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art_z
October 11th, 2007, 03:13 PM
Seems inevitable, no? Even though my practice times seem to be pretty consistent with intervals I was able to hold 5 to 7 years ago (mid to early
30's), now that I am 40, my races just seem to get slower. Its an odd scenario to be in. As an age grouper and into college, the older you got, the more you trained, the faster you swam. Now, it seems, mother nature is kicking things in reverse. While I still love to train, I'm finding less incentive to compete.

Anyone else come to this conclusion?

geochuck
October 11th, 2007, 03:23 PM
It is called becoming elderly. Some of us become elderly before others. I noticed it when I was 60 years old, I continue to get slower and older.

Slowswim
October 11th, 2007, 03:43 PM
I prefer seasoned, but another Thread shows that most people here are swimming younger not older.

aquageek
October 11th, 2007, 03:50 PM
Anyone else come to this conclusion?

Not Torres.

gull
October 11th, 2007, 03:53 PM
My times at 49 are faster than they were at 46, at least for distances of 200 and up. I attribute this to good coaching and training partners. In 2004 Tom Wolf told me that he was swimming faster in his 50's than he was in his 40's. Currently that is my goal for 2008 when I age up. I'm not going down without a fight.

geochuck
October 11th, 2007, 04:02 PM
I beleive if you were not a top ten swimmer in your youth you can always get faster until you reach the age of decline. I was faster at 37 then I was when I was in my twenties.

Betsy
October 11th, 2007, 04:29 PM
I was an age group swimmer and have never come near those times. As a Masters swimmer, I had my best times at 50. Various health problems followed, and at 66 (and beyond)I won't get back to my times at 50.
June Krauser gave me the best advice...keep track of times within each new age group, but don't look back. I find that very helpful. I can value a pr for this age group and not worry about what I used to be able to do. June also said to keep swimming new events, and you have a whole new set of best times.
I enjoy competing and don't want to give that up because I am slower.

art_z
October 11th, 2007, 04:41 PM
June also said to keep swimming new events, and you have a whole new set of best times.


that is a good idea, but for me, it means distance freestyle, 200 fly and the 400 IM ... the 4-IM I can deal with ... the others, I am not so sure.

Jeff Commings
October 11th, 2007, 05:33 PM
Part of the solution is to do race pace sets in workout to keep up your competitive fire. If you don't push your body to do more swimming at insanely fast speeds, your body won't know what to do at a swim meet because you've only been training aerobically.

Dara Torres aside, one reason I have found that people can get faster in races as they get older is because they continually work on race pace swimming (such as broken 200s), or if you're a sprinter, doing a good deal of sprinting to keep the muscles firing.

The Fortress
October 11th, 2007, 07:18 PM
Part of the solution is to do race pace sets in workout to keep up your competitive fire. If you don't push your body to do more swimming at insanely fast speeds, your body won't know what to do at a swim meet because you've only been training aerobically.

Dara Torres aside, one reason I have found that people can get faster in races as they get older is because they continually work on race pace swimming (such as broken 200s), or if you're a sprinter, doing a good deal of sprinting to keep the muscles firing.

Now, I'm only entering my third year of competing, but I seem to get faster every year and I'm now 46. But I did more sprinting than aerobic work in the past year, which I think helped. And this last six months, I've been doing much more race pace work as Jeff suggests. I think it definitely paid off for me at my last meet. It hurts like hell, and it's less yardage, but it's worth it. But I can see there might be a limit on improvement at some point without expanding into other events and such. Try not to let that stop you competing, if you enjoy it.

Just in general, it seems like changing your training in some significant way might yield better results. More race pace swimming, cross training, weights, core drylands? Improving SDKs? Or are you already doing all these things? Maybe changing focus events or really focusing on just a couple events in training?

I also think that are bodies just do age; we are, to some degree, fighting the aging process with training. So, it's probably a good idea to keep a set of PBs in each masters age group. I certainly plan on doing that. Although, George, 40 is NOT elderly!!! That's a terrible mentality. :thhbbb:

david.margrave
October 12th, 2007, 12:58 AM
I read an article, which I can't find now, that says physiologically, sprint performance peaks in the mid-to-late twenties, and endurance in the mid thirties. Of course there are other variables such as how highly trained a person is, improvements in technique, etc.

hofffam
October 12th, 2007, 02:26 PM
I read an article, which I can't find now, that says physiologically, sprint performance peaks in the mid-to-late twenties, and endurance in the mid thirties. Of course there are other variables such as how highly trained a person is, improvements in technique, etc.

