Viking Aquatics, Long Beach CA

Welcome to Viking Aquatics Masters Swimming! (Or at least showing interest). 

Why is it called "Masters"? "Masters" swimming just means over 18 - don't worry, very few of us have Yoda swimming skills. The distinction is to set us apart from "Age Group" - under 18 - swimming.  

Do I already have to know how to swim? Sort of. For Viking Aquatics Masters, you need to be "swim safe", which we define as being able to make unassisted forward progress for one length (25 yards). If not, you should take an Adult Learn to Swim course at LBCC (Kinesiology General (KING) 76 or a comparable local program. Other than that, we'll work with you, and help you develop good technique!

What should I expect on my first day? If you're a former competitive swimmer, expect a good workout. If you're relatively new, or very rusty, expect a friendly, encouraging introduction. The coach on deck will talk with you to get some background and tell you which lane (see below) to swim in - you'll be placed with similar-ability swimmers. 

Which lane should I swim in? The pool has 10 lanes, numbered accordingly. For most pools, "Lane 1" is for the fastest swimmers, and then it progresses to slower lanes down the pool. The coach will let you know the general intervals for various lanes, as appropriate (if you don't know what "intervals" refers to - don't worry about it, you'll get there later!).

What if I don't know all of the strokes? You'll learn. Seriously - give it a try - you'll be surprised what you can learn! 

What if I'm not comfortable doing something - like diving off the blocks, or doing butterfly, or...? Then don't do it. Masters swimming is meant to help you, encourage you, teach you, and be inclusive - not make you feel uncomfortable. As we get older (or have old injuries), we can't always do everything we'd like; don't worry, we'll modify for you as-needed. However, if you want to push yourself - we're there for you! 

What's a typical session like? 

  • General, individual warmup - 10-15 minutes of swimming as people arrive and get started; this is typically the same each session.
  • Team warmup/drills - 10-15 minutes of additional warmup and drills given (and explained) by the coach, depending on what the workout type is.
  • 30-40 minutes "Main Set" - A variety of "sets" (stroke, distance, and interval) given by the coach. Generally speaking: Mondays - Stroke/IM; Wednesdays - Distance; Fridays - Sprint/Up-Tempo
  • 15 minutes warmdown/recovery - directed by coach, or on your own, if you need to leave early.

What's the monthly Stroke Clinic? Once a month (typically 3rd Friday), an additional coach will be on deck down by Lane 10 to work with a smaller group of swimmers, and focus on 2-3 particular skills. This is designed for less experienced swimmers who need more tweaking on their technique, and a little more individual attention.

Do you do anything in the ocean/bay (open water)? For sure. A few of us swim year-round, so there are plenty of opportunities to get your saltwater on. We also try to encourage participation in a couple events in the summer - Seal Beach Rough Water Swim and the Naples Island Swim (Alamitos Bay) - or anything else you're game for.

What's the most important thing to keep in mind? You get out what you put in. Swimming is one of the best, healthiest, low-impact, high-cardio, full-body workouts that you can do. People swim well into their 90's (even 100's). You join a group 1) to be given a workout, instead of boring laps; 2) accountability - people expecting to see you, camaraderie - that's what breeds long-term success; 3) to learn; 4) for social structure (fun!).