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Thread: Breaking Back Into It

  1. #1
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    Breaking Back Into It

    Hey everyone!

    I was a competitive swimmer when I was younger, for about 6 years. I have also raced motocross and BMX my entire life, until about a year ago. I had a really bad crash back in 2007 during a BMX race that all in all, left me with an incredible severe concussion, broken eye socket, and a lot of post-crash issues. Added on top of all of my other injuries, I'm a complete mess and decided it's time to get back into the pool.

    Since I've been an athlete my whole life, being only a little bit out of shape and losing all of my tone that I've had for as long as I can remember absolutely kills me. I can't go to the gym anymore, I can't run, and swimming is my only option for a workout. Don't get me wrong, I'm completely excited to get back in the water! I love to swim, it's in my blood.

    I just almost feel overwhelmed right now and don't know where to start. I'm being hard on myself because I know that I used to swim a few thousand yards a day, and I'm just not there anymore. I'm not terribly out of shape, only a little bit.

    I'm back on my old diet, so there's no worries there- it's just the exercise portion.

    I just was wondering if anyone could tell me a good beginning workout to start out with? Any tips? Thank you so much everyone!

  2. #2
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    Re: Breaking Back Into It

    I was in the same position of going completely out of shape not too long ago. Actually, many times throughout my life.

    To get back into the grove, you just have to work hard. It sucks in the beginning, you just have to work though it. I feel like the most important milestones are day 3 and 2 weeks. After the 3rd day you'll feel better in the water and have less pain. By 2 weeks, you should be in the groove and it will be a lot easier from there forward.

    Work hard, but don't hurt yourself. Set goals. Find a friend to swim with (REALLY HELPS). Try to stay motivated through it.

    Good Luck

  3. #3
    Very Active Member Sojerz's Avatar
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    Re: Breaking Back Into It

    I started out about 6 months ago after not swimming much. Just a basic workout for about an hour 1500 to 2000 yards about 3 or 4 times per week. At the beginning I was pretty out of shape and over-weight too. Each week i would add about 100-200 yards or so, depending on how i was feeling.

    My starting workout was:

    5x 200 (1st free, 2nd and 3rd 50fr-50bk-50br-50fr, 4th and 5th pull)
    10x50 on 60 with fins (to sprint and feel swimmng faster)
    To work in some fly and stroke, I'd swim reps 1-4 25 fly-25 fr, and then 5-7 bk, then final 3- 50s free descending
    4x50 kick
    100 c/d
    =1800 yards

    It took two months to build to about 3000 yds per workout, and now swimmminig 4-5 times per week after 6 months. Starting out was painful and took about 4 months to feel reasonably good - flipping all my turns etc.

    There are great workouts on this board - but most are for those well along. I also bought Gale Bernhardts triathlon swimming workouts spiral bound book and will modify them to add more stroke and sprints. I started running, biking and weights, which takes time and energy.

    Some guys they just give up living and start dying little by little, piece by piece. Some guys come home from work and wash up and go racin’ in the street. (Bruce Springsteen, 1978)

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    Re: Breaking Back Into It

    Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the tips. I've had to go back and review some old swimming workouts, so in the new year I will probably start doing those. I'm going to be in the water everyday, I can't stand not swimming, I love it way too much.

    I completely blanked on pulls, and definitely need to start back up on those as well as simple kicks.

    As for the other workouts, I can't do them. I did biking (BMX racing) for pretty much my whole life, and none of my body can take it anymore, so I'm strictly limited to the pool. At least in the water only my shoulder clicks and doesn't dislocate like it normally does.

    Is there an Android app that anyone suggests that you can track your daily results???

  5. #5
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    Re: Breaking Back Into It

    Welcome here and back to swimming

    Your best bet is to train with a local team (places to swim) and
    prepare for a meet or meets in March - May (SCY) or June - AUG (LCM)l

    Don't do too much too soon
    Just build back into it

    Set up a regular routine
    If you can't find a team, pick a few local places to swim and
    at first, vary your schedule, maybe you'll find a few training partners


    If you're trianing by yourself the USMS BLOGS can help you

    You might benefit from SWIM FASTER FASTER

    Many questions have been answered on [ame="http://www.usms.org/forums/showthread.php?t=4418"]ASK ANDE[/ame]

  6. #6
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Breaking Back Into It

    Quote Originally Posted by ande View Post
    Don't do too much too soon
    Just build back into it
    This is the best advice. Don't even think about what you used to do right now, just do what you can. If you start out too aggressively you could injure yourself and damage your psyche to the point you won't want to swim anymore.

