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View Full Version : Over-stretched & over-worked rotators, blew taper; now what?



ElaineK
July 23rd, 2013, 03:38 AM
:doh: When will I ever learn to not overdo it?

My orthopedic doc sent me for PT (dry needling) for the mess that is my neck and it has worked amazingly well; my neck is doing great! It worked so well, my primary doc referred me for dry needling of the trigger points in my leg and hip, since the PT exercises alone weren't helping. After one treatment (so far), it is doing much better. That's the good news...

I was feeling so good, even after my open water 3K and 1K races on July 13th, that I put in a big week of yardage, starting the day after the races. I had taken a day off the day before my races and felt great the day after, so why not? Big mistake. Between training too much fly this past week and over-stretching my rotators while doing my PT exercises, I ended up with shoulders too sore to swim anything other than a weak breaststroke.

After 1,100 yards on Thursday, my shoulders were feeling horrible, so I got out of the pool. I swam nothing but breaststroke on Friday and took Saturday off. Sunday and Monday I swam only kick sets (with and without fins), but could only put in 1,800 yards before knowing it was time to give my legs a rest.

Ice and Zipsor (prescription anti-inflammatory) have been my routine until my next PT appointment on Tuesday. But my taper is blown, I don't know when swimming full stroke will be possible, and my first event at Nationals is on August 8. :afraid:

Now what? Any suggestions?

robertsrobson
July 23rd, 2013, 06:16 AM
Listen to your body. Don't sweat it. If you make it to the Nationals you will be nicely rested. If you're a little below fitness, it isn't the end of the world. If you can't swim, perhaps you'll learn not to overdo it....

swimshark
July 23rd, 2013, 06:27 AM
Listen to your body. Don't sweat it. If you make it to the Nationals you will be nicely rested. If you're a little below fitness, it isn't the end of the world. If you can't swim, perhaps you'll learn not to overdo it....

So true. And if you want to get in the pool, just do legs for a while. Give the shoulders a good rest now and they will be much better for Nationals.

aquageek
July 23rd, 2013, 10:05 AM
Part of taper is thinking you blew your taper. Therefore, you have not blown your taper. If you think you have hit your taper perfectly, you have blown your taper. Taper defies logic.

pwb
July 23rd, 2013, 11:55 AM
Part of taper is thinking you blew your taper. Therefore, you have not blown your taper. If you think you have hit your taper perfectly, you have blown your taper. Taper defies logic.
Zen Aquageek doth speak
Words of wisdom, Confucius
Taper is never right

Allen Stark
July 23rd, 2013, 01:21 PM
I am so sorry about your shoulders(as you know I have my own shoulder issues.)Get better soon.
The general rule for taper is "less is better".Geek is right,if you don't think you blew your taper you didn't do it right.It is also important when tapering to know that any sniffle or scratchy throat is pneumonia or maybe even plague.Also you must feel loggy the second week of taper and be sure you will never feel good again.Additional it really helps a taper to stay up all night worrying that you aren't getting enough sleep.
I am sure these tips will get you through the taper process.

poolraat
July 23rd, 2013, 02:47 PM
The time not swimming this close to Nationals will do you a world of good because you need rest. In 2008 I took over a week off a month before LC Nationals to go watch the Trials. I had good intentions to swim while in Omaha but only made it to the pool once. After returning home I trained hard for about a week and a half then tapered, and swam some times that were (and still are) my best ever.

knelson
July 23rd, 2013, 02:47 PM
My advice is that anything you feel you "need" to do in the pool right now is subordinate to what you need to do to get healthy.

ElaineK
July 23rd, 2013, 03:39 PM
Listen to your body. Don't sweat it. If you make it to the Nationals you will be nicely rested. If you're a little below fitness, it isn't the end of the world. If you can't swim, perhaps you'll learn not to overdo it....

Oh, I'll make it to Nationals, even if I have to crawl there. Flight tickets are purchased, hotel and rental car is booked, and I'm goin' home to California! :bliss:

The article on "Invisible Training" (see the top article on the home page) could not have come at a better time. When I got to the part about "self-myofascial release", I Googled it and found a great set of exercises to do with the foam roller I still have from my thoracic outlet syndrome PT. Check this out: http://media.wix.com/ugd/ee042d_72bedf559140977bf73b3c951dbf9b76.pdf

I did all of the exercises before I hopped in the pool, this morning, and it made a big difference. I have my range of motion back in my rotator cuffs, but I took it VERY easy on freestyle; just a 25 here and there for a total of 200 yards. I was also able to swim easy breaststroke , so I put in a total of a few hundred yards. All the rest of my yardage was kick sets.

The foam roller is my new best friend! :banana:

As for learning to not overdo it, that has proven to be the hardest lesson to learn in my three years of USMS. :dunno:

Thanks, Rob; your advice is well taken and absolutely correct! :D


So true. And if you want to get in the pool, just do legs for a while. Give the shoulders a good rest now and they will be much better for Nationals.

That's what I have been doing- and, trying not to overdo it with the legs!


