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Syd
December 4th, 2007, 08:24 AM
Looking at the results of the SPMA SC Champs on the weekend, I am amazed. There were some outstanding times by people like Susan von der Lippe, Ande, Paul Smith, John Morales, Mike Shaffer and Jeff Farrel to name a few. (Sorry if I have left anyone out but not being from your part of the world and relatively new to this forum those are all the names that I recognise). Paul's times are just....WOW! 52.54 in 100 SCM free at age 48...let's just say that it is no mean feat. That would smoke a lot of 20 year old swimmers, let alone 40 year olds. He is living proof that life doesn't have to be boring at 40 - at least not slow. And Jeff Farrel's 28.21 world record for the 50 free is AWESOME at age 70. A HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS to all of you.

So this has got me thinking. Everyday, people like these are expanding the limits of what we formerly believed possible for middle aged people. Dara Torres is another good example. And here is my question (or rather questions). Were all of these people elite swimmers before they turned Masters? Would you have to be an elite swimmer in your youth to achieve times like that in later life? Have these people established a huge aerobic base and lots of fast twitch muscle in their youths, without which times like these would not be possible in later life.

What about swimmers who never achieved elite status in their youths? Would it be possible for them to achieve these times given the same training regimens? Or is it too late for them? Is it a bit like learning a language: the younger you are the easier it is. Or is it possible to teach an old dog new tricks?

Syd

ALM
December 4th, 2007, 05:00 PM
...is it possible to teach an old dog new tricks?



Sort of. It's called Ionization*.

-

*Requires reading forums threads from several years ago... :)

rtodd
December 4th, 2007, 07:51 PM
Maybe, maybe not. I am starting to wonder. I think there is some advantage to developing a big base of fitness and skill early in life.
I have been swimming hard for 2 1/2 years and am not even in the ball park. I'm thinking it is a 5 year progression to start approaching good times. I am using 55 sec 100 SCY free and a 2:10 200 as the definition of a real good time and my goal. Also holding a 1:20 pace in the distance events would be nice.

swimmieAvsFan
December 5th, 2007, 12:12 PM
Sort of. It's called Ionization*.

-

*Requires reading forums threads from several years ago... :)

:lmao:

gull
December 5th, 2007, 01:07 PM
What about swimmers who never achieved elite status in their youths? Would it be possible for them to achieve these times given the same training regimens?

No.

gull
December 5th, 2007, 01:10 PM
Were all of these people elite swimmers before they turned Masters? Would you have to be an elite swimmer in your youth to achieve times like that in later life? Have these people established a huge aerobic base and lots of fast twitch muscle in their youths, without which times like these would not be possible in later life?

Yes.

The Fortress
December 5th, 2007, 03:50 PM
I agree with Gull.

Top ten, maybe achieveable. Incredible WRs like Paul Smith and Laura Val? No.

ALM
December 5th, 2007, 05:43 PM
Watching from the "other side" of the pool, I also agree.

I've swum with my Masters group for 20 years. Our workouts are organized by speed, ranging from the fast lane down to the slow lane (where I usually am).

Over the past 20 years I can only think of one swimmer who was fast enough to swim in the fast lane who had not previously been either an age-group or a college swimmer.

Anna Lea

CreamPuff
December 5th, 2007, 06:29 PM
IMHO, I'm thinking no.
I'm having a terrible time just making slight changes in my strokes and turns.
There's just too much bad habit in this old girl.
:rofl:

rtodd
December 5th, 2007, 06:50 PM
You guys are lighting a fire in my belly. Keep talking.

Allen Stark
December 5th, 2007, 07:41 PM
Yes,anyone swimming now will be able to set world records in the 110-114 age group if they keep it up.:thhbbb:

CaliSwimmer
December 5th, 2007, 10:54 PM
Yes,anyone swimming now will be able to set world records in the 110-114 age group if they keep it up.:thhbbb:

Having started swimming two years ago at the age of 42, this is exactly my strategy! Except I was thinking the 80-84 age group might give me a shot. I just have to outlast all those people in the lanes to the left of me. :cheerleader: