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View Full Version : Those who took a lot of time off...how long did it take you to get back in shape?



Lisa777
October 13th, 2007, 11:42 AM
I am wondering how long it will take. I have not swum competitively in about 20 years. I have done other exercise in these 20 years but have never been close to being in the condition I was in back then. I wonder how long it will take to get into at least moderate competitive swimming condition. I guess it is all in how one defines things. I currently swim about 3000 yards/work out and my times are a lot slower than they were back when I was in top shape. I am thinking 6 months might be enough to get into moderate shape. Anyone else here go through a similar long time away from the pool get back into fair shape? How long did it take you?

geochuck
October 13th, 2007, 11:45 AM
It took me six weeks after a 25 year layoff. But have not been able to get my times any where near what I had done in the past.

bud
October 13th, 2007, 11:51 AM
... I guess it is all in how one defines things....
Bingo. don't put off going to a meet. the sooner you start collecting times the better you will be able to measure your progress.

david.margrave
October 13th, 2007, 12:01 PM
I've been back for four months after 20 years off, and recently went to a meet. None of my times are close to my 1987 times. I can beat some of my very old times from when I was 12 or 13 though!

The Fortress
October 13th, 2007, 12:25 PM
-- 24 years off from intense competitive swimming

-- exercised somewhat regularly during time off except for baby periods and job busy-ness. no swimming at all and nothing remotely as intense as in youth. lots of running.

-- got in pool for first time June 2005. swam in first meet Oct 2005. swam at SCY Nats in May 2006.

-- like David, beat my 12 year old time in the 50 back at Nats. Woot!

-- took about 3 months or less to get in pretty good swimming shape for masters swimming about 3-4 x a week. Didn't take as long as I thought. Had to work on stroke technique. Had to learn all the new turns and how to SDK. Don't do enough yardage for long events though.

-- could care less about my youth times.

-- having fun as a master :groovy:

--Don't worry about the past. Just hop in and do it!! Er, make sure you RC muscles are up the task. I forgot about that and got injured right outta the box.

Lisa777
October 14th, 2007, 11:35 AM
Thanks everyone.

The Fortress,

What are RC muscles and SDK?

My swimming partner and I did a timed trial last week so that when we go to meets we won't feel we are slow but rather we will see that we are getting faster than our starting point.

Thanks for the encouragement!

Paul Smith
October 14th, 2007, 12:01 PM
My swimming partner and I did a timed trial last week so that when we go to meets we won't feel we are slow but rather we will see that we are getting faster than our starting point.

Lisa, glad to see you doing time trials so soon...one of the things I hear/see way to often is people wanting to "get into shape" to race.....as masters its rare to ever get all the way there with all the interruptions. The best way to get into shape to race.....is to race! Hit the meets, do TT's, train to swim fast right away!

SDK; streamline dolphin kick
RC; rotator cuff

Fort is right however on telling you to watch your training carefully, the sport is littered with LOTS of us who simply refused to accept we were "old" and needed things like "recovery". No need to train 5 days a week....hit the pool 3-4x, cross train with things like spinning and yoga and REST and you'll do great.

Dominick Aielloeaver
October 14th, 2007, 02:05 PM
I Went back to swimming after 45 yrs. Although never competed untill age 65 . Never trained with a coach or team. When I was 10 to 15 yrs old I did a lot of open water swimming. (Non competive). But it gave me a whole lot of confedance, i was not afraid of distance or water conditions. But in the last 7-Yrs. I do compete in masters.(no speed but a lot of fun). But i do agree if you train for speed than train to go fast. DOM in AZ.

Syd
October 14th, 2007, 08:28 PM
I am wondering how long it will take. I have not swum competitively in about 20 years. I have done other exercise in these 20 years but have never been close to being in the condition I was in back then. I wonder how long it will take to get into at least moderate competitive swimming condition. I guess it is all in how one defines things. I currently swim about 3000 yards/work out and my times are a lot slower than they were back when I was in top shape. I am thinking 6 months might be enough to get into moderate shape. Anyone else here go through a similar long time away from the pool get back into fair shape? How long did it take you?


I am back swimming again after a 24 year lay off.

How fast you recover is going to depend on what you have been doing in the interim. For my part, although there has been no competitive swimming in the past 24 years, I have always remained fit. Ran half marathons, played some waterpolo in my late 20's and despite some intermittent periods of absolutely no exercise (which can be quite a good thing) have always remained 'generally fit'. I started swimming about six months ago and will be competing in my first meet this coming weekend.

It is also going to depend on how much time you have to train. You will need to train at least three times a week for an hour to an hour and a half to get in reasonable enough shape to swim in a meet.

