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Concho Pearl
October 31st, 2006, 08:22 PM
I have no coach, because we have no masters program. I use my own experince, this board and other web sites to find a work out. I do however have the opportunity for help with our local high school swim coach. Who is a master swimmer and a really good coach.

What does everyone do?
Do you coach yourself are you in a masters program?
And how many times a week do you swim and how far?

I'm up to 2000 yds each swim, swimming 3 times per week.

Coach Sue
October 31st, 2006, 09:17 PM
Concho, I hope you are able to find some practices that work for you from the workout forum.
http://forums.usms.org/forumdisplay.php?forumid=95

3 weekly swims of 2000 yards is great!

Good luck and stay wet!:lolup:

KaizenSwimmer
October 31st, 2006, 10:05 PM
Dave Barra and I swim with a Masters group 3 to 4 times per week and with an age group team - for which we're also volunteer coaches - 2 to 3 times a week. We average 90 minutes and 4000 yds per session. The Masters coach is young and inexperienced and his workouts are pretty generic. The head coach of the age group team is a TI coach and his practice content is superb. So when we swim with the Masters we modify certain sets. When we swim with the age groupers we do the practice as written.

Peter Cruise
October 31st, 2006, 11:08 PM
Our coach is the assistant coach of the local age group club and head coach of the summer club. She is very personable and gives a good workout, except for her unfortunate tendency to giggle maniacally when giving us a very difficult set.

poolraat
October 31st, 2006, 11:34 PM
I've often had the same questions and it will be interesting to see the advice that is offerred. I swim 5-6 days a week, and average 3000 yards per workout. I started swimming almost 7 years ago (with no prior swimming background) and was on my own until about 3 years ago. Then I had a coach until last spring but it was a distance coaching arrangement. Although it was nice not to have to worry about writing workouts, working out alone without having a coach on deck is not ideal. But it really helped me and I had significant improvement in my times. I've been coaching myself again since May. The workout forum is a great resource and I've drawn heavily from it to develop my training program for this year. The test will come soon as I'm swimming my 1st pool meet since then in 3 weeks.
Good luck to you.

dorothyrde
November 1st, 2006, 08:07 AM
The masters team at my Y only has two practices, Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Both difficult for me to make. So my coach is Coach Sue, Coach Lia, Coach Mel....I use the work-out forums a lot. I try to swim 4 times a week, about 2500-3000 yards in an hour. I don't always get there. This weekend I am preparing to run a 3-day age group invite, I have been at the pool.....but not to swim. Every once in a while, if there is room, I will hop in with my daughter's team, but there is limited pool space, and currently they are swim 8+ a lane. Not a good situation for teen bodies, lots of banging around. So I do what I can, when I can and supplement with cross training on land.

KaizenSwimmer
November 1st, 2006, 11:49 AM
I usually swim twice a week by myself where I go 2300-3000. My own workouts are easier and filled with more drills, speedwork and slower intervals.

Practicing once or twice on your own can be a valuable addition to your weekly schedule, as it allows you to complement the higher pressure training you do with the group, with gentler stuff that can be restorative and/or reflective.
This time last year I was recovering from a separated shoulder. No Masters workouts. Just a couple hours a week of "stroke tuning" in the Endless Pool. When I resumed swimming with Masters in Jan, I alternated one day with them and one in the EP doing the easy and "examined" work on stroke. As my times improved I got excited and began swimming Masters every day, wanting to see those good repeat times more often. Within 10 days I was tired and slowing down. Back to the EP on alternate days and very shortly I was feeling good and swimming well again. Not just because my stroke was better, but because gentle swimming was more restorative than a day off.


I try to run twice a week to break it up and give my shoulders time off.

I see this verbalized so frequently - shoulders need "time off" - whether months, weeks, days or select sets. I'll bet that if you asked an osteo or PT they'd say it's not a given that swimming is bad for shoulders or that shoulders need time off. If your shoulders need recovery time, you should examine how you're swimming. It's the biomechanical stuff, not volume or frequency that stresses shoulders.

Allen Stark
November 1st, 2006, 12:17 PM
I swim 4 times/wk 2000-2400 ea. time. 3 swims are essentially alone and one is with an uncoached/group coached bunch. I meet regularly with coaches I respect for technique critique and video myself fairly regularly. I am going to disagree with Terry about shoulders,look at the shoulder problem thread,we all have shoulder problems. Does good form help? Of course,but 20,30 40 etc.years of swimming is going to take a toll on shoulders(and knee's in breaststrokers) so I think we have to baby them a little.

aquageek
November 1st, 2006, 12:20 PM
I see this verbalized so frequently - shoulders need "time off" - whether months, weeks, days or select sets. I'll bet that if you asked an osteo or PT they'd say it's not a given that swimming is bad for shoulders or that shoulders need time off. If your shoulders need recovery time, you should examine how you're swimming. It's the biomechanical stuff, not volume or frequency that stresses shoulders.

