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gndprx
September 4th, 2007, 12:05 PM
My name is Carl and I just wanted to stop in and say hi as someone who is getting ready to return to the water after 16 years (and looking for a good starting point)

I swam varsity all through HS as a multi-purpose member of the team. Back, Breast, Free and by default IM or Relay (pick any 3) depending on the lineup. Also played water polo for the short time our school had it available. Well, since leaving HS I have been out of the water except for play time.

Now here I am at 33 and I have given myself 2 years to get back into competitive shape. I don't expect the shape I was in 16 years ago, but even half that would be worth it at this point in my life. I'd also love to be able to do some light competition again. I consider myself slightly overweight at (6'1" 200lbs) and out of shape after getting married and having 2 boys of my own now. We just joined up at the YMCA which also has a cross membership with a local recreation complex both with indoor pool facilities. I'm planning to shop in the next day or two to get a gear bag back together (although the goggles I will have to order since nobody local sells swedish goggles which I prefer) and head on down to start towards my goal.

I can still Fly, but probably no more than 25Y at a time and that would be pushing it. I can still do back and free comfortable and relaxed but my kick is quite lacking from what I remember and awkard feeling and my Breast feels slow and out of synch. I'm assuming that will all come back with time in the water.

Sorry for rambling, but the end result is that I'm in need of a good workout program to be in the water at least 3 days a week and on my bowflex and bike at least 2 additional days. I'm starting to comb through these forums for help in this, but if anyone can offer any direct assistance, I would be greatly appreciative.

Thanks!!

david.margrave
September 4th, 2007, 12:07 PM
wait until you get back into shape before attempting butterfly.

gndprx
September 4th, 2007, 12:27 PM
wait until you get back into shape before attempting butterfly.

haha, no worries on that one...trust me.

Fly was my least favorite stroke, although I could do it for IM when needed.

Right now I feel like this > :cane:

aquageek
September 4th, 2007, 12:33 PM
I sent you a PM about swimming in the greater Charlotte area, not knowing if you knew all the features of this forum yet.

Since you are new, the only advice I can give it to ignore everything Stud says. You might want to enable that feature of your profile.

Donna
September 4th, 2007, 12:36 PM
Welcome Carl, You are on the right track. The first month is the hardest, it took me atleast that to get my water lungs back, and even then it takes time to get back in shape so be patient with yourself.

I would recommend that if you can find a team to swim with it does help motivate you more.

Hope to meet you at one of the South Carolina meets there are usually 3 a year in SC. The next one is in Columbia Nov.3-4, you can get any meet information for the Dixie Zone at www.dixiezone.org.

gndprx
September 4th, 2007, 12:52 PM
Thanks for the welcome.

Replied to your PM Bill and thanks for the offer!

I left out the fact that I was really bad for about 10 years and picked up the cancer stick habbit. I've been off of them for about 3 years now and just begining to feel like I can exert my lungs again. I am embarrased to share that, but it's just another reason for me to push.

aquageek
September 4th, 2007, 01:27 PM
Replied to your PM Bill and thanks for the offer!

Don't blow my cover, it's Pierre.

I smoked for a while also, you'll be fine now.

The Fortress
September 4th, 2007, 02:45 PM
I took 24 years off and am back now. My best advice is to make sure your shoulders are ready for the pounding. Might want to do some rotator cuff exercises. Work on correcting stroke defects right away. It takes awhile to get your feel for the water back. But you will! Good luck getting back in shape.

Oh, don't be a butterfly basher!

Midas
September 4th, 2007, 04:14 PM
Welcome back to swimming!

I basically did the same thing over this summer, having been out for 13 years or so (I swam for 2 years in college--am now 34). I was so burned out back then but I'm loving it again. I swim for about an hour a day 3-5 times a week using the workouts on this message board (http://forums.usms.org/forumdisplay.php?f=95 mostly the Stronger, Faster, Longer workouts). I've also got my diet in control and I've gone from 195lbs to about 172lbs. I feel great and am definitely glad to be back in the pool.

I'm going to my first swim meet in two weeks. I'm DEFINITELY not as fast as I was back in high school, but I'm excited to see how I do.

For what it's worth, the first workouts I did upon coming back were these: http://ruthkazez.com/SwimWorkouts/ZeroTo1mile.html which got my lungs back into shape. I did the full regimen in about 3.5 weeks, though since I was going more than 3 times a week (I did each week's workout 3 times and moved up).

Good luck!

gndprx
September 4th, 2007, 04:42 PM
Great links, thank you Midas. Looks like as good a place as any to start over again.

We used to do 4k in the morning and 8-10k in the afternoon back when full time training. I'll be happy to just hit the 2k mark in a relatively short time.

Regarding bashing butterfly...never. I just don't prefer it as I always had a hard time with getting the timing perfect. If I didn't have to breathe, it wouldn't be so bad :D I forced my way through for IM's because I could usually make up lost time in back and breast.

Midas
September 4th, 2007, 05:31 PM
We used to do 4k in the morning and 8-10k in the afternoon back when full time training. I'll be happy to just hit the 2k mark in a relatively short time.



