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cinc3100
July 11th, 2002, 12:06 AM
So do other people feel diappointed with their times as adult versus as an 18 year old or 20 year old. I understand that I was out of swimming for almost 26 years. And I didn't practice that much during the first 2 years because I was badly out of shape and had to changes jobs and for about 9 months my work didn't workout that much with swimming, only swimming a couple of days at week. I guest we are not that young and many of us who take a very long break from swimming and are middle age are going to be slower. This is workout times according to a pace clock.

Bert Petersen
July 11th, 2002, 01:18 AM
C.C. - wait 'till you hit 60 !!! Disappointments galoor............

k kelble
July 11th, 2002, 11:57 AM
Since I didn't swim my first lap until my 31st birthday, I don't have any age-group times to compare with my "middle-age" times, for which I am grateful. Next month I will mark my 10th anniversary as a swimmer and about all I can say is I'm faster, and more importantly, fitter, today than I was ten years ago. The long-term health benefits of swimming are so much more important than any pace clock or stop watch.

To all of us gray-hairs, keep up the diligent effort in the pool and use the pace clock as an incentive, not a measure, of good health.

cinc3100
July 11th, 2002, 06:51 PM
I started swimming again because I'm overweight. I'm still overweight but have lost 20 pounds. The freestyle and breastroke and backstroke range from 3 to 5 seconds slower in 50 yards. The butterfly 15 seconds to 20 seconds slower. But I don't do that much butterfly today to avoid injury. As a kid I was made a fair butterfly from all those meets and butterfly I did in workouts. If I started back in my 30's there probably wouldn't be as much deteroration. That's life.

Glenn
July 11th, 2002, 09:51 PM
500 free age 20 in 1969 5:37.5
500 free age 52 in 2002 5:35.34

What middle age slow down! Work outs are better, more intense, better quality, better technique. I am working harder and swimming more than I did in HS or college.

Don't give up!!

Glenn

Ion Beza
July 11th, 2002, 10:04 PM
I also know of Jim Thornton in this forum, who at age 49 is in his prime because he just did 1:55.xx compared to a previously best 1:56.xx from teenage years, and I have heard of Laura Val who swims now lifetime bests in sprints.


Originally posted by Glenn
500 free age 20 in 1969 5:37.5
500 free age 52 in 2002 5:35.34

What middle age slow down! Work outs are better, more intense, better quality, better technique. I am working harder and swimming more than I did in HS or college.

Don't give up!!

Glenn
Wow, your recipe works for you...

cinc3100
July 11th, 2002, 10:33 PM
I understand some people do better. But if one looks at nationals qualfying times for 45-49 women they are similar to A age group times for 11-12 year old girls. In fact when I was 12 years old I swam a 44.0 butterfly. I clock around a 1:00 a couple times one I swam very slow and another I was tired. I know that some workout times can be as much as 10 seconds off depending upon the circumstances. But if I swimming 50 seconds at age 45 at a 50 yard butterfly versus 30.0 at 19 years old that is like a 20 second difference. Granted I rarely swim fly more than a 100 yards now. And the most was probably300 yards but that is a big slow down. I swam a 46 in breastroke in workout. I probably was a litle tired, but if I swim between 40 to 43 seconds in a race, I also did that at 12 years old.

Ion Beza
July 11th, 2002, 11:14 PM
I guess Cynthia, after seeing my posts about workout styles that you can guess this is also my recipe for avoiding slowdown.

Originally posted by Glenn

...
more intense, better quality, ...I am working harder and swimming more than I did in HS or college.

Don't give up!!

Glenn
Note, that I took out "...better technique..." from it, because as I practice the recipe under coached workouts in many USMS clubs, I experience less than 10% as being drills, and working on one-on-one in technique in order to add more drills, doesn't make me believing in a breakthrough.

However, in spite of this recipe by Glenn, expect like me, the slowdown: I believe that as we age, the maximal heart rate decreases and the aerobic follows.

I simply don't understand exceptions like Glenn's, Jim's, Laura's, but they are not 'normal' and me I am.

valhallan
July 13th, 2002, 07:48 AM
Cynthia,

Having read your post, I must admit that being a clock watcher during workouts is unaviodable. My memory banks can easily recall some of the average times performed during training sessions. I wonder sometimes how it was humanly possible to maintain some of the paces that we underwent during the college years. But I do find it very encouraging to be able to approach within several seconds of the "glory" day repeats.

