10 Signs You are a Masters Swimmer

by SwimSwam 17

March 30th, 2015 Lifestyle, Masters, News

Courtesy of Kirsten Read. Featured Image: Matt Biondi, 11-time Olympic medalist, now a U.S. Masters swimmer.

Maybe you had hung up your suit and goggles forever. But the call of the water is strong. Masters swimming is very different from age group swimming of long ago. We do it for the camaraderie, the fitness, the fun and maybe for fast times too. Most of all we do it because we love it!


You may at times employ Masters Prerogative in workout – changing the workout or negotiating sets with your coach and teammates. This is something that would have gotten you kicked out of workout for trying as a youngster.


You no longer swim 9 to 11 workouts per week – hell, you’re lucky if you make 3! So when it’s time to race in the pool or open water, you’re not sure if the taper will take you out of shape..or the warm up get you in shape. It’s a fine line.


After babies, binging, and a break some of us don’t look like we did years ago. And things may have shifted a bit. Many of us coveted our blueseventy full coverage suits and loathed the day we had to give them up.


Due to our advanced age and circuitous journeys not as many of us can see the clock, hear each other, count correctly or do the math during complicated sets.


Many of us have now taken our ailing shoulders, elbows, backs, hips, and knees under the knife. Let’s just say butterfly is not an option any more for everyone — at least our orthopedic surgeon says so.


Being the youngest in your new age group ought to be a good thing — but not necessarily. In masters often the older age groups are even fiercer and faster.


Relay age groups are no longer labeled 11&12 or 13&14…more like 160-199 or 240-279. The relays are the most fun part of the meet because you get to swim with the awesome 82-year-old on your team.


Relaxing with a nice glass of wine or three the night before a race was never an option as an age grouper, but it is now!


Not everybody chooses to partake and that’s totally cool. But whether it’s a local meet or you head to Nationals, Worlds or Bermuda Round the Sound — fun will be had by all.


We are all there because we want to be, not because our parents or coach are making us. I don’t remember smiling or laughing this much during practice or meets as an age grouper.

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3 years ago

Kindly let me know when masters is back up and running. Frustrated with the full lanes. I registered as soon as TCC reopened and my first day back will be Sun the 31st at 7am! Love this article
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Mark Huggins
6 years ago

Spot on.

Mary Ellen Blanchard Warta
8 years ago

Hummmm I just remember following Matt Biondi around on National Team trips when me and my buddies were all 15 and 16…he was the MAN! He looked at us like whatever girls…get lost – LOL. Ps…Masters swimming gives me anxiety and reminds me getting killed in high school practices.

Tricia cooper
8 years ago

Thinking about starting again was not a swimmer in my youth swam masters between the ages of about 45-50 live in Cyprus now, how do I go about getting registered. Would like to compete in UK and going to look to do a bit of pool training. Swim in the sea lots.now 67.

9 years ago

#3 – Full Suits? Many of us never experienced that era and still can’t see wearing anything but the basic speedo, after all, if you come to a master meet to watch the bodies you need to get a life. Advantage is we still only pay $20 or so for our suits and they last several years.

9 years ago

so true x

9 years ago

A pint or two of a decent Real Ale before training AND competition does take the edge off the pain… And helps a little with hydration and buoyancy!!!

9 years ago

Hail to you, so true, just started swimming 2 years ago at age, 50 and have wonderful progress and enjoy every minute of it, thank you for these points being a Master!!!