View Full Version : Three Weeks Back & Some Initial Observations

October 21st, 2006, 01:45 AM
After the local Y got their pool filters changed and reopened, I started going in on a regular basis. Although there is a very small organized Master's swim at 6:30 AM, there is no way I can make it at that time. (I understand from the Aquatics director that there are only two folks swimming, and both are "beginners.") The good news is that I have some time around 8:30 - 9:00 AM on my way home from taking my son to school, to stop and swim. That will work better for me.

(The Master's "coach" was supposed to stop by and give me some pointers on Tuesday morning, but she never made it. Ditto for Wed, Thur, and Friday as well.)

So, first off, it looks like I'm going to be "self coached". Which is OK, all things considered. My goals are simple enough ... to loose about 40 lbs, to possibly get in good enough shape to compete sometime in 2007, and to not embarrass myself TOO much if I do race!

What I am finding after my 40 years away from the pool is that I have very little stamina. [Big surprise, eh??] I can make freestyle 25's & 50's easy enough, but run out of steam after a 100. Freestyle, backstroke and breast are OK ... but my butterfly causes me to repeat the mantra "9-1-1" over and over, just in case! I tried a 100 IM and although barely able to breathe after the fly segment, the others went OK.

On the plus side, I have found some satisfaction in short sprints. This past week, my goal was to sprint 25 yards without breathing ... and I can do it fairly consistently. I have also made a few 50's where I made it on one breath out, and 3-4 on the way back. Times for 50 SCY (according to my watch, with a 1 second allowance at start & stop to hit the stop watch function) is running about 35-37 seconds, which I consider to be not too bad, at this point in time. [Interestingly, back in my "competitive days" in high school and age groups, I was mostly middle distance (200 free & an occasional 400 free). I did not do well at sprints at all back then.]

In this past 3 weeks, I have shed about 6 lbs as well. My wife says she notices it, although I really think she is just being nice.

So, as I see it, quite a bit of positive news. And, at age 56, I think doing all this with virtually no pain or trips to the ER bodes well for the future.

However, one significant problem has surfaced - after a workout I am FAMISHED!! I am well aware that weight loss is one of my goals, and therefore eating a couple of Big Macs on the way home from the pool may be counter productive, but I need to find something!! Any ideas?

But, what's most pleasing is I am having FUN. Just the physical act of swimming ... the sounds of the water, the smell of chlorine and so on ... bring back memories of youth. It's just such a nice escape from the "joys" of middle age, "stay-at-home" Dad-hood, owning a small business and so on!! Plus, and I apologize in advance for a somewhat non "Politically Correct" comment, based on who uses the Y in the mornings, I actually almost look good in a Speedo!! Most of the folks in the water aerobics classes are HUGE!! Some even bring a walker to get in and out of the pool. Why, my 229 lbs on a 6 ft, 56 year old body, looks downright "Phelps-ian" over in the next lane! :cool:



October 21st, 2006, 12:01 PM
Ken, can you eat something light like yogurt, a banana, oatmeal, something like that before you swim? That will help. Also, plan something light for after your swim, and also drink water.

Your stamina will come back, be patient.

Concho Pearl
October 21st, 2006, 02:55 PM
TacJag, I'm not sure how long you've been swimming after your 40 year break.
I to have the same goals as you after a 27 year break. I was tired after about 100yds. My very first goal was to not let the lifeguard have to come and save me, once I knew this wouldn't happen I started setting smaller goals.

Just like you, my goal is to practice enough to do a local meet in April, that would give me 10 months of practice and hopfullly not embarrass myself to much.

When I first started I consentrated doing 1 mile in less than hour. Not all at once, and it took about 6 weeks. When I met that goal, my new goal was to shave off more mins. At last count I'm doing 1 mile in 44-42 mins. I'm just now starting to sprint train. I split my mile swim up between 100's, 200's. kicks and pulls.

I'm up to 200-250 warm up with out stopping. And can now do all flip turns during my intire practice. About a month ago I started timing my sprints once a week or once every 2 weeks. And have my 50 free down to 32 sec. pushing off the wall. And just started working on starts.

You may want to start by setting small goals of distance first to build stamina, then increase from there. I hate mile swims, but I know I have to do it to build my body back up. If I'm out of the pool to long I go back and do my mile swim just for more stamina.

Building that stamina is an important part of getting back into swim of things. Once you've built up you should start to see that your not so out of
breath. Then start your sprint training. I'm so glad I'm ready to sprint train now- I don't like distance.

October 22nd, 2006, 12:04 PM
Dorothy: Thanks for the suggestions. I was afraid the right answer might be something "healthy"!! I was hoping for more votes for the Big Macs!! Darn!!

Concho: The last time I raced was in the late 60's ... probably '67 or '68. I swam a couple of times back in August, but the Y closed down the pool for much of September due to maintenance. It reopened on 9/25 and I have been back 3-4 times a week since. Your ideas on building stamina are sound, and I'll give them a try. One mile is a nice goal to start ... thanks!!


October 22nd, 2006, 02:25 PM
Dorothy: Thanks for the suggestions. I was afraid the right answer might be something "healthy"!! I was hoping for more votes for the Big Macs!! Darn!!


Sorry Ken, as one who has lost 40 pounds, it is mostly about the diet, much as we would like to be able to burn off the junk in the trunk with just exercise!:rolleyes: