Usually after a meet I am wiped out. I am looking for suggestions on how to prevent the post meet zombie effect.
I agree with Jim. Lots of fluids and easy swimming/easy exercising to help flush the lactic acid. Massages help speed recovery too. I usually opt for a massage before a big meet. But once I did it after, and it really helped.
I agree with the comments and suggestions above. I'd also add this. Don't skimp on your warm-down after your last event. You may be tempted to hit the showers/restaurant/bar/bed/all of the above soon after your last event. But a 20 minute warm-down will flush out all the lactic acid and help you keep from feeling sore the next day. I don't know if there is anything to do to prevent feeling exhausted if you raced hard.......
LOL - This thread really interests me. I'm never tired after a meet. I typically have great practices right after the meet. I'm starting to think meets are a break from my training. I warm down lots after each swim and I drink a good recovery drink immediately after I'm done for the day.
The only other thing I can add is that I make sure to go to practice the following day. I used to take a day or two off and I found (years back) that I would be very stiff. The college gals I swam with (and their coaches) recommended to get in and swim the next day as that's what they do to prevent soreness, stiffness, etc. First time I heard this I thought they were all insane. But it works for me. . . but I guess I also train significant yardage over what I actually race, warm up and warm down in a meet.
Last edited by CreamPuff; February 23rd, 2009 at 09:53 PM.
If it is a mid-season meet I think of the meet as a lactic acid stress workout,so I want to be tired.If it is a taper meet,I'll take it easy for a few days-long slow swimming.
"To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
1. 100 yd warmdown
2. 20 min. hot shower
3. Good-natured high-volume locker room discussion with teammates and competitors about all the reasons you didn't go faster in all of your events/how out of shape you were for this meet
4. Start nodding off at the bar after three beers and some bar food
5. Three advil, bed
6. Call in sick to work on Monday
7. Tuesday, good as new.
I am always exhausted after a meet. I've got to take several days off to recover. Lucky we've got twins to make sure those days happen. Honestly, I'd say, my pool time warm down is never enough; recovery drinks aren't enough. I guess I'm not in shape enough.
What I normally do
- not stay hydrated at the meet
- not warm up and cool down before and after events
- leave immediately after the meet
- do not eat for at least an hour after the meet
- eat an unhealthy meal washed down with alcohol when I do finally eat
- do not workout for at least a day
At my last meet
- drank 96oz of water during the 4 hour meet
- warmed up before events and a short (~100yds) cool down after
- everything else the same
I felt much better than normal after that meet.
My next meet is an other short local meet. I expect to be there 3 to 4 hours and I will try the following.
- stay well hydrated with water during the meet
- warm up and down after events (hopefully the outdoor pool is open for warm up/down)
- cool down ~500yds if the outdoor pool is open
- Endurox immediately after my last event
- pack something to eat (peanut butter sandwich maybe) to tide me over until I can get some real food
- eat a healthly meal washed down with water
- hit the gym a little later for 1-2k yoga swim + hot tub
- workout Sunday
After zones, my post meet will resemble Daaaave's and I should have no trouble achieving the pain level Patrick so enjoys.
CreamPuff, Did you feel differently about post meet before you started training mega yardage? Maybe all I need to do is start training 80k/week.
Well, not sure what would happen if you trained 80K a week. I would bet your body would put a stop to it pretty quick.
I currently swim 4x a week with the kids and 1x a week with masters (5 swimming sessions a week) averaging 30,000 yds a week. I did average more last summer when I trained for the 25K, but I no longer do that.
This 30-32K is about what I averaged when I swam masters. So to answer your question, I did have the same post meet results when swimming masters or with the kids. The only time I felt AWFUL post meets was the first couple of years when I started up swimming after a 12 year break - and I was a physical fitness mess.
I'm liking your current plan.
I don't get all that tired from most meets, but it depends a lot on what I swim, how many days the meet is, the type of meet (eg trials/finals format is much more tiring, and "significant" meets at the end of a taper can be more mentally draining), and whether significant travel is involved.
Absolutely agree with Allen that meets -- especially mid-season -- should be viewed in the context of training. They are like high-quality workouts. So if I train the next day I'll usually do something other than quality stuff, especially if it was a multi-day meet. And I agree with the poster (maybe multiple?) who suggested that doing nothing can sometimes be worse than getting in and doing something, even if it is all easy.
As an aside: I remember watching the Tour de France when the commentators talked about what the riders would do on their rest days. What they would NOT do is just rest, they all went out for longish rides. They commented that if the riders took it too easy on the rest day, they would actually do worse on the following day. Of course, the TdF is not quite the same as masters swimming but I think there is something to the principle. Sometimes even during "heavy" training -- no meet involved -- I feel worse after a day off.
If you are having a hard time recovering from meets -- more specifically, if you are getting very tired by the end of the meet, to the point that you think it is affecting your times in your last event(s) -- then in preparing for your main meet(s) of the season you need to do one of two things: reduce the number of events you enter, or change your training to improve your ability to recover from multiple all-out swims.
Of course, there is the saying that nothing prepares you for racing quite like racing. That's true in practice, but it also means doing enough meets that you know what to expect at state champs, zones or nationals (or whatever). So doing meets is also "training" in that sense.
As far as CP's comment that meet yardage is significantly less than practice, that's a little misleading. Even so, you might be suprised if you add up all the yards you typically swim in a meet, including the meet warmups, warmup & recovery for each race, etc. I think last summer at Sr Champs, between trials and finals I swam about 6000 LCM each day for 3 days, that's nothing to sneeze at. Much of that was low-intensity of course.
But the reason I say it is misleading is that "yardage" alone is a poor metric of training volume anyway. They physical, mental and emotional toll of a meet is (or should be) greater than practices of the same length.
Last edited by Chris Stevenson; February 24th, 2009 at 10:15 AM.
Another interesting point that's worth sharing is that in my practices with USS, I can be swimming entire sets with girls who in meets swim :51 in the 100 fr; 1:51 in the 200 fr; :55 in the 100 fly; 5:00 in the 500 FR; etc. You can be sure that the boys are much faster than that and they may be in my lane as well. So. . . for me, going to the Auburn meet and most masters meets is a nice break as I was in heats with people my speed - :58s and slower in the last heat of 100 fly and so on. So for me, I'd have to say the emotional toll in practices prepare me for fun meets. This also applied when I would race the boys in masters practices - often racing the big boys was/ is much more difficult than racing *most* of the gals in a masters meet.
And this reminds me - I'm off to my one on one speed session today coached by an ex-UGA standout and USS coach of the year. He *kills* me. I'd say this weekly practice is more challenging than a meet b/c I want to please him (hard to do - don't think I ever have) and I'm racing the clock which is much more brutal than any competitor. Well. . . upon second thought, racing the girls who hit :51 in the 100 frees are worse to deal with!
Last edited by CreamPuff; February 24th, 2009 at 10:33 AM.
According to "its a slow show", Cheetos Cheese Puffs are the answer.
"What, Me Worry"? - Alfred E. Neuman
I totally forgot to mention the perfect, post-meet meal: a double-double with grilled onions from In-n-Out burgers (http://www.in-n-out.com/menu.asp). Far better than Cheetos.
For those of you heading from the east & midwest for Nationals, there are locations of this most awesome of fast food burger joints in Clovis and Fresno.