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  #1  
Old 12-30-2015
Grant Grant is offline
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Quick background.
I have used TI methodology for over 15 years and am swimming three times a week for about the last 8 years. This has worked for me as I am fresh and eager when I get in the pool.
I am about to be 81 years old in terms of Master Swim competition. Last year as an 80 year old I set 4 Canadian and 8 Provincial records. Since the those meets I have lost considerable speed in my favourite strokes free and fly. For instance I swam a 1:32 100m free and now the best I can achieve is 1:58. In the 50m fly I was disappointed in 52 sec but now I can't get under 60 secs. This drop off has basically manifested since Oct.
Things are quiet on the medical front. Both cancers, Prostate and Squamous Cell are quiet if not present at this time. I was put on some eyes drops to lower glaucoma eye pressure. The drops are Timolol which is a beta blocker which has the side effect of slowing the heart rate. Hard to believe one little drop per day would have such a profound effect on the swimming. Getting tested for anemia and thyroid diffencies but have never had any of those problems before. Also checking testosterone levels. They have been near the low level of normal for some time so I don't expect great muscle building results but I don't expect much muscle loss.
My General Practitioner is checking with a Gerontologist and Sports Medice Dr to see if they have any insights in their respective fields.
Do any of you have any ideas or suggestions that I have not covered. Want to cover all the bases.
Swimming has been such a joy and Terry's approach has really enhanced my experience. Competing has been the icing on the cake and I hate to let it go. If I am way off in speed I will continue to enjoy my swims in non race mode for I hope many years to come. The Kaizen approach is alive and well in this maturing :0) head.
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May we swim with ease at the speeds we choose.
Grant
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  #2  
Old 12-30-2015
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Hi Grant

Nice to hear from you again. On the stroke of midnight on Dec 31 I too will be 81 in terms of masters swimming. In 2016 I hope to swim in the European Championships in London but have no hopes at all of setting any records - except possibly for the slowest ever time. My health is good generally in spite of minor problems associated with age and I've been swimming regularly this year after an enforced lay off last year due to advice from the nurse treating an ulcer on my leg. I think I should have ignored her advice because I gained quite a lot of weight and became quite grumpy. I need my swimming.

Although generally I have been getting slower as I get older, it hasn't been a constant process and last year I managed to equal my best time for the 200 meters backstroke from about five year earlier.

In the Europeans I should be able to make the qualifying times quite easily for the breaststroke but the backstroke is marginal, hence I'm putting in a lot of work on various aspects of it, mainly kicking in the many varieties I use: inverted breaststroke kick, flutter kick and dolphin kick. I think a good New Year's Resolution would be to learn to do tumble turns. I know how to do them in theory but practice is something else.

I have no hope at all of making a qualifying time in freestyle or butterfly but I am still trying to swim butterfly without much success.

I hope your medical problems are soon solved and although it may go against the grain, I think you should continue to race even if you don't feel competitive
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  #3  
Old 12-30-2015
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Grant and Richard,

your posts give hope and and confidence something in my own aging process. Although younger and never ever at your performance level. But it makes me sure, swimming and TI definitely are a good choice for the coming years...

Grant, my medical experiences are only guided through my own diseases. So they might be worth no 2ct. But did you ever had a comprehensive ultrasonic check up of all your organs and blood vessels? This may show some unknown things. (Astonished my lever is attacked, because my alcohol consum is very regular... each a glass of champagne on my wifes birhtday, Christmasday, new year and my birhtday. Was even a glass more till my mother passed...)

Wish all the best in life and swimming... and still dreaming of a Silver-Surfer-Meeting...

