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  1. Need help with re-training an old body.....

    I need help and am hoping all the knowledgeable swimmers and/or coaches will be able to give me some great advice.

    I swam in college (with NO prior training!) and for 4 years my times only improved (swimming freestyle 50 and 100 yd). Now jump forward 30 years without any further training or practicing (yikes!).

    I am now 54 and in the last 4 years I have had 4 surgeries on my right arm for ulnar nerve entrapment. (I will spare everyone the gory details, but the last surgery this January was supposed to last 2 hours and the surgeon finished 8 1/2 hours later!). Now movement is KEY to keeping my body from scarring down this nerve again.

    I started swimming about 6 weeks ago at my local YMCA. The surgeon is thrilled and cannot believe I am swimming over half a mile 3-4 times a week. He says I can now swim as much and as hard as I want (within reason, of course).

    So...I now have it in my head that I want to compete again. I have read all the workouts, focusing more on the 'beginner' ones because yardage is still an issue. I am up to 1200 yards and want to soon get up to a mile.

    What I am looking for are workouts that perhaps test me within my low yardage ability right now. I feel until my arm is stronger, 1600 yds. will be my limit.

    I, of course, have NO idea about repetition times, etc as I have not attempted to time myself yet. I know what I did in college..

    If anyone can offer any low yardage, fairly intense workouts, I would REALLY appreciate it. Also, is it unrealistic to think about swimming at the nationals in Indy in August? Are these National meets only for the topnotch swimmers?? Or can everyone come and try to improve their own times? Or would I just be wasting everyone's time since I would not be of 'National' caliber??

    Thanks in advance for any help!