups, try a start standing on the edge of the pool next to the block during warm-ups. If that works, then let the meet officials know that's what you'll be doing. And if even that doesn't work for you, then follow the previous advice and do your start from in the water pushing off from the wall. It's OK to do that.

First meet? Don't worry about your times (and don't even waste any cycles on worrying about tapering.) Just get in there and do what you would do in your workouts. That will give you a base line from which you will look to improve at subsequent meets.

And don't forget to have fun!

Seagurl51
January 6th, 2005, 07:32 PM
Originally posted by Guvnah

You could stand on the steps at your house about the same height up and look down, and it won't seem like anything out of the ordinary, but for some reason when you get on that block at the pool and see it, especially for the first time, it might feel like you are standing on the high dive! Don't worry about doing any technique for the block-start the first meet. Just be sure you can do it so that when you get up there when it's your event, you'll have the confidence knowing that you've done it before. (And be sure your goggles will stay on!)


I have stood on the edge of my coffee table and practiced my grab and track starts (it helps with the height thing too). I just jumped off rather than dive, but have considered stacking up mattresses (sp) so that I could actually dive off. :) Any suggestions for making goggles stay on? I can dive off the wall and usually they stay on, but I'm kinda worried that from a block they won't. And how about backstroke starts? How different is it to start from a block then the wall? I'm hoping it will be easier because I can't seem to get good height off the wall.

~Kyra

Seagurl51
January 6th, 2005, 07:57 PM
This is somewhat of a stupid question...and I mean no offense to anyone by it. How many people that go to meets are younger? and how many of them/you are slow? I'm only 18 and I'm pretty slow (37 sec. for 50 yds free). So I'm kinda worried about making a fool out of myself. :(

~Kyra

Fred Johnson
January 6th, 2005, 11:04 PM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
This is somewhat of a stupid question...and I mean no offense to anyone by it. How many people that go to meets are younger? and how many of them/you are slow? I'm only 18 and I'm pretty slow (37 sec. for 50 yds free). So I'm kinda worried about making a fool out of myself. :(

~Kyra

Please. Stop. Anyone who is jumping off her coffee table into bed mattresses and telling the world about it on this site has no need to worry about looking foolish at a swim meet. :D You will be fine. Tell everyone you meet that this is your first swim meet and you are assured of getting the loudest applause at the end of your heats.

Guvnah is right about the apparent startling height from a block. If you can find a pool with blocks before the meet, try them out a couple times. But don't sweat it if you can't; the same water waits for you at the end. If you can find some blocks to start from, envision diving into a hoolahoop and not letting your feet hit the front side of the hoop as you go in. This exercise will keep you from piking and your feet hitting the water at the same time your hands hit, which doesn't hurt but tends to stop you rather than send you coursing through the water to your first official win.

Good luck and stop worrying.

knelson
January 7th, 2005, 01:07 AM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
How many people that go to meets are younger? and how many of them/you are slow? I'm only 18 and I'm pretty slow (37 sec. for 50 yds free). So I'm kinda worried about making a fool out of myself. :(

One thing I'll guarantee is you won't make a fool out of yourself. A typical masters meet has competitors of all ages and all abilities. We all know everyone there is doing there best, whatever that may be. And 37 seconds for a 50 free is in no way slow.

shark
January 7th, 2005, 12:30 PM
Do not get nervous. Get excited! Nervousness will create a situation where you will make quick mistakes. Get excited! Excitement will create situations where the sky's the limit.

Kevin in MD
January 7th, 2005, 02:24 PM
Being younger you are accustomed to competitions where everyone watches each other and then talks about each other afterward.

At masters meets everyone is there to do their own race. Well most folks are anyway. They don't really snicker or anything.

If there is another meet coming up, drive to it and watch. Or volunteer to help. It would be a good way to see what a meet is like.

SwiminONandON
January 7th, 2005, 02:41 PM
I haven't swam in a meet since my high school days. (It wasn't that long ago though). I'll be starting meets again this month. For how to keep your goggles on on a start I recommend pushing them hard into your eye sockets and keeping your chin tucked into your chest on your entry. A key thing I learned a few years ago chuck the goggles if they fall off in one swift movement. Almost everyone has had their goggles fall off, Amanda Beard included - she stopped wearing goggles at meets for awhile after that.

As I understand it you at meets you are seeded by your time not by your age which has its advantages. You'll be racing against other people that are about the same speed as you. I've noticed in my age group (19-24) that very few people swim at meets which is good because it means I should do well in my age group until I have to move up next year.

Congrats on competing. That's awesome you should feel good about that. Try not to get too nervous - I always feel like I'm going to puke before a race. When you are about to step up onto the blocks (the side, the wall) remember how hard you've worked and that you are there to have fun!

Seagurl51
January 7th, 2005, 03:24 PM
Thanks everyone for all your words of encouragement. I'm starting to get really excited...and the meet is still more than a month away!! I printed off the entry form and as soon as I get my USMS membership card, I'm sending it in! Thanks again for all being such cool people!!

~Kyra

scyfreestyler
January 7th, 2005, 04:12 PM
I am sure you'll have a great time and most likely you will perform better than you had anticipated. What event(s) are you swimming? I know your shoulder was giving you grief for a while there, how is that coming along? I plan on gearing up for some competition once I get my shoulder back in tip top shape. Good Luck and have fun!

James
January 7th, 2005, 04:44 PM
[QUOTE]
[B]This is somewhat of a stupid question...and I mean no offense to anyone by it. How many people that go to meets are younger? and how many of them/you are slow? I'm only 18 and I'm pretty slow (37 sec. for 50 yds free). So I'm kinda worried about making a fool out of myself. :(
Originally posted by Seagurl51


All the meets that I have been to, places you in heats based on your seed times. Its nice so you don't get intimidated by faster swimmers. Keep track of your times. you will see that they keep improving and befor you know it, you will have a 32.00 50 Free.

Good luck:D

Guvnah
January 7th, 2005, 04:53 PM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
Any suggestions for making goggles stay on? I can dive off the wall and usually they stay on, but I'm kinda worried that from a block they won't. And how about backstroke starts? How different is it to start from a block then the wall? I'm hoping it will be easier because I can't seem to get good height off the wall.

~Kyra

Can't comment much on backstroke starts because I simply don't do that event. But watching people at meets, it seems that being able to grab onto the block above the water on the start instead of just grabbing to the edge of the pool at practice gains them some big height. And it doesn't really look that hard.


As for goggles on the forward starts, it can be a problem. You'll have to play with them during warmups. Tighten them up a little bit. Squish them tighter onto your eyes as someone mentioned. If it hurts a little, well, events are far shorter than an overall workout so it won't last that long! :)

When I was in high school, goggles were just coming into vogue. NOBODY wore them at meets because the flimsy bands simply would not hold them on. But now most bands are thicker and wider. Also I find that my goggles stay on better if I have a "split" band or two bands. Put one rather high up on your head. That works for me.

I've heard a lot of people say tuck your chin. That just doesn't seem to work for me. I end up going too deep. Your mileage may vary. I just tighten them up and I haven't had much problem.

