Posted on 09 February 2013.
I started back swimming at the tender age of 70. I have been competing about 5 times a year. How do you recommend that I warm up for a meet and how do I warm up before each event.
Hi Ben, Congrats on your comeback to swimming. What a wonderful effort.
It is important as you get older to do enough warm up so that your body is “warmed up” however not too much so as to take away from your energy levels for your races.
If you can complete your pre-race preparation in the pool, I would suggest a warm up of a total distance of 300 to 600 metres depending on how you feel and how many events you have on that day. If you can swim down 100-200m between each race, this will help you prepare for the next event.
If you cannot do a warm up in the pool, I would recommend doing a few minutes of arm swings and general body exercises (once again without using up too much energy) so that your heart rate increases slightly and your blood flows through your body.
Good luck Ben,
The Swimming Expert
Posted in Competitions / Swim Meets, Masters, Questions
Posted on 01 September 2012.
Hello, I am writing to you because I want to know is it possible for me to get fit and swim again.
I used to compete a lot with schools and swim everyday, but I have had a baby and haven’t swam for over a year and a half. I really enjoy swimming but I have put on weight, is there any advice you can give me?
What can I do to get back into the pool and get my fitness level back to where it was? Is there a diet I can do? Please help me.
Thank you, Sarah
Yes, it is possible for you to get fit and swim again. It will take some time and commitment on your behalf and is definetely achievable.
The key is to start and then continue to build over time. You can start by swimming just 3 times a week for 30 min aiming to do 800m to 1km in that time. You could complement this by going for a 30min walk every other day and this will also improve your fitness and help you to drop some weight.
If you did this excercise routine for 3 weeks, you could then increase the swims and walks to 45min for 3 weeks and then to 1 hour a day from then onwards.
If you combine this with a healthy eating plan, you will feel fitter, drop some weight and feel healthier in a short period of time.
For nutrition advice, I have co-produced a popular eBook called www.NutritionForSwimmers.com that I would recommend you reading. Depending on your circumstances you may wish to consult a nutitionist too.
Please let me know how you go.
The Swimming Expert
Posted in Masters, Questions, Squad Swimming
Posted on 04 August 2012.
Hi, should my highly competitive 10 year old take a break from swimming?
What are the benefits of taking say 4 weeks off in the winter season, contrasted with swimming all year with only a couple of short one week breaks? Would a shorter break of say two weeks be better than 4?
She doesn’t want to stop swimming – she loves it and wants to train as much as possible as she thinks that will help her swim faster.
She normally trains 4 times a week for swimming. She plays and trains for netball and basketball many times a week and runs once a week most weeks as well, so she is pretty fit.
Where can we find out more information about how much training she should be doing?
Thanks for your help. Leanne
Hi Leanne, Each swimming coach may have a different thought of when swimmers should have a break and for how long.
My personal thoughts are that children aged 10 years should have a minimum 6 - 7 weeks off a year to allow their body to recover from the training and assist it to grow and develop without the requirements of daily training. This can be taken in different ways however I would encourage at least one period each year of a minimun 3 weeks off and then possibly a couple of 1 to 2 week breaks during the year. Other coaches have had great success by giving swimmers shorter periods of rest more often, so there is no set rule. If a swimmer has a break for 4 weeks, I would recommend having a swim in week 3 and then a couple of swims in week 4 to gradually get back into it and make sure they dont lose too much feel of the water.
On top of this, there may be times when your child is sick during the year and it is important that they recover fully from any sickness so that their immune system can cope with the training that they are doing. This may mean missing a few sessions and then gradually getting themselves back into training over a one week period.
If you haven’t already, I would suggest buying Swimming for Parents as this book will answer many questions you will currently have and will have in the future about your daughters swimming and her progression in the sport.
The Swimming Expert
Posted in Coaching, Questions, Squad Swimming
Posted on 06 April 2012.
Hi I am 58 and have been swimming all my live unfortunately without any formal training. I have developed over the years a right shoulder injury due to only breathing to my left side. I have read all your articles related to breathing on both sides but still find it very difficult to breath to my right. Every time I force myself I concentrate to much on it that I completely forget to exhale underwater. I swim 8-15 km per week. Any advice? Thank you Hugo, Pretoria, South Africa
Hi Hugo, Often when a person breathes on one side (for example your left side) the right arm tends to come right under the body and complete a powerful stroke and therefore has alot of resistance against it. The left hand tends to stay a little bit wider during the underwater pull (because there is no breathing on the right side) and does not have quite the same pressure on it. When this is done often enough over many years, one shoulder may get a little sorer than the other.
Yes, breathing on both sides would help you, however if you have tried this and cannot do it then work on making sure that both arms and hands do exactly the same stroke pattern underwater so that they take equal responsibility for moving you forward in freestyle. Also make sure your right hand enters in a fairly flat position out in front and not angled so that the right thumb goes in first. Hope that makes sense!
The Swimming Expert
Posted in Freestyle, Masters, Questions
Posted on 19 March 2012.
Hello, I am 57 yo and would like to join a swim squad for my age group. I used to swim competitively as a child in the country. Do such squads exist? if so, could you recommend one to me. Regards Libby, Ivanhoe, Victoria.
There are a number of Masters Swimming programs in Victoria, Australia that may be suitable for you Libby. Swimming is a very popular sport and health& fitness activity for men and woman of similar ages to you and with a competitive swimming background you would really enjoy it.
Information on Masters Swimming branches in each State can be found at www.swimclub.com.au and if you contact Masters Swimming Victoria, they will be able to assist you with clubs and squads in your local area.
Posted in Masters, Questions