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Seagurl51
November 10th, 2004, 03:57 PM
Ok, picture this. You get to the pool and it's empty. You think to yourself, this is gonna be a great swim, especially since the rest of my day as been not so great. Then when you finally get into the water, you push off and begin swimming when something amazing happens. Now picture this. This amazing thing is comparable only to you first day in the pool.....every! You realize that you are going to have an off day. This is what happened to me today. My breastroke was making waves so big you could body surf...My fly was like trying to watch a chipmunk do an IM (not that my fly has ever been good, but today was especially bad meaning it was the thing of nightmares), my free was horrible! The only thing that seemed to be going right was my backstroke. So anyways, I was looking for what people do to get over their bad days? I just reverted back to very elementary drills and tried to float (yes it was that bad I was sinking like I was made of lead). What do you do on your off days? Do you finish your workout, leave immediatly and hope that no one noticed, or stay extra and try to make the best of it? Hopefully tomorrow will be better!!

~Kyra

newmastersswimmer
November 10th, 2004, 04:03 PM
I had an "off" day last night....It was weird, my butterfly finally felt good after feeling horrid for almost 2 weeks....but my freestlyle felt horrid this time....In fact when I was only coasting 100 butterflies, I was almost swimming the same times as when I was struggling and pushing myself in a set of 100 freestyles.....How in the world could that be I thought??.....I just try to forget about those days and hope that next time I will feel better...(but I go ahead and make do the best I can in those situations anyway).


newmastersswimmer

swimr4life
November 10th, 2004, 04:04 PM
I had one of those today! I tired very quickly for some reason. I got out a few minutes early. I've learned the hard way that you have to listen to your body! I just shrug my shoulders and tell myself I'll feel better tomorrow. You can't be "on" every day. It is very frustrating that day but you can't let it get you down. Consistency is the key!

Fishgrrl
November 10th, 2004, 04:09 PM
Oh...those terrible off days! Boy, have I had my share...

One of the most important things that I do when I have an off day is I remind myself of those really great "on" days where I feel like I could swim for hours, my stroke is so ON, and in general I'm just kicking ass in the water. Awsome!

Rarely will I get out of the pool. I tell myself to just slow down and concentrate on my stroke; I do drills or a kick or scull set to try to get a feel for the water and just ride it out. I also keep a swim journal, where I write down how I felt during the workout, what my times were if we have a timed set, and what the main set was. I also chart my stroke rate and any improvements I make on a particular stroke, i.e., "...today my breastroke kick felt a lot more fluid and consistant, especially since I've been working on my quad flexibility..."

Sometimes, if I'm just bored and the workout is not going well, I will put on my fins just for fun.

What's odd is sometimes I'll go to a workout feeling crummy and have a great workout; other times I'm ready to tear up the water and I feel crummy and "off." Go figure. Swimming has it's ebbs and flows, that's for sure.

dorothyrde
November 10th, 2004, 04:17 PM
I just get through the off days, and hope the next one is better. I figure swimming through them at least burns some calories and is better then sitting on my behind eating chocolate!

We all have days like this, don't worry about it, next time may be awesome!

Seagurl51
November 10th, 2004, 04:26 PM
But Chocolate is sooo good!! j/k...kinda. anyway..thanx for all the feedback. Hopefully my week will get better!

~Kyra

aquageek
November 10th, 2004, 04:26 PM
I view my off days as my best days, the biggest challenges. I figured making it through the off days makes the good days even better. You stick with those off days, they will make you better.

Actually, when I have an off day, I make my workout even harder, reduce the intervals, swim longer.

Scansy
November 10th, 2004, 04:27 PM
I wouldn't know, I don't have off days!:D

Or maybe all of may days are off, so they all feel right!:D

Seriously though, when I am off, I tend to just plow right through my intended workout. Kind of the bull in a china shop approach. I force myself to complete the set. Many times I feel better at the end of the workout. I don't look at my times though - it might depress me. I don't cut it short though - that already happens too much with the realities of life.

Seagurl51
November 10th, 2004, 04:31 PM
Ok one question. When you do plow through the off days what about the strokes that are you giving you the most trouble. Do you struggle to finish whatever distance your workout calls for or do you break that distance down into drills?

~Kyra

newmastersswimmer
November 10th, 2004, 04:31 PM
Kinda hard to let much get you down these days eh? ... With the way the Steelers are playing this year and all....Everything is beautiful when your team is kicking butt!!


newmastersswimmer

p.s. I'm a poor Tennessee Volunteers fan....so life is not so peachy right now for me unfortunately.