What is your medical basis for this assertion? Shoulders get tired with swimming, that's a fact, and it's not due solely to poor biomechanics. It's no different from any other sport and the injuries unique to them, knees in football and baseball, backs in golf, shoulders in baseball/softball as well. Certainly better technique can ward off injury and that is the first step but it is naive to believe that biomechanics explain away all soreness/fatigue/injury.

I'm sure not gonna tell Jack Nicklaus he has poor biomechanics and that is why he has back problems.

Allen Stark
November 1st, 2006, 12:24 PM
OH NO. I agree with Geek:help: .

The Fortress
November 1st, 2006, 12:26 PM
I see this verbalized so frequently - shoulders need "time off" - whether months, weeks, days or select sets. I'll bet that if you asked an osteo or PT they'd say it's not a given that swimming is bad for shoulders or that shoulders need time off. If your shoulders need recovery time, you should examine how you're swimming. It's the biomechanical stuff, not volume or frequency that stresses shoulders.

Terry:

I know you are right that biomechanics accounts for many shoulder injuries and problems. And I'm sure that's why I get some soreness although I'm working on that and trying to be "mindful" when I swim, especially on my restorative days. But I also firmly believe that volume, frequency or stroke choice can effect the shoulders. My fly, for example, is pretty good technically, but it still bangs up my shoulders if I do quantitites of it. (Hence, my recent 2 week layoff from fly after doing 900 yards of it one night.) When your shoulders are filled with loose cartilege and scar tissue, volume, overuse and just swimming hard during practice makes them sore or can cause tendonitis.

I'm also just not a PT fan, except that I dutifully perform my rotator cuff exercises. PT people always tell you: "Take 4-6 weeks off and rest, rest, rest. It won't heal if you don't rest." That's what I hear "all the time." I don't believe that helps at all exept for the type of restorative-rest you described. More progressive types of orthopedists, ART practitioners or prolotherapy docs will give you the opposite advice. So I'm not resting, but trying to be mindful.

P.S. When I first walked into my orthopedist's office over a year ago and he heard I was a swimmer, he just moaned and groaned about all his cases of "swimmer's shoulder." I'm just not sure we're all unmindful....

Allen: I agree with you!

Geek: I agree with you too!

swimmerlisa
November 1st, 2006, 02:00 PM
:-) I agree with leslie, geek and allen.

i do have a question for leslie and everyone else: do your shoulders ever get sore from running? i know that sounds weird, but sometimes my shoulders feel weird in my rotator cuff when I'm running. Is it possible it's from holding my arms up? I know my shoulders hurt if I hold a kick board for too long. Anyone else experience this?

swimmerlisa
November 1st, 2006, 02:08 PM
Oh i forgot to answer the questions which started this thread. :D

I swim Mon - Saturday, about 4000-4500 yards a practice. I am swimming with Y masters now, and we practice 3 days a week, the other days I write my own practice and swim alone. I do ab work everyday, and am doing a weight/running dryland schedule twice a week. I wish that my Y masters team practiced everyday, I hate swimming by myself. I feel like I push myself harder when I practice with the group. If only some of you hardworkers were in orlando! :groovy:

tjburk
November 1st, 2006, 02:54 PM
No coach....I write my own workouts. After I try them out I use them on the kids I coach. Sometimes I even get in with them and do the workout with them. They like to try and keep up.:dedhorse:

The Fortress
November 1st, 2006, 03:44 PM
:-) I agree with leslie, geek and allen.

i do have a question for leslie and everyone else: do your shoulders ever get sore from running? i know that sounds weird, but sometimes my shoulders feel weird in my rotator cuff when I'm running. Is it possible it's from holding my arms up? I know my shoulders hurt if I hold a kick board for too long. Anyone else experience this?


Lisa:

My shoulders don't get sore from running. Are you running in a straight up military fashion? Are you raising your hands above the top of your rib cage? Are you tensing your arms? If you are doing any of those things, it might bother your shoulders. Your arms should be very relaxed. I only pump mine when going up hills, which I try desperately to avoid.

My shoulders and traps (or between my shoulder blades) hurt sometimes when I bike from constantly leaning over. That's another reason I don't do triathlons or bike at all.

I would also get rid of that kickboard! They are a big "no no" for shoulders, just like paddles. I'm a no "equipment" type -- except for fins!

