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View Full Version : That tired, fried swimming feeling



isobel
June 19th, 2009, 07:34 PM
I'm gearing up for a 400 IM race in a few weeks, hoping to do a little under 3 minutes slower than Ahelee (I wish!) (but note: I said "slower) (I'm aiming for 7:35 to 7:40 for long course).

I've been training hard and consistently four days/week, 3500 meters or so each practice, but we've mostly been doing distance freestyle for the last few months. I've been diligent with practice for the last nine months (thank you, posters, who help me get to the pool even if I am blue) (:applaud:).

On my own I've gone an extra day now and then and done stroke drills and 50s or 100s of stroke.

So if I dive in and underwater dolphin at the start of the 400 IM, am I setting myself up for oxygen depletion and fatigue during the fly? I'm wanting to save my arms a little. I know that the best swimmers have no problem with doing as much underwater kicking as possible. But my kick is not superstrong (though I've been working on it).

What I'm wondering is, even today, when I'm so tired in my muscles, is that from oxygen depletion? I have really good endurance but in races and often at practice my muscles just feel incredibly tired.

I drink water during practice, but I have been struggling with eating well, and sleep is kind of useless many nights, so these obviously could be factors. But even when I've eaten and slept well, I am often very tired, rather than very strong, when I swim, though I always push myself and have gotten faster.

I'd just love that really amazing feeling of power I've had maybe 3 times in the 9 years I've done masters swimming, where I feel I can push myself hard and I feel strong, rather than feel that I'm swimming hard but with a lot of muscle fatigue.

So do you think it's a good strategy to save my arms but use my legs off the blocks and have less air, or is it a toss-up for me, perhaps?

That Guy
June 20th, 2009, 01:19 AM
I'd just love that really amazing feeling of power I've had maybe 3 times in the 9 years I've done masters swimming, where I feel I can push myself hard and I feel strong, rather than feel that I'm swimming hard but with a lot of muscle fatigue.

Do you keep a log? Many years ago I had a similar problem and was able to figure out what gets me most ready to race by examining my log and looking for days when I swam great, versus days when I was crap. You may be able to find a similar pattern in your preparation.

Chicken of the Sea
June 20th, 2009, 08:34 AM
Isobel,

I'm feeling much the same way at the moment. I'm wondering if I'll ever have that "good" feeling again swimming.

Probably my most exhausted practice ever came yesterday after a great night's sleep. I try day's "off" (not really with kids/house/jobs), and just working through it, but the energy isn't coming back.

Not really sure if it's over training or under training.

Personally, I have to get up for air as soon as possible after a turn!!

Sorry this isn't helpful!

Betsy
June 20th, 2009, 09:34 AM
My experience and observations from 30+ years of Masters competition is that more swimmers go into meets over-trained than under-trained. Many swimmers underestimate the need for rest and taper. Even if you are aiming for a big meet later in the season, but you want a good time in a particular event, you need to be rested. Not a full taper, but when you concentrate on doing well in one event, your yardage will go down because of the time it takes to do quality sets in practice. All of my best times have come when I have worked on race pace and know exactly how it should feel on the first 1/4 of the race.
It is my opinion that even younger Masters need to rest for optimal performance.