This doesn't seem to be true of swimmers in the real world. Jason Lezak, Neil Walker, Gary Hall, and of course Dara Torres are all sprinters. I'm not aware of any 30-ish or 30+ swimmers competing at the top level in distance events.

One thing I noticed about myself after returning to swimming 3 years ago after a 25+ year time off - my racing speeds in sprints isn't too far off my high school times but my training speeds are not even close. That tells me I have good power/speed, but not very good fitness. And restoring fitness lost decades ago is proving to be very difficult for me.

islandsox
October 12th, 2007, 07:48 PM
Well, after reading everyone's comments, I am now elderly. I am way off of my times from when I was in my 20s, 30s, 40s. So I have changed gears to do distance, really distance, because it's my last saving grace and so much ezier on my body (so far, I think). I will not stop swimming, period. It just needs to be mega-miles.

christineL
October 17th, 2007, 12:36 PM
:confused: I do not find what is expected for such age group to complete such event. Betsy, I assume that you have this table that you refer as a guidance. Where do you find this table?

Thanks

ChristineL

SwimStud
October 17th, 2007, 12:49 PM
Well, after reading everyone's comments, I am now elderly. I am way off of my times from when I was in my 20s, 30s, 40s. So I have changed gears to do distance, really distance, because it's my last saving grace and so much ezier on my body (so far, I think). I will not stop swimming, period. It just needs to be mega-miles.

I bet you could still give most of us a run for our money on a 50 Donna...just have to put a few monkey la-las on the line...

Allen Stark
October 17th, 2007, 08:53 PM
The great thing about masters swimming is the age groups.After a certain age(which varies person to person) we all get slower.The trick is to get slower slower than the others in your age group. Better technique and training can temporarily put off or reverse the decline.The old rule of thumb was decline 1%/yr after 30. Masters swimmers have blown that out of the water(can someone find the thread about times and age from a few months back.)

christineL
October 17th, 2007, 10:07 PM
:/ 1% slower than the year before? Then, I'll have to do alot of computation to get to where I need to find out where I ought to be at now - from a fat 15 years old swimmer who did 50 free at 46 from dive (clocked from last night) to me who lost 30 pounds and have 30 more to go at 44 years old who started swimming seriously two months ago. I used to be in Masters twenty years ago. :/

For example, last night at my daughter's high school swim meet, the slowest time for a 50 free was 46 from a dive start. My 50 free from wall to wall not from diving tends to be 56. I'm only 44 years old. I was really crestfallen until I realized that I do not have a Master's Age group table to help me compare my progress to the average. So, my time ought to be???? I'm sleepy right now....:yawn: I need to get up at 5 am for a one hour workout in the pool.

bud
October 18th, 2007, 09:05 AM
...(can someone find the thread about times and age from a few months back.)

is it one of these?

life time best times and best times in each age group (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=7373)

Mindset for a Maturing Swimmer (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=7004)

Why so many 45-49 swimmers? (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=6175)

Aging Well? (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=6769)

Allen Stark
October 18th, 2007, 10:38 AM
Thanks,I meant the life time best thread.

christineL
October 18th, 2007, 11:10 AM
Thanks for that excellent thread! It begs for a nice table that I can use! :D

It is an idea that I can ask rowers over at Concept2.com to see if we can come up with that table as well.

meldyck
October 18th, 2007, 11:37 AM
Thanks for that excellent thread! It begs for a nice table that I can use!

It is an idea that I can ask rowers over at Concept2.com to see if we can come up with that table as well.

Christine,

go to the competition tab on the USMS home page and click the Top Ten link. This is not a simple table but rather a database of all top 10 swims in each age group for the past many years. It is similar in principle to the Concept 2 tracking except that the usms table is meant to include ALL sanctioned meets whereas the Concept 2 tables only list those who have entered data.

If you want to see times further down than the first 10, then click the Current Top Times link on the competition tab. This will get you to a much larger database for the current swim seasons. You can browse through the age groups separately to see how it changes with age.

christineL
October 18th, 2007, 12:28 PM
Meldyk,

:bow: Thanks for taking me to the place where I could get to see how I'm comparing to the others in my age group.

I'm a hippo compared to those women completing at 28 seconds free 50 SC.
I'll need to shave 28 seconds to get there which I see is an impossible feat. :( But, I'll find the workouts to help me get there just like I did with Concept2 - row 2k at 2:10 or better from 2:30.

Thanks!

imspoiled
October 18th, 2007, 03:03 PM
Thanks for that excellent thread! It begs for a nice table that I can use! :D

It is an idea that I can ask rowers over at Concept2.com to see if we can come up with that table as well.