Oh, and some people wear their caps OVER their goggle straps. That may help too, though I have never done that.

Guvnah
January 7th, 2005, 05:00 PM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
This is somewhat of a stupid question...and I mean no offense to anyone by it. How many people that go to meets are younger? and how many of them/you are slow? I'm only 18 and I'm pretty slow (37 sec. for 50 yds free). So I'm kinda worried about making a fool out of myself. :(

~Kyra

Probably the majority of the women's times for 50 free will be above :30. Some go into the high :40s and even :50s. You'll be fine. And, as mentioned previously, you will be seeded with others with similar times, so you'll feel right at home!

Seagurl51
January 7th, 2005, 05:00 PM
I hadn't even thought about what events I want to do?!? I don't really have one that I am practicularly good at, so I was gonna go just for ones that I think are fun. I was thinking maybe either 50 or 100 back (maybe both), possibly a free event, and then I really want to do the 100 IM. That would have to be my favorite race....don't know why, but I find it fun(probably because I can't do more than 25 of fly with out dying). I'm glad to know that I'll be seeded by my time and not my age...that's makes me a lot less nervous to know that I'll be swimming against those with similar times as opposed to age. Thanx for the concern about my shoulder. It's doing a lot better, I've been doing my exercises and I can feel a difference. Thanx for all the wonderful advice and encouragment! I definately have some work to do before the meet...so I'm gonna go to the pool right now!! Maybe I'll see some of you at the meet! (February 20 in Bellevue WA).

~Kyra

Fishgrrl
January 7th, 2005, 05:46 PM
Hi Kyra - the first time I went to swim meet as an adult I was very nervous - I swam in high school but that was eons ago and I didn't know what to expect. I was also worried about how I would look in my suit, etc. Silly stuff, really.

But when I walked into the pool area I was immedately struck at the variety of swimmers: old, young, in between, fast, slow, large, small, and everyone in between. And no one cared!! And as Guvnuh said, you will be seeded with people you're own speed so no worries about being blown away!

The second thing that struck me was how fun swim meets are. There was a woman swimming the 400 IM who was 89 years old! (yes, 89!). It took her a long time to finish (and it was a long course pool) but when she got out everyone clapped and cheered! I tend to get into a zone, especially as it gets closer to race time, but I've noticed that 99% of the people are friendly and I've even had people say, "good race" or wish me luck and vice versa. And if you keep going to meets, you'll see the same people over and over and you'll eventually make new friends.

As for goggles - on my very first race of my very first meet, my goggles fell off! 400 free, long course. I just shoved em back on and kept going.... But I've learned to tuck my chin and tighten those babies up! Even if it's uncomfortable it's worth not having them slide down your face, which also happened to me on a 50 butterfly event. I swam with them in my mouth the whole way and lost my contacts at the bottom of UC Santa Cruz's pool...oh well. Live and learn.

I've found that I need at least 1500 yards of initial warm up, not including warm ups and cool downs between races. I'll start with kick/drill/swim sets, a few sprints, and my coach will have me do a set of 5x100's to get a feel for how I want to pace a longer race. I swim the mid/long distance free events, and I need a lot of warm up yards. I also stretch in between to keep loose and I drink a lot of water. I also have a peanut butter sandwich handy and take a few bites between events. I'm usually nervous and don't have an appetite but I try to eat a little anyway so my blood sugar doens't drop and I end up bonking (which would be a disaster).

Good luck! And remember - have fun and experiment. Try different races/strokes; do a race you wouldn't normally do just for fun! You might like it. I tried a 100 IM once - not my thing but it was a learning experience.

Let us know how you do!!
Kari:cool:

knelson
January 7th, 2005, 07:08 PM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
Maybe I'll see some of you at the meet! (February 20 in Bellevue WA).

I'd say there's a 99% chance you will see me :) That's usually a good meet and not super crowded. There isn't really a spectator area, though, so if you have a folding chair or something it would be a good idea to bring it.

I have to disagree with some of the advice about keeping your goggles on during a dive. You shouldn't have to make them any tighter or really push them against your face. I really think the key is making sure your head is down when you enter the water. The natural tendency people have is to look toward the far end of the pool on the start.

If you can't keep them on don't sweat it. If you're only swimming 50 and 100 meter events you'll be o.k.

thisgirl13
January 8th, 2005, 02:02 AM
Hey Ky!

Since nobody responded to your question about backstroke starts (except for Guvnah saying he wasn't sure), I'll go ahead and add my two cents!

I've been doing backstroke since I was about 10 years old, and I've encountered every start block and wall imaginable. Personally, I tend to like using the poll wall/gutter more than I use the block starters. It all comes down to personal preference, but for me, I think that using the blocks means I have to keep most of my body out of the water, and it's harder, since most of my weight is now being held up by my arms, and it's tough to get a good quick start that way. I like using the gutters because it lets me balance out my start between my arms and feet, and I feel like I get more leverage that way.

Somebody mentioned on here the sprint lanes during warmups......I'd definitely use those. Try a couple backstroke starts, see which you're more comfortable with, and go for it. There's no rule saying you have to use the block starts.

Ooh, also, if you're going to do a backstroke event, MAKE SURE you do a couple of laps at race pace, and count the flags as you're going into the wall! There's nothing worse than coming into a wall blind and miscounting!

That's all from Pittsburgh for now!

Seagurl51
January 10th, 2005, 08:24 PM
So it's time that I choose my events, the meet is a little over a month away! (I'm really excited!!) I was wondering how many events should I take for my first time. I was thinking of doing the 100 IM, 50 free, and 100 back. The only thing is that the 100 back is right after the 50 free. How much of a difference would that make in my race? Should I consider doing a different event so that they are farther apart? Thanks so much for all your help and support!!!

~Kyra

thisgirl13
January 10th, 2005, 10:23 PM
I'd say do whatever events your little chlorinated heart desires, but yeah, you'll be tired going from one event to the next pretty quick......of course, it's only a 50, so it's not like you're doing the 200 fly and THEN the 100 back, but still.

It won't kill you, but it'll make you feel really tired after about a 50 of the backstroke. You'll be thinking to yourself, "Gosh, I thought I had more energy than this during the first 50. I wonder what happened?" Or something along those lines.

I still have to pick my events for my Jan 23rd meet, too. Definitely not going with anything IM, and other than that, I'm not sure.

Steph

kaffrinn
January 10th, 2005, 10:35 PM
I can sympathize Kyra, I too went to my first meet not so long ago with a lot of questions, and no team members to consult. So far, everyone here has done an excellent job with your questions!

I for one would not do too well swimming back-to-back events. But it could be because my practice loads are often low and as a result, my endurance is low as well.

I guess the question is: how important is it to you to go a top time, a personal best? If you're attending the meet just for the sake of fun, that's one thing, but if you're out to not just have fun but to truly challenge personal goals, that's another. If you are out for a top time, I would recommend trying events that are spaced further apart, even if it means dropping an event you'd like to swim. You can always try that event later in the season (depending on the number of meets you can attend) and maybe even try out an event you don't consider to be your best.

