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View Full Version : How slow is a 40 min mile?



Scottly
July 27th, 2007, 10:32 AM
As I said before I'm new at this and I have no idea what an "average" time for a mile would be. Right now I do a non-stop mile (1600 meters) in about 40 minutes. What would be a resonable time for a 48 year old in good good shape? I'm looking for a realistic goal.

smontanaro
July 27th, 2007, 10:47 AM
Last Friday I swam the postal 5k in 1:32:02. My 1600 split was 28:47. I'm 53. I'm not super dedicated (probably swim 3-4x per week, between 2000 and 5000 yds per workout). I've been swimming USMS since I turned 50. Before that, my only semi-serious swimming was during my years as a lifeguard in college.

Skip Montanaro

geochuck
July 27th, 2007, 10:56 AM
Now if we are setting goal times. A fast time 20 min, a good time 22 min, a fair to middlin time 24 min, which is what I do (training pace), 26 is not bad, 40 min is a good starting point. Times can be improved with technique and work.

I did a hard swim the other day and did a 23 min mile, Race I don't know how fast I could do a mile.

knelson
July 27th, 2007, 10:58 AM
Hard to know what exactly an "average" time means, but if you want a "good" time check the USMS Top Ten listings. Last year for the 45-49 age group it took a 20:33 for tenth place in the 1500 long course. So figure about 22 minutes for 1600 meters.

SwimStud
July 27th, 2007, 11:09 AM
Scottly just keep swimming.
I crank out about 34 minutes for 1600m. I'm not a fast distance swimmer. You can specifically train to improve your times.
Again depends on your goals, and seriousness...just enjoy it whatever happens.
:bouncing:

Rob Copeland
July 27th, 2007, 12:00 PM
First off, the “average” 48 year old male could not finish a 1600 meter swim, non-stop. So you are already way above average. Congratulations!

Asking others to help you set realistic goals sight unseen is tricky, at best. If you swim with a Masters program, then work with your coach to set goals, if you don’t swim with a Masters club, there are many good programs in the St. Louis area. Get with one of these.

scyfreestyler
July 27th, 2007, 12:26 PM
First off, the “average” 48 year old male could not finish a 1600 meter swim, non-stop. So you are already way above average. Congratulations!
.

My sentiments exactly. Kudos to you! :applaud:

geochuck
July 27th, 2007, 12:28 PM
You are averaging about 2:30 per 100m, it is surprising how your time goes down by taking off just 5 seconds a 100. That is a 2:16.4 per 100 yards.

ande
July 27th, 2007, 12:30 PM
pretty slow
that's 2:15 / 100 pace
work on dropping your pace by 5 sec / 100
when you reach that drop 5 more (repeat process till you get stuck)
read Swim Faster Faster
there's many areas you could correct to swim faster
begin with technique and conditioning
you should improve rapidly


As I said before I'm new at this and I have no idea what an "average" time for a mile would be. Right now I do a non-stop mile (1600 meters) in about 40 minutes. What would be a resonable time for a 48 year old in good good shape? I'm looking for a realistic goal.

poolraat
July 27th, 2007, 02:13 PM
Like you I started swimming at 48. Although I learned to swim when I was 6 or 7, I had no competitive swimming background and had not swam in years. When I started 7 years ago, I could not swim 25 yards without hanging on the wall gasping for air. I'm now 55 and last week I did a 1600 meter swim in 26 minutes.


As I said before I'm new at this and I have no idea what an "average" time for a mile would be. Right now I do a non-stop mile (1600 meters) in about 40 minutes. What would be a resonable time for a 48 year old in good good shape? I'm looking for a realistic goal.

Scottly
July 27th, 2007, 02:17 PM
Hey, thanks everybody. I'm a little depressed/overwhelmed at the work I have to do. I can see I've got some major research to do especially on technique.

I've just swtiched up my workouts from two 200 meter warm-ups and then a 1600 non-stop to an 800 meter warm-up (2-200s and a 400) and then 8 - 100 meter "sprints" - I use the term loosely because I'm not very fast at those either. To start out I'll do the sprint workout once a week and the 1600 swim 3 times a week. Will this help my speed on the 1600?

smontanaro
July 27th, 2007, 02:42 PM
I can see I've got some major research to do especially on technique.

I've probably done more technique work in the past six months than in the previous 2-3 years. My 5k time last week was within a minute of what I did two years ago even though my yardage was way, way down, especially during month leading up to the swim. If I would have had enough glycogen in my system I'm pretty sure I would have been faster than two years ago, but I bonked at about the 3500 meter mark.