Christine-
There was an article a while back on the USMS site that did (does--just found it!) have a table included. Try this: http://www.usms.org/articles/articledisplay.php?a=143

Dana

Slowswim
October 18th, 2007, 03:42 PM
In running they say if you can run your age in a 10K you are doing well (I.e., I'm 45 so a 45 minute 10K). Is there a similar point of reference in swimming?

gull
October 18th, 2007, 06:32 PM
In running they say if you can run your age in a 10K you are doing well (I.e., I'm 45 so a 45 minute 10K). Is there a similar point of reference in swimming?


Yes--if you can swim your age for the 100 free, your name is Smith.

Slowswim
October 19th, 2007, 09:33 AM
Yes--if you can swim your age for the 100 free, your name is Smith.

In Minutes?:cane:
or seconds!:rofl:

Allen Stark
October 20th, 2007, 11:39 AM
If you can swim more than 10 sec under you age for 100 free your name is Abrahams.

Ian Smith
October 20th, 2007, 05:16 PM
Yes--if you can swim your age for the 100 free, your name is Smith.

This is true - almost any of us Smiths can do this ;-)

I can vouch for it - even in LCM now I'm old enough.

A round of golf under your age is much tougher - I'll never be old enough.


Rich must be the youngest to do a 100 LCM in less than his age?

Ian Smith
October 21st, 2007, 08:40 AM
Perusing the USMS Top Ten (back to 1993), the youngest to “swim under your age for the 100” were (assuming no errors on my part):

SCY
2004 Jack Groselle (49) 47.85

SCM
2004 David Quiggin (60) 59.90

LCM
2005 Rich Abrahams (60) 58.61
2005 James de Lacy (60) 59.66

geochuck
April 30th, 2008, 12:30 PM
Age is it important. The British Columbia Medical Card for seniors is gold colored. Chuckie went to have here eyes tested for contact lenses, of course covered by BC Med.

The receptionist said to her that she had not seen a card like this before. Chuckie said all seniors in BC have a gold card. The receptionist said you don't look like a senior. It Made Chuckie's day.

Chris Stevenson
April 30th, 2008, 01:14 PM
Perusing the USMS Top Ten (back to 1993), the youngest to “swim under your age for the 100” were (assuming no errors on my part):

SCY
2004 Jack Groselle (49) 47.85

SCM
2004 David Quiggin (60) 59.90

LCM
2005 Rich Abrahams (60) 58.61
2005 James de Lacy (60) 59.66

I get the same results as you. But don't forget the women:

SCY
2007 Laura Val (55) 54.83
2000 Gail Roper (70) 1:09.79

These are the ONLY two such swims I found.

ehoch
April 30th, 2008, 01:26 PM
The fact is that you will slow down at some point. But I think we are not even close to what may be possible in terms of performance levels at an "older age".

But we can still try to figure out what exactly "slows us down" as we age - here is my top 5 list (this is meant for swimmers that used to train at a high level):

- time spent working out: I work out quite a bit right now, but it is less than 1/2 in terms of time spent working out as a youngster.

- simple body weight: are you the same weight as in college ? Just 10 pounds can be a big difference.

- flexibility: this is very underrated, but coming back from a shoulder surgery, I noticed the HUGE difference between having full shoulder flexibility and maybe 98% -- and "full flexibility" now is still much worse than 20 years ago.

- Recovery rate: It just takes me a lot longer to recover from a hard workout. It is no surprise that Dara Torres spends so much time on massages and stretching.

- Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results: this really applies to all levels of swimming - if you keep doing the same thing, you will actually get worse over time. If you keep doing the same intervals, the same sets, the same intensity, the weights, you may stay at the same level, but I think you will actually get worse over time. Your body and mind always needs new challenges - you need to push further, smarter, push yourself in different ways in order to improve.

ande
April 30th, 2008, 01:54 PM
great points

as these younger faster generations of swimmers age and if they continue training they will totally redefine what is possible

we're now seeing swimmers compete at a world class level into their late 30's and early 40's

the most important parts of all of this is proper TRAINING, talent and keeping injuries in check

swimmers have to figure out how to train
guys like Rich Abrahams and Trip totally get it
it takes dedication and consistency
their results are proof

how fast were you at your peak?

how many years are you from your peak training?

how bad of shape are you in right now?

how much and how well have you been training recently?





The fact is that you will slow down at some point. But I think we are not even close to what may be possible in terms of performance levels at an "older age".

