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Thread: Can you Swim Your Age?

  1. #1
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    Can you Swim Your Age?

    In golf, there is one feat few accomplish - to shoot your age.

    The goal is simple - par is your age where everyone hits from the same tees and there are no handicaps.

    To swim your age you must do a swim equal in kilometers to your age. So if you are 20 years old, you can if you do at least a 20K swim.

    If you are 30 years old, you can Swim Your Age if you do at least a 30K swim. At 40 years, you must do a 40K swim. Obviously, this aquatic feat gets harder and harder as you get older.

    The swim can be done in any body of water: an ocean, lake, reservoir, bay, estuary, sea, channel, canal, river, fjord or lagoon. It must be continuous (feeding stops are allowed) and completed according to the traditional rules of the sport (e.g., no touching boats, kayaks or piers and without a wetsuit) and is measured in kilometers (not miles which is harder).

    With the growing number of Half Century Club members, the Swim Your Age achievement is within reach for many.
    Last edited by Rob Copeland; April 10th, 2011 at 11:03 PM. Reason: removed links
    Steven Munatones
    www.openwatersource.com

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    Very Active Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Re: Can you Swim Your Age?

    Thanks Steve. I think I'll stick to the 100 free, I can do it there.

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    Very Active Member mjtyson's Avatar
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    Re: Can you Swim Your Age?

    When I first looked at the title (didn't look at the forum or author), I assumed it meant swimming some pool distance in seconds=age. That would make more sense. You'd have more time to swim it as you age.

    But having to swim a 44KM OW swim now. Are you insane? There has got to be a better age-related OW swim metric out there...
    --Mike Tyson (yes, my real name)

    https://blogs.marathonswimmers.org/ironmike/

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    Very Active Member ViveBene's Avatar
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    Re: Can you Swim Your Age?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjtyson View Post
    But having to swim a 44KM OW swim now. Are you insane? There has got to be a better age-related OW swim metric out there...
    I'm with him.

    Outside magazine some years ago did an article on maintaining strength as one ages. A 70+ man, well trained, went on a sort of jungle course with much younger, well-trained people. Conclusion: he kept up, but obviously was not having any fun. (And that was one person out of a few billion who could not ever hope to do the course.)

    If you don't have anything else to do but train, and have good genes, and motivation takes you in that direction, and you like the personal challenge, great. As a general metric, it's meaningless.

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    Re: Can you Swim Your Age?

    I am sure there are other appropriate metrics for pool and open water water swimmers, but this is a post entirely related to marathon swimming in open bodies of water. Some of the bars that are currently being used in the marathon swimming community are certifiably difficult:
    • The Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming (i.e., completion of the English Channel, Catalina Channel and Manhattan Island Marathon Swim)
    • The Ocean's Seven (i.e., the completion of the English Channel, Catalina Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, Molokai Channel, North (Irish) Channel, Cook Strait and Tsugaru Channel)
    • The Half Century Club (i.e., completing a major marathon swim once past the age of 50 years)
    • Two-way and Three-way Channel Crossings (i.e., in many different lakes, seas, channels and oceans around the world)
    This Swim Your Age is similarly another difficult metric. It certainly becomes more difficult the older you get, the rougher the water becomes and the colder the conditions.

    However, with the growing number of swimmers doing longer and more difficult solo swims, the exploding number of older swimmers doing open water swimming, warming water temperatures in many different waterways, and the more information and technology being made available in the open water swimming world (e.g., GPS, micro weather forecasting, caloric needs during a marathon swim, strategic use of tides and currents), I believe there will be an increase in the number of swimmers who can Swim Their Age.

    Swim Your Age is certainly not for everyone - or even for most people. It is a goal for a selected few - very few.

    But to give you an example of where the sport of marathon swimming is currently going, a 39-year-old California swimmer, Jamie Patrick, is going to attempt a 240 mile (386K) swim in the Sacramento River on August 18th this year. He will definitely Swim His Age - and he'll achieve it rather early in his estimated 50-60 hour solo swim at that.

    Likewise, the annual Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (28.5 miles or 45.8K) always has dozens of people who Swim Their Age every year. This year, 25 out of the 36 swimmers entered in the June 18th swim have the opportunity to Swim Their Age.