Best regards,
Werner

PS: Did I already mention? Grant's footer is nearly what Emil Zatopek (former Olympic long-distance runner) said in an interview at age 75(?): I'm a lucky man! I still can run the distance I like in the pace I love...
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  #4  
Old 12-30-2015
Janos Janos is offline
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Grant (and Richard), what an inspiration you are. The sense of frustration at your increasing lap times is palpable.
I can only offer some obvious advice of perhaps looking at your overall fitness and not just your swimming performance as a gauge to how you are doing. Is there a performance drop off in cycling or running perhaps?
My other piece of advice would be to look again at your testosterone levels. I know my own father when he was your age insisted on supplements from his doctor, in spite of having normal levels. When the doctor tells you the levels are okay for your age....I think perhaps you should say that your requirements like his were, are somewhat above the average 81 yr old.
Wishing you the very best of luck.
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  #5  
Old 12-30-2015
Grant Grant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
Hi Grant

Nice to hear from you again. On the stroke of midnight on Dec 31 I too will be 81 in terms of masters swimming. In 2016 I hope to swim in the European Championships in London but have no hopes at all of setting any records - except possibly for the slowest ever time. My health is good generally in spite of minor problems associated with age and I've been swimming regularly this year after an enforced lay off last year due to advice from the nurse treating an ulcer on my leg. I think I should have ignored her advice because I gained quite a lot of weight and became quite grumpy. I need my swimming.

Although generally I have been getting slower as I get older, it hasn't been a constant process and last year I managed to equal my best time for the 200 meters backstroke from about five year earlier.

In the Europeans I should be able to make the qualifying times quite easily for the breaststroke but the backstroke is marginal, hence I'm putting in a lot of work on various aspects of it, mainly kicking in the many varieties I use: inverted breaststroke kick, flutter kick and dolphin kick. I think a good New Year's Resolution would be to learn to do tumble turns. I know how to do them in theory but practice is something else.

I have no hope at all of making a qualifying time in freestyle or butterfly but I am still trying to swim butterfly without much success.

I hope your medical problems are soon solved and although it may go against the grain, I think you should continue to race even if you don't feel competitive
Thanks for the prompt replies people.
First Richard. I thought of you when opening this thread. It is nice to have a fellow age group TI enthusiast to bounce thoughts off of. Like you without exercise my mood tends to suffer in terms of enjoyment quality. I also take your suggestion to continue to race even if the competitiveness factor is reduced. I can always race against myself which of course I have for years. Good luck in your European Championships. Those big meets have a great buzz to them.

Have not figured out how to quote multiple posts so will reply to the others separately.
__________________
May we swim with ease at the speeds we choose.
Grant
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  #6  
Old 12-30-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant View Post
Quick background.
I have used TI methodology for over 15 years and am swimming three times a week for about the last 8 years. This has worked for me as I am fresh and eager when I get in the pool.
I am about to be 81 years old in terms of Master Swim competition. Last year as an 80 year old I set 4 Canadian and 8 Provincial records. Since the those meets I have lost considerable speed in my favourite strokes free and fly. For instance I swam a 1:32 100m free and now the best I can achieve is 1:58. In the 50m fly I was disappointed in 52 sec but now I can't get under 60 secs. This drop off has basically manifested since Oct.
Things are quiet on the medical front. Both cancers, Prostate and Squamous Cell are quiet if not present at this time. I was put on some eyes drops to lower glaucoma eye pressure. The drops are Timolol which is a beta blocker which has the side effect of slowing the heart rate. Hard to believe one little drop per day would have such a profound effect on the swimming. Getting tested for anemia and thyroid diffencies but have never had any of those problems before. Also checking testosterone levels. They have been near the low level of normal for some time so I don't expect great muscle building results but I don't expect much muscle loss.
My General Practitioner is checking with a Gerontologist and Sports Medice Dr to see if they have any insights in their respective fields.
Do any of you have any ideas or suggestions that I have not covered. Want to cover all the bases.
Swimming has been such a joy and Terry's approach has really enhanced my experience. Competing has been the icing on the cake and I hate to let it go. If I am way off in speed I will continue to enjoy my swims in non race mode for I hope many years to come. The Kaizen approach is alive and well in this maturing :0) head.
Grant and Richard, you are both inspirations to the next generation following you, including me. Grant, a drop of almost 30 s in 100 m free in such a short time is indeed suspicious, and I imagine I would feel compelled to look for a more detailed explanation. Can you gauge the quality of your technique? When you swim at slower speeds, do you still feel that your technique is as sharp as it was previously? That is the first thing I would put under the microscope. If we assume that your technique is still as sharp as it was, then the next thing to start exploring in detail is the state of your physical condition. There are a number of possible candidates here for deterioration. The obvious one is strength, but there are also some more subtle possibilties. Your ability to get oxygen to your body is also a suspect and a major candidate for suspicion is a loss of flexibility and perhaps range of motion. I would suggest honing in on each of these possibilities to try to determine where the problem is coming from.

