View Poll Results: Should I do Masters or Pre-masters?

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  • Better start with the pre-masters class first!

    1 3.45%
  • Dont' waste your time with pre-masters-- go straight to the masters class!

    28 96.55%
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Thread: Need Help Determining if I am Ready for a Masters Group

  1. #1
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    Question Need Help Determining if I am Ready for a Masters Group

    Hello! I am trying to figure out if I am ready for a masters group, or whether I need to take a "refresher course" first.

    About me:
    I swam competetively for a club for about 4 years between the ages of 8 and 12. Stopped at 12 to concentrate more on gymnastics (which I did competetively through high school). Dropped swimming because I was simply burned out. (I think it was a little much for me at that age-- I had a pushy coach.) Consequently, I have no college or even HS swimming experience, which I do regret. Anyway, I did continue swimming occasionally, and never forgot the strokes or how to do flip turns, etc.

    About 10 years ago, I started running and doing triathlons. I've trained with a couple of tri groups during that time, and I was always best at swimming. (This was also my favorite of the three sports to train for.) My training group has just about concluded for the summer, and I have decided that I'm going to concentrate on just swimming for a while, because I just love it so much. At some point I would like to enter meets again and compete.

    The problem is, I can't decide whether to enroll in a "Pre-masters" swimming class (offered by the same group), or to go straight to masters.

    Here is the description for the "Pre-masters" class:

    Pre-masters swimming class will introduce the concepts of masters swimming to who are not quite ready for a masters program and who are too experienced for swimming 101. 6 week training class that meets 2 times a week on Monday & Thursday evenings.

    Focus:

    • Pre Req Swim 101, been in Iron chicks or Cap Tex program, comfortable swimming for continously for 15 minutes.
      (speed not important)
    • Stroke Work & Review 101 Drills
    • Learn intervals & clock work
    • Incorporate other strokes & flip turns
    • Incorporate swim sets with equipment
    • master swim practice without intimidation
    The cost is $130, and they meet in an outdoor pool (length is 33 yards, I believe).

    In the alternative, I could forego the cost of the "premasters" class and sign up immediately for masters. I had intended to do Longhorn Masters, as it is closest to my house, but I'm worried about whether I can keep up with the workout. From Ande's swimming blog, I can see that the workouts are pretty tough, and I wonder if I'm ready for this type of class when I ordinarily swim only 1500 meters per class. (That being said, I know I could do much, much more than 1500 meters; that's just what we usually swam during our swim workouts in my last tri training group.)

    Of note, I did an 800 meter open water lake swim in about 12:30 last week; don't know if this would be considered "fast" or not.

    So, what should I do? Would I be wasting my time and money with the Pre-masters class, or am I "in over my head" (sorry for the pun) with masters?

    Thanks in advance for your advice and comments!

    Last edited by SaltySwimmer; August 22nd, 2008 at 12:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help Determining if I am Ready for a Masters Group

    Quote Originally Posted by SaltySwimmer View Post
    So, what should I do? Would I be wasting my time and money with the Pre-masters class, or am I "in over my head" (sorry for the pun) with masters?
    I'd suggest contacting the coach. I would think you are almost certainly ready to swim masters right now. Ande is a very fast swimmer, but just about every masters team is going to have a range of swimming abilities. I have a feeling you'd probably fit comfortably in, but the coaches can tell you that for sure. 800 meters in 12:30 is a very solid time.

  3. #3
    Tough like cottage cheese
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    Re: Need Help Determining if I am Ready for a Masters Group

    Join a masters team.

    Remember this is Masters, not age group so YOU have a lot more control over what you do in a workout. Also, Ande swims in the fast lane and loves stuff like that so using him as an example is not fair to the rest of us mere mortals.

    Swim in the lanes with longer intervals and just do what you can do. If you need to skip a swim in a set, skip a swim. If you need to do free instead of stroke, do that. But you need to have a structured workout and coaching. Give it a couple of weeks and I guarantee you will go from 'I wanna die' to 'ok, this is tough but doable'

  4. #4
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help Determining if I am Ready for a Masters Group

    Some master clubs take virtually non swimmers. Go for at least a master club tryout.
    Keep it simple George Park
    Swimsuit Sale http://www.swimdownhill.com/index.html

  5. #5
    Very Active Member david.margrave's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help Determining if I am Ready for a Masters Group

    With a prior competitive swimming background you have a huge advantage. You can go straight to masters.

    Quote Originally Posted by SaltySwimmer View Post
    I swam competetively for a club for about 4 years between the ages of 8 and 12.

  6. #6
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    Re: Need Help Determining if I am Ready for a Masters Group

    Thanks for the input, everyone! I am trying a workout with TXLA masters tomorrow morning. Wish me luck!

  7. #7
    Tough like cottage cheese
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    Re: Need Help Determining if I am Ready for a Masters Group

    Good luck and I envy you. I wish I could swim with that crew.

  8. #8
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    Re: Need Help Determining if I am Ready for a Masters Group

    Salty - Longhorn may be closest to you but there are several Masters programs in Austin. "Wfly" or West Austin is a good group. No Ande-type swimmers with us but we have regulars that range from novice to top 20 times. West Austin has both short course and long course pools. We have an excellent and flexible coach.

    No need for a pre-Masters class at all.
    From the Rolling Stones "Mother's Little Helper" - "What a drag it is getting old....."

  9. #9
    Very Active Member swimshark's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help Determining if I am Ready for a Masters Group

    Salty, how did it go this morning?

  10. #10
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    Re: Need Help Determining if I am Ready for a Masters Group

    It was good fun! Pretty tough workout (you can check Ande's swim blog for specifics), especially the drop out set, but I was at least able to keep up. One of the most difficult things (for me at least) is remembering the sets as I go! Oh yeah, and getting back into butterfly (that's a whole different story... )

    There was a huge turnout, but I think I was the only newbie. The coach (Whitney Hedgepeth) was very nice and accomodating, and my lane partner did a great job of making me feel welcome.

    I'm going again tomorrow, and after this week I think I'll try to make it to at least 3 to 4 practices a week, and slowly build up to more.

    So happy to be swimming again!


  11. #11
    Very Active Member quicksilver's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help Determining if I am Ready for a Masters Group

    Quote Originally Posted by SaltySwimmer View Post
    Hello! I am trying to figure out if I am ready for a masters group, or whether I need to take a "refresher course" first.



    Thanks in advance for your advice and comments!

    If you have a suit and goggles...a desire to swim, and the will power to drag yourself out of bed even on dark and rainy mornings...your are ready.
    There's no time better than the present.

    In the 7 years that I've been involved in masters swimming, we get all walks of life, which have included former runners...with little, or very limited swimming abilities.
    In masters you'll find some young, some old, some large, some small....some fast and some slow. There's a lane for everyone. Hop in and enjoy.
    Excellence Is Never An Accident.

  12. #12
    Very Active Member swimshark's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help Determining if I am Ready for a Masters Group

    Salty, glad it went well. Nothing like a good coach, good lane partners, good time in the water to make a swimmer happy.

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