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Richardsk 04-19-2013 09:43 PM

Need for speed
Recently I swam at the Gloucester Open Masters Meet (SCM), one of my favourites and one where I usually manage to put in some of my best times for the year, if not personal bests, which in the nature of things are becoming harder to achieve as I age, but not impossible, since I started from a very low level.

The events I swam this year were the 400m, 200m, 100m and 50m Freestyle , the 100m and 50m Backstroke, the 100m and 50m Breaststroke and the 100m IM. Last year I also swam the 50m Fly but have now decided not to swim any more pure fly races until my stroke improves, if it ever does.

I was relatively pleased with my freestyle results, managing to improve on last year's short course times in all distances, but falling short of improving on last year's 50m LC, which was a personal best, although a very slow time when compared to the times swum by other swimmers in my age group.

Everything else was slower than last year and the fly length of the IM was utterly diabolical but the judges must have been feeling generous and didn't disqualify me, so I have a legal time for this year.

I now need to turn my mind to improving my speed in all strokes, which I presume means plenty of short repeats, pushing the limits of stroke rate and exploring the relationship between stroke length and stroke rate, and no doubt lots of technique work as well.

I have decided that if I haven't cracked the fly secret by the time I move up to the 80-84 group, which will be in 2015 if I make it that far, I'm going to abandon the quest and concentrate on the other three strokes.

Grant 04-20-2013 09:34 PM

Sounds like you had a good time Richard. You folks certainly have swim meets spread over a number of days. By the number of events you swam it must have been at least three day long. You get your monies worth. I am glad you pleased with most of your results.
Next weekend I am swimming in the British Columbia Provincial Championships. In contrast it is Fri night and Sat and Sun. The most events one can enter is seven. I really don't know what to expect in terms of the results that will come out of this maturing body. This last week was pretty low energy so am going to have a gentle swim on Mon and and not swim Wed. Am swimming all the Freestyle events from 50m to 1500m and 50m Fly.
Like you I have looked ahead two years when the 80 - 84 age group comes calling. The times are just about at the speeds that I am now swimming. Will be interesting to see if I can maintain what I have now for two years so that I have a chance at some records. This last couple of years I have not been able to maintain speeds I held before.
Swim on my friend.

Richardsk 04-20-2013 10:53 PM

Ha ha Grant

This was a one-day meet. You're right, though: I do like to get my money's worth.

I have no prospect of breaking any records in the 80-84 group, There may not be many of them but they're all faster than I am. My only hope is to outlive them. ;-)

Grant 04-20-2013 11:23 PM

Wow Richard. You guys are tougher than us. On one day meets we are limited to swimming four individual events and two relays. What do you think would happen with your times if you only swam four events?

Richardsk 04-21-2013 12:24 PM

Hi Grant

I suppose it all depends on the order of events. I found last year in the Welsh Open Masters that I couldn't swim the 1500 on the first day and swim more or less my usual program and then finish with the 800. Similarly in a one-day meet last year I found that at the end of the meet I had no stomach for the 800, but usually the longer events come near the beginning, either of the meet or the session. At Gloucester, for example, the first session began with the 400 and the second session with the 200 and all the other races were either 50s or 100s, which give enough time for recuperation - at least the way I swim them. Mind you, I was quite tired when I got to the 50 free, which was the last event. Perhaps if I could learn to sprint it would be different. I remember the first time I swam a LC 50m Back it seemed more strenuous than any other event I had swum in that meet, even the 1500.

Perhaps the way for me to learn to swim faster is to work on the middle distance events. I find I often swim the first 50 of a 100 faster than I do in the actual 50, presumably because I'm trying too hard in the 50 and tying up.

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