It's those kinds of workouts that burned me out of swimming back in college (Though I think we used to go 7k-8k both morning and afternoon). I'm happy to go 2500-3500 yards a day now. Even if it means I never beat my personal best times from my youth...

The Fortress
September 4th, 2007, 05:57 PM
It's those kinds of workouts that burned me out of swimming back in college (Though I think we used to go 7k-8k both morning and afternoon). I'm happy to go 2500-3500 yards a day now. Even if it means I never beat my personal best times from my youth...

Ditto.

Just focus on getting a new set of masters times! :drink:

quicksilver
September 5th, 2007, 07:44 AM
Just focus on getting a new set of masters times!

Very true.

It's unfortunate that so many high school and college swimmers leave the pool with a feeling of relief...as if everything was a chore. I recall not wanting to go near a pool for the longest time. Now you can't keep me away from one.

Once the perspective shifts from swimming as work...to doing it just for fun and fitness...everything changes. And as Fortress said, it's a good idea to start with a new benchmark for your goals. Setting the bar too high can lead to discouragement. Maybe after a while you'll surprise yourself with a time that comes very close to your earlier career. But until then it should be all about enjoying the sport.


Welcome back to the water.

onefish
September 5th, 2007, 07:52 AM
Similar story for me, training became an un-fun chore and improvement stopped. Now it's very different, perhaps no less frustrating but more rewarding.

Friendly suggestions:

1. Find the right team
2. Get some stroke clinic work - fix the bad habits, learn the latest evolution of stroke thinking, don't just grind out mileage
3. Get someone to videotape your strokes as a benchmarking tool
4. Consider the shoulder-focused weight programs discussed around here
5. Compete for fun

Syd
September 5th, 2007, 09:36 AM
Thanks for the welcome.

Replied to your PM Bill and thanks for the offer!

I left out the fact that I was really bad for about 10 years and picked up the cancer stick habbit. I've been off of them for about 3 years now and just begining to feel like I can exert my lungs again. I am embarrased to share that, but it's just another reason for me to push.

I smoked too and am now swimming again after a 24 year break and loving every minute of it. My biggest battle is trying to stop myself from swimming everyday. So far I haven't succeeded.

The advice given here is excellent. Baby steps at first. Attainable goals and once reached extend the goal posts out a little further. Taking on too much too soon can lead to injury and injury or illness is much more unwelcome than an unattained goal.

All the best with your comeback.

Syd

gndprx
September 5th, 2007, 09:50 AM
Great forum and great suggestions all. Thank you!

I set a broad goal a bit further out than I would like specifically becuase I don't know what my starting point is going to be yet and with 2 young kids life does have a tendency of getting in the way from time to time.

I believe I'm going to start out with the Zero to 1 Mile workout above to get back into the stroke of things so to speak. I'm also hoping to spend some time with some local masters swimmers and a coach for motivation and stroke work but since there don't appear to be any at my local centers that I belong to I haven't figured out my best course of action on that one yet.

Midas
September 5th, 2007, 04:51 PM
Great forum and great suggestions all. Thank you!

I set a broad goal a bit further out than I would like specifically becuase I don't know what my starting point is going to be yet and with 2 young kids life does have a tendency of getting in the way from time to time.

I believe I'm going to start out with the Zero to 1 Mile workout above to get back into the stroke of things so to speak. I'm also hoping to spend some time with some local masters swimmers and a coach for motivation and stroke work but since there don't appear to be any at my local centers that I belong to I haven't figured out my best course of action on that one yet.

I've been swimming on my own for the last three months and thus far have been able to self-motivate within my workouts. I'd recommend doing the same for people just getting back into the water because you can do things at your own pace. You don't have to worry about keeping up, getting lapped, etc.

I am thinking of joining a team this winter when my summertime pool closes in late October but haven't decided. I think being on a team will help push me, but it may push me more than I want.

Midas
September 5th, 2007, 04:55 PM
Very true.

It's unfortunate that so many high school and college swimmers leave the pool with a feeling of relief...as if everything was a chore. I recall not wanting to go near a pool for the longest time. Now you can't keep me away from one.




When I quit swimming, I had grown so sick of swimming that I hated getting wet (especially in the morning). I didn't even enjoy getting a morning shower! Now I'm up at the crack of dawn and in the pool by 6:00am and loving every minute of it (though getting in the pool is still tough).

AnnG
September 5th, 2007, 06:30 PM
My advice is to find a local meet and enter it - whatever looks like fun to you. Being a former collegiate swimmer who was reduced to a single event by my third year, I very much enjoy being able to pick out anything I want. That 100IM sure is fun, I really stink at it but I do it anyway. Get some times and those can be your new baseline - your Masters baseline. Forget about high school and college times and start fresh. Masters is about participating so go enjoy it, don't wait for that magic "back in shape" moment cuz it may never happen.

Blackbeard's Peg
September 6th, 2007, 08:35 AM
Carl - being a guy of similar size as you, I would hesitate to call that overweight ;)

Anyways, welcome back to the pool! I think AnnG has some good advice about just picking a meet and swimming in it. The biggest thing I regret about my masters career is not doing more meets when I was starting out. They are a lot of fun, and my teammates were very inclusive, making sure I got on relays, sat with them, etc.

It really helped to develop friendships with the guys on the team and get more involved in team activities.

-jeff

gndprx
September 6th, 2007, 09:33 AM
Carl - being a guy of similar size as you, I would hesitate to call that overweight ;)


It's not so much the weight as the distribution of weight :drink:

gndprx
September 7th, 2007, 08:31 AM
Ouch :drown:

First morning back in and was only able to log 600 yards before my shoulders hit near muscle failure. It took me about 45 min to completely recover both respiratory and upper body :cane:

10 min of stretching then I only did 100 warm up and light 50's the rest of the time. I was having to stretch almost after every 50 and roll a few times to backstroke to catch up on breathing. As the shoulders were breaking down, technique went to hell really quick and long strokes became short chopping strokes.

I had no idea I was this out of sorts. Please tell me this gets better quick.

At least my flip turns are as solid as they ever were and my stroke count from the flags is predictable on back.

david.margrave
September 7th, 2007, 10:59 AM
It gets better quickly. At your stage you should concentrate on not overdoing it and avoiding injuries.

I'm also your height and I had ballooned to 215 before I started swimming again this summer, and you're only at 200, so take heart. I'm now at about 193 after 3 months of swimming 3-4 times a week.

Midas
September 7th, 2007, 04:54 PM
Ouch :drown:

First morning back in and was only able to log 600 yards before my shoulders hit near muscle failure. It took me about 45 min to completely recover both respiratory and upper body :cane:

10 min of stretching then I only did 100 warm up and light 50's the rest of the time. I was having to stretch almost after every 50 and roll a few times to backstroke to catch up on breathing. As the shoulders were breaking down, technique went to hell really quick and long strokes became short chopping strokes.

I had no idea I was this out of sorts. Please tell me this gets better quick.

At least my flip turns are as solid as they ever were and my stroke count from the flags is predictable on back.

I'm pretty sure I felt the same way. Stick with it. Do the workouts: http://ruthkazez.com/SwimWorkouts/ZeroTo1mile.html You'll get there in no time at all. Keep with it. It's totally worth it!

swimminlyn
September 12th, 2007, 09:15 AM
Carl,
I just saw on www.discountswim.com (http://www.discountswim.com) sweedish goggles for $3.75. Thought I would let you know.

gndprx
September 12th, 2007, 11:00 AM
Thanks for the link, but back at ya with http://www.swimtowin.com :D

I picked up a few pairs from Swimtowin at $2.79 each and a set of Hind Compy's as well to have around. I still find the Sweedish to be the most comfortable for me. I don't like the gaskets much but wanted to have the Compys on hand for that off-day where I may want them.

I've been back in the water 4 times now. Last W-F and this M-W so far and it's rough going. My lungs do not want to cooporate with the rest of my body. I'm actually running out of oxygen before I can get my heart rate up high enough to really get energized. It appears I have to build my lungs back up before I can really start pushing longer sets.

david.margrave
September 12th, 2007, 11:19 AM
One complaint I have with the Swedish goggles is they don't have an anti-fog coating. Is there a more expensive version that does? I only paid $5 for mine.

aquageek
September 12th, 2007, 11:26 AM
One complaint I have with the Swedish goggles is they don't have an anti-fog coating. Is there a more expensive version that does? I only paid $5 for mine.

The TYR Socket Rocket 2.0s seem to fog less than other Swedes. They cost about $7, or $17 for the metalized version.

gndprx
September 12th, 2007, 11:31 AM
Yeah, but it's just always been habbit to reach up and wipe them clean between sets. I haven't worn them in so long and it was almost automatic the other day when I put them on to do that when I stopped.

Midas
September 12th, 2007, 03:39 PM
Yeah, but it's just always been habbit to reach up and wipe them clean between sets. I haven't worn them in so long and it was almost automatic the other day when I put them on to do that when I stopped.

I was the same way and when I got back into the pool, I did so with a pair of swedes. Then I was out of town and needed some goggles and bought a pair of Speedos (which I knew the type, but I don't). The anti-fog actually makes a WORLD of difference in visibility after that first 50 or so once the swedes fog up. I'd highly recommend looking into a pair of anti-fog goggles. I'm still going to wear my swedes for meets, though.

waves101
September 13th, 2007, 09:54 AM
Carl, I started back at age 32 after 10 years out of the pool. I can remember my arms hurting so much I couldn't raise them under my pillow to sleep at night. The first year I only worked out for a few months and attended only 1 meet, our state meet. I didn't set the world on fire but I did do well enough to focus on doing better my second year. I was between jobs the second year so I was able to work out with my former high school team doing 7000 - 8000 per day. I got back to within 1 second of my lifetime best in the 100 free. Since that time, I've transitioned to more of a year round swimmer but only doing about 3000 per day. I'm still within 1.5 seconds of my best 100 and am setting lifetime bests in distance events. Keep at it, it'll all come together. When showing up starts to get hard, find a partner. That way you'll feel guilty if you don't show up and it'll help both of you stay engaged in the workouts.