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jim thornton
December 21st, 2002, 11:20 PM
When I was younger, I considered myself much more of a sprinter (defined arbitrarily by me as <200 yards or meters) than a distance swimmer (200 or greater). Now that I'm 50, I find I do much better in the latter (as judged by my rankings on Top 10 types lists.) I am wondering if other masters swimmers have noticed this kind of change, so propose the following poll questions (which assume, of course, that you swam when your were "younger"--be that high school, college, or early adulthood.)

cinc3100
December 22nd, 2002, 11:54 PM
It also depends upon the stroke. I do breastroke in races which is different than freestyle. In the 50's I think that I'm between 3 to 5 seconds slower than when I was 20 years old. The 100 the last time I was 14 seconds off and the 200 I think about 40 seconds off. Also, I swam a fly 50 and I about 17 seconds off on that from age 20. Your body changes in middle years and if you didn't workout for over 25 years, sometimes strokes like the fly can be way off with some people. Maybe, it will get a little better. Freestyle I just do in workouts and I th ink its second to breastroke in ability now. I have not tested it lately at a meet to find out if I swim the 100 better than the 200 yard swim.

Ion Beza
December 24th, 2002, 11:41 PM
Originally posted by jim thornton

...
...(which assume, of course, that you swam when your were "younger"--be that high school, college, or early adulthood.)
For me "younger" means not the age of 25 -which is when I started to learn swimming by myself during public swim, and no one counts public swim as being competitive-, but it means the age of 28 in September 1986 -when I joined for the first time in my life a coached swimming club-.

I am now age 44, so since the age of 28 it has been sixteen years of competitive swimming.

1) In 1987 I was doing in practice, 50 meters freestyle in Long Course pool, in 29.xx, starting from the diving block.

In the 2001 USMS Long Course Nationals, I did a 50 meters freestyle -as the lead-off in 4 x 50 free relay- in 30.84, and I was happy considering worse results in recent years.

So, I lost in sprints.

2) October 1992 I did in a 50 meters pool, alone, without drafting, 5 x 100 meters free leaving every 1:15, and October 1995 I did in a 50 meters pool, 4 x 400 meters free leaving every 5:30.

In the 2001 USMS Long Course Nationals, I did a 800 meters freestyle in 11:20, and I was happy considering worse results in recents years.

So, over time and per 50 meters pace, I lost in distance a bigger chunk of time than in sprints.

3) Hopefully I can reverse both slowing-downs, in 2003.

If not, then competing in order to do it, is still a better life to me than not trying to do it.

4) As for you Jim, consider that when you were a sprinter and now you don't make the Top10 in sprints but you make the Top10 in middle-distance, others your age were sprinters and they do make the Top10 in sprints.

Richard Abrahams is doing that in 50 yards free with a lifetime best 21.5 in 1965, a 21.7 in 1998, a 21.8 in 2000, and is doing that in 50 meters free Long Course with 24.6 in 1998.

A counter-example of someone who improves now within his age group in sprints to the point of domination and has been a middle-distance swimmer before, is 'Tall' Paul Smith.

cinc3100
December 25th, 2002, 11:38 AM
Or Ion, you might have to change to my stroke, breastroke, just kidding. As for Mr. Abrahams, great times, but I don't think I want to have shoulder surgey, so I think I'll stick to doing my breastroke with the other strokes, to cut down on shoulder injury. I read about him in the Swim Magazine issue.