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Thread: Do you swim ~literally~ every day?

  1. #1
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    Do you swim ~literally~ every day?

    It's a constant debate and battle in my head, the angel and demon on each shoulder: should I go to swim practice on the seventh day or not? Is swimming 365 days a year in good interest? I am sure context, how you live and work your hours outside of swim, matters here. Are there any true fish out here who make it to the pool day-after-day almost infallibly? I'd be impressed to hear your story!

    I always swim 3-4 days a week, no challenging it.
    I would like to always swim 5-6 days a week, and do in fact hit this goal during different seasons.
    Still...
    ....I'm always debating trying swimming 7 days a week, every week.

    Part of me wants to do it, because I'd want to take full responsibility for making myself the best swimmer I personally can be. And that would be an impressive and presumably rewarding undertaking. But is knocking off days of eventually-mandatory rest even worth it? Am I just being to hard on myself? Would swimming that much be counterproductive? Perhaps it would leave me feeling as though I had something to prove. Some days when I listen to my body, the is reply is "less is more."

    What do you all think? Would you change your schedule to swim 7 days, every week, for as much as one whole year straight - and if you did, why would that be a worthy, worthwhile goal for you? And if you are already a fish 7 days a week, almost every week, would you ever consider swimming less? (Not counting tapering, of course: which could be defined as not swimming for a swimming reason --- as opposed to taking a break/changing your schedule: which is not swimming for an external reason or justification.)

  2. #2
    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
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    Re: Do you swim ~literally~ every day?

    Hey Solar! Glad to see you in the pool and playing on the forums now. Great questions and good goals (saw those on a different thread).

    So 7 days a week of anything could lead to burnout and/or overuse injuries if you're not used to it. When your passion becomes work, it's just not as much fun. Not sure what your age is, but consider taking at least one day a week off or two if your body is telling you to do so. Your body needs rest days to repair and regenerate. You could do something different those rest days, like go for a long walk, but keep it low impact/pressure.

    It's more about doing quality swimming, not quantity. Try tweaking one thing per month until it has become habit, such as faster turns, then work on another area. If you're not already, you should also change up what you're doing every day - speed one day, drills and stroke another, then distance another. Make it challenging. There are some fantastic workouts in the workout forums that you can print out and do to keep things different. If you still feel like you need more, do a double workout some days - one in the morning, one in the evening.

    In short, yes, you need at least one rest day/week.
    Kari Kennedy

  3. #3
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Do you swim ~literally~ every day?

    Too much of anything is not good. I swim 3 days and go to the gym 3 days with one day off.

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    Re: Do you swim ~literally~ every day?

    Solarizing,

    There are all kinds of reasons to swim, so "how often" & "how much" are an individual choice and decision.

    When I was in my 20s and 30s, I swam every day (usually 4500-6000 yards, sometimes as high as 12,000). Although my goal was to bust my butt every day, I also had days when I focused on technique because I was physically tired. That continued until I was 50ish. The results were pretty good - national records, one world record, 24 hr relays, a 50,000 yard day for the year 2000..

    In my 50s, I still swam every day (had keys to the pool) and also took off time for bicycle trips. Volume and intensity was less as I struggled with some shoulder pain. There were a couple of times when I would kick the entire 5,500 yards.

    Now, in my 60s, my daily volume is down to 4500 and I swim 5 days/wk - only because weekend pool hours (no keys to the pool now) are inconvenient or the other swimmers are too slow. I could join a masters team, but I have swum on my own for almost 40 years, so doing what the coach wants me to do might not mesh with what I want to do. If I could, I would still swim every day because I feel physically better for doing it.

    The key to doing something every day is to accept whatever each day brings and don't get hung up on doing what the pundits tell you is necessary or required. For example, I used to get anxious about making each practice different than the previous. One day, I stopped worrying about that and wrote a practice that was for a specific day of the week. That was in 1992 and I have been doing those same 5-6 practices for the past 27 years. Not only don't I get bored, I look forward to them because I don't have to think up something to do. And, every Wednesday is my "mega-monotonous" day when I do 100s on an interval for the entire 90 minutes (i.e. 60 x 100 on 1:30).

    For many swimmers, what I do would drive them crazy. For me though - it works. Intermittently, injuries have led me to consider less days or no swimming at all. That only lasts a day or so and I find a way to swim around the injury.

    The key is accepting whatever each day brings. Don't get hung up on how fast/slow you go. Some days are gems, some are stones. No one tries to have a "stone" day - they just happen. When it does, accept it (like a traffic jam every afternoon) and get through it. One stroke at a time.

    Good Luck figuring it out for yourself.

    Paul

  5. #5
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: Do you swim ~literally~ every day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solarizing View Post
    What do you all think?
    It depends somewhat on your goals. There are plenty of swimmers out there who swim every day without any problems. And very few Masters Swimmers train at such a level that their body actually need recovery days.