Skip Montanaro

See Mom Run
July 27th, 2007, 02:53 PM
Scott, I am not a fast swimmer and can't offer any advice. However, first of all, keep up the good work!
I read somewhere unless you can swim like 1:30 or 1:40/100m (don't remember exact pace), you shouldn't focus on a distance/interval swimming, but rather spend almost entire workout on doing drills and improve your techniques. For you will just reinforce a poor technique and simply learn how to swim longer as your aerboci fitness improves. I am not sure if this is true. Can somebody comment?

Scottly
July 27th, 2007, 03:23 PM
Scott, I am not a fast swimmer and can't offer any advice. However, first of all, keep up the good work!
I read somewhere unless you can swim like 1:30 or 1:40/100m (don't remember exact pace), you shouldn't focus on a distance/interval swimming, but rather spend almost entire workout on doing drills and improve your techniques. For you will just reinforce a poor technique and simply learn how to swim longer as your aerboci fitness improves. I am not sure if this is true. Can somebody comment?

I think this is the kind of thing I really need to hear - that I'm doing it all wrong. This is just like when I started weight lifting - it's next to impossible to figure out everything by yourself. I'll look up some drills and start building better habits and maybe try and find a coach to work with for a bit - my technique is probably all screwed up too.

The good news is I like the challange.

If anyone can tell me where to find some good workout drills for newbie I would appreciate it.

Rob Copeland
July 27th, 2007, 03:35 PM
If anyone can tell me where to find some good workout drills for newbie I would appreciate it.Check out the places to swim in “Ozark” from the USMS places to swim web page www.usms.org/placswim you should be able to find some coached program where you can improve your swimming.

geochuck
July 27th, 2007, 03:35 PM
You will save lots of time if you have a proper coach. One who knows how to teach technique. Drills are of no value unless they are done correctly. Oh how I hate to even talk about drills. I spent 30 minutes with a triathlete. He worked on what I thought he should on his own for 2 weeks. He went from a 35 min mile to a 26 min mile.

Mirabella
July 27th, 2007, 04:48 PM
Like you I started swimming at 48. Although I learned to swim when I was 6 or 7, I had no competitive swimming background and had not swam in years. When I started 7 years ago, I could not swim 25 yards without hanging on the wall gasping for air. I'm now 55 and last week I did a 1600 meter swim in 26 minutes.

Well, there is hope for me -:cheerleader:. I have the same history except starting to really swim at 55. And it may take me 7 years, to do a 1600m in 26 minutes! :laugh2:

Red60
July 28th, 2007, 11:54 PM
Scottly:

I swim in St. Louis, mostly on my own at the Center of Clayton. There are multiple workout groups around town, which involve specific time committments. But I sometimes go to the once-a-week all SLAM workout which is at the Maplewood pool in the summer and the Ladue High pool during the rest of the year. 8:00 to 9:30. I found that workout and the coaching helpful, and have used it to get started in Masters more seriously. All levels participate.

On the question of times and distances, I think the suggestion about drills and shorter distances is a very good one, since a basic flaw is reinforced the farther you go--and magnified, too.

Red60
July 28th, 2007, 11:56 PM
Oops! The weekly workout is on Sunday mornings, 8:00 to 9:30. I forgot to mention the day.

FindingMyInnerFish
July 29th, 2007, 08:24 AM
I too am a slow swimmer and my goal now is simply to get under 40 minutes.Then I can work on 35, then 30. But one goal at a time!

geochuck
July 29th, 2007, 09:04 AM
How do we become faster for a mile? It is not by swimming a mile. We have to improve our full stroke and do lots of repeats at Race Pace.

Drills??? I don't think so. When I went to a masters club the coach never once made a stroke correction he/she wasted valuable time having everyone do drills.

How fast do you want to swim your 25 min or 22 min mile. Easy you have to know how fast you must go for a 100 and never swim slower than that time for a 100. To swim a 22 minute mile we must go 1.15 per 100. So if I want to swim that 22 minute mile I should not swim under 1.15 for a 100.

25 min mile 100s are done in 1:25.3 per 100.

Do your repeats at race pace...

geochuck
July 29th, 2007, 10:50 AM
Scottly what is a good time for your 100??? If we know this then we may be able to make suggestions.