All I know is that twenty years and twenty pounds ago that it was possible to use brute force to go up and back with only one breath (I'm a sprinter). I wonder if I tied a five pound sack of sugar to each arm and leg on my former self and had a time trial. I bet the younger guy wouldn't do so well.

Being competitive though is in all of us. And having said that I've come to realize that honing in on stroke mechanics and technique is slowly closing the gap between the swimmer I am today and the one that I was last century.

Thanks for the post!

cinc3100
July 13th, 2002, 11:01 AM
Well, there are factors, mainly I don't do butterfly as much as I did when I was younger. Good thing I don't. Mainily my strength wasn't in the kick but the arm pull when I was younger in butterfly. That is much weaker. Also, the yardage has been on the low side. I'm trying to work to more yardage. I probably could do 3,000 yards plus workouts if I stayed in the water longer and did mainly freestyle. But I enjoy doing breastroke and a little bit of butterfly and backstroke. This is the main reason why my times are simlar to when I was 12 years old. I think that the freestyle is more like when I was 13 years old.

cinc3100
July 13th, 2002, 11:10 AM
I think most of the good times have been in freestyle not butterfly or backstroke or breastroke and eventually all three will slow down in their mid 50's. I remember one master swimming doing a 1:05 in 100 yard butterfly doing the same event around 60 at 1:18. Laura is interesting because another ex-swimmer of national ability in her group Lynn Bell swims 100 meter breastroke and fly about 15 seocnds slower than she did in the 1970's. Maybe, because Laura started back working out in their 30's versus Bell taking up swimming again more recently that she is able to swim times faster or closer to her early days.

Bert Petersen
July 13th, 2002, 11:30 PM
This post causes me some reflection on my own history. I use the 100 fly because that is the event I have never abandoned. So: in 1955 at age 16 = 59.6, age 17 = 57.7, age 18 = 55.5 (note the times figured only to 10ths !!) Fast forward to age 45, starting into Masters. Dropped quickly from a 1:14 to 59.20 in about 6 months. By age 47 had gone 58.76-the falling off started there, until age 62 at Nationals-went a 1:03.26 - currently good for about a 1:05 @ age 64. SO: what does it mean? Not much, because most of my career slowdowns have occurred either due to injury or burn-out. Cannot coach and swim intensely at the same time. How to handle the slow attrition ? Just have to get my ego under control and reaffirm my motives; to wit: health, fitness and a longer, better quality life. I feel comfortable knowing that I'm slowing down and that's O.K. Everyone else is too ! ;)

cinc3100
July 14th, 2002, 01:03 AM
Anyways, I would love to even do 100 freestyle at 1:14. Practices have been in the 120's or beyond. And freestyle range in 50 from 33 rested to 45 slow pace. I'm planning on right on just swimming beastroke in a meet. Its not too bad I've clock trying to go fast after doing three or more 50's with porbably 20 to 30 seconds rest at 46 in a 50 yard. I'm going to swimming LC meters that gives me a little scare. Doing the 50 breastroke and the 100 meter breastroke. In the future maybe i'll add freestyle. Breastroke was the stroke I could do fair from age 12 to the present. Probably some of my problem is that the nearest masters team is 20 miles on the otherside of the town and I workout on myself that why I'm probably not making the process such as you did at 45 years old.

Peter Cruise
July 14th, 2002, 03:57 PM
Cynthia- slowing down in breastroke is something I have a lot of experience at. Without going into a lot of specifics, you cannot rediscover your speed without rediscovering the right rhythm & timing of your stroke at slower speeds & gradually accellerating it over time. The danger comes then as you try to go faster that you must avoid creating greater resistance (breastroke is the least efficient stroke) as you are applying power. Without having a coach to guide (& nitpick) your stroke, you might try this: go & spectate a quality USS open-level event & watch the breastroke being done. You're not there to analyze anyone's stroke (you'll still see many variations), but to try to feel the rhythm & body position of a swimmer who you think is swimming in a manner that you would like to aspire to. If you can then get in a pool as quick as you can & attempt to replicate the "feel" & rhythm you observed without being too self-critical- you may well surprise yourself & make some good progress towards your old speed.

cinc3100
July 14th, 2002, 11:37 PM
That's a good idea about seeing a meet with the top breastrokers. Anyways, I think I will stop whinning about how slow I swim now. I can still beat a lot of the general public that lap swim.