    I agree with Kari, that this could lead to burnout and/or overuse injuries. However, if you train smart and are training towards a goal, then these potentials can be mitigated.

    Where we disagree is with “It's more about doing quality swimming, not quantity.” This is goal dependent. If you are training to compete then quality is absolutely important. However if you are training strictly for fitness or for a mileage goal, then quantity plays a larger factor. I’ve got a friend who has set a goal of 2,000 miles swimming this year; I can assure you that he is not focused on “quality swimming”. Averaging 10,000 a day takes more like efficiency and endurance than quality.

    If you want to give it a try, I suggest you start with a goal of every day for a month. When you achieve that then you see how long you can stretch it.
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine and not those of U.S. Masters Swimming.

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    Re: Do you swim ~literally~ every day?

    I used to swim 7 days a week, but every practice was intense and I did at one point felt a little burnt out. I was also experiencing some aches/pains more frequently. So I decided to take 1 day off a week, and I use that time for pilates or to focus more on recovery. It actually helped. I'm not dragging my feet to go swim anymore, quite the opposite, I get more excited for the next practice after my day off. And if you are like me, working long hours and have young kids, the extra sleep helps.

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    Re: Do you swim ~literally~ every day?

    I don't think I could swim every single day. Aside from work getting in the way (my shifts are minimum 12 hours, sometimes 24 hours), I wouldn't have time for all the other things I do, like play hockey, or ride my horse. My dad is one of those people who can do the same thing every day for years, and some people are like that - personally I need a change of scenery and activity. I wouldn't want to play hockey every day, or even ride every single day, either. If I do other things, I find I look forward to each thing more.

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    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
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    Re: Do you swim ~literally~ every day?

    Ahhh... good points on depending on the goal. You’re right, Rob.
    Kari Kennedy

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    Re: Do you swim ~literally~ every day?

    Personally, I am working on rehabbing my back after surgery and I swim five days in a row then take a day off, while not working. I am a freelancer and travel a lot for work, so a gym isn’t always an option.

    I’ll use that day off to give my hair a rest from the chlorine, do my errands, (Costco, groceries, etc). My body feels the burn out by five but then on my day off, I miss the pool. But right now, I don’t have the strength to go six days.

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    Very Active Member aztimm's Avatar
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    Re: Do you swim ~literally~ every day?

    When I look through my FLOG on the USMS site, I noticed that in July 2018 I swam (some) every day. One day I actually swam twice!
    But looking closer, some of those swims were as little as 400 yards. I typically jump in the pool at the gym after I finish my treadmill/weights workout. Since I'm already there, why not? Some of those swims might be 1500 yards, but one was just 400. I find swimming feels great on tired legs after a tough run.
    There might have been some swims that i just walked to my community pool for a quick swim too.

    As others have said, everyone has different goals. Will swimming 20k yards a week be good training for a fast 100 yard free? Probably not, but I do know some who do that and are far faster than I'll ever be. On the other hand, will a short 2000 yard swim, consisting mostly of sprints, help to train for a 10k? Once in a while it is probably fine, but depending on the swimmer, maybe not.

    I used to be a part of a swimming group on Facebook where people swam at least a mile a day, every day.

    If I really wanted to swim every day, I probably could. My gym is open nearly every day, except Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have several other pools I have access to. For me personally, I do train for open water swims, so I'm not as concerned with shorter, quality sets (but I do some fast swims periodically just to check fitness levels).

    If you want to try it--go for it. Just be ready to modify if you need/want to.
    Check out my blog here
    "You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."

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    Re: Do you swim ~literally~ every day?

    I am inclined to think the type of swimming being done would be a factor in addition to the goals as mentioned by others. I used to be a general lap swimmer, and most of the folks hopping in the pool when I'm there are the same way. They just get in and swim at a nice, leisurely pace. I analogize it to seeing people at the gym who walk on the treadmills. 7 days a week, sure, no problem.

    Conversely, you have folks that do some intense interval training. Sprints, drills, pull sets, kick sets, etc. That his how I swim, now (and FWIW, I'm a whole lot more fit doing 12,000 yards/week that way than I was doing up to 20,000 yards the other way). Those are like people who are sweating their butts off on the ellipticals set up for interval resistances. In that case, I find that my body benefits greatly from a day where I can recover.

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    Re: Do you swim ~literally~ every day?

    Even I love swimming I can't even think of doing it 7 days a week - I do at most 6 days a week, normally 5, sometimes 4 recently, up from 2 or 3 previous year. I absolutely need a rest day after a long session, sometimes 2 days rest if I am doing triple of my normal mileage in a long OW swim.

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    Re: Do you swim ~literally~ every day?

    I go virtually every day because the water's so nice to my messed-up back. I find there's no reason to take a day off no matter how hard I'm training because I can always keep the intensity very low and focus on the details of my technique.

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