    There are many other marathon swims around the world - both solo attempts and competitive races - where dozens of people will Swim Their Age.

    Yes, I agree it may be defined as insane, but there dozens of people around the world who achieve this goal every year ... and the number of swimmers who are attaining this goal are growing year by year. They have my respect and admiration - not only for their achievement and commitment, but for the countless hours of training, preparation and sacrifice that go behind their achievements.
    Steven Munatones
    www.openwatersource.com

  6. #6
    raced the 200 fly couldbebetterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Can you Swim Your Age?

    Quote Originally Posted by Munatones View Post
    But to give you an example of where the sport of marathon swimming is currently going, a 39-year-old California swimmer, Jamie Patrick, is going to attempt a 240 mile (386K) swim in the Sacramento River on August 18th this year. He will definitely Swim His Age - and he'll achieve it rather early in his estimated 50-60 hour solo swim at that.
    Likewise, the annual Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (28.5 miles or 45.8K) always has dozens of people who Swim Their Age every year. This year, 25 out of the 36 swimmers entered in the June 18th swim have the opportunity to Swim Their Age.

    There are many other marathon swims around the world - both solo attempts and competitive races - where dozens of people will Swim Their Age.

    Yes, I agree it may be defined as insane, but there dozens of people around the world who achieve this goal every year ... and the number of swimmers who are attaining this goal are growing year by year. They have my respect and admiration - not only for their achievement and commitment, but for the countless hours of training, preparation and sacrifice that go behind their achievements.
    Wow pretty impressive (if insane) stuff. Meanwhile I'm happy to stick to 36 yards - I'd even swim it fly
    30something and way too young for my times

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    Very Active Member E=H2O's Avatar
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    Re: Can you Swim Your Age?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjtyson View Post
    When I first looked at the title (didn't look at the forum or author), I assumed it meant swimming some pool distance in seconds=age. That would make more sense. You'd have more time to swim it as you age.

    But having to swim a 44KM OW swim now. Are you insane? There has got to be a better age-related OW swim metric out there...
    A much easier one that I did this year was (your age X 200). Yards or meters. Your choice. However you choose to do it, the point is that if you want to stay health & fit you have to work harder as you get older,
    "If you didn't swallow water in your last open water race, you weren't racing."

    www.bobswims.com/

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    Very Active Member mjtyson's Avatar
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    Re: Can you Swim Your Age?

    Quote Originally Posted by E=H2O View Post
    A much easier one that I did this year was (your age X 200). Yards or meters. Your choice. However you choose to do it, the point is that if you want to stay health & fit you have to work harder as you get older,
    Damn! Wish I'd heard about this a couple weeks ago. I swam 8400 (in a freaking 33.3 yard pool...that's 33.3 yards PER LAP) a few weeks ago. But I'm 43 (for another couple weeks). Guess I gotta attempt it again, but do 8800. I like this much better than in KM.
    --Mike Tyson (yes, my real name)

    https://blogs.marathonswimmers.org/ironmike/

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    Very Active Member rtodd's Avatar
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    Re: Can you Swim Your Age?

    Steve, the earlier the better for this feat!!!!!!

    I have the opposite challenge where it is easier as you get older.

    When I was running track as a Master the game was to see how young you could run your age in the 1/4 mile. This was usually achievable at around 55 to 60 years old. I know of one or two that did this in their 50's.

    Swimming equivalent of course would be swimmg your age in seconds in the 100 free. A great achievement.

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    Re: Can you Swim Your Age?

    These are all great suggestions and enable fit masters swimmers to prove their level of aerobic conditioning and talents...in the pool. I totally understand the desire to set metrics and standards that are within the reasonable threshold of focused pool swimmers.

    However, my purpose is a metric for marathon swimmers in the OPEN WATER. Swim Your Age is not an easy goal and was not intended to be. If we want a reasonable goal that can be achieved by many masters swimmers in the open water, then there are several alternatives:

    1. Can you STROKE YOUR AGE? That is, can you maintain the same stroke per minute pace (e.g., 55 strokes per minute) as your chronological age for 1 kilometer or 20 minutes? There are thousands of masters swimmers who can do this, but it does get difficult as one gets in their 7th decade of life.