Scottly
July 29th, 2007, 11:31 AM
Oops! The weekly workout is on Sunday mornings, 8:00 to 9:30. I forgot to mention the day.
Red60, that's where I swim! I just drove past the Maplewood pools and saw a bunch there and wondered what was going on - now I know. Thanks for the tip I'll check it out today when I go to lap.

By the way in winter I 'll be siwmming at The Heights - short narrow lanes - I dread going back.

Scottly
July 29th, 2007, 11:33 AM
Scottly what is a good time for your 100??? If we know this then we may be able to make suggestions.

I haven't really timed myself yet. But I'm guessing that I should time it at the pace I usually swim my 1600 and not what I would call my sprint speed.??

geochuck
July 29th, 2007, 11:51 AM
I would like to know how fast your 100 is. If we use your 1600 pace we already know that is not fast.

notsofast
July 29th, 2007, 01:05 PM
To get an idea of a workout, check the Kevin Williams workouts on this site. They are calibrated by one's average time in the 100 during a 30-min swim.
http://forums.usms.org/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=&f=96
Judging by your 40 min mile, I think you will end up swimming the 2:00 drills (assuming I got the math right), and those may be a stretch.
I also agree with the folks who recommend instruction.
Most of all, don't be discouraged. Your times will drop if you keep at it.

Scottly
July 30th, 2007, 01:05 PM
I would like to know how fast your 100 is. If we use your 1600 pace we already know that is not fast.

I tried to time myself yesterday but kept getting what I though were absurdly fast times like 1:15 and 1:10 with my wrist watch, so I'll drag the pool timer out tomorrow and see if I can't be more acurate.

I also came in at 35 min on my 1600 meter but once again it's hard for me to remember exactly where the hands were on my analog wrist watch. I need to find something digital with a stop watch feature - anyone know a good brand/model that I won't have to mortgage my house for?

gufyduck
July 30th, 2007, 01:22 PM
If you did 1600 in 35 minutes, that averages 2:11.25 per 100, so I'm guessing your times were off somewhere along the line. Try looking for a Timex waterproof watch, i think they have one called the "iron man" which is water proof and can be worn while swimming. I know they have it at Walmart for less than $30.

I also suggest doing Kevin William's workouts. They are fun, and keep things moving, and the 2:00 will probably be close to your ability level. Back in May when I first started, I was focused only on how far I could go, and got bored pretty quickly. I have been doing these workouts three times a week, and am never bored. Even though the focus is not on distance, you will find when you try a mile swim, you will have improved. I did two one mile swims, one month apart (and in that month i was out of the water for 1.5 weeks due to illness) and was able to drop my time by 45 seconds. It definitely works.

geochuck
July 30th, 2007, 01:39 PM
1.10 - 1.15 100 m close enough pretty good time. Does your pool have a pace clock http://www.recreonics.com/timing_equipment.htm

The pools I swim at have two big ones, one at each end. To get your times down do 100s on 2 min. swim 1.40 rest 20 will give you a pace to do a 26.6 min mile. 1.30 pace gives you a 24 min mile. Reduce the rest over time and then eliminate the rest.

Scottly
July 30th, 2007, 04:20 PM
1.10 - 1.15 100 m close enough pretty good time. Does your pool have a pace clock http://www.recreonics.com/timing_equipment.htm

The pools I swim at have two big ones, one at each end. To get your times down do 100s on 2 min. swim 1.40 rest 20 will give you a pace to do a 26.6 min mile. 1.30 pace gives you a 24 min mile. Reduce the rest over time and then eliminate the rest.

Pace clock - that's what they're called. Yea, I just found out my pool has them but they keep them inside and you have to check them out which is what I'll do tomorrow.

Thanks for all the advice and encourgement. At least I have a direction to work on while I look for a coach and/or swim group.

notsofast
July 30th, 2007, 09:49 PM
I found my cheap watch at Target. It's really ugly, has an orange yellow band and great big digital numbers. I only use it when I'm swimming. It cost about $10.

geochuck
July 30th, 2007, 09:59 PM
I don,t like those little watches every pool should be equipped with pace clocks. Here are Adolph Keifers http://www.kiefer.com/Kiefer/dept.asp?dept%5Fid=49&gift=False&0=dept%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D88%26Tree%3D%2CCompetit ive%20Swim&1=dept%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D5%26menu%5Fid%3D%26Tree %3D0%2CTraining&mscssid=41CDF276BBE24F96A9D2DB67D7BBE8DF