If you can isolate some issues that are causing the problem, that doesn't mean you will be able to solve them, but knowing where the problem is can sometimes be a big help in coming to terms with it and taking steps to address it to whatever extent is possible. I sense that you are at least as surprised by this sharp decline as I am, and I think your alarm is well justified, regardless of what any doctors, who may have no experience with performance athletes at your age, may think. So again my advice is to pick this problem apart and try to understand in detail where the decline is coming from. Good luck and keep us informed!
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  #7  
Old 12-30-2015
CoachStuartMcDougal's Avatar
CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant View Post
Quick background.
I have used TI methodology for over 15 years and am swimming three times a week for about the last 8 years. This has worked for me as I am fresh and eager when I get in the pool.
I am about to be 81 years old in terms of Master Swim competition. Last year as an 80 year old I set 4 Canadian and 8 Provincial records. Since the those meets I have lost considerable speed in my favourite strokes free and fly. For instance I swam a 1:32 100m free and now the best I can achieve is 1:58. In the 50m fly I was disappointed in 52 sec but now I can't get under 60 secs. This drop off has basically manifested since Oct.
...
Swimming has been such a joy and Terry's approach has really enhanced my experience. Competing has been the icing on the cake and I hate to let it go. If I am way off in speed I will continue to enjoy my swims in non race mode for I hope many years to come. The Kaizen approach is alive and well in this maturing :0) head.
Hi Grant!

Wow! Like Werner, Danny, Janos noted - you (and Rich) are true inspirations to all swimmers!! I'm sorry to hear of your setback with this medication lowering heart rate and assume energy along with this as well. I can't answer or give advice on the medical front, but would encourage you to look at this as an opportunity until this med stabilizes and you are back to competing. The opportunity being working on lowering effort to achieve the same or similar speed, i.e. work more on improving your streamlining skills, increasing distance per stroke. Don't look so much at the pace clock, but stick with reducing drag profile swimming 25's and 50's, and as energy increases, maintain the lower effort for longer distances, 100's, etc.

What was your stroke length (or SPL) and tempo for 100 free and fly (before med change)?

Wish you a quick recovery and that you are back to competing as soon as possible.

Stuart
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  #8  
Old 12-31-2015
Grant Grant is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sooke, BC. Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
Hello Grant and Richard,

your posts give hope and and confidence something in my own aging process. Although younger and never ever at your performance level. But it makes me sure, swimming and TI definitely are a good choice for the coming years...

Grant, my medical experiences are only guided through my own diseases. So they might be worth no 2ct. But did you ever had a comprehensive ultrasonic check up of all your organs and blood vessels? This may show some unknown things. (Astonished my lever is attacked, because my alcohol consum is very regular... each a glass of champagne on my wifes birhtday, Christmasday, new year and my birhtday. Was even a glass more till my mother passed...)

Wish all the best in life and swimming... and still dreaming of a Silver-Surfer-Meeting...did



Best regards,
Werner

PS: Did I already mention? Grant's footer is nearly what Emil Zatopek (former Olympic long-distance runner) said in an interview at age 75(?): I'm a lucky man! I still can run the distance I like in the pace I love...
I envied Emil as I had to give up running when I was 58 because an old football injury was causing the right knee to lose its cartilage and I was almost bone on bone. The good part of it was it got me into swimming and that has been great.
Will check with my Dr about the comprehensive ultrasonic tests.
Hope your liver is behaving despite such a regime. :0) enjoy the glass tomorrow.
All the best
__________________
May we swim with ease at the speeds we choose.
Grant
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2015
Grant Grant is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sooke, BC. Canada
Posts: 581
Grant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
Grant and Richard, you are both inspirations to the next generation following you, including me. Grant, a drop of almost 30 s in 100 m free in such a short time is indeed suspicious, and I imagine I would feel compelled to look for a more detailed explanation. Can you gauge the quality of your technique? When you swim at slower speeds, do you still feel that your technique is as sharp as it was previously? That is the first thing I would put under the microscope. If we assume that your technique is still as sharp as it was, then the next thing to start exploring in detail is the state of your physical condition. There are a number of possible candidates here for deterioration. The obvious one is strength, but there are also some more subtle possibilties. Your ability to get oxygen to your body is also a suspect and a major candidate for suspicion is a loss of flexibility and perhaps range of motion. I would suggest honing in on each of these possibilities to try to determine where the problem is coming from.

If you can isolate some issues that are causing the problem, that doesn't mean you will be able to solve them, but knowing where the problem is can sometimes be a big help in coming to terms with it and taking steps to address it to whatever extent is possible. I sense that you are at least as surprised by this sharp decline as I am, and I think your alarm is well justified, regardless of what any doctors, who may have no experience with performance athletes at your age, may think. So again my advice is to pick this problem apart and try to understand in detail where the decline is coming from. Good luck and keep us informed!
Good advice Danny. In fact after writing this it was beginning to sink into this head that I should go down this path. Thanks for laying it out so straight forwardly. I can say confidently that the flexibility and range of motion have not detiorated. Nor do they need to be extended. I don't think the ability to get the necessary oxygen level has been affected greatly but will explore that. The eye drops I mentioned do slow the heart rate. The most likely culprit is the strength issue. I do a lot garden and bush work and notice each year the length of time I can do that work in a day gets shorter and shorter each year. Stamina is the issue I think. Until,this year it never was a significant factor in the pool.
I do push ups on and off thru the year. This fall when I started them again I was hard pressed to do 10 full marine push ups. This is down from the 15 to 20 at the same time previous years. Am building back up but they are not as springy as before. It would be nice to supplement testostone but as I have had a fast growing prostrate cancer it would be stupid to go down that track. Because of the cancer I had surgery three years ago and the PSA is staying really low. No T juice for this guy.
So I think strength is one of the leading suspects.
Happy New year. Hope I can report some good stuff in 2016.
__________________
May we swim with ease at the speeds we choose.
Grant
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  #10  
Old 12-31-2015
Grant Grant is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sooke, BC. Canada
Posts: 581
Grant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
Hi Grant!

Wow! Like Werner, Danny, Janos noted - you (and Rich) are true inspirations to all swimmers!! I'm sorry to hear of your setback with this medication lowering heart rate and assume energy along with this as well. I can't answer or give advice on the medical front, but would encourage you to look at this as an opportunity until this med stabilizes and you are back to competing. The opportunity being working on lowering effort to achieve the same or similar speed, i.e. work more on improving your streamlining skills, increasing distance per stroke. Don't look so much at the pace clock, but stick with reducing drag profile swimming 25's and 50's, and as energy increases, maintain the lower effort for longer distances, 100's, etc.

What was your stroke length (or SPL) and tempo for 100 free and fly (before med change)?

Wish you a quick recovery and that you are back to competing as soon as possible.

Stuart
Thanks Stuart for your suggestions. They make a lot of sense. Re stroke length and tempo. For my 100 Free last year I would take 19-20 spl at race rate of .80-.85 sec. TT setting. This morning I did 50m swims at 1.05, 1:00, 0.95 TT settings. Held spl of 19-20. The times began at 1:05 and got down to .57 for the 0.95 ones. I should add that I take four dolphin kicks on the turns and surface about the 17 to 18 meter mark. Last year I would swim 40-45 sec 50m at those settings.
At the slower TT settings I was and am doing a two beat kick. At the racing settings of .80-.85 I am doing a strong flutter kick.
For Fly I do not use the TT. Stroke count would be 9 per 25. Now I will begin using the TT. I think my turnover is well off from last year. This morning I just did 4x25's and they were dreadfully slow at 33 seconds.
Feed back I get from the life guards who I have told what to look for indicate that my free stroke is smooth, one goggle out of the water when breathing, no hesitation in the stroke and good balance. They say minimal splashing with clean entry and good balance. I would need TI coach feedback re the catch.
I appreciate your interest and comments.
Happy New Year
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May we swim with ease at the speeds we choose.
Grant
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