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  #1  
Old 01-27-2011
terry terry is offline
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Default Swimming slower: Age or Rust?

Or because we stop training for speed?
My latest blog explores the question through my own experience. Now that I'm swimming in meets -- and training more to maximize my speed - I can't help but notice I've lost a surprising amount of speed since five years ago.
Why surprising? Partly I suppose because I haven't been trying to swim fast in several years so the decline escaped my notice.
Now the question that makes me curious is how much of this speed loss is due to natural aging and how much to 'speed rust?'

Read more here.
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2011
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Default Level of fitness and efficiency vs age

Terry,

To keep this short, got to go shovel the white stuff.

The question you ask is very dependent upon the individual. Take yourself for example, how close were you to being in peak physical and efficiency at that age. Fast forward to present and where are you conditioning and efficiency wise.
My guess is you will not be able to achieve the same level of physical fitness as five years ago, unless you were below optimal levels then. Just a fact of life, when we pass certain ages. If it weren't there would be no need for age categories. What does it leave, efficiency.

Someone like myself, could see much greater improvement as both the conditioning and efficiency have room for improvement from five years past.

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy

Last edited by westyswoods : 01-27-2011 at 03:17 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2011
borate borate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
Now the question that makes me curious is how much of this speed loss is due to natural aging and how much to 'speed rust?'
Some time back I read of a oxygen-efficiency comparison between 19-year old and 30-some aged athletes - ALL in top condition.
As one might be expect, there was no contest. Can't fight the years, but we don't have to capitulate. ^_^

Last edited by borate : 01-27-2011 at 06:31 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2011
CoachTodd
 
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Terry,
I think what you are experiencing is normal for any age where an athlete in a timed performance driven endeavor lays off for several years of competittion and only leisurely keeps in shape in that particular sport. I don't mean leisurely as a negative term but I thnk that you know that. Desenitizing muscles and fibers from fast twitch to slow twitch is also a contributing factor. I think that you will discover there is a little of both at work--rust and age. Additionally, I think you'll discover the answer to the key of how to take TI swimming from 'leisurely, effortless' to the more demanding competition activity which seems to be the cloud over TI with the more competitive athletes/coaches.

I looked at our local masters club records for the 1000 scy times:
Age 55-59 60-64 64-69
14:58.42 (this is a single indv) / 14:30.56 (07) /14:34:15 (09,same indv)
The indv that was in both 60-64 and 64-69 ages is a regular 3 day/week 1 hour swimmer and I'm pretty sure was not a competitive swimmer growing up. Does not miss many days except when traveling.

I also looked at a former olympian Graham Johnston (South Africa) who is attached to our club but swims on his own out of Houston. Graham has also done English Channel, Gibraltar and several other long ow swims. His times and ages:
Age 70-74 (03) 75-79 (07)
1000 scy 13:27.98 13:36.02
1650 scy 20:56.37 22:32.09

Now what can I extrapolate from this data? Bsed on what you described as your training plan I don't think you'll see an appreciable increase in time and probably within 30 sec of your previous efforts. The reason I feel this way is because you have continued to have maintained a very good base of swimming especially last year in preparation for your endurance swims. Most will depend upon how much you are willing to push yourself by yourself during your speed practices. I find continuing to swim with a masters group very motivating to working harder durning a speed workout when others and a coach is on the deck vs. by myself (maybe it's just me). I find this particularly true since this past year and a half I have been absent from the masters workouts due to a former office full time job and switching back to coaching (TI) full time last summer, and I'm only 3 years younger than yourself. What I've discovered is that I can quickly get back to quick repeat sets of 100s (scm) at 1:25-1:28 on 1:35-1:40 holding 17 spl after several weeks (primarily I believe to TI). Before I could hold the time but spl was around 21-22 (not fully utilizing TI).

I am also finding the desire to work hard 5 days a week (1hr) declining and much prefer 3 days with the in between days being recovery days working on holding spl using your suggestions on another forum of holding spl over N x 100 while descending time and then the broeken sets with active recovery.

I'm not sure you find a definitve answer to your question unless your times are over a minute or so off.
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borate View Post
Some time back I read of a oxygen-efficiency comparison between 19-year old and 30-some aged athletes - ALL in top condition.
As one might be expect, there was no contest. Can't fight the years, but we don't have to capitulate. ^_^
Whether this applies to us (me) depends upon how close I was to top condition 5, 10, 20 years ago. I know for certain that I always felt there was room for improvement in my work ethic and training approach.

I may never play soccer with the same agility, climb 5.10c/d or scale 18k+ mountains, but at age 42, I"m swimming and cycling faster than I ever have before. Running is a different beast, but I'm sure I can get my 5k time back down to < 30 minutes if I were to simply go out and run wiht a plan.
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borate View Post
Some time back I read of a oxygen-efficiency comparison between 19-year old and 30-some aged athletes - ALL in top condition.
As one might be expect, there was no contest. Can't fight the years, but we don't have to capitulate. ^_^
Whether this applies to us (me) depends upon how close I was to top condition 5, 10, 20 years ago. I know for certain that I always felt there was room for improvement in my work ethic and training approach.

I may never play soccer with the same agility, climb 5.10c/d or scale 18k+ mountains, but at age 42, I"m swimming and cycling faster than I ever have before. Running is a different beast, but I'm sure I can get my 5k time back down to < 30 minutes if I were to simply go out and run wiht a plan.
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #7  
Old 01-27-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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In my brief career so far as a masters swimmer I have discovered that there are some pretty amazing people out there.

I have a big long course meet this weekend and I expect to see some fast times and possibly world records from some of the swimmers there, one of them being Jane Asher, who ages up to 80 this year . She holds a stack of world records, all the freestyle records for age group 75-79, all the backstroke records, the 50m fly and the 200 and 400 IM and still holds the records for 800m and 1500m for the 70-74 age group.

I have just been reading and hearing about Laura Val, a USMS swimmer, who recently broke all the freestyle world records for her age group in one 1500m race, which is some going.

There is an interesting interview with her on the Morning Swim Show:

http://tv.swimmingworldmagazine.com/...-episodes/9328

It is very inspiring for the novice to meet people like that.
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  #8  
Old 01-28-2011
drmike drmike is offline
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Maybe part of the story is persistent effects of polymyalgia rheumatica (?)
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