One more personal observation, as a backstoker. I've always been bad at the backstroke start grabbing the blocks, even at the more elite level, so I've always done them by grabbing the wall (except in H.S. swimming, when they'd let you do a stand up start. Those were the BOMB. Anyway, moving on...). I couldn't ever catch a good grip with my feet, so my age-group coach and a I perfected a good wall start that I still use today. The upside is you can practice them anywhere, and an excellent start from the wall is usually better than a so-so start from the block. However, I would also recommend trying out the sprint lane at the meet for your starts no matter what you decide to do. Even a wall start can be shaky - at nationals last year I had a poor start on the 50 back because I hadn't practiced my start from that particular end of the pool, and I hadn't predicted the shakiness of the timing board. I've learned my lesson!

At any rate, be sure to relax enough to have fun, and remember - whatever times you turn in, they will be your new personal bests!

Seagurl51
January 10th, 2005, 11:26 PM
Thanks for you replies!! I called my friend shortly after I posted, she's a coach and has seen me swim so I figured she would know what events I should do. So I'm doing the 200 free, 100 breast, 100 IM, and 50 free. I wanted to do a back event, but I have a pretty bad cross-over that I'm working on, and she wasn't sure it would be a good idea to race so quickly after finding out that I have one (she just told me last week). I'm kind of sceptical about the breast event, but she said I have a good breaststroke so we'll see what happens!! Thanx so much for all your help!!

~Kyra

p.s. Steph~Good Luck in your meet!! Let me know how you do!!

knelson
January 11th, 2005, 12:11 PM
Originally posted by kaffrinn
One more personal observation, as a backstoker. I've always been bad at the backstroke start grabbing the blocks, even at the more elite level, so I've always done them by grabbing the wall

But you should concede you're really in the minority here. I don't recall ever seeing anyone in age group, high school, or college doing a backstroke start by grabbing the wall rather than the block.

swim53
January 11th, 2005, 12:35 PM
I have a short lunch so I scanned these posts quickly. I see that you decided not to swim backstroke in your first meet. I thought your backstroke question was about your googles on the start....so....for the 2nd or third meet (when you do swim back), do not worry about your goggles staying on for the backstroke start.
I can't for the life of me keep my goggles on for my sprint free starts off the block. Good thing I don't have many walls to see. But I wear my googles only fairly tight and never lose them on the backstroke start. I have done many backstroke races. They don't even get any water in them

Rob Copeland
January 11th, 2005, 12:52 PM
Katherine may be in the minority, but not a great one. At a recent High School meet I would estimate that over 50% of the girls and over a third of the boys did gutter grab starts. This was a 7 team invitational, with the top 2 boys going around 55 seconds in the 100 back, so these were some fairly decent swimmers. Also at a couple of recent college meets, I recall some of the ladies and a few men starting out of the gutter.

With the current rules requiring toes under the water it is very difficult to launch out and over the water if you are holding onto the starting block grips, unless you are a larger than average size person. And even the big folks run the increased risk of foot slippage as they try to elevate their tail out of the water.

thisgirl13
January 11th, 2005, 04:35 PM
I agree with Rob. I am one of those who prefers to use the gutter or wall to start, particularly if I'm unfamiliar with the pool, or the starting blocks are too high to get a good grip. I've also found that it's more reliable than a block start as well, so if you're worried about blowing a start, a decent gutter start is better than a 50-50 block start in an unfamiliar pool.

That said, I think girls do use the gutter more than guys, because we naturally have a little more leg and hip strength, and less arm strength. It's a little more comfortable for us, and we can get about the same propulsion out of the water. So all in all, I think it works out to whatever your preference is.

thisgirl13
January 11th, 2005, 04:40 PM
PS - Kyra, I will definitely let you know how it goes! And YAY for the breaststroke, you'll be great!

I think I've settled on the 50 back, the 200 free, and the 25 breast. Those three are right at the end, back to back to back (gulp), but the only one I'm really gunning for is the backstroke. I figure the 200 can be a nice medium pace without anybody getting their shorts in a knot, and the 25 is just for fun. I'm thinking about adding the 100 back at the beginning of the meet, but we'll see. I'm like Ohio in the election. Undecided until the last minute. (Oh please. I'm allowed to make fun of Ohio, it's my home state for cryin' out loud.)

Good Luck, Ky!

Guvnah
January 11th, 2005, 04:59 PM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
So it's time that I choose my events, the meet is a little over a month away! (I'm really excited!!) I was wondering how many events should I take for my first time. I was thinking of doing the 100 IM, 50 free, and 100 back. The only thing is that the 100 back is right after the 50 free. How much of a difference would that make in my race? Should I consider doing a different event so that they are farther apart? Thanks so much for all your help and support!!!

~Kyra

I see that you have already chosen, but I just wanted to add that the two events won't exactly be back to back for you. There are multiple heats in each, and there are separate events (usually) for men and women, so you'd probably have about 10 minutes to recover. And since there is no championship or life-and-death result on the line, it wouldn't be a tragedy if you either held back on the first of the two, or died 75% of the way through the second event.

But please don't reconsider what you have already decided at this point. Focus on your decision now and don't look back! Good luck!

knelson
January 12th, 2005, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by Guvnah
There are multiple heats in each, and there are separate events (usually) for men and women, so you'd probably have about 10 minutes to recover.

Sort of a moot point since it sounds like she isn't swimming back-to-back events now, but I'm fairly certain at this meet there are not separate events for men and women--everyone is seeded together.

Seagurl51
January 12th, 2005, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by knelson
Sort of a moot point since it sounds like she isn't swimming back-to-back events now, but I'm fairly certain at this meet there are not separate events for men and women--everyone is seeded together.

Indeed I'm not swimming back to back events at this meet, but that's good to know for later meets(of which I hope there are many more!)!

~Kyra

p.s. knelson~Men and Women are seeded together at this meet? But they are still seeded by times right?

knelson
January 12th, 2005, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
p.s. knelson~Men and Women are seeded together at this meet? But they are still seeded by times right?

Yes, so you will have the opportunity to beat a guy if you swim well :)

Seagurl51
January 12th, 2005, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by knelson
Yes, so you will have the opportunity to beat a guy if you swim well :)

No pressure, no pressure!

~Kyra

SWinkleblech
January 14th, 2005, 02:54 PM
Originally posted by Rob Copeland


With the current rules requiring toes under the water it is very difficult to launch out and over the water if you are holding onto the starting block grips, unless you are a larger than average size person. And even the big folks run the increased risk of foot slippage as they try to elevate their tail out of the water.

For a while I was having problems with my feet slipping using the blocks on my backstroke starts. I hope I can explain this but there is away to get a good start off the block. First you need to keep one foot above the other. As you leave the block you need to have the lower foot kind of anchor yourself. Your feet don't leave the wall until your hands and arms are up over your head. This is the best I can explain it. When I was told this it really help with my backstroke start.

Kyra- good luck on your first meet. You'll do great.