Deb
July 15th, 2002, 03:35 PM
Cinc310-
I am also a mid-40's swimmer. I wasn't a great age-grouper and I'm not a great masters swimmer either. The first 5 years after my 20-year lay-off, though, I did get faster. Now I seem to be facing the "inevitable decline." (Or maybe I'm not working out as hard...) I'm envious of those that have continued to get faster in their 40's an beyond, but for most of us mortals, it can't go on forever.

I find it hard to revise my goals. Many of us have spent our lives with the goal of being faster. I can't do the times or the sets in practice that I used to be able to do. I work out alone, mostly, so I often only have the unsuspecting lap swimmer in the lane next to me to race against. So I have been trying to take some advice from friends who say what I need to do is have new goals. Just swimming faster (with better technique or better training, or both) can't continue to be a goal, I don't think. Especially if you are measuring yourself against your age-group or college times.

Although, intelectually, I know that health and fitness are the over-all goals, I still like to have that feeling of "beating the clock," doing a really good set at practice. It is hard not to be discouraged when you can't make the same time or intervals. Instead, I set a goal this summer to make some nats qualifying times for long course next year since I'll be aging up. That has giving me something to work at. I try to make the times/intervals that I think will allow me to swim my goal time for the next meet (and try to forget about how much faster I was swimming in previous years....).

Philip Arcuni
July 15th, 2002, 03:54 PM
That's whats good about the age-group format of masters. You can set targets, such as Deb's goal of national qualifying times, or top ten, or place in regional meets, that are presumably moving as fast (or slowing down as much) as you are.

Fisch
July 19th, 2002, 11:32 PM
In a far away thread, long ago, we talked about this before.
Jim Thorton suggested that those of us Masters swimmers who were
"mediocre" in our teens had an advantage over those swimmers
who were hotshots in their teens when it came to PRs now.
Makes a lot of sence to me now.

After 13 years as a Masters swimmer (I'm 49), I did my
PR's this year in the 500 and 1650. I credit it to better
technique.

cinc3100
July 20th, 2002, 12:18 AM
I was no hotshot as a teenager. My best time in 100 yard breastroke was a 1:16.1 and the 100 yard butterfly, 1:05.8 My freestyle time in the 100 yard bordered on B and A time, 1:03.7. So, even average swimmers don't always get bettter with age. Maybe, part of the reason you did best times was because like you stated you have been at masters swimming for 13 years, while I started lap swimming again in my 40's. Laura Val who was a hotshot swimmer as a teenager since she made olympic trails is swimming better in her 40's and early 50's than both of you do..

Glen
July 24th, 2002, 09:42 AM
I was a breaststroker and butterflyer as a kid and my times were around the 1:10 mark for 100 meter breast and the 1:00 mark for 100 meter fly.I took thirty years off, gained 50 lbs, and had a heart attack before returning to the pool two years ago, my times then were slow slow slow, but after 2 years and many meets my breast times are within 9 seconds of my best as a kid, fly has come to within 11 seconds. This by hard work and changing my stroke to the way they do it today( good coaching). I now compare what my times were when I first came back and feel good seeing improvement from those times. After 2 years back the biggest improvements have just come the last few months.
The most important thing is that I am now in better shape than most peole my age and I am enjoying my swimming way more than I did as a kid.Work hard Have fun and I am sure the times will improve some what.

Glen

Peter Cruise
July 24th, 2002, 03:34 PM
Yes, I can attest that Glen, that pesky youngster, is indeed getting faster & faster. Also, there is no trace of those 50 extra pounds left!

cinc3100
July 28th, 2002, 11:00 PM
I did swim in my first meet. I did a fairly good 50 meter for my age group in breastroke at 44.95. The 100 meter breastroke I need to learn to pace better with speed. I swim a 1:53.13. At least I didn't get DQ.