Originally Posted by CoachPatriciaBaker
This research may be of interest and very TI orientated.
The research published inthe European Journal of Applied Physiology looked at swimming efficiency measures including the energy cost (energy used) of swimming, stroke frequency and distance per stroke, as well as measuring factors affecting resistance to moving through the water. They looked at these factors in 47 male masters swimmers aged 31-85 years of age.
What did they find
Stroke frequency (strokes per 25m) was no different between any age group. However, distance per stroke dropped steadily with age from 2.3m in the youngsters (30-40 years) to 1.6m in the 70-80 years age group. The message is clear. The older we become the more we need to focus on technique, and especially distance per stroke.
Source: Zamparo, P. et al; (2012). The determinants of performance in master swimmers: a cross-sectional study on the age-related changes in propelling efficiency, hydrodynamic position and energy cost of front crawl. European Journal of Applied Physiology. Published online 17th March.
This to me suggests that stretching and flexibility should be a bigger priority than strength training as we age, but then if you have time for both? I also think more people in the gym would benefit from doing their strength training at 80% effort sometimes rather than max all the time.