USMSarah
January 15th, 2005, 12:30 PM
I just wanted to add this in about the back starts... starting from the wall instead of the block is fine... I had to do that in college once my shoulder started to bug me a lot. Stagger your feet like the previous post mentioned. I have done that since high school ever since I slipped on my start at state (having both feet together)... You'll enter the water faster w/ the track start anyways...

I don't think anyone mentioned this, though....

Once your hands leave the gutter/block, throw your arms out to the side and then continue to swing them around up to your head into streamline (think of a graceful swan dive). A lot of people automatically throw their arms straight back up to their head, but that slams you down into the water. If you were looking down on yourself in the pool, imagine your hands drawing a line off the start, they would almost make a circle once they get back around to your head. When you swing your arms out to the side, you will have more time to arch your back and enter the water cleanly.... I hope that made sense.

OH yes, I remember the out of water start in HS... I got to do those my senior year... THOSE ROCKED!!!!

Seagurl51
January 17th, 2005, 06:22 PM
The meet that I am going to is in a meter pool (25m), but the pool that I swim in is yards. So when I sending in my seed times, so they know where to put me, should I add a few seconds to my yard times? Or should I swim a little farther than the actual race and get my times that way, so for like a 50 free, swim a lap and a half to get the extra distance and use that time? Or should I just indicate that the times I sent in are in yards? Thanx!!

~Kyra

p.s. There are no meter pools in my town where I could swim and just get my times that way.

knelson
January 18th, 2005, 12:54 AM
Just divide all your times by 0.9144 (1 yard = .9144 meter).

So say you have a 1:20 100 yard free. For your seed time use 80/.9144 = 87.5 = 1:27.5

There are time converters around, including one on swiminfo.com, but for SCY to SCM you can use the straight conversion since the number of turns is the same.

Don't sweat the seed times. Just a ballpark is fine. You just want to make sure you are in a heat with swimmers of similar speed.

Guvnah
January 18th, 2005, 02:48 PM
Re: Conversions:

Easiest thing is just to add 10% when going from yards to meters. Result is pretty close to the formula knelson gave, but much easier.

If you do a 1:20, (or 80 seconds) then just add 8 seconds and give a seed time of 1:28.

Your other option is to give your seed times in yards and let the meet officials do the math. Just make it clear that it's in meters. Most meet officials can do that. It just adds some burden on them. (Or you risk the possibility that they don't do the conversion and you end up in a heat where everyone is 10% faster than you are!)

SWinkleblech
January 21st, 2005, 10:13 PM
I find that I can swim 5 to 10 seconds per 100 yds. faster at a meet then in practice. Of course the pool I work out at is the worst pool to swim. I don't know if it is the pool or just the adrenelan (sorry can't spell) kicking in. What I am getting at is that you might be O.K. giving the faster times because you might just swim those times at a meet.

Seagurl51
January 28th, 2005, 01:23 PM
Since this is my first meet, I am clueless on many things...I am just soooo happy to have this site to ask stupid questions on otherwise I think I would be really nervous, so thanks everyone!!! Anyways, I was wondering what kinds of things you should eat the day before and the day of the meet? My friends who are runners eat a lot of carbs the night before, is this the same with swimming? How about for breakfast the morning of the meet? What are the best snacks to pack for the day? Thank you soo much for all of your help!!!!!

~Kyra

p.s. Steph-how did your meet go?!?

Fishgrrl
January 28th, 2005, 01:34 PM
Hi Kyra!

Here's what I do.... I only carbo load when I'm swimming more than 30 min., like in a 2 mi. open water swim, although I like a hugh plate of pasta the night before a 1650!

I just eat really well a day or two before a meet - lots of fruit and veggies (which I try to do anyway), plenty of water - SUPER important, and I get as much rest as I can. But I can't emphasize enough how important water is - make sure you're well hydrated because it really will help. No cocktails! No high-salt or greasy foods (get that cheeseburger AFTER the meet!). Basically, nothing that will upset your stomach or dehydrate you.

Here's what I pack for food: bananas and a peanut butter sandwich or two - great combo of protein and carbs. I also bring a PowerBar or something like it. I have low blood sugar so I have to have the protein or I will bonk big time (not good at a meet!). There is usually a snack bar at the meets I've been to - they provide fruit, yogurt, bagels, sandwiches, water, etc.

I'm usually too nervous and high strung to eat very much at a long meet, but I make sure that I take a bite or two of my peanut butter sandwich between events and it really does help. Keep sipping on that water bottle too!

Good luck!!!

Guvnah
January 28th, 2005, 02:24 PM
Kyra -- Don't over-analyze this! Maybe you can be a little less worried about this meet if you look at it as just another workout with LOTS of rest in between sets. :)

Maybe (MAYBE) you can cut back on your workout the day before. Don't OVERwork so that you're not sore the day of the meet. But are you usually sore the day after any workout anyway? If not, then you'll be fine at the meet.

As for eating, you don't eat anything special the day before or the day of your workouts, do you? Most likely you will end up swimming far less than your normal workout on the day of the meet, so maybe a special diet before the meet will disrupt your normal bodily cycles. Maybe you'll under consume (or over consume) what you normally get for sugars or other dietary components. What a joy it would be (not) if you find yourself constipated or having low blood sugar at the meet!

You can start worrying about this stuff when you sign up for a 10K open water swim some day. Or if you are trying to break a world record or qualify for the Nationals...

The day of the meet, eat the same breakfast you ate before you did your workout all the previous Saturdays. If it worked all those other days, it will work at the meet.

Take some gatorade with you the day of the meet. Take some oranges. Maybe a bagel or a granola bar. Chances are that you won't eat half of what you take. I also take coffee in a thermos.

You might find that there will be a concessions table selling (or even giving away) some sort of power drink, coffee, fruit, other stuff. Unless you know for sure that it will be there, though, I recommend you take some stuff just in case you get hungry/thirsty.

And then on the way home, stop at Krispy Kreme and treat yourself for a meet well swum!

knelson
January 28th, 2005, 04:26 PM
One thing you should be aware of is the Bellevue Club pool doesn't really have any spectator seating. If you have a folding chair or camp chair take it along, otherwise you might have to sit on the ground. It's a nice facility, but seating is limited.

Seagurl51
January 28th, 2005, 04:36 PM
Originally posted by Guvnah
Kyra -- Don't over-analyze this! Maybe you can be a little less worried about this meet if you look at it as just another workout with LOTS of rest in between sets. :)
.....
And then on the way home, stop at Krispy Kreme and treat yourself for a meet well swum!

Those are the two best bits of advice that anyone has given me. Thank you!

~Kyra

p.s. No offense to anyone else who has provided me with much needed help!!!!

Rebecca
January 29th, 2005, 01:41 AM
Hi Kyra,
I competed in my first ever swim meet 2 years ago, at age 47 (first time diving off blocks, first time racing against other people, etc.). It's FUN! The pool at Bellevue is great-one of the best around here in the Pacific Northwest (and the locker room is very luxurious). A couple of things that people haven't mentioned yet--I learned the hard way to always get in the warm up pool after every race and at least swim a couple of laps--it helps to relax those muscles to get ready for the next event.