Try and get in with a Masters team if you can. You will find the competition will encourage you to train harder and having a coach would be a bonus, too. Unfortunately, I neither train with a team nor do I have a coach and I feel my progress would be a lot quicker if I did. I know a lot of other members here will attest to that.

If you don't train with a team or have a coach you should, at least, try to follow a workout schedule. You need to have some way of measuring your improvement. For me it is always increasing distance, decreasing rest time, increasing speed or decreasing strokes per length. I am constantly timing myself and racing against the clock.

Good luck with your swimming and let us know how it goes.

Syd

PinkManatee
October 15th, 2007, 04:07 AM
I didn't see any significant improvement in my speed until I swam longer distances three to four times a week and I worked hard to improve technique. I began swimming again after about a twenty-year layoff at the beginning of 2007.

Plus, I'm built like a manatee so if I can show improvement, you should have no problem. Good luck.

Glider
October 15th, 2007, 10:11 AM
Lisa777,

Listen to Fort and Paul, “The Wise One”. Get started in the pool, but ease into it. Be careful not to try to do too much too soon. Hit some meets as soon as you can. The sooner you get those base times, the sooner and easier it is to see improvement.

I started back last September after a 20 year hiatus – just to lose weight and manage cholesterol – I had NO intention of swimming in meets.

In December I got the itch to compete, but a six week break during the holidays interrupted everything.

I started all over again at the end of January 2007. My first meet was February 11. I was very slow compared to college. But…and this is the best part... I kept practicing and got faster.

I pretty much had a meet every three weeks, and it was fun to watch my 100 Breast time drop two to three seconds every meet.

I went from 1:15 and 2:46 in my first meet in the 100 and 200 yard BR respectively to 1:05 to 2:30 two and a half months later at the end of April. Each meet was VERY motivating!!! Now those times were still way off my college times, but I’m still working on it.

Also, be careful about trying to do too much. I fell victim to “over-training” and had to pretty much take a week off swimming recently just to be able get through daily life those days. See here:

Overtraining Syndrome (http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/overtraining.html)
Stress and its Relationship to Swimming (http://www.swimmingcoach.org/articles/9712/article4.htm)
Restoration and Regeneration (http://www.swimmingcoach.org/articles/9712/article5.htm)

Mark


I am wondering how long it will take. I have not swum competitively in about 20 years. I have done other exercise in these 20 years but have never been close to being in the condition I was in back then. I wonder how long it will take to get into at least moderate competitive swimming condition. I guess it is all in how one defines things. I currently swim about 3000 yards/work out and my times are a lot slower than they were back when I was in top shape. I am thinking 6 months might be enough to get into moderate shape. Anyone else here go through a similar long time away from the pool get back into fair shape? How long did it take you?

geochuck
October 15th, 2007, 10:16 AM
It took me six weeks after a 25 year layoff. But have not been able to get my times any where near what I had done in the past.
Just to add to this it takes about six weeks for you to get ready so you can get down to real work.

hofffam
October 15th, 2007, 11:30 AM
I'm not sure I can add too much. I started three years ago after no swimming training since 1976 (last year of high school). I raced for the first time (on a whim) about six months after starting and swam a 1:07 100 IM (SCY). I now swim a 1:01+ 100 IM. I improved most in the first year and a half back in the pool. I seem to be improving still, but the rate of improvement is less.

I have settled in as a sprinter (I wasn't in high school) because I have zero desire to train enough to do well in 200s or longer.

Midas
October 15th, 2007, 12:59 PM
This obviously differs for everyone and depends in part on how out of shape you are to begin with. I wasn't terribly out of shape when I started but in about two months had lost about 20 pounds and was physically "in shape". Two months later and I've lost another 8-10 pounds (I'm probably too thin at this point). But I don't think I'm even close to the cardiovascular shape I was in as a kid. I swam my first meet about a month ago and my times bear that out. I might look great (relatively speaking, of course :o), but I still have a long way to go. To get fully back into shape, I'm guessing it'll take over a year or more, if ever. Everyone says not to compare yourself you your younger self. Just set a new baseline and improve from there!

cathlaur
October 17th, 2007, 11:09 AM
Midas

WOW it sounds like you are doing great. I am so jealous. I dont think my body would ever let me lose to much weight. Someitmes it just does not want to let me lose any:whiteflag:.SIGH. But I must admit the inches are coming off.

It does take the body a while to get used to the swimming. I really think people think it is an easy sport. OMG it is so not.

Keep up the good work. Hopefully one day I can tell you all that I have lost a ton of weight and am swimming well

Cheers

Katie

funkyfish
October 18th, 2007, 11:22 PM
I also had an exact 20 year hiatus. I got back into swimming a year ago and my workouts during the first month were about 400-600 yds per session. It took me about 8-9 months to build up to 3-4k. per workout/practice. I probably was not pushing as hard as some.
Aqui es una banana:banana: