So you want to get back to the pool. I see a lot of swimmers start back at it in January. You probably got off track through the holidays but want to get back into the routine of swimming on a regular basis. When starting back to swim you should start back slow. There is nothing good about going hard for 1.000 yards and then calling it quits because you are so red in the face and out of breath it hurts. Take it easy and let yourself progress.
Starting back slow means a couple of different things. For starters let go of your ego. Yes, at masters swim we get very caught up in which lane we swim in, where in the lane we swim and how fast we actually swim the sets. Letting go of your ego means to move down into a slower lane and do not worry about the times you are swimming. If you are going to start easy and build your way up do not expect to start where you finished off before. You may even want to start back swimming on your own and not with a masters group. That way there is no expectations for yourself and where you fit in the group.
Go by feel when starting back. If you feel out of breath you are going hard enough. Your times may not seem to reflect your effort but remember you hadn’t been swimming much the weeks prior. Building up your endurance and speed takes consistency over a period of time. Do not try to go to hard or go too long. Be okay with swimming half of the workout the first couple of weeks back in a slower lane. Then once you get back into the routine you can stay the entire workout and eventually make it back to your original lane.
When starting back to the pool you want to swim more days but less total amount of time. It will be easier to swim 2,000 yards four times per week then for you to do 4,000 yards only twice a week. Your endurance will build up better because you will have trained your body more moderately then to just jump into the same amount of yards you once were doing. Swimming less total distance at first will also prevent injury. The last thing you want is to over do it, get injured, therefore prolonging your progress.
Here is a sample ‘starting back slow’ swim workout:
5oo choice easy swim
10 x 50 descend your effort 1-5, 6-10 at :10 rest per 50
10 x 100 all on :20 rest per 100
200 easy cool down
To your health,