The other thing I do is set small goals for myself at every meet. I'm not a fast swimmer, being new at competitive swimming, so it helps to have non-time related goals. My first meet, my goal was to just dive off the blocks and swim, and not chicken out. Each time since then, I've picked something I know I can do that I haven't done (or done well) before. After a few meets, my goal was to do flip turns-before that I had just been doing open turns. I'm swimming in Bellevue, too, and my goal is to do better backstroke starts and turns (so thanks to others for the advice given earlier). I'll be the one swimming every backstroke event, so I get the most practice possible.
I'll look for you there!
Rebecca

thisgirl13
January 29th, 2005, 11:54 AM
Hey Kyra!

First, my advice for food, etc. Second, swim meet review!

Okay, food the night before, I'd stick with stuff you like, that's not too heavy (no fast food, nothing really salty, nothing real heavy, like cream sauces or anything), but whatever you like to eat. Pasta's good, or peanut butter sandwiches, or cereal or whatever. Popcorn is also a favorite over here.

On the day of the meet, pack a pair of sweats you can put on between events, and an extra towel, so when you go to change at the end of the meet, your towel isn't soaking wet and yucky. Foodwise, I usually pack bagels, granola bars, some gatorade, things like that. Drink plenty of water, but if your meet's going to last awhile, take some carbs with you. Protein's less important, carbs more, because carbs get absorbed as energy more quickly than protein.

For my swim meet, things didn't go exactly as planned, lol. Five of us were planning to go; two backed out, because it was cold as Alaska the day of the meet. So three of us went, and I ended up being in four events (the 25 free, 50 back, 200 free, and 25 breast). The meet went incredibly fast, because a lot of people didn't show up. I didn't get much time between my events, but I did drop a second in my 25 free, 2 full seconds in my 50 back, and then I literally got two heats of the 50 back to rest before my 200 free. Didn't feel so hot after that race. ASthma kicked in a little, and I scratched the last event. But I swam .5 under my seeded time for the 200, so I call it a fair day.

It was a lot of fun though. You'll really have a blast, Kyra! Especially if you see people there you know, or have met on here. Jeremy and Dennis, the guys who went with me to Allegheny Valley, made the meet very fun for me (would have been fun anyway, but these guys are hilarious).

Anyway, that's a long enough post (I'm turning into Guvnah!), so I'll sign off for now.

Slainte,
Steph

knelson
January 29th, 2005, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by thisgirl13
On the day of the meet, pack a pair of sweats you can put on between events, and an extra towel, so when you go to change at the end of the meet, your towel isn't soaking wet and yucky.

Good comments. I've found out in the last couple years a good thing to wear is something like polypro that dries quickly. Nothing worse than putting on soggy clothing.

In general, bringing an extra towel is a great idea, but as Rebecca mentioned this isn't really an issue at the Bellevue Club. This is a pretty swank place. You can get extra towels in the locker room.

Bob McAdams
February 1st, 2005, 04:23 PM
Originally posted by SWinkleblech
I find that I can swim 5 to 10 seconds per 100 yds. faster at a meet then in practice. Of course the pool I work out at is the worst pool to swim. I don't know if it is the pool or just the adrenelan (sorry can't spell) kicking in. What I am getting at is that you might be O.K. giving the faster times because you might just swim those times at a meet.

This often happens for experienced competitive swimmers, but I doubt that it happens very frequently for rookies (unless they've just never tried to see how fast they can swim until they get to a meet). It takes time to get used to the mechanics of racing, and it's unlikely that you'll turn in best times while you're doing that.

I remember a world class swimmer once commenting that he had known guys in college who could turn in great times in practice, but couldn't duplicate those times in competition, and noting that they were almost invariably guys who hadn't been on a high school swim team. I think there's a real advantage to learning to race in an environment where you've got one or two meets per week, where you know that you're not going to be at top of form every day and learn how to make the best of what you've got each day, and where you know that if you muff something, you'll have another shot at it in a few days.

If you're a newcomer to racing, I think it's best to take the attitude that you're only racing against yourself. At your first meet, you're guaranteed to win every event, because the worst you can do is get DQed, and even that is better than you've ever done before!

Seagurl51
February 2nd, 2005, 08:58 PM
I finally have my seed times, some of which I'm not to happy with but this is my first meet so I'll live. And then I realized, I have completely spaced the rules. I read a rule book a while back, and for the life of me I can't remember some rules that I know are important. So here's my questions:

1) In an IM, going from back to breast, do you turn over on your stomach, flip and then go, or do I have to touch the wall while I'm still on my back?

2) During breast, how strict are they are on turning out your toes? I think I do this already, but just in case I want to be sure I don't get DQ'd.

3) How about the underwater portion, on all strokes. My breath capacity is alright, but not great, so how what are the rules for underwater swimming, in terms of kicks and pulls?

4) Is there a rule on when you breathe? I tend to breath at the T before I turn, but I know you're supposed to breathe at the flags, does that get you a DQ? Also, can you get DQ'd for taking a breath on your first stroke out? I'm trying to work on not doing this because I know it slows you down, but sometimes you just gotta!

Thanks for all your help everybody!! You are such awesome people and you have made this whole experience much less frightening knowing that I have people to answer my questions!!!

~Kyra

p.s. Any ideas on how to pace a 200 free? I generally try to start out slow and work up to an all out sprint the last 50...is that a good idea?

thisgirl13
February 2nd, 2005, 09:11 PM
Hey Kyra,

I'll tell you what I can, the rest I'm sure everyone else can fill in.

Definitely, for sure, touch the wall on your back for the back to breast turn. I know of several different ways to accomplish this turn, but I'm not sure any of them are legal in USMS. So, for safety, I'd just touch the wall.

As for DQ'ing, there were no officials at the meet I was at, though I'm not sure how different it is out west. We had a guy do a 100 backstroke by doing breaststroke kick on his back, and rotating both arms at the same time. No DQ, though he was in the last heat.

As far as underwater, usually, there is a 15 yard limit on underwater swimming, but again, no officials, so they didn't get picky about it at our meet. Just make sure you don't switch strokes, like I've seen people do when they're under too long.

There are no rules for breathing, as far as I know. Breath at the turn, breath coming out of it, breathe while you're doing it, I have never come across a rule for it. However, I would recommend this: without making yourself pass out, it's good practice, and faster turns, to take a breath two or three strokes before your turn, and then take two strokes out of your turn before you breathe again. Easier to do in shorter races, gets harder as the race yardage extends.

As for pacing your 200, I've asked that question for years, and I think I've literally gotten a different answer each time. I've been told to treat it as an all out sprint, I've been told to go out slow and save my energy, I've been told to go out fast, I've even been told to alternate fast/slow by 50's. Very complex stuff.

What usually works for me, since I'm terrible at pacing things, is I'll go out at a pretty good clip, just short of being all out, on my first 50. Then I back it off a little on the second (depending on how bad my judgement was on the first) and I'll build up the last two 50's until I'm at a dead sprint finishing the race (or as close to a sprint as I can manage). As a result, I tend to enjoy my second 50 of each 200 just a little more than the rest of the event.

Good Luck, I'm sure you'll be great! Go Kyra!

