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  #1  
Old 01-11-2017
ScoopUK
 
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Default Masters swimming clubs

Hi,

Is anyone else here swimming in a masters swim club in addition to their Total Immersion program?

I have been a little while now and quite enjoy it in a masochistic way. It seems to be the polar opposite of TI. Everything is fast and furious, very little rest, very little input on technique but it really seems to help swim fitness because of it.

I'm pretty slow in a club environment (adult onset swimmer) compared to the other guys but because of my TI background I notice I seem to do well at things like 'long stroke' and catch up drills compared to the others and training sets where we try to reduce the number of strokes per length by 1 each length until failure. I also do these with a light 2 beat kick whereas the others are trying to maximise distance per stroke with a propulsive 6 beat kick. (When we are swimming normally and not doing a drill coach insists on 6 beat kick from me though.)

I sometimes wonder if it is really that helpful to my development or if I'd be better solely focusing on TI but as my local TI coach moved away it's all I've got locally. I guess the upcoming 2017 race season will answer that question.

In my training schedule I consider it a fitness workout and a chance to obtain some different tools for the toolbox come race day.

Anyone else swimming in a masters club setting. Is your experience similar to mine and did it help or hinder your swimming?
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2017
wmeg wmeg is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 19
wmeg
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I was going to masters swimming for a year and I felt like an odd fish.
In the end I just did my own thing, e.g. using the kick board I just did not go forward so had to ditch that, what is a pull buoy about? etc etc.
I looked at the competition results and saw that i could not even beat people in the male 90+ category (I am 62) so I didn't go on to the meets.
You get a good workout and if you're socially inclined they are generally a nice bunch.
As for improving swimming for TI ? Dunno.

Warren
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  #3  
Old 01-12-2017
ScoopUK
 
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Yeah, funny you say that as I think the club really has developed my kick. I could barely move kicking either. We do so much kicking that I now get a good amount of propulsion if I choose to switch it on. It's very energy intensive though, like switching on an afterburner. In an open water race it might be a good tool to break a draft to get someone off my toes or to try to bridge across to someone in front.

I would never push myself as hard as I do in the club environment. I certainly wouldn't pick up a kickboard and kick 400m before. I always had a hard time kicking from the hip but now I've got that technique it also helps me with my more relaxed 2 beat kick.

I know what you mean about the group. I also train with local athletics club for my running. It can be demoralising sometimes when you hang around the fastest locals in training. But when I go to do a triathlon it seems to pay off as it's a sport where being consistently good but not excellent at any one thing is positive on the results. The one trick ponies don't tend to do too well.

I would love to be a good pool swimmer one day and compete at meets. It probably is my favourite discipline out of all I train for. I wish we had a high school and college sports program in the UK like in the US. Maybe I would have found my love for swimming earlier in life.
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  #4  
Old 01-18-2017
Caro Caro is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 43
Caro
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If you compete in local meets you may find that you are the only one in your age group or there are only two or three, so it is quite easy to get a medal which is always nice. If you check the previous years results you can see how many of each age group there were in each event.
People are generally very friendly and it is a fun thing to do. I entered two meets last year and got to dive off blocks for the first time ever (never having competed before). The older you are the fewer people in your age group there are likely to be.
Training with other people is also fun and will not ruin your stroke as long as you concentrate on your form when you swim. I have learnt how to swim faster by trying to keep up with people who are faster than me, I find it is quite hard to motivate myself to swim fast on my own. I know there are people on here who think swimming faster is not the point but it does actually give you a sense of achievement knowing that you can and beating your previous best.
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2017
ScoopUK
 
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I looked up some of the localish meets and it seems there was only a handful of masters swimmers present. Maybe one day I'll give that a go although if it's just all kids racing seems a bit weird. I do push a lot harder in a club environment than I would on my own, we get very little rest between sets. It's interesting that sometimes a scrappy energy burning thrash up the pool is barely any faster than my nice long patient stroke however I don't care what anyone says, if you are going to use a long patient stroke and be fast doing it you'd better be strong as it's quite a workout (albeit you get a lot of recovery in the stroke cycle). It's all good though, learn something from here, something from there and make it your own. I think it increases your threshold too so the effort you can sustain for longer is increased in practices like that.
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2017
Caro Caro is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 43
Caro
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There are specific masters meets, no kids. They should be listed an the ASA pages under masters.
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2017
Caro Caro is offline
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Caro
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Unfortunately you do have to join the ASA through a swimming club to enter. Most clubs are happy for you to join them even if they do not run masters sessions. It is a bit of a nuisance having to go through them although once you are a member you can enter most competitions yourself. I wanted to do the open water championships this year but I didn't because that involved entering through the club although for a fee non - ASA members could enter independently.
The ASA really needs to come up with a better system for masters swimmers.

As for stroke length, to go faster you may need to shorten your stroke. The key is to find the right stroke length/stroke speed combo for you. Swimming fast does require a lot of energy in that you are moving fast (just like running opposed to walking) but should not require a lot of extra strength. If you find you need more strength your stroke length is probably too long. To get fast you need to be relaxed.
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  #8  
Old 01-25-2017
ScoopUK
 
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Cheers. I am a member of the ASA via a club. Will probably give it a go this year. I notice most of our club masters records are blank. I guess they don't tend to compete in the pool. Many of the swimmers are triathletes though with less interest in pool swimming as a discipline on its own. Might be good to lay down some times, however bad!
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  #9  
Old 01-25-2017
Caro Caro is offline
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Caro
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Maybe you could persuade some of your fellow swimmers to do it, it is more fun if there are people you know at the meet. Good luck.
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2017
ScoopUK
 
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I don't really know them that well. Not been going long. We tend to turn up, get beasted for an hour, share a few glances of mutual appreciation of the discomfort, then go home again! Haha. I will try though. Decided I'm going to do the ASA T30 time trial postal competition thingy this year though.
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