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vr4nothing
July 26th, 2006, 11:48 PM
I swam competitvely as a kid about ten years ago, and I'm getting back into swimming now in order to get in shape. I'm 22. Hopefully I'll eventually be able to compete again, but it's probably going to be a long time until I'm fit enough for it.

Anyone have any tips for getting started again?

dorothyrde
July 27th, 2006, 07:35 AM
You have the skills from when you were a kid, they are just rusty. You are still very young and at a point where your body will bounce back into training fairly easy. Now you just have to get in the pool and do it.

My suggestion is to start easy. Low yardage, not a lot of sprinting, work on remember a good stroke, feeling the water, and endurance. Each week add 100 yards to your work-out, and try to work-out 3-4 times per week.

In about a month do a timed distance swim as a benchmark. Do that timed swim every month at the same time during the month. This will mark your endurance progress. Once your endurance is up, start adding in some sprint work for 1 to 2 work-outs a week. Intervals really add to a persons fitness level.

By all means enter a meet this fall or winter. You may not feel ready, but again, it is a time to give yourself benchmark times. There are all kinds of speeds at meet. Don't wait until you are "fast" enough. Also, remember, it may take time to get back to your childhood times, although at the age you quit, and the age you are now, you might surpass them quickly.

I am a big proponent of cross training. weight training may not seem important now, but as you age, having those muscles becomes more and more important. You are not looking for huge body builder muscles, but the type that will support your bones and tendons and prevent injuries. Also, flexibility training, and other forms of cardio when there just is not time to get in the pool, which happens when you are an adult swimmer.

I use the work-out forum a lot for work-out ideas to keep my training from getting stale. If you have a Masters team with a coach near you, join it. That helps the boredom as well.

Good luck, and have fun.

bud
July 27th, 2006, 02:54 PM
Originally posted by vr4nothing
I swam competitvely as a kid about ten years ago... Anyone have any tips for getting started again?
Yep...
Go swim! Try and average at least 4x/wk.
Don’t wait till you are “ready”, just go enter a meet as soon as it is possible.
Be patient.


3x/wk will basically just maintain your current level of swimming fitness (unless you are doing a lot of structured cross training that specifically targets swimmers... maybe). 5x/wk or more is great, but if you’re just starting back you want to keep your goals realistic.

I find that swimming 4x/wk allows me some satisfactorily measurable progress (but then again I frequently attend the school of “If at first you don’t succeed then lower your standards” :-). All I do is swimming mostly. I’m starting to get back into Yoga, and I’m finding it extremely helpful.

If you had swimming talent before it will come back quick. If you never had a lot of swimming talent, but are willing in spirit, then you have a grand opportunity before you.

Do what feels good and try to make it fun. Diligent study and practice, along with good coaching and/or feedback from folks knowledgeable in technique, can be a very rewarding experience. Regular swimming is an outstanding exercise in self-discipline. If you really apply yourself, you will learn a lot about yourself.

I wish more “regular” folks showed up at meets, it would be a lot more fun. Also: Better to make the silly meet mistakes now before you are “ready”, as opposed to when you are primed and charged to snag an all-time personal best record. And most importantly, by starting a collection of timed events now you will have a much more tangible record of your progress (for when you think you are ready).


Of course you could also follow the advice of Ellen DeGeneres:
“Don’t wait! Procrastinate now!”

vr4nothing
July 28th, 2006, 10:41 PM
Thanks for the advice.

I tried some fly today... that didn't go so well. I'm going to have to get some coaching before I can do that again, I think.

dorothyrde
July 29th, 2006, 08:27 AM
You might want to build up you endurance and swimming strength before going into fly. Or start by working fly drills, and easy 25 fly to get the feel back.

dorothyrde
July 29th, 2006, 08:27 AM
You might want to build up you endurance and swimming strength before going into fly. Or start by working fly drills, and easy 25 fly to get the feel back.