View Full Version : Second attempt

October 10th, 2005, 09:00 AM
This is my second attempt at getting back into swimming after raising kids (20 years). Not that they left the house yet. But with more freedom I want to get back into swimming.

Last year I made an attempt and swam for a few weeks and then got distracted by work :( However, that hard part was setting a workout. The main problem was my lungs are not in shape as much as I would like. Where do I begin? Any suggestions.

On the previous attempt I was doing something like:
10X100 Free on 2 minute.
10x50 kick (mixed stroke) 10 second rest between
10x100 Free on 2 minute pulling
5X100 IM on 2 1/2 minute
5X100 breaststroke on 2 1/2 minute.
200 free cool down

This workout kicked my butt. How do I know if this is to much? I feel I am still lacking the longer distances, nor am I able to do them. Will this come in time?

Any advice would be great to have,

Thanks in advance.

October 10th, 2005, 12:23 PM
I started back last January after similar abortive efforts. Your program looks awfully ambitious to me for just starting back in.

I started with sets of longer distances (200 - 500m) and swam them really easy with a little short kicking and pulling in between. I'd go maybe 1500 or so. Then I found a workout book and initially just halved every set and tacked on a little more warmup and cooldown, again going easy. That got me going 1,500 - 2250. Then I started Mo Chambers workouts from this site and built to where I could do 3000 to 3400 in about 70 minutes. But I still wasn't pushing too hard or trying to hold intervals.

As of a couple of weeks ago, I started with the local Masters group. We're doing a lot more kick sets and interval work than I did on my own, and I'm getting my butt kicked. But my conditioning is improving every day, and the drill work I did on my stroke while swimming alone has paid off. I am surprised how much I enjoy the camaraderie. Having others doing the same sets is motivational and fun.

I don't know if I would have stuck with it this far if I had tried to push harder initially. I also had some very minor shoulder issues that I was able to work through that might have turned into a real injury if I had been pushing harder. And I needed to get myself in decent swimming shape before I was ready to join a group. I know a lot of folks here recommend just jumping in with the group, and I see their point -- but I wasn't ready to do it. Maybe it's a guy thing.

I think this site helped hold my interest by giving me things to work on and think about as well as providing a challenging daily workout. Losing about 12 or 15 pounds helped motivate me, too; at least once a week someone would ask me what I'd been doing and whether I'd lost weight. And I decided to finally learn the elusive butterfly, which remains quite the challenge.

Print a workout from here or elsewhere to give you some guidelines, listen carefully to your body, take it easy intitially, and above all have fun.

October 10th, 2005, 11:31 PM
Thanks for your reply and advice. The short distances seem to come easy still for me. I was more of a distance swimmer oh so long ago. I would like to hear more about the book you found. Maybe a title and I will check it out.

I don't know if the problem is my mind thinks I am still young or that I only feel my lungs are out of shape. The next day is when I hurt, but that is like it was when I was young. What should I be looking for? Rather concerned about?

I have been reading on this site for ways of spicing up the work outs and to improve my pathetic back stroke (if I can call it that). My daughter just started swimming on an US Swim team and I have been attempting to add in the stuff I see them doing.

Have you swam in any meets yet? I would like to someday (goals are good). The reason I ask is I see the back stroke turns are different and wanted to know if that was done in masters swimming also?

Again thanks for the reply.


October 12th, 2005, 12:21 PM
"101 Favorite Swimming Workouts" by Marianne Brems, author of Swim for Fitness. Copyright 1980, published by Workouts from San Mateo California.

A swimming friend gave it to me years ago in one of my prior attempts to get back in.

It is divided into 6 chapters:

I. Adjusting a Workout to Your Ability
II. Endurance and Speed Workouts
III. Early Season, Mid Season, and Taper workouts
IV. Mixed Bag Workouts
V. Off-Season Wokouts
VI. Do It Yourself Workouts

It includes a decent glossary of terms and drills. Distances run from 2,000 up to 3,500 or so, with most in the 2,750 - 3,000 range.

I found it to be very useful for getting started. I doubt it's still in print, but you might be able to find a copy.

[Actually, it's in it's 6th printing, and available here for $11:
http://marianne_brems.tripod.com/ (http://)

I can also highly recommend Mo's workouts posted here. Her distances are realistic, and her terminology is less arcane than the others.

Happy swimming

October 12th, 2005, 12:32 PM
Why can't we just get in and swim, instead of too much much too soon. I like to swim 1000, 2000, 3000 a day for a few weeks and not worry about specifics of 10 x100, just get in and adapt to the water. Lots of time to do those grueling workouts after you get the body ready for the workload.

October 12th, 2005, 01:32 PM
I was out of breath a lot too at first. To compensate I would do an open turn now and again, or substitute a length or two of easy breast in the middle of a set, or do broken sets with short rests to recover. It will get better; part of it for me was the brain getting reprogrammed to accept that it would be without air for a certain period of time.

Overall non-localized hurting is generally good; specific pains are bad. Watch the shoulders. My left shoulder started hurting when I got intrigued by lowering my stroke count and started really reaching. I eventually found a comfortable long, front quadrant (don't want to open the TI worm can here, so I won't say it) stroke and have not had any more problems.

I have not competed yet. Maybe this fall, but it's been 27 years since I've been off the blocks.

The backstroke turns have changed. I'm working on them, but I doubt I'll choose a back event for my first meet. Breast changed, too, and evidently still is. But those changes are part of what I alluded to in saying this site kept me interested. It's fun to work on a new back turn, or figure out when to try and work in a dolphin kick in breast.

October 13th, 2005, 12:30 PM
If you are just starting out do 25's and 50's with short rest. This will get you into a rhythm and maintian your stroke. Also doing kick sets help--when I need to get in shape, 200 backstroke kicks do it for me. Perhaps a 25 kick, 50 swim (or pull) x 8 would help.
Keep at it, good luck!