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Thread: Swimming/sprinting for old(ish) people page

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    Karen F's Avatar
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    Question Swimming/sprinting for old(ish) people

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    So here's the deal.

    I'm trying to incorporate the sprinting part of the Primal Blueprint. But........ I have a dodgy hip (trochanderic pain syndrome, tears in the iliotibial muscles -- in fact, I originally found MDA looking for physio tips for my bad hip!). Also long term bad knees (torn ligaments dating back to teenage years).

    The easy cardio part is all right. Lots of walking, and even stairs are getting easier.

    Sprinting, though.....hmmm. My painful hip (and potentially painful knees) are telling me not to try it.

    So, I've been going to the local leisure centre pool once a week (pitiful in terms of Chronic Cardio, but bear with me) for half an hour. I do a couple of relaxed laps, then start doing "sprint laps". Not olympic calibre, but I pretend a shark is chasing me. As fast as I possibly can. Length of the pool, catch my breath, then do it again.

    And again, if I can.

    Then a few more relaxed laps.

    Then a half hour has elapsed and I know that i have less than 8 hours left until I have to get up and go to work. So I am the first to leave the pool (the other plump, elderly ladies glaring at me because I am not doing hours and hours and laps and laps!)

    I haven't yet seen any writing about sprinting/swimming? Does what I am doing count? (PS. I am 54y.o., female, fit in my youth but far from fit now, although Working On it!) (And ps: if anyone responds, please don't think I'm ignoring you! Going to bed now as here in England it is 11.00! If anyone is kind enough to answer, comments in the morning, my time! Nighty-night!)

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    Leida's Avatar
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    Hi, I have the same question, if swimming counts as sprinting, and the answer is yes (in my case, i will be adding fins for intensity as soon as I manage to get them). So, you are doing great & don't worry about dirty looks. Anyone who can do hours of laps gotta get a life, honestly.

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    I think "sprinting" is really about "full energy bursts". I think you can do that via swimming or running or anything else that brings as much of your muscle mass as possible into intensive use. Anything that would leave you panting and exhaustive after a reasonably short amount of time.

    Not everyone can sprint. Fine. Swim. Kayak/canoe. Whatever. Drive yourself to your maximum effort for reasonably short periods of time. That's what it's really about.
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    Back when I was swimming competitively, swimming sprints was part of our routine. So what you are doing is not outside of the range of acceptable.

    I am having a hard time believing anyone at the pool cares how long your swim workout is. I'm surprised anyone noticed how long you were in the pool. What the heck are they doing - timing you or swimming? Are you sure that is the reason they are glaring at you? Are you up to speed on all the etiquette of your pool? That is more likely to get you glares than a 15-20 minute workout.
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    I'm 68. I do sprints in a water aerobics class. Actually, it is called a sprint class. It does wonders for me. We don't actually swim the sprints. We jog in place or do other water aerobics moves. Go for it!
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    Karen F's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comment!

    Quote Originally Posted by girlarchitect View Post
    I am having a hard time believing anyone at the pool cares how long your swim workout is. I'm surprised anyone noticed how long you were in the pool. What the heck are they doing - timing you or swimming? Are you sure that is the reason they are glaring at you? Are you up to speed on all the etiquette of your pool? That is more likely to get you glares than a 15-20 minute workout.
    That was actually intended as a bit of humour. I don't *really* think they are glaring at me because I'm not working out long enough -- I was trying to put a funny spin on an altogether less humorous part of the experience (see below). I am also pretty confident of not being offensive. I shower thoroughly before entering the pool, do not hog lanes, watch where I am going and don't kick anyone (unlike others). Control my hair (unlike others). Requested and received a tour from the pool manager to explain all procedures re lockers, dressing rooms, etc. I don't pee in the pool. (I was also a lifeguard in my long-ago youth so this isn't completely new to me!)

    To be honest I think the little old ladies at my pool are glaring at me because I live in one of those corners of England which see very few "incomers". Most of these ladies have lived there all their lives, have known each other all their lives, and have probably been swimming in this leisure centre since it was built 15 years ago and I think they consider it their personal, private space. I am an American, married to an Englishman. My husband was born in a city ten miles down the road and he is considered an "outsider" in this neighbourhood, so you can imagine how they feel about me. I am about as much of an oddity at the local pool as they are likely to come across, and they glare and stare as people all over the world do (I'm a long time expat in various places) simply because I am unfamiliar. Xenophobia (I refuse to call it racism or bigotry) is much more common worldwide than people realise.

    Rant over! Back to more fun stuff!

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    Karen F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hedonist View Post
    I'm 68. I do sprints in a water aerobics class. Actually, it is called a sprint class. It does wonders for me. We don't actually swim the sprints. We jog in place or do other water aerobics moves. Go for it!
    That sounds brilliant (and I love your nick, Hedonist!). Everyone here is inspiring me!

    I've been experimenting with various moves, stretches, etc. in the water too, in addition to the couple of "being chased by sharks" laps. Lunges, stretching my bad hip muscles a bit (which is easier in water).

    Thanks, everybody, for taking time to comment! I shall proceed feeling much more confident!
    Last edited by Karen F; 07-20-2011 at 01:20 AM.

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    Good luck and stick around. We, swimmers, gotta band together! I will go shopping for fins tomorrow, and if I can't find the ones I like in the stores here, I will bite the bullet and order on-line.

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    Karen F's Avatar
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    Thanks, Leida, and everyone! I'll be curious about how the fins work out. I used to do free diving when I lived in Micronesia, as well as snorkeling, and you can get an amazing amount of propulsion going. I never really thought about them in terms of adding resistance but that is exactly what they do!

    And I do intend to stick around!

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