    2. Can you SWIM YOUR AGE x 2? That is, can you swim at least 2 kilometers (or miles) as the same number of minutes as your age? So, can you swim 2 kilometers (or miles) in 40 minutes if you are 40 years old? Can you swim 2 kilometers (or miles) in 50 minutes if you are 50 years old? What about if you are 60 years old?

    There are many other alternatives, I am sure. But Swim Your Age for the marathon swimming community in the open water is a different ballgame than what can be enjoyably attempted in a pool.

    That being said, all your ideas/achievements are great. Keep it up.
    Steven Munatones
    www.openwatersource.com

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    Very Active Member E=H2O's Avatar
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    Re: Can you Swim Your Age?

    Steven, is there a certain point when it's acceptable to swim your age in dog years? At 58 I think I could achieve that. I'd be willing to do it doing the dog paddle.
    "If you didn't swallow water in your last open water race, you weren't racing."

    www.bobswims.com/

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    Re: Can you Swim Your Age?

    Shooting your age in golf is tough, but it's achievable if you're (a) at least in your 60's, and (b) an excellent golfer. I think the record for age-shooting is 59 - not exactly a young man's game, even by golfing standards.

    A big part of the appeal of trying to shoot one's age is that it gets (slightly) easier as you get older. And that makes sense, right? Why would you want to "punish" longevity? I think that's the basis of the skepticism some folks are expressing here. If the target gets further from reach with each passing year, what's the incentive? Isn't getting older hard enough?

    If the metric is distance, bigger numbers = better (the opposite of golf). So if you want to mimic the psychological incentives of "shooting your age" in golf, you need a more complicated formula.

    Something along the lines of:
    [ 100 / (age / 10) ] kilometers

    It's ridiculous from a marketing perspective, but it's at least semi-realistic.

    age km mi
    20 50.0 31.3
    25 40.0 25.0
    30 33.3 20.8
    35 28.6 17.9
    40 25.0 15.6
    45 22.2 13.9
    50 20.0 12.5
    55 18.2 11.4
    60 16.7 10.4
    65 15.4 9.6
    70 14.3 8.9
    75 13.3 8.3
    80 12.5 7.8
    85 11.8 7.4
    90 11.1 6.9
    95 10.5 6.6
    100 10.0 6.3


    This formula has the additional feature of important distance milestones for important age milestones:
    - 25K at 40 years old
    - 20K at 50
    - 10 miles at 60
    - 10K at 100 (it will happen someday, I'm sure!)
    Last edited by evmo; April 10th, 2011 at 08:16 PM. Reason: typo

  13. #13
    Age Grouper in Training jaadams1's Avatar
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    Re: Can you Swim Your Age?

    Quote Originally Posted by evmo View Post
    Shooting your age in golf is tough, but it's achievable if you're (a) at least in your 60's, and (b) an excellent golfer. I think the record for age-shooting is 59 - not exactly a young man's game, even by golfing standards.

    A big part of the appeal of trying to shoot one's age is that it gets (slightly) easier as you get older. And that makes sense, right? Why would you want to "punish" longevity? I think that's the basis of the skepticism some folks are expressing here. If the target gets further from reach with each passing year, what's the incentive? Isn't getting older hard enough?

    If the metric is distance, bigger numbers = better (the opposite of golf). So if you want to mimic the psychological incentives of "shooting your age" in golf, you need a more complicated formula.

    Something along the lines of:
    [ 100 / (age / 10) ] kilometers

    It's ridiculous from a marketing perspective, but it's at least semi-realistic.

    age km mi
    20 50.0 31.3
    25 40.0 25.0
    30 33.3 20.8
    35 28.6 17.9
    40 25.0 15.6
    45 22.2 13.9
    50 20.0 12.5
    55 18.2 11.4
    60 16.7 10.4
    65 15.4 9.6
    70 14.3 8.9
    75 13.3 8.3
    80 12.5 7.8
    85 11.8 7.4
    90 11.1 6.9
    95 10.5 6.6
    100 10.0 6.3

    This formula has the additional feature of important distance milestones for important age milestones:
    - 25K at 40 years old
    - 20K at 50
    - 10 miles at 60
    - 10K at 100 (it will happen someday, I'm sure!)

    Finally...something that looks realistic!! Not that I'm going to do any 18-20 mile swim.

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