Masters Swimming over the years

Going to get my brag on here.  See how I compare in the images!

I’ve been swimming most of my life.  Tried to keep it up through most of my adventures, work and children.  I’d often go through months or sometimes a couple of years that I could not swim much or as regularly as I’d have liked.  When I lived in Florida, I did some but tended to spend more time on my bicycle.  I lived close enough to the Pinellas Trail.  My favourite place backed onto the trail.  The trail is 45 miles long.  On a Saturday I’d do about 40 miles.  More on that later.  But if you are headed in that direction and want to check it out: Pinellas Trail

Back to the swim. 

The last two years kinda sucked with all the closures and limitations.  Two pools in the area completely closed down.  The YMCA in Niagara Falls and the YMCA in St Catherines.  I managed to get a few swims in another gym where the manager was pretty lenient with the health Czar’s rules.  Even then the swims were not consistent. 

So, things opened up Tuesday the 1st of March.  Finally.  I’ve been getting into the pool about three times a week for the last two and half.  I started slow.  The first swim was torture.  Before Stupid-19 I would swim about 2500 metres.  Sometimes more.  First swim out this month was 1000 yards.  I did 2000 yards day before yesterday. And I’m starting to be able to push myself again. 

I love Garmin

I have a Garmin watch.  It’s my coach.  I don’t swim with a Master’s Swim Club.  I’ve always swum alone.   One of the many things I like about the Garmin is that all my stats get uploaded to my profile on their website.  There, I can compare my stats to others of my age.  And other ages if I want.

I’ve done two screen shots here to see how I compare.  One is for my age group: 70-74. The other is for 18-24 year olds.

So, for all the 18-24 year old swimmers registered on Garmin worldwide, I’m in the top 31%…!!!

My own age group 70-74: top 6%. 

My goal this year is to get to the top 5%. 

If anyone wants pointers on swimming, hit me up.  I’ve developed my own style of swimming over the years.  I’ve taken from techniques from:

James ‘Doc’ CounsilmanThe Science of Swimming: this book is known as the bible of Swimming.  I’ve seen decent copies of this book going for hundreds of dollars.  You can get a paperback version for considerably cheaper.  I have a couple of the hardcover versions. is an excellent website. If you don’t want to bother signing up for their site, there are plenty of YouTube videos.  Do a search for ‘swim smooth body types’ and start watching. 

Another pretty decent book that is frowned upon by the Swimsmooth people is Total Immersion by Terry  Laughlin.  Some good stuff in there.  If you are a reader like me, check out the book.  You can likely get a cheap copy on Amazon or just get from your local library. 

I read another book on swimming once where the author broke down swimming strokes with trigonometry - I actually use some of those techniques.  The greatest thing about that book was that I finally understood sines and co-sines. 

Every swim work I do, I do some drills.  There are some great drill books around but if you can find ‘The 100 Best Swimming Drills’ by Blythe Lucero, get it. 

Please email me if you want some good coaching on your swimming.

This page has a good starter workout and some other pointers: More on masters swimming  

#swimsmooth #totalimmersion #mastersswimming #mastersswim #martysroadtrip 

1 comment

Hermann Reichert

Hi Marty,

Swimming is a good exercise, it involves many muscles of the body.
I used to roam the mountain range behind our home by bicycle. It’s only 13 horizontal kms to the top, but 530 vertical meters on “natural” trails in the woods. Unfortunately I apparently overdid in 2019 at age 77. Got problems with heart rhythm with a consecutive stroke. My sense of balance is not yet quite as before, so the bicycle remains in the Garage for the time being.
Do not feel safe on it. To compensate owe both go hiking daily, weather permitting. Good for both of us.

All the best


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