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View Full Version : Non-competive swim times, and some other questions



absentx
October 13th, 2007, 12:07 AM
Good day Masters Swimmers,

I have a few questions regarding swimming and the faithful search engine know as google has deemed this site as very relevant in regards to what I seek!

Although the majority of the content here seems to relate to competitve type swimming, my question revolves simply around swimming in general, or in this specific instance, swimming to ensure my own, or someone elses survival.

With that said, forgive me if I have posted in the wrong place.

I am currently in the hiring process to become a Conservation Warden, and one of the final parts of the process is a swimming test. Obviously Game Wardens are often on the water, and it is very important that they be good swimmers and capable if something were to ever go wrong.

The test is not very hard, but none the less, I have started to prepare for it and basically I want to be able to "do it in my sleep" by the time it comes around.

The test is to swim 200 yards in under seven minutes and thirty five seconds. A quick search on swim time indicates that this is clearly more than enough time as long as you are somewhat capable of swimming.

So about three or four weeks ago I went to the pool and started swimming. I have spent my whole life around water, I am an avid skiier and I own three jet skis, so I would like to think I am a capable swimmer and good at it.

I have to tell you...the first time I tried to swim 200 yards all at once...haha, I could barely get 100 yards without feeling completely winded! Needless to say I quickly realized that although the test is not too hard on paper, I did have a little work to do to get prepared.

So here I am weeks later and, I know I could go pass the test easily right now, but I plan to keep training so that this is nothing by the time it comes around.

Anyways, I was wondering what a good time would be for someone who is not swimming competitively and doesnt plan too?

I do not aspire to be able to swim 200 yards in 1:40!

At the same time, I don't want to be the slowest guy either.

Right now I find I am doing 200 yards in a little over four minutes, and it still feels like a pretty good workout when I finish that last lap, it is by no means "a breeze" but I am too the point where I am swimming 200 yards 3 to 5 times in a workout.

Anyways, I went on for quite awhile here...just looking for any insight, feedback, or thoughts you might have on this. Or maybe you could suggest a good workout for becoming very good at swimming 200 yards at a time?

ALM
October 13th, 2007, 12:29 AM
I started swimming as an adult and have been swimming with a Masters team for the past 20 years. I'm typically one of the slowest swimmers at our workouts.

I swim a 200 in about 4 minutes during our workouts. My fastest-ever 200, off the starting blocks, was 3:08. So I think you're OK, speed-wise.

If you're interested in overall aerobic fitness, it sounds like you need to work on your endurance. (While I'm not very fast, I've got the endurance to swim a long time. I can keep that same pace for a 3,000-yard swim.) You might try to build up to some longer swims - for example, instead of stopping at 200 yards, try to swim 400 yards without stopping.

Anna Lea

notsofast
October 13th, 2007, 09:23 AM
Here's a site that builds you up to a mile (well, 1650 yards) over six weeks.
http://ruthkazez.com/ZeroTo1mile.html
A lot of people on this site have used it and recommended it.
I'm on week four right now; the schedule seems daunting, but it's actually pretty reasonable.
As far as how fast you are going and how much faster you want to be, that's up to you. You're like me - slower than most of the people who post but faster than most people whom you'll find in the pool. If you are happy with that, terrific. Remember, most people can't swim 200 to begin with.

bud
October 13th, 2007, 01:55 PM
Right now I find I am doing 200 yards in a little over four minutes, .... maybe you could suggest a good workout for becoming very good at swimming 200 yards at a time?

that is not a bad time.

relative to USMS top-10 times i'm really quite slow in my age bracket. i don't swim to compete, i compete because i'm swimming anyway, and i like to compete. the times below are from when i was in my early 40's (for comparison... the times in [brackets] are the '06 USMS top-10 times (http://www.usms.org/comp/tt/toptenlist.php) for men ages 40-45):

200 Free
scy (25yds): 2:55 ... [1:44.92]
lcm (50m): 3:30 ... [1:55.06]
scm (25m): 3:13 ... [1:58.77]

compare my lcm & scm and it reinforces the old adage that "the fastest you will ever go is diving in and pushing off the wall". work on those turns, and starts!

as for workouts...

pick a time (say 45min.) and do as much as you can in that time. mix it up. do 100's one day, then 50's, then 200's. try also 300's or 400's, throw in a 500 every so often, or swim straight through.

rest as often as you need to. better to always practice good technique than to dog it out with bad technique.

swim a few hard sets free, then cool down a bit with a different stroke (breast or back) at less intensity, before doing another "free" set.

if you track your distance, you will find that you get more done in that (45min) time as your endurance builds.


have fun!

rtodd
October 14th, 2007, 08:17 PM
Right now I find I am doing 200 yards in a little over four minutes, and it still feels like a pretty good workout when I finish that last lap, it is by no means "a breeze" but I am too the point where I am swimming 200 yards 3 to 5 times in a workout.

Are you doing a little of four minutes on a repeat or a single 200 for time? Doing a 200 for time should not feel good. You should feel rushed to get out of the pool before you blow chow. It is a controlled sprint.

Swim one this way and you will surprise yourself, after you regain conciousness.

laineybug
October 15th, 2007, 02:40 PM
you might want to check out some of Dr. Kenneth Cooper's work on cardiac fitness. He has table after table of exercises (swimming is one of them) by gender by age and times to shoot for, to become fit... the emphasis is not on competitive times but on what you need to be able to do to be considered fit.

Lainey

absentx
October 15th, 2007, 06:41 PM
rtodd,

Every time I swim 200 it seems to take a little over four minutes.

By the way, thanks for all the replys everyone.

One other thing I noticed...The other day I was at the pool, the first 200 I swam was pretty exhausting, and then I did some other 100, 150, and 50 yard sets in my workout. Now, I had warmed up before this workout pretty good, so I was warmed up when I started...but anyways back to the point, at one point in my workout I decided to tread water in the deep end for about 15 minutes, then I went right into swimming 225 yards..It was much easier after the 15 minutes of treading!