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2013-09-18 6:06 AM


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Subject: Masters swim
I went to my first masters swim yesterday and what a workout it was. I couldn't believe how wrong my swim technique was. Even after one session my swimming improved greatly.

My question is although it's held twice a week I can only make one of them due to other commitments. Is once a week going to be benifcial for my swim indurence and speed, or should I push for twice a week?

I am in winter maintenance so I am on the bike trainer and running but my workouts are not as frequent as summer training.


2013-09-18 6:14 AM
in reply to: Gabrielm1234

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Subject: RE: Masters swim
swimming once a week is not enough if you are still fixing things. (It's not really enough for anyone) You need to keep your feel for the water and absorb the things you need to change and once every 7 days isn't going to do it. 3-4 times would be ideal... 2 would be minimum imo
2013-09-18 6:22 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Masters swim
I'm personally very torn on the masters swim issue. In my area there is no local masters and I'd have to travel a fair bit to get to one.

I swim on my own, completely 100% of the time. I started out 2:45/100m 2-3 years ago and I'm currently at 1:45ish/100m now (in the pool anyway). I swim two days per week, that is what is feasible for me.

So I'm torn on the whole masters thing. Should we go 3-4 times per week? Should we go at all? How important is it to improve the swim from 1:45 to 1:30 to sub 1:20? If the tradeoff is time and effort getting to a masters swim not so close to home?

I don't know...

Edited by Jpro19 2013-09-18 6:23 AM
2013-09-18 6:26 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Masters swim
If you're able to swim at another time on your own once or twice more a week, then it would also be useful, even if you can only make one masters practice a week. You can use the masters' practice to get feedback about technique and learn drills to help your form, then practice those and work on endurance on the other days. (I have to get by on probably 10-20 coached practices a YEAR; the rest is 100% solo; I make sure to use those practices to get some feedback and record the sets as well as I have workout ideas for later.) But if you can only swim once a week period, agreed, it's not enough. Even for an experienced swimmer, it won't even maintain fitness. Generally you need at least 2X a week to maintain, and 3-4X to see progress.

ETA for the above poster, who seems to be a strong swimmer already. There are some great masters' programs that post workouts online. I use Sara Mclarty's workouts (mastersswimworkoutsbysaramclarty@blogspot.com); others have also recommended the Magnolia Masters website--coach is a BT member. Some local programs probably also post the workouts online. I find that with the exception of getting feedback on form, I can do just as high quality training on my own as with a club. It does take mental strength to push yourself against the clock; on the other hand, you don't have to worry about crashing into people, holding up or needing to pass other swimmers, etc. At times I prefer solo training--I just get into a groove and stay there. Might be different for very externally motivated or competitive types, though. I do almost all my training in all 3 sports solo, so this is my norm. Master's swim at home in the US is actually one of the few times, beyond a few club rides, where I train with others at all.

As for whether it's "worth it" to try to go from 1:45 to 1:30, or 1:30 to 1:20, that's an individual question. You have to look at your available time, priorities, and strengths and weaknesses. There's generally a diminishing return effect once technique is solid and you have some endurance base. For me it's been at about 1:40/1500m pace (in the pool). Getting below that would require a lot more hours in the pool that I just don't have. Since I'm already generally placing first or second in my AG on the swim, I'd be better served by working on my weakest event (bike), or, especially for longer races, the run, since I run well off the bike and can do much more damage on that leg than by picking up a minute or two on the swim.

Edited by Hot Runner 2013-09-18 6:37 AM
2013-09-18 7:33 AM
in reply to: Gabrielm1234

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Subject: RE: Masters swim

Originally posted by Gabrielm1234 I went to my first masters swim yesterday and what a workout it was. I couldn't believe how wrong my swim technique was. Even after one session my swimming improved greatly. My question is although it's held twice a week I can only make one of them due to other commitments. Is once a week going to be benifcial for my swim indurence and speed, or should I push for twice a week? I am in winter maintenance so I am on the bike trainer and running but my workouts are not as frequent as summer training.

Are you asking swimming once a week or masters once plus other sessions on your own?

2013-09-18 7:51 AM
in reply to: #4858231


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Subject: RE: Masters swim
For the next 3 months, all I can do is one night a week which would be a masters class. Because my wife is training for a marathon and we have kids and other commitments I only have one night for swimming. Biking and running I can do at gone on my trainer and treadmill.

So should I avoid the one night a week of swimming and focus more on indoor running and biking or stick with the swimming once a week.

I don't plan on trianing for a specific event until January. This is just maintenance for the next 3 to 4 months.