Steph

LindsayNB
February 2nd, 2005, 09:27 PM
The rules are available online:
http://fina.org/swimrules.html
http://fina.org/mastersrules.html

USMS rules are at:
http://www.usms.org/rules/

There are no rules on breathing. You need to break the surface by 15 meters in free, back and fly, you are allowed one pull and one kick before surfacing in breast.

Steph, backstroke is not necessarily back crawl, almost anything you swim on your back is legal backstroke.

Bob McAdams
February 2nd, 2005, 10:14 PM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
1) In an IM, going from back to breast, do you turn over on your stomach, flip and then go, or do I have to touch the wall while I'm still on my back?

IM is really 4 heats swum in succession. You have to finish each of the 4 legs according to the rules for finishing a heat in that stroke. So when you're finishing the backstroke leg, you have to touch while you're on your back, just as you would if you were finishing a backstroke heat.


2) During breast, how strict are they are on turning out your toes? I think I do this already, but just in case I want to be sure I don't get DQ'd.

There usually isn't a they. There's a he or a she. The strictness varies depending on what that one person feels confidently that he or she saw. For example, I saw an IM heat last year in which a swimmer violated the rule we talked about in the previous question by flipping onto his stomach before he touched when finishing the backstroke leg. But he wasn't DQed because the ref didn't happen to see it.

Not pointing your toes out is a valid reason for a DQ in breaststroke, though. So you could be DQed if you don't do it.


3) How about the underwater portion, on all strokes. My breath capacity is alright, but not great, so how what are the rules for underwater swimming, in terms of kicks and pulls?

For back, fly, and free, you have to surface within 15 meters (16.4 yards) after your start and after each turn and remain at the surface for the rest of that length.

For breaststroke, you're allowed one underwater pull and one underwater kick. After that, your head has to surface during each cycle of one arm pull and one kick.


4) Is there a rule on when you breathe? I tend to breath at the T before I turn, but I know you're supposed to breathe at the flags, does that get you a DQ? Also, can you get DQ'd for taking a breath on your first stroke out? I'm trying to work on not doing this because I know it slows you down, but sometimes you just gotta!

There are no rules regarding breathing. What you "know" is incorrect.

knelson
February 2nd, 2005, 11:41 PM
There will probably be two referees at the meet. They probably won't be too strict, but will DQ you if you do something obviously wrong. Don't worry about that. You'll still be able to see what your time was and then next time you'll know what you did wrong and you can correct it. I think even if you false start they generally let you still swim the race in Masters.

If breathing out of a turn was reason for a DQ darn near all of us would get deeked :)

My suggestion for pacing a 200 is try to take out the first 100 at a fast pace, but not all-out. The third 50 is the most important, and you should try to pick it up, then just give it whatever you have left for the last 50. If you can split the second 100 about two seconds slower than your first 100 that's a well swum race.

swimr4life
February 2nd, 2005, 11:52 PM
Hey Kyra! The 200 is one of my favorite races! It is what I call a "controlled sprint"!;) I used to always go out too fast until my coach told me to pace it this way....control the first 50, build the next 50, maintain the speed on the 3rd 50 and race the last 50. It is a challenging race and the only way to get better at it is to just do it. You will learn how you need to pace it the more you do it. GOOD LUCK and remember....you are only racing yourself. Anything you do will be your best! :D

Seagurl51
February 3rd, 2005, 03:36 PM
I was practicing my 200 today and just for fun decided to time it. When I finished and looked at the clock it said 2:54 and a few odd hundreths!! That was down 8 seconds from the last time I timed myself!!:eek: Now my question is, when I plugged this time into the converter, it showed a seed time that is almost 10 seconds off what I have on my form. Should I change the time in hopes that I will swim that good at the meet, or leave it to cover my back?

~Kyra

SwiminONandON
February 3rd, 2005, 04:58 PM
I would leave your time on the 200. What I have always heard on the 200 is that the third 50 is the most important. (I know someone else already said that). The third 50 is where people start losing focus and start trying to save their energy for the last 50. The first 50 will take care of itself. The second 50 try and keep your tempo up. The third 50 build. Concentrate on this one. And the last 50 treat like an all out sprint. Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

thisgirl13
February 4th, 2005, 04:07 PM
[i Steph, backstroke is not necessarily back crawl, almost anything you swim on your back is legal backstroke. [/B]

You know, in the 11 years I've been swimming.....I didn't know that.

Ooh, maybe I'll try that double arm thing at the next meet. It looked so relaxing, I envied the guy doing it.

Seagurl51
February 4th, 2005, 05:24 PM
So now that I know for sure that I need to stay on my back before I go to breaststroke in my IM, I've been working on my turns. I think the word terrible is an understatment. A while back I had an awesome turn going, but now I can't seem to find that rythm again. Any ideas on how to make the transition smooth with losing momentum? Right now, I pull to the way and on my last pull I turn to almost 90 (into my "sweet spot") then touch and go, but I don't feel like this is getting me a very good push...and it feels awkward. Thanks soooooo much for all your help everyone!! YOU GUYS ROCK!!!

~Kyra

p.s. 2 weeks till the meet!!!

SwiminONandON
February 4th, 2005, 05:36 PM
Kyra, how I learned to do the back to breast turn (it totally sucks) is go into the wall like you always do finishing backstroke. One arm straight behind you slightly turning onto that side. I like to go in with my left arm behind me. Then I kind of let my body curl into the wall keeping my right arm pointing toward the opposite end of the pool then I reach my left arm up and over and have it meet my right arm in front of me.

Does that make sense? You also can touch the wall with one hand and then flip turn - once you touch the wall legally you can do just about anything ...

This turn is the trickiest one.

SwiminONandON
February 4th, 2005, 05:40 PM
PS - Good LUCK!

Bob McAdams
February 8th, 2005, 01:06 AM
Originally posted by knelson
There will probably be two referees at the meet. They probably won't be too strict, but will DQ you if you do something obviously wrong. Don't worry about that. You'll still be able to see what your time was and then next time you'll know what you did wrong and you can correct it.

Well, the only time I've ever been DQed, I wasn't told what my time was. In fact, I didn't even find out that I'd been DQed until the race results were posted on the wall about 20 minutes later, and then I had to seek out the ref to find out why.

knelson
February 8th, 2005, 10:54 AM
The Bellevue Club pool has a nice digital scoreboard, though, so you can check your time as soon as you're finished with the event.

Remember back in the old days when they had the manual displays behind each lane? The timers would go back and "dial in" you time. I don't see many of those anymore!

Seagurl51
February 13th, 2005, 06:17 PM
The meet is a week from today!! I am a ball on nerves at this point! I'm still really excited but now I'm starting to worry about pointless little things. How do you relax before a meet? Anything that anyone can offer would be uber helpful!! Thanks soo much!!

