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2013-12-11 1:44 PM


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Subject: Masters swim starting to work
Forgive my humble brag - I am happy to report that masters swim is starting to work a bit. Today I smashed through the previously unbroken 1:30/100yd with, ahem, a 1:29. I was pleased.

I still aspire to be as fast as my lane mates, who did 1:24 and 1:20. I am not sure what they are doing that I'm not doing. They do sure look a lot more calm and measured than I feel, however.


2013-12-11 1:56 PM
in reply to: north_north_west

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Subject: RE: Masters swim starting to work

Nice! 

What was your training like (yardage) and pace before starting with the Masters group?

How long have you been with them?

2013-12-11 3:55 PM
in reply to: Donto


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Subject: RE: Masters swim starting to work
I have been with them about seven weeks, going twice a week. Prior to that I was also swimming about twice a week, maybe 3300yds total. I was doing more 'triathlete sets' (400yds or more) at about 1:50-1:55/100yds or so.

With them, I tend to swim three times a week (its nice to occasionally practice at my own pace), so it maybe close to 4000yds or a bit more.

I have some big issues with my stroke which are hopefully going away.

There is one guy there who went from 1:45 to 1:15 over the course of two years. I aspire to be that guy.
2013-12-11 4:38 PM
in reply to: north_north_west

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Subject: RE: Masters swim starting to work
I've heard from two different swim coaches (as well as articles in the USMS magazine) that 3 one-hour swim sessions per week (2800-3500 yds per session) is only good enough to maintain your current swim fitness. The best way to increase your swim speed is to add a fourth (or more) hour to your weekly training. Doubles don't hurt either, if you have the time. Sure enough, when I managed to go to 4 masters sessions/week my speed improved. The past several months I've only been able to go twice a week and my swim speed has kinda dropped.
2013-12-11 5:40 PM
in reply to: starkrayz

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Subject: RE: Masters swim starting to work

Originally posted by starkrayz I've heard from two different swim coaches (as well as articles in the USMS magazine) that 3 one-hour swim sessions per week (2800-3500 yds per session) is only good enough to maintain your current swim fitness. The best way to increase your swim speed is to add a fourth (or more) hour to your weekly training. Doubles don't hurt either, if you have the time. Sure enough, when I managed to go to 4 masters sessions/week my speed improved. The past several months I've only been able to go twice a week and my swim speed has kinda dropped.

More than 3 times/wk would definitely lead to more gains, but quite a few on here would see noticeable improvement going to 3 x 1 hr of good masters sessions every week for awhile. Just so people don't see it as all or nothing. After some development, yes, things would tend to flatten out on this. And probably sooner than if they were swimming more. 

2013-12-11 6:35 PM
in reply to: brigby1


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Subject: RE: Masters swim starting to work
Probably more is better. Still, with 3 swim sessions, 3 - 4 run sessions, 1 or 2 bike sessions, and a rest day, there is Only So Much Time.

I think right now at 3x a week things are still improving. But you are certainly right, it will plateau eventually.


2013-12-12 2:32 PM
in reply to: starkrayz

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Subject: RE: Masters swim starting to work
Originally posted by starkrayz

I've heard from two different swim coaches (as well as articles in the USMS magazine) that 3 one-hour swim sessions per week (2800-3500 yds per session) is only good enough to maintain your current swim fitness.


It's certainly a good "average" amount of time to aim for for swimming practice, but in reality, continuing your current volume & intensity will maintian your fitness.

Increasing it will improve fitness, whether you currently swim 1 x a week, 2x or 5x.

But swim fitness is only 1 component of speed. Technique is the other. The OP hinted that his lane mates seem 'smoother' and calmer and that he has 'big problems' with his stroke. Those can be fixed without affecting fitness. In fact, fitness can decrease and speed can improve if technique is improved at t he same time. YOu always have to ask if the current fitness is being applied to motor patterns that matter.

2013-12-12 6:19 PM
in reply to: AdventureBear


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Subject: RE: Masters swim starting to work
Originally posted by AdventureBear


,,, The OP hinted that his lane mates seem 'smoother' and calmer and that he has 'big problems' with his stroke. Those can be fixed without affecting fitness. ...



Unfortunately, It's not a hint , it's a fact.

The second day I was there, they did video taping of strokes, and it was a big surprise to me. I am not sure if my description can do it justice, but best I can describe, my body was actually serpentining in a unique manner as I swam along, with the legs alternatively sticking out the left, and then the right. And of course I was doing other classic errors, like slipping and bringing my hands out to soon, crossing the center line as I was swimming, and having no catch-up at all. Overall I looked like a hurried and uncoordinated mess.

I swear, it felt much better than it looked.

Masters swim has really helped with a lot of it. I am concentration on keeping a straight pull having a decent catch-up, and keeping the kick short, coordinated and behind me. I think it has not yet translated into big speed improvements but it is coming along. My lane mates, in the time I have been there, have improved from about 1:30 to about 1:20, so this really is a good program.

2013-12-13 1:11 AM
in reply to: north_north_west

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Subject: RE: Masters swim starting to work
Originally posted by north_north_west



Masters swim has really helped with a lot of it. I am concentration on keeping a straight pull having a decent catch-up, and keeping the kick short, coordinated and behind me. I think it has not yet translated into big speed improvements but it is coming along. My lane mates, in the time I have been there, have improved from about 1:30 to about 1:20, so this really is a good program.




It sounds like you have a good coach! One tip...don't chase the speed. Just work on one form focus at a time and as those get straightened out the speed will come. The more anxious you are about finding the speed, the harder it will be to make the technique improvements. Kind of like what they say about finding "the one". It's most likley to happen when you are not looking for it.
2013-12-13 5:53 AM
in reply to: AdventureBear


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Subject: RE: Masters swim starting to work



  • .. Kind of like what they say about finding "the one". It's most likley to happen when you are not looking for it.


  • True - but a totally different problem (one, fortunately, solved)!
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