  7. #7
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    Re: Breaking Back Into It

    Hi all,
    I've been lurking here for a while and it's amazing to see such great swimmers participating.

    I was an OK sprinter long before cell phones or even tv remotes, doing 25.x in the 50Y on a state champs high school team, and almost a year ago at age 66 joined masters. I do 2500-3000Y with the team 3x a week, and work on speed by myself 2x. Still being a sprinter in my mind, regardless of whether the body will follow, I really want to get under 30 in the 50, which I see is respectable for this age group. I'm doing 33.x off the block but consistently do 25Y in 15 from a pushoff, so I think the key is improving my turn. I think it's pretty bad - I swim with a guy who does open turns in practice and don't gain on him on the turns. When I swam long ago I didn't even think about it but now it's like I'm re-inventing the wheel on every turn. I'd appreciate any suggestions, and I mainly wanted to say hello...Tom

  8. #8
    sǝssɐןb ɹǝʇʇǝq ʇǝb That Guy's Avatar
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    Re: Breaking Back Into It

    Some common mistakes I see with flip turns:
    • turning too close to the wall
    • flipping too slowly
      • everybody does this sometimes
    • hand(s) exiting the water during flip
    • hand(s) shooting out sideways during flip
    • pausing between flip and pushoff
      • as soon as your feet are near the wall, GO!
    • pushing off at an angle
      • reach for the opposite wall
      • exception: if you're circle-swimming in practice or meet warm-up, your turns will have to involve some angles
      • exception #2: pushing off at a slight downward angle is ok
    • pushing off at the surface
    • pushing off without being streamlined (head up, hands apart, etc)
    Last edited by That Guy; December 28th, 2011 at 09:54 PM. Reason: added exception #2

  9. #9
    Age Grouper in Training jaadams1's Avatar
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    Re: Breaking Back Into It

    Quote Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
    Some common mistakes I see with flip turns:
    • pushing off without being streamlined (head up, hands apart, etc)
    Hey...take it easy on that one!!

    I tend to do this all the time in events over 100 yards or so, unless I'm actually thinking about it. My distance freestyle events are notorious for having poor streamlines.
    "Don't be upset by the results you didn't get with the work you didn't do." - K.A. Benthin

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  10. #10
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Breaking Back Into It

    Quote Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
    Some common mistakes I see with flip turns
    Don't forget looking at the wall. Your head should be down and you should gauge the distance using the mark on the bottom of the pool.

  11. #11
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    Re: Breaking Back Into It

    Quote Originally Posted by knelson View Post
    Don't forget looking at the wall. Your head should be down and you should gauge the distance using the mark on the bottom of the pool.

    Good call. It's also important to note that flip turns aren't the fastest or best option for everyone. If your flip turns consistently involve at least 3 of the mistakes listed here, you should probably consider open turns. If you really need to breathe, you should probably consider open turns. There's a lap swimmer at my gym whose turns go like this:
    1. glide into wall, looking intently at it
    2. flip over slowly
    3. pause (note: pushoff should occur here, but it is still 6 steps away!)
    4. turn over onto stomach
    5. pause
    6. look up
    7. look right
    8. look left (I swear I'm not making this up!)
    9. push off with head up and hands apart
    Elapsed time: around 5-7 seconds. Yeah, he should just do open turns.

  12. #12
    Very Active Member AnnG's Avatar
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    Re: Breaking Back Into It

    Honestly the best thing to do is find a masters group to swim with. My teammates keep me motivated and showing up long after the novelty wears off. It has to be fun or you won't keep it up. Don't worry about yardage or frequency as much as just showing up and keeping it fun.

  13. #13
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    Re: Breaking Back Into It

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I expect I can get our coaches to help me with the turns, which will work a lot better than me trying to put ideas into practice by myself. I definitely used to do that "hand coming out of the water" thing, but no more....Tom

    ps I looked at the bottom of the pool and didn't breathe today and it makes a huge difference.
    Last edited by TomK3; December 29th, 2011 at 08:11 PM.

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