Leslie

swimmerlisa
November 1st, 2006, 04:30 PM
yes, Leslie - i think I am doing those things. I'll correct that if I can. I hope I'm not the only one who has that problem. Thanks for getting back to me. You're so good with the quick responses. :banana:

poolraat
November 1st, 2006, 04:43 PM
:-) I agree with leslie, geek and allen.

i do have a question for leslie and everyone else: do your shoulders ever get sore from running? i know that sounds weird, but sometimes my shoulders feel weird in my rotator cuff when I'm running. Is it possible it's from holding my arms up? I know my shoulders hurt if I hold a kick board for too long. Anyone else experience this?
Lisa
Are you clenching your fists? If so try to keeop your hands open and relaxed with your wrists loose to the point that your hands almost flop. Your arm swing should be low, hands brushing your hips. And no side to side swing, the motion should be in the direction of travel.

Here's a riddle for you - Why is swimming better than running?

chaos
November 1st, 2006, 04:45 PM
What is your medical basis for this assertion? Shoulders get tired with swimming, that's a fact, and it's not due solely to poor biomechanics. It's no different from any other sport and the injuries unique to them, knees in football and baseball, backs in golf, shoulders in baseball/softball as well. Certainly better technique can ward off injury and that is the first step but it is naive to believe that biomechanics explain away all soreness/fatigue/injury.

I'm sure not gonna tell Jack Nicklaus he has poor biomechanics and that is why he has back problems.

The sports/injuries that you mention bear little similarity to the dynamics of swimming. Throwing a baseball/football, swinging a driver create a much greater shock to the body than any motion I repeat in the pool. (And running into 300+ lb linemen......)

swimmerlisa
November 1st, 2006, 04:51 PM
Lisa
Are you clenching your fists? If so try to keeop your hands open and relaxed with your wrists loose to the point that your hands almost flop. Your arm swing should be low, hands brushing your hips. And no side to side swing, the motion should be in the direction of travel.

Here's a riddle for you - Why is swimming better than running?

Yes! So I should stop clenching? I can easily fix that.

Hmmm....swimming is better because you get wet? :cool:

KaizenSwimmer
November 1st, 2006, 04:52 PM
I20,30 40 etc.years of swimming is going to take a toll on shoulders(and knee's in breaststrokers) so I think we have to baby them a little.

Treat them right for sure but I believe it's still mechanics. I've been swimming for 40 years. I also have shoulder issues resulting from poor mechanics for 25 of those years - and certainly from 55 years of life. I'd go so far as to say my mechanics were not ideal, from the perspective of my shoulders, until the past two to three years. I think I've learned a few lessons along the way.

Here's my situation: I have a rebuilt right shoulder - ruptured biceps tendon while lifting weights in Oct 2004, surgery in Feb 2005. I also have a partial tear of the left cuff which was trimmed 10 years ago and remains somewhat unstable - I can feel clicking in it if I'm not careful with my stroke.

Even so, this year I've swum the most volume - days, hours, yards - I've ever done as a Masters swimmer - about 60% greater than my average over the past 17 years. But I'm also swimming with better technique than I ever have.

This year I haven't had even a hint of shoulder tenderness at any time. OTHER body parts complain and need massage or adjustment but not a peep from my shoulders. The last time I trained this intensely was '92, when I was 41. My volume was a bit less. And I'd have a bout of shoulder soreness every month or two. My shoulders are 14 years older, they have structural issues that were absent 14 years ago and they're subject to a greater workload than at any time. It's proper mechanics.

I do understand why so many people are convinced that if you're a swimmer, it's a given that the price to be paid is sore shoulders. I see it. At the Masters group where I train, of the 10 or so people who swim in the top two lanes, five or six have had extensive time off in the last few years because of shoulder pain. Dave Barra swims with me and practices the same mechanics. He does more yardage and more Fly than anyone else on the team. Never seems to need so much as a minute of "rest" for his shoulders.

As for "tired" shoulders, of course any working muscle will fatigue. You refuel it, rest it overnight, take a restorative day when needed, whatever. But like any other muscle shoulder muscles should be ready to train again at your next session...if you use them right.

swimmerlisa
November 1st, 2006, 04:53 PM
David - what do you mean? Swimming or pulling with paddles for 2000 yards a practice yields LESS impact than throwing a baseball?

poolraat
November 1st, 2006, 05:05 PM
Yes! So I should stop clenching? I can easily fix that.

Hmmm....swimming is better because you get wet? :cool:
Lisa
No wind, no hills and the temperature stays the same year around.

chaos
November 1st, 2006, 05:18 PM
David - what do you mean? Swimming or pulling with paddles for 2000 yards a practice yields LESS impact than throwing a baseball?

I would say yes. (it is rare to see a pitcher left in the game after 100 pitches)

How many strokes in a 2000 yard swim? (even with....dare i say.......paddles)

I think xc skiing would be the one sport that most accurately represents the muscle load of swimming, and I'm not sure that there is a typical injury that is associated with this sport.

The Fortress
November 1st, 2006, 08:52 PM
"I get massage and ART about twice a month to relieve subscapular tension. I've learned that my shoulders get tender if my subscap is tight. It gets tight even with good technique, simply because when you stroke correctly, it's the locus/connector for a lot of large-muscle loading." (posted by Terry on "who's got shoulder problems thread)

Terry:

Now, here you previously admitted that your shoulders get sore and tight. It isn't all biomechanics. I'm thinking your shoulders are happier than mine cuz you are getting more of that ART and massage stuff. :D I'm jealous! Leslie

KaizenSwimmer
November 1st, 2006, 10:23 PM
I'm thinking your shoulders are happier than mine cuz you are getting more of that ART and massage stuff.

You remind me it's time for an appointment. David and I are treated by the same ART guy. Dave's problem area is hamstrings (no "p" in hamstring) because he does a lot of lifting in his work. Mine, as I mentioned, is tightness in the subscapular region -- always on the left side -- which causes pain to be referred elsewhere.

Neither of us need to take rest days for these. Timely treatment takes care of it.

Oh, and we don't use buoys, paddles, or kickboards.

chaos
November 1st, 2006, 10:47 PM
You remind me it's time for an appointment. David and I are treated by the same ART guy. Dave's problem area is hamstrings (no "p" in hamstring) .

dam that spelchek

Allen Stark
November 2nd, 2006, 01:31 PM
I agree with Terry on many things so I was wondering how he could be so WRONG about shoulders. Then I realized we were just a couple of guys with hypotheses based on personal experience and anecdotal evidence. I am convinced that shoulder problems are due to a combination of bio-mechanics,volume of repititions,genetics and past trauma/disease. I suspect Terry would agree but would disagree on the relative percentage of importance of each(right Terry?) Without controlled studies all we can have at this point are conflicting hypotheses. If someone had the time and energy to do a large scale prospective study on shoulder injury in Masters Swimmers and the effect of stroke mechanics that would be great!

The Fortress
November 2nd, 2006, 11:48 PM
[this was posted in response to a now deleted post; maybe I should delete my response?]

Lindsay:

I will re-read the shoulder thread because I respect your views on virtually everything you've ever written.

But I still recall on the shoulder thread (and I think I quoted) that Terry said his shoulders were sore and tight despite the proper biomechanics he has used in the last couple years. And I have to agree with Allen on this one. Terry is right about so many things, but I don't think shoulder problems can be cured PURELY by correct biomechanics, especially if the problems and problematic training pre-existed TI thinking. I think there are myriad other contributing factors, all of which bear analysis. But without the empirical study that Allen posits, it is exceedingly difficult to know whether a purely biomechanical approach can cure all ills.

I just don't think so based on the anecdotal evidence. The same thing applies to the knees. My friend the WR holder in breast has "car wreck" knees with perfect technique. It is flat out overuse. I believe the same can be true with shoulders.

Maybe it's like GO Swim, different results for different folks. Or maybe Terry is light years beyond us. I think if his biomechanical insights had been applied to my shoulders and stroke when I was younger, perhaps things would have be different now (and when I blew out my rotator cuff in college). Or perhaps different training techniques would have saved me, since I grew up in the mega-distance era which did not serve everyone well in retrospect. I do know that I compete in utterly different events than Terry: he is doing distance free while I am doing sprint strokes. So perhaps that weighs in the analysis too. It's probably not a great idea to sprint at my age. It seems to put a lot of stress on everything.

Now, having said that, I do feel an intermittent and incremental improvement in my shoulders over the last 6 months or so. I attribute this in part to my shoulders getting "used" to swimming again, doing the proper exercises for the small rotator cuff muscles and trying to focus on proper technique. But, just when I think I'm all better, I do a lot of fly and long free sets or swim without fins a lot, and -- bing -- I begin feeling that creeping dull agonizing ache across the back of my left shoulder when resting that characterizes tendonitis. Having been to the super dark side of the tendonitis issue, I do not want to go back there. I just consider the shoulders a work in progress.

I think this would be a good subject for Terry's next book. Such a book would likely be flying off the shelves in the USMS community judging from how many people have shoulder problems.

swimmerlisa
November 3rd, 2006, 02:34 PM
like from getting carpal tunnel or arthritis from using computers for so long?

(we're all doomed!)