But we can still try to figure out what exactly "slows us down" as we age - here is my top 5 list (this is meant for swimmers that used to train at a high level):

- time spent working out: I work out quite a bit right now, but it is less than 1/2 in terms of time spent working out as a youngster.

- simple body weight: are you the same weight as in college ? Just 10 pounds can be a big difference.

- flexibility: this is very underrated, but coming back from a shoulder surgery, I noticed the HUGE difference between having full shoulder flexibility and maybe 98% -- and "full flexibility" now is still much worse than 20 years ago.

- Recovery rate: It just takes me a lot longer to recover from a hard workout. It is no surprise that Dara Torres spends so much time on massages and stretching.

- Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results: this really applies to all levels of swimming - if you keep doing the same thing, you will actually get worse over time. If you keep doing the same intervals, the same sets, the same intensity, the weights, you may stay at the same level, but I think you will actually get worse over time. Your body and mind always needs new challenges - you need to push further, smarter, push yourself in different ways in order to improve.

ande
April 30th, 2008, 02:00 PM
don't buy the lies

it's totally possible to improve as you age
but you have to train properly
eventually time catches up with you

I'm 44, I'm swimming faster now than I did 4 years ago
I've blogged my workouts for the last 3 years

Strength is a very important part,
if you get stronger
you should swim faster


Seems inevitable, no? Even though my practice times seem to be pretty consistent with intervals I was able to hold 5 to 7 years ago (mid to early 30's), now that I am 40, my races just seem to get slower. Its an odd scenario to be in. As an age grouper and into college, the older you got, the more you trained, the faster you swam. Now, it seems, mother nature is kicking things in reverse. While I still love to train, I'm finding less incentive to compete.

Anyone else come to this conclusion?

Chris Stevenson
April 30th, 2008, 03:33 PM
Celebrating more "swimming faster than age" results, this time non-free, youngest only, all SCY::applaud:
100 back John C Smith, 67, 1:06.61 (2006)
100 fly Richard Abrahams, 55, 54.49 (2000)
100 IM Richard Abrahams, 62, 1:00.13 (2007)

I like Erik's list. I will say that -- barring injury -- I think flexibility need not be lost to such a great degree if you really work on regaining it, though it may take awhile.

I remember reading somewhere that max heart rate declines with age and there isn't much we can do about it through exercise/training. Seems like that -- and similar factors -- might provide the ultimate limit with age, though I agree that we are nowhere close to those limits yet.

I don't often train with the high school kids, but I do so every once in a while. I notice that there are some I can beat regularly in practice -- or at least keep up with them -- who can just thrash me in meets. Somehow they have an extra gear that I just don't have anymore, no matter how much race pace training I do. Wally Dicks mentioned to me that he has had similar experiences.

ehoch
April 30th, 2008, 05:30 PM
Good points on the "injury free" importance -- that may rank number 1 out of all factors.

I am really not sold on the max heart rate decline notion. I believe that this is also very much a factor of training to reach your max heart rates. All the Age minus 40 or whatever lists seem rather silly (just a personal opinion - no hard facts). How often does a typical 55 year old approach maximum heart rate vs. a 15 year old ? You lose it if you don't use it -- would love to know the max heart rates of some of the top sprinters in the older age groups.

rtodd
April 30th, 2008, 08:01 PM
Here is inspiration for us older people.

Willie Gault, who turns 48 in September ran a wind legal 21.80 200m. He also holds the M45 record in the 100m at 10.72 less than a second off the world record. This is hard to comprehend.

To put it in perspective, in my opnion that 200 is equal to a 23.4 sec 50m free in swimming parlance. Not bad for someone pushing 50.

Can you pick Willie out of this lineup from this years Mt. SAC Relays? The one on the right is Tyson Gay, world outdoor champion and world record holder in the 100m.

http://www.masterstrack.com/gallery/v/mtsac2008/b21.jpg.html

aztimm
April 30th, 2008, 10:08 PM
I didn't actively start swimming until I was 28, and my times have gotten dramatically faster since. Most recently, since I began a new job 2-1/2 years ago that allows some flexible hours and work from home (both a blessing and a curse), I've been able to get serious with weights and running. This has helped me drop my weight down to pre-college levels (I'm similar now to what I was at 22 and in the Army). For a long time I had hit a plaeau that just recently started to break through.

I'd imagine at some point I'll slow, but I'm trying to fight it as much as I can. I made a goal with my coach to swim a sub-minute 100 SCY free by the AZ state meet next March, and he's holding me to it.