Part of taper is thinking you blew your taper. Therefore, you have not blown your taper. If you think you have hit your taper perfectly, you have blown your taper. Taper defies logic.

:rolleyes: Yeah, I hear ya! Thanks, Geek!



Zen Aquageek doth speak
Words of wisdom, Confucius
Taper is never right

:D Hey, don't forget I owe you :chug: :chug:


I am so sorry about your shoulders(as you know I have my own shoulder issues.)Get better soon.
The general rule for taper is "less is better".Geek is right,if you don't think you blew your taper you didn't do it right.It is also important when tapering to know that any sniffle or scratchy throat is pneumonia or maybe even plague.Also you must feel loggy the second week of taper and be sure you will never feel good again.Additional it really helps a taper to stay up all night worrying that you aren't getting enough sleep.
I am sure these tips will get you through the taper process.

:lmao: Thanks, King Frog! I especially had to laugh at the last tip. Did you notice the time of my post? Last night was my first rotten night of sleep after an unusually decent streak of good sleeping. I woke up at 2 AM and was wide awake until I finally went back to bed at 5 AM. The good news was that I read that article on Invisible Training which led me to researching self-myofascial release. So, at least there was a happy ending!

Hey, K.F.? I'm going to miss you and Seal Girl (A.K.A. Mrs. Frog) at Nats. It just won't be the same without you two there. :sad:



The time not swimming this close to Nationals will do you a world of good because you need rest. In 2008 I took over a week off a month before LC Nationals to go watch the Trials. I had good intentions to swim while in Omaha but only made it to the pool once. After returning home I trained hard for about a week and a half then tapered, and swam some times that were (and still are) my best ever.

That's inspiring, 'raat! I hope the same happens for me! But, at this point, I'm not looking for any best times. I'm just looking for my shoulders to survive the 400 IM and 200 Fly without giving out on me!


My advice is that anything you feel you "need" to do in the pool right now is subordinate to what you need to do to get healthy.

Wise words, knelson! Ice is sitting on my shoulders as I type...

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to post your advice; all good stuff! I appreciate your support!!

sunruh
July 23rd, 2013, 03:46 PM
if you need a shoulder i seem to have 1 can give you.

just 1, the other is kinda sorta looking like a junk heap.

both have logged 1000s of miles at MVN.
then again you may not even want the "good" one.

tapers go up and down and side to side. heck sometimes the taper is done on a plane as you cross
the atlantic or in the adiriatic because smoking polo players are still in the competition pool.
you will be just fine!

debaru
July 24th, 2013, 08:09 PM
The foam roller is my new best friend! :banana:

You and me both, swim sister!!:groovy: I picked one up about a year ago, and it has served my old shoulders and hips (not to mention just about every part I can reach with it) well.

Can't wait to see you at Nats!

ElaineK
July 24th, 2013, 09:58 PM
if you need a shoulder i seem to have 1 can give you.

just 1, the other is kinda sorta looking like a junk heap.

both have logged 1000s of miles at MVN.
then again you may not even want the "good" one.

tapers go up and down and side to side. heck sometimes the taper is done on a plane as you cross
the atlantic or in the adiriatic because smoking polo players are still in the competition pool.
you will be just fine!

Thanks for your PM, sunruh, as well as your vote of confidence! And, as much as I appreciate your shoulder offer :D, I'd like for you to hang on to it. :bolt:

ElaineK
July 24th, 2013, 10:02 PM
You and me both, swim sister!!:groovy: I picked one up about a year ago, and it has served my old shoulders and hips (not to mention just about every part I can reach with it) well.

Can't wait to see you at Nats!

I just bought a travel size on Amazon, as well as a lacrosse ball. Both are coming with me to MV, so you are welcome to borrow whichever I'm not using at the moment! :D

Hey, Debaru, while scoping out Trip Advisor for restaurant ideas, I saw that Togo's has a location in Mission Viejo! :banana:
See you soon! :cheerleader:

Britt03
July 25th, 2013, 09:23 AM
don't worry about a blewed taper. This is Master swimming. Aren't we tapering 24/7 365 days of the year anyway?! :banana:
Put your head right and don't overthink it. As long as you are motivated swimming in MV and looking forward to it, go with it and have fun! That's when you swim your best anyway!
And if it helps, go out drinking the night before your race:afraid:. That helps me everytime to calm down and relax.

Good luck, I know you will do great!

ekw
July 25th, 2013, 11:22 AM
And if it helps, go out drinking the night before your race:afraid:. That helps me everytime to calm down and relax.


I heard that if you have more than two drinks the other people in your age group have to pick up the tab. Can you confirm? :D


Have a great time in MV, Elaine! Sorry I missed you at Georgia Games.