~Kyra

Matt S
February 13th, 2005, 10:06 PM
Kyra,

A couple of thoughts:

1) You will probably feel a whole range of emotions the next week: excitement, abject terror, anticipation, butterflyes the size of bats, etc. etc. Enjoy the highs and realize they will not last. Try not to dwell on the lows; experience them and let them pass through your system. In the greater scheme of things, neither the highs or the lows a week out matter. The issue is not whether you are ready to swim today, Wednesday, or the evening before the meet. What matters is whether you are ready to swim when they call you to the blocks. The only hint you will get is, maybe, the last 30 minutes of warmup the day of the meet. Even then, you will still probably have bat-sized butterflyes. Trust me, they are gone within the first 10 yards of the race. Just try to relax, realize you will probably be nervous, but that it is normal, and remind yourself you are doing this to have fun.

2) Because this is your first meet, you are just now starting to learn what helps you do your best, what does not help, what parts of competition you like, and what you don't like. You're going to have great swims, lousy swims, and everything in between. It's all a learning experience, so try to savor the good parts, chalk up the rest as valuable insights, and move on. The scary thing, and the cool thing, about racing is that to do your best, you have to confront who you really are under pressure. There is no posing; there is no talking a good game; the stopwatch does not care. Whatever makes you go fast, no matter how embarassing your dirty little secret is (mine is the Miami Sound Machine to psych up), you have to find out what that is and accept it. That's both cool and scary.

Good luck, and please keep us informed how you do. We are all learning from the conversation that YOU have the courage to get started.

Matt

thisgirl13
February 14th, 2005, 05:51 AM
Hey Kyra, good luck at the meet next week!

I have a meet at Uniontown (PA) that same day. And I'll confess, after swimming competitively since I was 9, I have yet to find a way to really relax before a swim meet. The morning of the meet, I'm antsy, almost bouncy, wanting to go, impatient, fidgety, all kinds of things that are fueled by nerves.

However, I've discovered that once you're there, there is one point where you actually relax. It's warmups. Once you get in the water, nothing matters. If you can get in the pool and warm up, do a few length sprints, do your events uber slow, then do them again faster, or do whatever you want, really, then I've discovered that you'll completely forget everything you're nervous about.

Of course, those nerves come back a couple heats before your own, and when you step up on the block (or the side), you might feel like your heart's going to come right out of your chest. Happens to me, actually. Nerves like a jittery cat. Of course, it vanishes as soon as I hit the water.

So if you're asking for some advice on calming your nerves, I really only have one thing that works: the pool. Being in the water will make it better, even if you're a mental wreck outside. Also, Matt's right; whatever you have to do to calm your nerves outside the water - books, rock music (mine's Something Corporate and Alter Bridge) - do it. It won't take away the nerves behind the starting block, but you won't throw up on anybody :D

Let me know how it goes!

Steph

Seagurl51
February 14th, 2005, 09:06 AM
Hey Matt and Steph! Thank you soo much for the words of encouragement! I'm definately taking these ideas to heart. The more I think about it, the more I think I just gotta swim...all the time!! I will definately let you know how I do, and any ways I find to relax. :D

~Kyra

h2osmiley
February 14th, 2005, 09:48 AM
I've been swimming competitively for over 10 years now (high school, college, and masters), and if I'm not nervous during the meet, then I know something is not right. I think being nervous does you good (as long as you're not getting sick from it). As a result of being nervous, I tend to sip a lot continuously out of my water bottle, which makes me have to go to the bathroom every 20 min. or so. It sounds like a hassle, but it's become routine for me after all this time. I get the most nervous when I'm standing behind the blocks before my event, but as soon as I stand up on them the nerves disappear and is replaced by confidence and determination.

Best of luck in your meet Kyra, and have fun!

swimmieAvsFan
February 14th, 2005, 12:51 PM
i've got to totally agree with steph- lots of loud rock/alternative music- the stuff my mom calls my "angry music". think along the lines of static-x, disturbed, eminem... the first thing that gets packed in my meet bag is my discman and cds. i've been doing this at every meet before every race since i was about 13. and it showed in my last meet- my batteries died right before my first event and i didn't have extras! :eek: i had decent swims, but i was a total nervous wreck before every event.

and i agree with jennifer- if i'm not at least a bit nervous before my races, there's something not right... the music helps keep the nerves under control, but they're definitely still there!


and kyra, best of luck at your meet!!

jbroadri
February 14th, 2005, 03:27 PM
good luck with your meet. I'm sure you will do great! The most important thing for you at this meet is to have fun.

You asked about the back 2 breast turn on an IM and got some good answers, but I thought I'd throw in my $.02. Doing the back -> breast turn is kind of tricky. I have 2 major problems with this turn. 1. I'm really deep into oxygen debt by this time so my legs are generally starting to numb and my stomach is starting to cramp and 2. I'm really only good at it if I touch with my right arm so I have to adjust my swim/glide into the wall appropriately.

What I do is glide (hopefully not too far) into the wall with my right arm fully extended, and with my body rotated to my right side (but still legal). I "stiff-arm" the wall of the pool and then all my forward momentum pushes my legs/body to the wall as I curl up my feet to reduce the size of the pendulum. I keep my left arm extended, and when my feet touch the wall I swing my right arm over, drop underwater and push off the wall. It works okay, and I typically gain some time on my competitors on the turn, but I wouldn't say what I do is the "best" or fastest way to do the turn.

I also want to agree with the comments about the atmosphere of a masters meet. Its really not a cut-throat competitive environment. People are friendly, swim their races and generally either say "nice swim" or ask "how was your swim." If you are happy with your race others are too. I had a guy who lapped me in a 200 IM ask how my swim went. I said I hit my goal time and he genuinely said "excellent swim, keep it up!" I've yet to see anyone with any "attitude" at a masters meet. The variety of swimmers is also very cool. No one will look down on you because they are faster than you. Just go, swim and enjoy the experience!

Bob McAdams
February 16th, 2005, 02:21 AM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
The meet is a week from today!! I am a ball on nerves at this point! I'm still really excited but now I'm starting to worry about pointless little things. How do you relax before a meet? Anything that anyone can offer would be uber helpful!! Thanks soo much!!

~Kyra

I've never been able to relax before a meet. In fact, by the time the meet starts, I've already had a workout just from the tension. I also don't sleep all that well the night before a morning meet. Nor does the tension go away as soon as I hit the water. At my last meet, I was in 3 heats, and the tension really didn't start to subside until partway through my 2nd heat. It didn't totally go away until after my 3rd heat.

The only thing I've found that helps is being in lots of meets. The more meets you have been in, and (more importantly) the more meets you have been in recently, the less tension you are likely to feel. The fastest 50y freestyle time I've ever done in competition was done in a situation where I had two meets only a few weeks apart and did 50y freestyle in both of them. And it was in the second meet that I did my best time. The reason was that I was more relaxed.

SwiminONandON
February 16th, 2005, 11:08 AM
My first master's meet (just this past January) I was so nervous before my first event (the 200 free) I wanted to scratch. I was still nervous on the blocks but as soon as I was actually swimming I was fine. My nerves decreased with every event. This past meet I was much less nervous until I had to swim the 200 IM (which again I thought about scratching - not seriously but I was freaked out) I knew once I got through the fly I'd be OK on the back die a little on the breast and be ok on the free.