2013-09-18 8:00 AM
in reply to: Gabrielm1234

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Subject: RE: Masters swim
As an athlete and (not terribly qualified, though somewhat experienced) swim coach, it would be my opinion that once a week is still better than nothing, if only for retaining some degree of "feel" for the water and stroke efficiency. I couldn't swim normally (as in not dog paddle, not without fins) for a couple of months last year after an injury, and getting back to it felt like absolute crap. I also find swimming helpful in recovering from hard run/bike training.
2013-09-18 8:06 AM
in reply to: Gabrielm1234

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Subject: RE: Masters swim

Originally posted by Gabrielm1234 For the next 3 months, all I can do is one night a week which would be a masters class. Because my wife is training for a marathon and we have kids and other commitments I only have one night for swimming. Biking and running I can do at gone on my trainer and treadmill. So should I avoid the one night a week of swimming and focus more on indoor running and biking or stick with the swimming once a week. I don't plan on trianing for a specific event until January. This is just maintenance for the next 3 to 4 months.

Some swim is definitely better than no swim!

2013-09-18 8:28 AM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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Subject: RE: Masters swim
Originally posted by BikerGrrrl

Originally posted by Gabrielm1234 For the next 3 months, all I can do is one night a week which would be a masters class. Because my wife is training for a marathon and we have kids and other commitments I only have one night for swimming. Biking and running I can do at gone on my trainer and treadmill. So should I avoid the one night a week of swimming and focus more on indoor running and biking or stick with the swimming once a week. I don't plan on trianing for a specific event until January. This is just maintenance for the next 3 to 4 months.

Some swim is definitely better than no swim!

]

x2

If you can only squeeze in one workout/week for the next few months, then I'd think a master's class would be the way to go.

Mark

 

2013-09-18 9:43 AM
in reply to: #4858291


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Subject: RE: Masters swim
Thanks for the feedback. I will stick to once a week until I start training for my next tri.
2013-09-18 10:06 AM
in reply to: Gabrielm1234

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Subject: RE: Masters swim
I agree with everyone else. If your goal is to improve, you should swim as much as your schedule allows.

Like you I just joined a masters group. Hope you enjoy it as much as I am.


2013-09-18 10:08 AM
in reply to: Gabrielm1234

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Subject: RE: Masters swim

Originally posted by Gabrielm1234 Thanks for the feedback. I will stick to once a week until I start training for my next tri.

If you're just starting up with the masters (and with swimming in general) then you might see some gain early on, but with only once a week the gains will be more limited and likely flatten out sooner. It's good that you are making what you're doing count by going to the session, but if you can fit in more at times then do so. Is it possible to get the extra session in for a few weeks in a row from time to time? Gains made in swimming tend to stick well, so you wouldn't necessarily lose it when dropping back to one.

2013-09-18 10:12 AM
in reply to: Gabrielm1234

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Subject: RE: Masters swim

Originally posted by Gabrielm1234  Even after one session my swimming improved greatly. ... Is once a week going to be benifcial for my swim indurence and speed, or should I push for twice a week?  

If one session improved your swimming, it follows that one session a week will improve your swimming - especially your swimming form.  Don't worry about speed or endurance if you are currently getting your form in shape.  Once you can add another day, do it.

Good luck.

2013-09-18 2:44 PM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Subject: RE: Masters swim
Originally posted by Hot Runner

ETA for the above poster, who seems to be a strong swimmer already. There are some great masters' programs that post workouts online. I use Sara Mclarty's workouts (mastersswimworkoutsbysaramclarty@blogspot.com); others have also recommended the Magnolia Masters website--coach is a BT member. Some local programs probably also post the workouts online. I find that with the exception of getting feedback on form, I can do just as high quality training on my own as with a club. It does take mental strength to push yourself against the clock; on the other hand, you don't have to worry about crashing into people, holding up or needing to pass other swimmers, etc. At times I prefer solo training--I just get into a groove and stay there. Might be different for very externally motivated or competitive types, though. I do almost all my training in all 3 sports solo, so this is my norm. Master's swim at home in the US is actually one of the few times, beyond a few club rides, where I train with others at all.

As for whether it's "worth it" to try to go from 1:45 to 1:30, or 1:30 to 1:20, that's an individual question. You have to look at your available time, priorities, and strengths and weaknesses. There's generally a diminishing return effect once technique is solid and you have some endurance base. For me it's been at about 1:40/1500m pace (in the pool). Getting below that would require a lot more hours in the pool that I just don't have. Since I'm already generally placing first or second in my AG on the swim, I'd be better served by working on my weakest event (bike), or, especially for longer races, the run, since I run well off the bike and can do much more damage on that leg than by picking up a minute or two on the swim.


Agreed. Agreed.
2013-09-19 5:20 AM
in reply to: Hook'em

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Subject: RE: Masters swim
Originally posted by Hook'em

Originally posted by Gabrielm1234  Even after one session my swimming improved greatly. ... Is once a week going to be benifcial for my swim indurence and speed, or should I push for twice a week?  

If one session improved your swimming, it follows that one session a week will improve your swimming - especially your swimming form.  Don't worry about speed or endurance if you are currently getting your form in shape.  Once you can add another day, do it.

Good luck.




I read the question as "will only one masters session a week improve my swimming?" I am looking at joining a gym with a masters swim program, and I probably can swim 3x a week, but only do masters swim once a week (included in the 3x a week)

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