View Full Version : sudden decline in endurance

January 5th, 2003, 09:46 PM
My daughter is a USA swimmer and has had a decline in her stamina now for about 3 weeks. Her goal is to go to State and she only needs to drop 3 sec. on her free and 6 sec on her breast and she is frustrated. Can anyone give me ideas on how to help her or ideas as to why this might be happening

Ion Beza
January 5th, 2003, 10:16 PM
I wish I knew this kind of answer for my own goals.

Note however that cutting 3 and 6 seconds, is about making a big chunk of improvement.
This size of improvement is usually overcame by swimmers in their growth phase, when hormones and body development are at their maximum.

Aside from growing, the conventional answer lays in resting well, eating well, training well, being positive, having a good technique, undertaking medical tests that monitor the red blood cells count and the swimming VO2Max.

However, beyond this conventional answer, lay more profound answers, in the realm of the unknown nature.

January 5th, 2003, 10:29 PM
I think alot of it could be psychological. I remember when I swam in high school, I was on a roll for the most of the season, but when it came down to the BIG meets and Divisionals, my performance made a "U"ey and sucked real bad. Practices were endless and more difficult, even though we were tapering, my times got slower, it was a nightmare.

I was so worried about these meets that I would think about them all the time. I mean, a meet that would determine who would be the league champs was a big deal! It would be the first time our school would ever be league champs in 24 years! Of course, we came in second place AGAIN! :o

Anyhow, my point is, unless it's a physical problem, I would take it easy. Take a while off of swimming, if you have time, I would take probably three to four days off...have fun! If you're worried about her staying in shape, I don't know what to tell ya! But here's an idea:

Our whole water polo team was on the swim team as well....well, most of them. When our coach thought we needed a break, he would break out the water polo balls. We just played scrimmages against each other. It was a blast. And the best part was that even though it was against the CIF (governing body of high school sports in california) rules to play water polo in the off-season, it didn't matter because most of us were seniors anyways(what were they gonna do? disqualify us from playing next year?! We were graduating anyways), AND, because two of us (me and another player) were certified lifeguards, we stayed on deck....and played a few quarters now and then, and our coach left!...so it was "unsupervised" (but legal) fun.

So anyways, if you could find a way to make her practices fun, you won't have to worry about the "staying in shape" thing.

hope that helps:D


January 5th, 2003, 11:02 PM
Well, age group swimming is very demanding. I remember back in 1972 before my 15 birthday when I swam a 1:16.1 in the 100 yard breastroke, the next time I swam under 1:17 was when I was 18 years old, and swam a 1:16.8. Anyways, at 45 years old, I would be lucky to break the 1:30 barrier since I swam a 1:44.86 in meters breastroke. I would be very happy if I could do my age group times now. In retrospect not all of us make Jr national or senior national level or go to the state meet. But that doesn't mean that we are bad swimmers.

January 6th, 2003, 03:28 AM
Check out the latest Swim magazine. There are excellent articles about overtraining, and about iron deficiency anemia.

I understand where zoomzoomdave is coming from, but make sure there is not a physical problem before telling your daughter it is all in her head. From personal experience (i-d anemia from medication), it is crushing to be trying your hardest, and have people saying its all in your head. :(

January 6th, 2003, 09:48 AM
Dear Swim Mom -

As others have indicated, the decline in stamina can be from many factors that are beyond any of our ability to address because your posting includes very little information. All we would be doing is guessing.

The best answer to your question can come from your daughter's coach. If you have not sat down and talked with him/her, I would encourage you to do so. Between the three of you, getting to the times your daughter wants will more likely happen.

Paul Windrath

Matt S
January 10th, 2003, 03:00 PM
I don't want to belittle your daughter's goals or cast doubt on whether she can reach them, but she might have reached a "plateau" in her swimming development. By that I mean a time period when her personal records don't improve for no apperant physical reason, similar to a baseball player going through a batting slump, or any athlete simply having a below average (for them) season. This happens to all swimmers at all levels of ability, and there is usually nothing to "fix." They simply have to weather this period.

Probably the most important thing you can do as a parent is to be emotionally supportive. Speaking from my own experience, one way to make a plateau worse is to hyperfocus on "the problem" and begin to doubt yourself and your swimming ability. She is young; you can bring the perspective of an adult by reminding her of how much she has already accomplished, and by pointing out that those last 3-6 seconds to reach her goals are nice, but they are not the sole determinate of her worth as a swimmer or a person. I doubt that she started swimming, or continues to do so just to reach those goal times. You can remind her of all the reasons she did start, and all the wonderful reasons to continue, even if she does not make these two particular goal times this season. Continue to be positive and supportive, and when she is ready, she will break out of this period in a way that will astound her and everyone around her.


January 10th, 2003, 05:21 PM
You did not mention what type of training regimen she is on. A drop in stamina may also be a result of over training. Rest is an integral part of training that, at times, is overlooked. Make sure that is not missing.