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Thread: WHat to expect after 15 yrs?

  1. #1
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    WHat to expect after 15 yrs?

    It has been 15 yrs since I last competed seriously and I am getting ready to start again this fall. I am approximately 80lbs heavier, about half muscle and half fat. I am curious to hear from others who had similar layoff's and what they experienced in their come backs. I plan on using my first season just getting myself back in shape. I would like to lose approximately 30 lbs and hope to attend my first meet around Feb or March 05. I am anxious and nervous at the same time. Look forward to the input.

    Thanks, Greg

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    Greg,

    MANY of us have been there and some of us are there now. 1st, congratulations on getting back in the pool! That's probably the hardest step to take. If you didn't compete in Masters before, know this that the Masters community is inclusive of all no matter where they are in their journey. Even at competition, you'll see the entire spectrum of people in/out of shape, beginners/advanced competitors, etc.

    I competed in 2002 in Masters. During the past year and half with starting a new job, lots of travel, little exercise, poor eating, etc., I put on 40 pounds. Quite upsetting, but of course I know exactly how it all happened. A few months ago I started back into regular swim workouts and still with 30 of those extra pounds I got on my Speedo, got on the blocks, and got back into competition. I was very apprehensive but deep inside I knew if I got myself back on the blocks sooner rather than later, no matter how I swam, it would motivate me to push forward. And, it has.

    For me, I've focused on slowly (again, slowly) increasing my swim workouts and trying my best to eat healthy balanced foods. Now I'm starting to work in some light weight training again. I emphasize slow and methodical progress as my way to do it. I don't deprive myself of food and ensure I take in enough calories and carbs to have the energy to get in decent swim workouts. Slowly pounds are coming off and I'm feeling more in shape. I'm lucky to have other Masters swimmers in my world that support and encourage each other. Someone on the forum once said "it's about the journey" that matters. It truly is. We all make progress, sometimes stumble back a few steps, but then need to just get up and continue moving forward.

    GOOD LUCK! See you on the blocks some day....

    Dan

  3. #3
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    I had not competed for over twenty five years and weighed in at 325 lbs. I started training March 1st 1998, and competed on May 19th 1998 at 290 lbs. I set a new BC record for my age group for the 100 free LC. I trained 4000 meters a day and took off Wed and Sun.

    Good Luck
    George

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    Very Active Member sparx35's Avatar
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    Talking

    go for it ,dont worry,go for it
    live to swim,,,,,swim to live

  5. #5
    Very Active Member waves101's Avatar
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    Greg -

    I was away from swimming for 10 years but came back to it in 1999. I remember lots of pain and lack of breath. In fact, I can remember times I couldn't lift my arms to put them under my pillow when I went to bed at night. My first year back, I treated the training like I would have in high school/college, as a season. I've since learned it is important to incorporate swimming as a life-style. This has made me more of a year-round swimmer. I still focus on the big meets, but that's the easy part. Getting to the pool during the "down" times are what is the toughest. Once you find a way to do that, your hooked.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

  6. #6
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    Some encouraging words on here, I appreciate the input. I get started this Sept and plan on going year round. I have no idea what to expect as far as times go. I am considerably stronger than when I last competed but my cardio is poor. After I got out of high school I joined the Navy and continued to compete in the Navy for several years but my workouts were strictly with weights. I was determined to lose the "tall skinny" moniker and desperately wanted to gain mass. When I joined I was 6'4" and 170lbs with a metabolizm that wouldn;t quite. I started hitting weights hard and soon gained the muscle I wanted. Now I am still 6'4" tall but weigh 270lbs. So I am curious to see how I do in sprints once I get my cardio back on track with my increased strength. I would like to get down to 240lbs as I figure that I am carrying about 30lbs of fat. I look forward to meeting new friends at swim meets, they are what I miss the most!
    I used to compete in Battle Creek back in the late 80's, had some great meets down there for sure! Thanks for the input everyone. much appreciated.