Fishgrrl
November 10th, 2004, 04:40 PM
that's a great way to look at it, because by that point (at least for me) it's become psychological. There have been times when I've been training alone and I feel so "off", and if I can just grit my teeth and bear down, the workout actually gets better.

EyeoreSAM
November 10th, 2004, 05:13 PM
I just think that you have to workout through the bad days and keep plugging along-making sure that your form is still correct. When you make it through those bad days it makes it so easy on the great ones.

dorothyrde
November 10th, 2004, 06:05 PM
I just plow through the sets trying to hold it together the best I can. There is something to making it through those bad days, often you do feel better at the end. If fly is too awful, I may switch to drilling it, but most times, I just muddle through.

SWinkleblech
November 10th, 2004, 06:32 PM
I just plow through the workout. Its not easy for me to get to the pool so when I am there I need to workout. So I just make do with what I have in me that day and hope for a better one next time.

hooked-on-swimming
November 10th, 2004, 07:32 PM
Great timing on the post!I just had one yesterday, it was frustrating.I actually switched to the drills first, then tried to swim long smooth strokes to hold a good DPS and then it gradually got a little better...Maybe I just was not warmed up enough or something ... but I do believe you need to stick to a work-out even harder at such points and it usually gets better later on in a work-out.

Scansy
November 10th, 2004, 08:57 PM
Originally posted by newmastersswimmer
Kinda hard to let much get you down these days eh? ... With the way the Steelers are playing this year and all....Everything is beautiful when your team is kicking butt!!


newmastersswimmer

p.s. I'm a poor Tennessee Volunteers fan....so life is not so peachy right now for me unfortunately.

Well, I'm a Penn State Alum. Things have been tough from that end for a while now. But yes, the Steelers make me smile!:D

Scansy
November 10th, 2004, 09:02 PM
For me, when I am off and plow through the workout, I often find that at the end of the workout - say the last 25% or so - it finally all clicks and I feel great in the last few sets. Not always, but sometimes. It almost seems like there is something going on in my body - based on not enough sleep, poor eating for a couple of days, stress, whatever - and working out hard makes my body process the bad stuff and get it out of my system.

Of course, there are the days when I don't get it worked out, I struggle to complete the workout and feel like crap when I'm done. But I don't let myself quit in the middle of a workout - time in the pool is too limited to just get out.

swimr4life
November 10th, 2004, 10:25 PM
Sometimes pushing yourself works wonders. But, I think sometimes pushing yourself can backfire. If I want to be able to function the rest of the day, sometimes its better for me to call it a day and hope for a better workout tomorrow!

Seagurl51
November 11th, 2004, 04:43 PM
Yay! Today was better, lot's better, except for my fly. Like I said, my fly has never been good, but for some reason my hips were really sinking today. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't get them up. I tried pushing on my chest more, lifting my legs, different head positions. Nothing seemed to work. Any suggestions?

~Kyra

Scansy
November 11th, 2004, 08:51 PM
Don't do fly!:p

Seriously though, the thing that I have to concentrate on the most is keeping my head in line with my spine. If I am doing this right, my head enters the water before my hands (not by much) and it keeps my hips from sinking.

Seagurl51
November 12th, 2004, 02:45 AM
Ok kind of a technique question now. So then when my hands are almost out in front then my head should be down, or going back down, and my hips should be going up, while pushing my legs and chest down right? So that by the end of the stroke my body is in like a pike position, head and chest down, hips and butt up, and legs down with my hands out in front right? So then when it's time to stroke again I can "push" my chest up, pull my hands back and let my legs kick from the wave motion. (Did any of that description make sense, I hope it did cuz I need some hlep here) This is how I generally try to do fly. If this is wrong would someone PLEASE tell me the right timing and correct way to have my limbs in relation to my other limbs! Thanx a million!!

~Kyra

gull
November 12th, 2004, 08:59 AM
A coach once told me that you accomplish the most on the days that you work out when you really don't feel like it. Usually I find that if I hang in there I can finish with a good set.

swimr4life
November 12th, 2004, 10:46 AM
Originally posted by gull80
A coach once told me that you accomplish the most on the days that you work out when you really don't feel like it. Usually I find that if I hang in there I can finish with a good set.

My coach told me the same thing. It is true unless you have a few bad days in a row. When that happens, I think it is better to take a day off. Training tired is good to a point. I think everyone has to do what works for them. I find if I have 3-4 days that I don't feel good, it is better for me to take a day or two off. I come back able to workout much harder. I am a sprinter though. I imagine distance swimmers may be different....they are a whole different species!:D

gull
November 12th, 2004, 05:14 PM
Good point. Back when my coach told me that, nobody ever talked about overtraining. I guess you have to distinguish between overtraining and just feeling unmotivated.

SWinkleblech
November 15th, 2004, 08:33 AM
I had a terrible workout on Friday. One of those days you just want to get it over with. Who knew that I would be spending the rest of my weekend in bed sick. Of course I got better just in time to come into work today.

Rob Copeland
November 15th, 2004, 10:28 AM
Kyra, regarding your fly –

There was a good article in this month’s Swim, which may answer some of your questions. Also, you didn’t mention your breathing pattern. I find that breathing every other stroke really helps to keep my body aligned and my hips up. If I drop down to 2-1-2-1 or 1-1-1-1 my hips start to drop.

Seagurl51
November 15th, 2004, 01:04 PM
I tend to breath every stroke. I'm trying to breath every other stroke but when I do then I feel starved for oxygen and like I get tired really quickly. Oh that brings up another question, I can go about three quaters of the way down the pool and feel really good, like I could on forever, but then all of a sudden I sink. I don't think it's because I'm tired, cuz I can go one length and not be to bad. Any ideas? Thanx!!

~Kyra

Rob Copeland
November 16th, 2004, 09:30 AM
It takes a lot more strength to hold together butterfly breathing every stroke (a la Phelps) than it does to breath every other stroke (a la Crocker). In the last couple of years I have been working to go from a 2-1-2-1 breathing pattern to breathing every other stroke. It took a while to get comfortable with the new breathing pattern, but my 200 fly at nationals this year felt as good as any 200 fly in recent memory and my time was faster than it had been in years.

Breathing every other stroke will initially cause you to fatigue more quickly, so I suggest you try to slow down your stroke and focus on breathing and technique and slowly increase intensity as you get more comfortable.

ced357
November 16th, 2004, 03:02 PM
I hate off days!!!
Its true, upon entering the water you almost know right away if your swim will be "on" or "off". When I have an off day its extreme. On a typical day, I can hold 10x100 Free’s on 1:03-1:05, but on an “off” day I find it very hard to break 1:10. I get so discouraged that my whole workout is shot. I have to try to swim through it, but its frustrating. I don’t understand why this happens, but you can allay all fears knowing that many face the same problem.

LindsayNB
November 16th, 2004, 04:57 PM
I am still learning butterfly and experimenting with breathing patterns. I have a theory, which might be total rubbish, that breathing every other stroke makes it easier to keep one's hips up but that one can learn to keep one's hips up while breathing every stroke. I've been making progress in this regard, and I am not sure it takes more strength, timing seems to be the key for me. The biggest challenge for me is that as I tire I tend to draw out the breath and not get my head back down soon enough. Having said all that I am still faster breathing every second stroke than breathing every stroke, but the gap is closing.

When I suddenly tire it is usually the result of losing the rhythm of the stroke and letting my hips drop so that I am pulling up instead of forward. An oncoming wave that interferes with a breath is all it takes to throw me off, I hope that will improve with practice.

One "breakthrough" for me was when I started exhaling earlier in the stroke, this allows me to get a quicker deeper inhale which helps with the "I need oxygen!" feeling and helps keeping the timing going.

Like I said, I'm just learning and I could be all wet...

stacey
November 16th, 2004, 07:34 PM
Back in the pool today after a week off, and it feels *so* on.
I keep a swim journal and looking back at the frequency of off days, I really needed that break.

Seagurl51
December 7th, 2004, 04:20 PM
I thought I would resurrect this thread because this post I think fits best here. So today when I was swimming, everything started out great and then went down hill from there. After my warm-up my muscles started to feel really heavy. It felt like was swimming through mud. Then my calves started to get sore, and my muscles got heavier. I had really sore muscles this weekend (went snowboarding for the first time this season..it was good:p), so I took a few days off. Yesterday was awsome (broke my personal best time by about 5 seconds), not even the slightest hint of soreness, but today was really hard. Any ideas? Thanx a bunch!

~Krya

SwiminONandON
December 7th, 2004, 06:01 PM
ah, yet another time for me to interject a profound peril a wisdom ...

"It's the bad days that make the good ones seem better." Ok, that's not it exactly but more or less ... the bad days let you appreciate the good ones all the more.

I know when I have bad days I am more fired up to get into the pool and work harder the next day. I use it as motivation.

Scansy
December 8th, 2004, 06:27 AM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
... (went snowboarding for the first time this season..it was good:p)...


I'm very, very jealous. Here in PA, we don't have snow yet.:(

Seagurl51
December 8th, 2004, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by Scansy
I'm very, very jealous. Here in PA, we don't have snow yet.:(

You can have some of ours! I'll send the blizzard we're getting right now (that is making the roads bad so I cant' go to the pool:mad: ) your way. It's dumping PLENTY of snow!

~Kyra