Britt03
July 25th, 2013, 11:50 AM
I heard that if you have more than two drinks the other people in your age group have to pick up the tab. Can you confirm? :D



The other people in your age group have to pick up the tab if you had more than 2 drinks AND win the next day :chug:

ElaineK
July 25th, 2013, 04:17 PM
don't worry about a blewed taper. This is Master swimming. Aren't we tapering 24/7 365 days of the year anyway?! :banana:
Put your head right and don't overthink it. As long as you are motivated swimming in MV and looking forward to it, go with it and have fun! That's when you swim your best anyway!
And if it helps, go out drinking the night before your race:afraid:. That helps me everytime to calm down and relax.

Good luck, I know you will do great!

Yeah, it's not like I'm a Fort or Laura Val, breaking FINA World Records every time I go to Nationals! :bow: I just hope my shoulders are recovered enough to swim a legal 200 fly, so I can bring home a souvenir medal! :D


I heard that if you have more than two drinks the other people in your age group have to pick up the tab. Can you confirm? :D


Have a great time in MV, Elaine! Sorry I missed you at Georgia Games.

I'm such a light-weight, two drinks would probably put me under the table. Hmmm, that reminds me. I owe pwb :chug: :chug: for winning the "Guess the Attendance" game for Mesa and Mission Viejo. Patrick, if I am going to match you on those, I will have to choose my time wisely- or order a juice!

Thanks for the good wishes, ekw! I'm sorry you didn't make it to the Georgia Games! But, I'm sure I will catch up with you at a meet soon. :agree:

The other people in your age group have to pick up the tab if you had more than 2 drinks AND win the next day :chug:

Ummmm, there is NO chance of that happening! :lmao:

debaru
July 25th, 2013, 05:35 PM
Hey, Debaru, while scoping out Trip Advisor for restaurant ideas, I saw that Togo's has a location in Mission Viejo! :banana:

Love that #24!! :dinner:

ElaineK
July 25th, 2013, 08:25 PM
Love that #24!! :dinner:

Ohhh yeah!

:hijack: Hey, Forumites, for those going to Mission Viejo who are not familiar with Togo's, the sandwiches are the BEST!
(Hmmm, I can hijack my own thread, right? :bump:)

swimshark
July 28th, 2013, 06:22 AM
Ohhh yeah!

:hijack: Hey, Forumites, for those going to Mission Viejo who are not familiar with Togo's, the sandwiches are the BEST!
(Hmmm, I can hijack my own thread, right? :bump:)

Someone please have a cucumber avocado sandwich for me :) Love those.

ElaineK
July 28th, 2013, 10:20 AM
Ok, so getting back on topic, here is my update:

Thankfully, I am a swimmer, rather than a runner. A runner has one option: Run. A swimmer has a bag of tricks from which to choose: Four strokes, pulling, kicking, drills that combine combinations of both, etc. THANKFULLY.

Over the course of last week, I did what I could: Kick sets, some breaststroke, and breaststroke scull with freestyle kick combos. And, ice. A lot of ice. And, I swam a lot less yardage (less than 2,000/day) AND took a day off after five days of training, rather than six.

After reading the USMS home page article, "Invisible Training", I dusted off my circa 2002 foam roller and researched "Self-Myofascial Release", finding a good article/photos on techniques: http://media.wix.com/ugd/ee042d_72be...951dbf9b76.pdf (http://media.wix.com/ugd/ee042d_72bedf559140977bf73b3c951dbf9b76.pdf)

As I mentioned, the foam roller is my new best friend; an awesome warm-up tool, before getting in the pool. I also use it a little bit, immediately after my cool down.

I am back to being able to swim race pace breaststroke, but have not attempted race pace full stroke of anything else; just kicking. But, yesterday, I did swim a VERY easy 4x25 butterfly with no problems. Backstroke still is the least comfortable, as is freestyle with high elbow recovery and EVF. So, I have had to alter my stroke to a scapular plane swimming style. I am unable to find the thread on this, but I had saved the information in a Word document. Here are some excerpts:
Freestyle: Place your hand and arm in the water at a naturally slightly bentangle, without hyperextending into DPS. Begin the pull phase as you rotate fromyour core and hips toward the pulling arm. The arms stays naturally slightlybent. Your pull will be a little shorter than traditional swimming because yourarm is not straight and there is no "finish" on the stroke. Let yourarm swing out of the water, recover in that same slightly bent angle and rotateto the other side. Core rotation is key for this stroke. Rotate your head withyour body to breathe.

Backstroke: The same as the freestyle but on your back. Your arms enterat 10 and 2, rather than stretched up DPS over your head. Lots of rotation,naturally curved arms. A shorter stroke with more core propulsion.

Fly: Same as the freestyle but simultaneous. Keep your head low, notstrained, and your hands and arms within your peripheral vision. Phelps' fly isa great example of this.

Although my shoulders have improved a little bit each day, I am unsure as to whether I will be ready to race 400 IM and 200 Fly in Mission Viejo. Instead, I will be swimming those races with the goal of completing them injury free. My breaststroke should be ok at race pace, however, my times are definitely off.

When June of 2014 rolls around, will somebody please remind me NOT to over train for Worlds and Nationals; especially after I swim the 3K and 1K at the Georgia Games? :doh: