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View Full Version : Unavoidable layoff and its effects



skiboy58
February 17th, 2017, 12:13 AM
I just had a meet and was unhappy with my 50 times...about a second slower than two months ago in both events (free and breast). I swam regularly (2200-3000 three or four times a week), including for the two weeks just prior to the meet, but before that, I took an entire week off (actually, 9 days) for a ski trip to Colorado. Could such a layoff have affected my times all that much, given that I am only swimming sprints?

waves101
February 17th, 2017, 08:17 AM
Missing 9 days of swimming certainly didn't help but I wouldn't attribute the full second just to that. After all, you were still exercising (skiing). I'd sooner say it was a combination of things but most likely your legs were the main culprit. 9 days of skiing would certainly tire them out and if the legs are gone so are your sprints. Maybe try doing some pulls the day before your next meet so your legs can rest up a bit.

Gary P
February 17th, 2017, 11:49 AM
I agree with waves101. Two weeks should be enough to recover most, if not all, of whatever sprint speed you might have lost from a 9 day layoff. There are a lot of other possible explanations. Tired legs from skiing? Tired from training harder than usual in an attempt to make up for the missed days? Slower pool? Not as rested as you were 2 months ago? Technical mistakes you didn't make last time (i.e. starts and/or turns)? Just had an off day?

Dan Kornblatt
February 19th, 2017, 07:18 AM
As we age we all have cycles with our bodies. My advice is not to read too much into it as you have not done anything wrong training wise. One second seems like a lot but it really isn't. We all have up and down days regularly. The trick is to swim in several meets a year and hope for an up day. Just look forward to your next meet.

knelson
February 20th, 2017, 12:39 PM
As a data point, I almost always feel terrible in the pool for a week or two after a ski vacation and I've never taken one longer than four or five days. Nine days is a long time out of the water whatever the situation. I always try to get in a swim or two during a ski trip. Even though you're exercising on the slopes it's just not the same as swimming. I think even short swims in the mountains (say 30 minutes) will help when you return home.

orca1946
February 20th, 2017, 05:49 PM
And in sprints anything can cause a slower time. Add in the long heavy ski workouts and this could be the cause.

DeniseMW
March 21st, 2017, 11:02 AM
I'm bringing this thread back up because I'm afraid I've lost my swimming mojo. It's been almost two years since my shoulder surgery and I'm just at the point where I can swim pain-free, but find I just don't feel like getting all my gear together and slogging over to the gym. I get up with good intentions and by the time I've staggered out of bed I'm like, I'll go do something else that doesn't involve getting wet.

Part of me would love to swim again like I did before all this, but it'll take a while before I can swim long and hard and consecutively enough where it's an actual good workout. I think that's what's holding me back, knowing I have a long road ahead just to get to a reasonable fitness level. So if anyone has any advice, I'd love to hear it.

Gary P
March 21st, 2017, 03:33 PM
I'm bringing this thread back up because I'm afraid I've lost my swimming mojo. It's been almost two years since my shoulder surgery and I'm just at the point where I can swim pain-free, but find I just don't feel like getting all my gear together and slogging over to the gym. I get up with good intentions and by the time I've staggered out of bed I'm like, I'll go do something else that doesn't involve getting wet.

Part of me would love to swim again like I did before all this, but it'll take a while before I can swim long and hard and consecutively enough where it's an actual good workout. I think that's what's holding me back, knowing I have a long road ahead just to get to a reasonable fitness level. So if anyone has any advice, I'd love to hear it.

The best advice I ever heard about overcoming a lack of motivation is to say to yourself "just go swim 500 yards. If you don't want to keep going after that, leave." I've said that to myself dozens of times. Only once did I end up leaving after 500. Many of my most productive workouts started as a "just go swim 500" day.

My personal experience, after my latest several-month-layoff, is that it's easier to rebuild your sprint speed first, then start working on endurance. The first 2 weeks back are going to be a challenge, no matter what. But, if you do lots of hard (100 race effort) 25's on medium rest, you can get to about 90% of your maximum sprint speed potential in another 4-6 weeks. The confidence I got from seeing my sprint speeds getting close to my pre-layoff benchmarks in ~25 workouts gave me the strength to tackle the harder task of getting my 400/500 and 1500/1650 speed back.

DeniseMW
March 22nd, 2017, 08:28 AM
Thank you, GaryP. That's great advice.

waves101
March 22nd, 2017, 08:35 AM
I understand shoulder surgeries are a major ouch and depending on the degree of what you had done and by what doctor there are varying levels of recovery. However, I have a friend who had 2 shoulder surgeries (which I would classify as major repair). Granted, he did go to a sports surgeon, but he was able to recover and is now performing/swimming at the same level as he did before the surgeries. If the "getting all my gear together" bothers you, don't. Just take a swimsuit, goggles and a towel. Go back to the basics. If "slogging over to the gym" bothers you, have another swimmer meet you there. Turn it into a fun thing. Just find a way to get to the pool. Don't look for an excuse not to go, make an excuse to go. Maybe even sign up for a meet (who cares if you haven't been swimming). If the meet brings back the fun, you'll want to get back in and train. Good Luck!

DeniseMW
March 22nd, 2017, 09:55 AM
Waves101 your friend sounds amazing. Thank you for the great advice.

I think one of the big factors holding me back is that I've moved to a new area and don't have my old swim buddies anymore, so I need to get out and make new ones. And leaving all the gear behind is a good idea. I will look for an excuse to go instead of not. And get used to being in a new place.