View Full Version : Surviving a multi-day meet

November 12th, 2006, 10:40 PM
I just went to my first two-day meet this weekend, and I had a really rough time the second day. The first day I was able to to get personal bests in 2 of my 3 swims and was only about half a second off in the other, but the second day I was 1-3 seconds off in all three races. I was also a little sore the second day, probably because there was no warmup pool. Is there anything I should have done so I could swim faster the second day?

November 13th, 2006, 10:24 AM
Done a better warmup and warmdown... I always make sure to warmdown after a race, but being a distance swimmer I need to warmdown after a race. The second morning is always tough, but I make myself get to the pool early because I know it will take me almost double to warm up the second day.


November 13th, 2006, 10:43 AM
When I first started back with masters, I also experienced rough second days.

Etrain has great advice. I also warm down (if at all possible) after each race with the longest warm down before I leave for the day. Stretching before and AFTER the first day of the meet helps me too. I make sure to go to bed early after eating a good dinner along with hydrating well throughout the weekend. I cut out any alcohol as well (even though I used to just have a glass of wine for dinner). All these things seem to work well for me. And, I don't take any caffine ever except during second days of meets for a "jump start" so to speak. Finally, I do like the energy drinks and gu gels for extra energy at meets - particularly on that second day.

Most importantly, I switched to swimming the practices that were 1.5 hours long as opposed to 1 hour long (and swim 5 to 6 days a week.) I personally feel that it's a physical fitness issue for me - being able to swim well the second day requires a solid training background. Hey, at least we don't have prelims and finals the same day like the age groupers! That would be killer!

November 13th, 2006, 10:48 AM
There is no real answer to this issue. Middle age sucks and it ain't for sissies. The Evil Smith and I are so tight and sore by the 3rd day of Masters Nationals it's a joke. Massage therapy is a great solution for this at the big meets. Smaller local meets you just have to grind through it.

Gone are the days of feeling great day after day. If you do hit one every now and then, enjoy it.

John Smith

November 13th, 2006, 11:20 AM
Not having a warmup or warmdown pool is not good. After each event I do I always warmdown with a 400, nice and easy. When the next event I am to swim is up, I always jump in and do at least a 200 loosen warmup. A lot depends on how long I have been sitting around on pool deck between events. Also, once meet is over always good to do a nice long warmdown. Also downing plenty of water and eating correctly between events and at night is important.

I do those 3 day meets, fri/sat/sun with prelims and finals. They are extremely draining by the third day however usually I can swim fast in the morning session but at finals it can be a challenge to go faster at night than in the morning.

Also, popping some motrin after first day of meet might make ya feel somewhat better the second day. If that doesnt work, have a nice cold :drink: after first day of meet :-)


November 13th, 2006, 01:38 PM
I've seen this approach (can't vouch for it !)

* Train hard all year
* Swim hard your first day.
* Skip the warmdown so you can sit in the hottub at the hotel with a few cold beers and your teammates
* Head out for supper, have a few margaritas before dinner
* Get Tex-Mex with lots of carbs
* Have another 'rita
* Spend the evening barhopping
* Sleep in, scratch all your individual events
* Show up after hotel checkout and swim some relay 50's towards the end
* By the end of the meet you'll feel fine for the drive home.

Never give the sports masseuse your credit card and just have them keep going. The next morning I always felt like I'd been mugged both from the soreness and from spending so much money.


November 13th, 2006, 02:35 PM
I really wish there had been a warmup pool, but it was a 6-lane 25 yard pool. The showers were crowded, so I couldn't even try to warm up or cool down there. And it certainly didn't help that I only had about 10 minutes between my 50 back and 100 fly! I just wanted to see if there was something I should have done, besides choosing a meet at a bigger pool.

I do need to up my training. I've been swimming 1 hour 4-5 days a week with 2-3 hard practices and 1-2 easy. In January my schedule will change, and I'll be able to swim 5-6 days a week with hopefully 4-5 hard practices.

Greg, you mentioned proper nutrition. Is there anything specific you (or anyone else) recommend, or is it mostly trial and error? I had real breakfasts and dinners both days, but snacked on dry cereal, fruit, and jello for lunch.

Jeff Commings
November 13th, 2006, 03:51 PM
After the first day, it's great to do a major warmdown after the last event. I usually make it three times the distance of the total yards/meters I swam that day.

So if you swam a 50 and a 100, you need to warm down at least 450 yards/meters.

And stretch during that warm down period.

That applies to everyone in a meet. When I coached 10 and unders, I made them all swim down after each day of a meet. They always complained but they did it and swam well the next day.

The Fortress
November 13th, 2006, 04:14 PM
There is no real answer to this issue. Middle age sucks and it ain't for sissies. John Smith

This is too true. Face it: you'll be dead. Warm down and imbibe muscle recovery stuff within 30 minutes of swimming. My last three day meet, I swam on days 1 and 3 and sat on the beach under an umbrella for day 2. This helped quite a bit. I do not find that a nice glass of wine at night hinders my next day in any way. (I still want to know why we do not have a wine icon....)

Frank Thompson
November 13th, 2006, 04:14 PM

All the advice here is excellent and I will add one more point. I find the more two day meets with mutiple events that you can attend, the better. I just did two meets like that in the last 3 weeks and I was extremely tired but swam well in both of them but did better in the second meet on the second day. What happens in situations like this is you are performing everything at a very high intensity. You might not swim as much yardage as practice but the race intensity level makes up for that and more. For me I just don't think a practice situation come close to this because you are both physically draining your body and also you are mentally draining yourself because you have one race to think about and one race to give all your physical energy to get the best times possible.

If you don't go to meets that often, your body won't be used to the physical and mental demands that this activity creates. I agree that the older you get the harder it is to go thru with this and you must get to these types of meets to get used to the stress that it creates.

Allen Stark
November 13th, 2006, 10:10 PM
Warm down is more important in sprints because you have more lactic acid. Warm down until you can't feel the race effects. If they don't have a warm down lane(which they are required to have at masters meets) warm down by walking and stretching. When I get back to the hotel or home after the first day I always take a long hot bath to further relax my muscles.

The Fortress
November 13th, 2006, 10:25 PM
I always take a long hot bath to further relax my muscles.

That's why, if I was dictator, there would be a large hot tub at every pool.

November 14th, 2006, 08:34 AM
Two comments:
1. According to the rules for sanctioning in the LMSC Handbook, "If no spearate faciity is available, provisions for warm-up/warm-down MUST be made as follows..." It goes on to say that in pools with 5 or more lanes, one lane shall be used for continuous warm-up/warm-down. In pools of fewer than 5 lanes, swimmers shall be allowed to swim to the other end of the pool after each heat and a warm-up/warm-down period shall be offered at least once each 1/2 hour.

2. A coach once told me that to swim in a 3 day meet, you must go to practice 3 days in a row. Likewise, if you only swim every other day, a 2-day meet will be hard.

Betsy Durrant