Celestial
May 12th, 2008, 04:28 PM
:dunno:I get kinda depressed about this getting older thing too. It's definitely not for sissies. My question is how much extra do you have to do to get better? I have limited time (as do we all) - I only get to swim 3 times a week right now - and I try to get in 3500-4000 yds. I keep telling myself that I will get better if I put more time in the water, but I don't know if this is really true. Sometimes I think that what I need to do is train with the kids, draft off them for a few weeks & see if that helps me speed up. It's depressing and demoralizing to be "stuck" at my speed....even if that speed is faster than some others, its not as fast as I want to be going:dunno:.

hofffam
May 13th, 2008, 11:26 AM
I'm 49 and I am faster than I was at 47. Kinda hoping that trend continues as I age up later this year.

I have no intention of swimming more than I do today. I average 4 times/wk, and always < 90 minutes per workout. Longest workout this year is 3900 yds.

I want to train better, not more. I want to continue to improve technique, especially in non-freestyle strokes. I want more speed and power, not distance. (I don't like long events anyways).

If you are stuck - I suggest changing your focus. Swim different events - maybe shorter.

ourswimmer
May 13th, 2008, 12:22 PM
Count me as another believer in more race-pace swimming, if your goal is your best possible performance in shorter races. I am 40 and I have been swimming masters since I was 27. For several years I focused primarily on OW racing, so my main workout objectives did not include maxing out my speed or my heart rate. This season after I decided to go to Nationals I spent more time in workout swimming at a faster pace with more rest, really working on being able to recruit all my muscles at the same time and on getting my heart to go fast enough to serve them. I swam best masters times in every event this season. A lifetime best in the 100 back now seems possible whereas if someone had suggested that goal to me a year ago I would have laughed.

Celestial
May 14th, 2008, 09:59 PM
Okay, for starters, I'm not going to any meets right now...I get my butt kicked plenty in workout, okay?! I wish I had the time to go to meets, but I would have to travel OOT every time (by myself, since we don't really have a masters team, and no one else goes to meets either), and I'm really busy taking my 15 year old to Sectionals etc.
So, my slowness is in workouts. I just want to be able to keep 100's on the 1:15 w/out fins (again). :rant3: Maybe I'm slacking off in workout, but man, after a couple of rough swims, I just need to REST!. But everyone else can keep on going!! My solution...I'm trying to use my son's Bowflex every other day, I'm taking B-12 injections every month (to help build more lean muscle & pick up my energy level) and swimming at LEAST 3500 yds each time I get in. Sometimes I do a bit more, like today, it was really pretty outside & I was feeling happy, so before I knew it I had done 5000. But I didn't go hard the whole time, because I was training by myself, with only the clock and leisure swimmers to keep me on my toes. I just can't always train with the group due to my job. :(

CreamPuff
May 14th, 2008, 10:05 PM
With all you people doing the sprints and shorter distances, I am definitely going to be sure to do distance - there's not many people out there left doing those events! :rofl:

knelson
May 15th, 2008, 12:15 AM
With all you people doing the sprints and shorter distances, I am definitely going to be sure to do distance - there's not many people out there left doing those events! :rofl:

Shhh! Don't tell everyone!

Other than the 200 free, the events I swam at Nationals were all pretty easy to place top ten in--at least compared to the shorter events.

pwolf66
May 15th, 2008, 09:24 AM
Shhh! Don't tell everyone!

Other than the 200 free, the events I swam at Nationals were all pretty easy to place top ten in--at least compared to the shorter events.

Oh yeah, suuuuuure. That just means I'd have to go 5:16 500, 11:54 1000 or 22:18 1650. Hmm, actually to get 10th all I would have had to do was finish the 1650. Not sure if that could happen but hey, blind squirrels and acorns and all that. Maybe next year at LCM Nats? Give the 800 a try?

Paul

mikeh
May 24th, 2008, 10:11 AM
Seems inevitable, no? Even though my practice times seem to be pretty consistent with intervals I was able to hold 5 to 7 years ago (mid to early
30's), now that I am 40, my races just seem to get slower. Its an odd scenario to be in. As an age grouper and into college, the older you got, the more you trained, the faster you swam. Now, it seems, mother nature is kicking things in reverse. While I still love to train, I'm finding less incentive to compete.

Anyone else come to this conclusion?

If your workout times are the same as several years ago, but your races are slower, perhaps you need to rest more before big meets.

swimshark
May 25th, 2008, 07:03 AM
With all you people doing the sprints and shorter distances, I am definitely going to be sure to do distance - there's not many people out there left doing those events! :rofl:

That's my plan!