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  #11  
Old 01-23-2013
The Parrot The Parrot is offline
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. . . 64 years OLD!!

Toby, many of us on here do not think 64 is really that old! I am 72 and, inevitably, have become very aware that decline, like development, is not linear but a series of steps and plateaux. But having spent my life as a runner (less than 5% body fat at my peak), I now really enjoy the fact that with TI swimming I don't have to live the regime of a jockey to keep my fat content down. I guess my fat content now as 15% but swimming a mile four times a week plus a two miles or more swim at the weekend enables me to give quite a few 30 and 40 year olds a fright.

I think we endorphin junkies all realise the value of our endurance activities to our sense of well-being but I firmly believe the surcharge of oxygen to our brains is at least as important at ensuring we are still part of the active world - especially for those of us still working and earning. I swim with a bunch of younger triathletes who joke and laugh with me as one of themselves. I believe that is because they see me not as a 'wrinkly' but as a competitive guy like themselves who won't give up.

Yes, we may not replace muscle mass as efficiently as when we were younger, we certainly need longer to recover from very hard efforts and, yes, we lose about 10% of our oxygen uptake every 10 years so we cannot delude ourselves. My max heart rate at 42 years old was 185, it is now 160 so I simply cannot shift the oxygen to the working muscles as efficiently. I used to be able to run a 10km race within 5 to 7 beats of max heart rate at that age and a marathon in 2.34 but now we have to use cunning efficiency rather than sheer physical ability. And we continue to develop in different ways, spiritual and psychological as well as physical. TI plays to that philosophy exactly, and this year I am going to start racing in the pool.
So, sorry for the length of this, but 64 is not old! Now back to work . . .

Martin T.
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2013
CoachToby CoachToby is offline
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Martin, I wasn't implying that 64 is old. On the contrary, in answering Grant's origional post, I was illustrating the fact that an active lifestyle can keep us all a bit younger for longer.
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  #13  
Old 01-23-2013
Grant Grant is offline
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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. Quote from Andy

Good point Andy. Speaking to the stretching and flexibility. With stretching I think it is important to make the following distinction. Use dynamic stretching before a practice or any time the muscles are cold like first thing in the day. Do static stretches after a practice.
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2013
Grant Grant is offline
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I question whether swimming alone can provide the human body with the required stress that facilitates optimal bone and muscle health, especially as we age. From my studies and research as a personal trainer, I believe that regular weight bearing exercises are one of the keys to healthy bones and muscles (sound diet and aerobic capacity being two others). How you incorporate this into your life and what type of exercises you do are important, as doing it incorrectly can lead to injury and diminished health. Quote by CoachToby

Hi Toby. Do you feel that exercises using only ones own body weight as resistance is sufficient or is using weights better?
From my own experience I have found what you mentioned about staying active to be very true. We live on about ten acres of land three of which are cleared and have established many different beds of shrubs, flowers and small trees. Also raised beds for garden veggies. The remaining acres are treed with alder, fir and hemlock. Attending these keeps me out of trouble and also works the body pretty good.
For the last month I have taken a break from "working the land" and that has resulted in the bathroom scale reading five pounds higher. Time to put on the old boots.
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Last edited by Grant : 01-23-2013 at 06:45 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-23-2013
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant View Post
I question whether swimming alone can provide the human body with the required stress that facilitates optimal bone and muscle health, especially as we age. From my studies and research as a personal trainer, I believe that regular weight bearing exercises are one of the keys to healthy bones and muscles (sound diet and aerobic capacity being two others). How you incorporate this into your life and what type of exercises you do are important, as doing it incorrectly can lead to injury and diminished health. Quote by CoachToby

Hi Toby. Do you feel that exercises using only ones own body weight as resistance is sufficient or is using weights better?
From my own experience I have found what you mentioned about staying active to be very true. We live on about ten acres of land three of which are cleared and have established many different beds of shrubs, flowers and small trees. Also raised beds for garden veggies. The remaining acres are treed with alder, fir and hemlock. Attending these keeps me out of trouble and also works the body pretty good.
For the last month I have taken a break from "working the land" and that has resulted in the bathroom scale reading five pounds higher. Time to put on the old boots.
working your land - perfect 'base' training for just about anything, steady and lots of hours. Also been reading a couple of places that body weight training is going to be a big buzz word in 2013.
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  #16  
Old 01-23-2013
Grant Grant is offline
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Thanks for your replies everyone. One aspect that hasn't come up is nutrition. My wife and I were vegetarians for about 10 years back in the 1980's. I thrived on it (type A blood). My wife (type O) did OK but every now and then would kill for a steak. Those were my distance running years. We have gradually evolved to a fish, poultry and lots of fruits and vegetable nutritional diet. We are happy with this.
In the supplement area I have used a protein smoothie that gives me about 30gm of Pr about half hour before swimming and another one after the swim session. I add 5gms of Creatine monohydrate to the post swim drink for 30 days on and 30 days off. Also add flax oil and hemp oil and ground up sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds to the second drink. Also a daily vitamin and mineral tablet and that's it.
Any comments about advisability or additions to this regime. Don't be scared. I will read them with an open mind.
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  #17  
Old 01-23-2013
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachPatriciaBaker View Post
HI Guys,

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.
Simply comparing the stroke lengths of swimmers whose ages range from 31 to 85 years won't necessarily prove anything. For it to be meaningful, you'd need to compare the stroke lengths of individual swimmers as they aged from 31 to 85, and even this might not be meaningful if they received some sort of stroke training (e.g., a TI workshop) along the way.

The trouble is that a 75-year-old swimmer whose stroke length is 1.6m might very well have had a 1.6m stroke length when he was 35 years old, and a typical 35-year-old swimmer today who has a stroke length of 2.3m may have it because he was trained differently than swimmers were trained 40 years ago.


Bob
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  #18  
Old 01-23-2013
CoachToby CoachToby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant View Post
I
Hi Toby. Do you feel that exercises using only ones own body weight as resistance is sufficient or is using weights better?
From my own experience I have found what you mentioned about staying active to be very true. We live on about ten acres of land three of which are cleared and have established many different beds of shrubs, flowers and small trees. Also raised beds for garden veggies. The remaining acres are treed with alder, fir and hemlock. Attending these keeps me out of trouble and also works the body pretty good.
For the last month I have taken a break from "working the land" and that has resulted in the bathroom scale reading five pounds higher. Time to put on the old boots.
Hi Grant. I think if you're imaginative with the exercises, you can definitely get what you need from using body weight alone as the stress factor. Personally, I think aiming to create rotational force through the core by anchoring the arms and legs onto something is one of the best ways to stress the human body. The gardening and tree work you're doing accomplishes this better than most exercises.
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  #19  
Old 01-24-2013
The Parrot The Parrot is offline
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It is so encouraging to see so many others who's views I respect have arrived at very compatible views about ageing and exercise.

Toby, I agree load bearing work is an essential supplement for older swimmers to maintain bone density.

Grant, when younger I too, was vegetarian for several years, not for moral reasons but because I found I recovered quicker from a pretty gruelling training regime.

What has been said on this thread is born out in the real world. Some of the healthiest - active -older people on this planet are those who live frugally and often with little animal protein. They often live at altitude or in mountains (such as the Hunza Valley in the Himalayas) so get daily constant aerobic exercise - just as Andy has confirmed with Grant's world. The lives of these people are often hard but they are not stressed psychologically as we seem to be in our society. I think one problem in our culture is that not enough is expected of older people. Retirement, if possible, should be a change of direction not a collapse into an armchair and senility. I would prefer to go with a bang not rust out . . .

To close this this over long message, I believe training has to be different when we are older. We certainly need more flexibility exercise, balance too. We cannot cope with as much strength exercise, even a lot of interval training, without increased risk of strain or injury, but we still need some resistance work, and definitely some load bearing exercise. TI swimming goes quite a long way to fulfilling our needs (except for the adverse effects of the horrible chlorinated water for those of us forced to use pools most of the time) but other exercise is also necessary. What do others here do?

Martin T.
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  #20  
Old 01-24-2013
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachPatriciaBaker View Post
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.
Patricia does us a great service by reminding that any swimming pace (I shy away from the word 'speed' as it suggests, to me, momentary velocity.) comes down to a math problem - SL x SR. Thus, as my 62nd birthday inches closer (March 25), here's how I view it.
1. It's unquestionable that physical capacity will decline with age. Like many of you I'm doing what I have the time and inclination for to slow that decline. In my case I break up my day -- many hours of it spent at a desk -- with regular 10-25 minute periods of core work to relieve my back and yoga for overall suppleness and tone. I'll probably take a look at the 4HB book to find some other things I can do near my desk.
2. As physical capacity declines, swimming pace will naturally be affected. However I believe I can do a better job of slowing the decline in swimming pace if I have complete information on precisely HOW it declines. To what extent is it caused by a reduction in Stroke Rate and to what extent by a reduction in Stroke Length?
3. As Pat notes, Stroke Rate tends to decline less. I believe I can in fact increase my Stroke Rate, with minimal sacrifice in efficiency, with targeted Tempo Trainer practice. And since I've found that my neuromuscular system adapt quite rapidly to TT practice, I don't have to swim at faster tempos all the time, but choose 1 or 2 periods during the year where I focus more intently on creating adaptation to faster tempos. For me this is most commonly between June and August for OW races. While I swim at tempos between 1.1 and 1.3 most of the year, during the summer much more of my swimming is between .9 and 1.0. And I may seek to adapt to slightly faster tempos next summer.
4. On the Stroke Length side, some decline is inevitable as a result of age-related losses in muscular strength. However I can compensate in two ways for that
(i) SL is far more influenced by balance, stability and streamline than propulsion. And those are not power-limited. So, even after 24 years of TI practice I still work on them in an examined way. I significantly improved my lateral stability through modifying my recovery and entry last year. I also significantly improved the streamline characteristics of my 2BK.
(ii) I feel that propulsion is affected even more by improving my ability to work WITH the water -- i.e. create less turbulence and more locomotion when I press on the water with the two propulsive levers at my disposal -- hand and forearm and lower leg (for 2BK) -- than my how much power I apply. And those qualities in my stroke are a function of keen attention, sensitivity to the action of the water molecules I'm pressing on, and better discrimination on the application of pressure.

Most important, regardless of the bottom-line measure of the paces I achieve via these efforts, the Flow States produced by practicing with a sense of mission to use an intelligent, purposeful, and resourceful approach to maintaining my pace keeps me happier than whatever the clock may say.
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