I had a coach once tell me that if you weren't nervous it meant that you didn't care. Nerves give you adrenaline and energy. Remember it's OK to make mistakes, have bad races, even DQ. All of those things happen at EVERY level. People DQ at the Olympics, and even Michael Phelps and Jenny Thompson have had bad races.

Just have fun. As long as you have fun everything else will work out!

SwiminONandON
February 16th, 2005, 11:13 AM
Oh and to go further along on the DQ thing - Ian Thorpe DQued in his premier race (the 400 free) at Aussie trials, Amanda Beard DQued in a IM race at a World Cup Meet, James Hickman DQued at World Cup this past weekend ... it happens to the best of us. And you learn from it. Usually once you DQ once it'll never happen again at least in that event. (I always feel better when I hear that the really good people mess up too!)

GOOD LUCK!

Seagurl51
February 21st, 2005, 10:54 AM
Well I did it! I went to my first swim meet and didn't die or get DQ'd. Actually, I did really well....a lot better than I had expected to do. I broke my personal best times in all my events, and ended up placing 1st in two of them and 2nd and 3rd in the other two (in my heats)!! I was shocked!! I was sooo nervous that first race, but you all were right. Once I hit the water, I couldn't help but smile! Thank you sooo much to everyone who offered words of advice and encouragement. You made this experience much less frightening for me. I have definately caught the competition bug and can't wait for my next meet!!!! Hope to see you all at a meet somewhere down the line!!!

~Kyra

p.s. Can someone who went tell me what happened with the lady and the world record? I was warming down and all I heard from my friend was something about someone had just broke a world record.

Also, good swims knelson and Rebecca!!! Congrats!!!

thisgirl13
February 21st, 2005, 03:41 PM
HOORAY FOR KYRA! We knew you could do it, chick!

Congrats!

Steph

newmastersswimmer
February 21st, 2005, 04:45 PM
Congrats on your first swim meet going so swimmingly Seagurl!!
I am having my first meet on April 9th and 10th ....and then (hopefully if I qualify that is??) I will be rushing my times in from this meet to enter SCY Nationals just before the deadline (April 14th).....It will be my first swim meet in 18 years.....After reading some of the posts here I am feeling more than a little nervous about it to say the least! I know I'm not yet in the type of shape I want to be in for this meet (or for nationals for that matter)....I will have to really step it up from here on out to try and muster myself into some kind of acceptable shape before the big meet (the big unknown that is!!)

Wish me luck,

newmastersswimmer

Seagurl51
February 21st, 2005, 06:00 PM
Newmastersswimmer, you will do awesome that at your meet! I am planning on going to a meet on the 8th and 9th so we can be nervous together. Good Luck!!

~Kyra

h2osmiley
February 21st, 2005, 06:08 PM
Newmastersswimmer~

Did you know that you don't have to qualify to swim at nationals? You can swim in up to 3 events without meeting the NQT for them.

newmastersswimmer
February 21st, 2005, 06:19 PM
Did you know that you don't have to qualify to swim at nationals? You can swim in up to 3 events without meeting the NQT for them. originally posted by h2oru

Yaeh...but I want to swim 5 or 6 events if I go (might as well since it is a long drive to Ft. Lauderdale)......Also I want to enter my events with entry times that are as fast as possible..... in the hopes that I might get seeded in one of the faster heats (if not the fastest heat?) in as many of the events as I can (wishful thinking perhaps??).....I think you have to put the date of the meet where you made the times that you enter for each event you enter at Nationals?....(meaning that you're not suppose to just make up times that you think you're capable of swimming??)....Of course I'm not 100% sure about this....I am just going by what I read on the entry forms themselves.


newmastersswimmer

p.s....Thanks for the vote of confidence Seagurl!!...Good luck to you also on April 9th and 10th!!

knelson
February 22nd, 2005, 01:04 AM
Congrats on the meet! Sounds like it went great for you.

I found your name on the heat sheet a couple times and was going to try to watch you swim, then the meet got going and I was watching my teammates, etc. and never did see you. Sorry about that! Where were you sitting? I was down by the hot tub.

Now you have to swim at the meet in Federal Way, WA in April. It's an awesome pool. If you swim there I won't flake out and miss you again, I promise! :)

Seagurl51
February 22nd, 2005, 10:58 AM
Originally posted by knelson
Congrats on the meet! Sounds like it went great for you.

I found your name on the heat sheet a couple times and was going to try to watch you swim, then the meet got going and I was watching my teammates, etc. and never did see you. Sorry about that! Where were you sitting? I was down by the hot tub.

Now you have to swim at the meet in Federal Way, WA in April. It's an awesome pool. If you swim there I won't flake out and miss you again, I promise! :)

Thank you!! I am definately going to try and make the April meet! I love that pool!! I was sitting under the clock over by the lifeguards chair, to the right if you looked at it head on. No worries about not seeing me swim. If I had teammates, I would have watched them too. :D

~Kyra

newmastersswimmer
February 22nd, 2005, 02:00 PM
I was sitting under the clock over by the lifeguards chair, to the right if you looked at it head on. originally posted by Seagurl


Once again with the lifeguards eh??......Just a simple coincidence perhaps?


newmastersswimmer

Seagurl51
March 24th, 2005, 05:07 PM
Two weeks from today is my second swim meet!!! I'm really excited, but again I'm starting to get nervous. So here's some really lame newbie questions. Should I be worried by the term "championships" or is that just but there to scare people away? Also, my two favorite events (200 free and 100 breast, in that scheduling order) are back to back:eek: !!! I'll probably be in the first or second heat so I would have at least some time to rest, but I want to do well. I did really well in both of them at my last meet. Should I swim them? Thanks!!!

~Kyra

p.s. On a completely un-related subject: speaking of lifeguards, where would I go to find out what I need to be a lifeguard in another state?

Bob McAdams
March 25th, 2005, 07:13 AM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
Two weeks from today is my second swim meet!!! I'm really excited, but again I'm starting to get nervous. So here's some really lame newbie questions. Should I be worried by the term "championships" or is that just but there to scare people away?

I don't know. I've always been scared away by the term, so I don't know what they're like.


Also, my two favorite events (200 free and 100 breast, in that scheduling order) are back to back:eek: !!! I'll probably be in the first or second heat so I would have at least some time to rest, but I want to do well. I did really well in both of them at my last meet. Should I swim them?

If you're really adamant about doing those two strokes, why not pick a different distance for one of them?


Bob

jean sterling
March 25th, 2005, 09:39 PM
In Dixie Zone a championship is not different from a regular meet (at least so it seems to me), though I don't know how it would be in your part of the country. Of course, a national championship is another matter! :-)

Inre the 200 free and 100 breast: You will have all that time while most of the women and all the guys swim their 200s to rest. That should be fine if it's a large meet, but if it's a small meet.... you might want to reconsider.

Seagurl51
March 25th, 2005, 10:25 PM
That's reassuring to know that there hopefully won't be a difference between just because this one says championship. In terms of the 200 free and 100 breast. On recommendation from a trusted friend, I'm switching the 200 free for the 100 free the next day.

~Kyra