  7. #7
    Very Active Member waves101's Avatar
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    My experience as far as times go were as follows:
    1st year - about 3 seconds slower per 100 than college
    2nd year - about 1 second slower per 100 than college
    3rd thru 5th years - sprint events about 2 seconds slower per 100 with a tailing off of a few tenths per year. Distance events setting lifetime bests and holding relatively steady.

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Just take it slow and try not to get disappointed that you aren't immediately back to where you were. I think you will start seeing great improvements with time, especially when the weight starts to come off.

    Are you from Bay City originally? You might know my friend Mike Darbee.

    Good luck and welcome back to the sport!

  9. #9
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    I know Mike Darbee very well, we were rivals in high school. We are still good friends and always talk swimming whenever we run into each other. He is coaching high school and has a phenom junior this year, as a sophomore he placed top ten in the states in three events. Sophomore times were 47+ in the 100 free and high 21's in the 50 free. Will be exciting to see what he does this season! I expect Mike to coach my kids should they choose to swim, we live only a couple of miles from where he coaches. I have a lot of stories and fond memories of Mike and his dad Bob as well, great coaches, both of them. Small world.

  10. #10
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    I swam with Mike at Michigan State. Good luck getting back into the pool. If you see Darbee you can convince him to start swimming again, too!

  11. #11
    Active Member dpflyer's Avatar
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    This kind of thread easily triggers interesting stories of "...back when I started swimming again." I was out of the water for 16 years, smoking (a pipe, not cigs), probably drinking too much, almost 20# overweight. My mother had clipped the article in the paper announcing the formation of Masters Swimming back in the '70's. But, it still took me a few years to return. I thought that I didn't want to ever compete again. And, once I started doing laps it took a swim companion a lot of convincing to get me to a meet. That was 22 years ago. I was 5 seconds off my best high school time in the 100 Fly, just barely over a minute! Boy, was I hooked! What a rush to the head!

    Based on my lifestyle before and where it was going, I truly believe that returning to swimming probably saved my life. My mother, before she died, was able to see me (and my brother too!) swim competitively again many times. It always made her happy. And me.

    Now coaching I have lots of stories of people returning to swimming after a long layoff. We have one guy in his 70's who had competed in high school but not again until just a couple years ago! It's turned his life around too!

    So, don't be afraid of the future. It's ready to embrace you.

    Dick

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    Re: WHat to expect after 15 yrs?

    I started back swimming a few months ago after 35 years out of the water. I hadn't swam an entire lap of the pool in about that long. It was slow going. I swam on my own for a few months gradually building up then joined a masters team. Do it, you won't regret it!
    JAN

  13. #13
    Active Member f1refl1es!'s Avatar
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    Re: WHat to expect after 15 yrs?

    I just started to swim seriously. Seriously! I never swam competitively, neither in high school nor college. I'm in my sixties. But I'm taking it slow, I have a slot in an adult swim class scheduled (earliest I could get is November :-(). I'm visiting some of the indoor pools around me, finding out what their strong and weak points are from my personal perspective.

    I thought I was in fairly average physical shape - I regularly do Yoga, ran for a while, lift -- but swimming's different eh? I can't (yet) swim more than a "warmup" from the workouts posted on the forums. But I have a nearby pool where I can swim at a reasonable cost so I don't feel I'm wasting my money, and I'm trying to form a habit of getting out there and swimming some, every other weekday. So far, so good. I'd love to be able to swim with a Masters team at some point in the future!
    Just enjoying swimming for fitness and relaxation, in Maryland


  14. #14
    Very Active Member ForceDJ's Avatar
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    Re: WHat to expect after 15 yrs?

    Wow, it's been going on 15 years since the OP made that post. I wonder how it's going for him.

    Dan

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    Re: WHat to expect after 15 yrs?

    Quote Originally Posted by f1refl1es! View Post
    I just started to swim seriously. ... I can't (yet) swim more than a "warmup" from the workouts posted on the forums. ... I'd love to be able to swim with a Masters team at some point in the future!
    You might want to chat with the coach if there is a local masters team. Many such teams have a "beginner" group. I know some even have a "pre team". You'll probably progress a lot faster working with a group for at least some of your weekly practices, and the social aspect can be a fun bonus.

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