Often, I write about how to swim faster or work harder. I have researched ways to push past the pain and the limits of what you think you can do.
I have learned some really great tricks and techniques to cut through the water like a pro. But I want to talk about the other side of training for a bit.
The often overlooked part of training is when to lay off. And it is an essential part of any healthy workout routine.
Let’s talk about the rest and recovery! Without this time in between workouts, you can overtrain. This can lead to fatigue and possibly even injuries.
So, let’s have a look at this issue and learn some signs that it’s time for a break from swimming!
Signs Of The Times
I think that somewhere along the way, we began to believe that if we just kept pushing through we would get stronger but often the opposite is true.
When you start to work yourself too much without enough rest, your body doesn’t get a chance to repair the damage. And THAT REPAIR TIME is what ACTUALLY makes you stronger and faster.
So, here are some things to look out for as you’re training to make sure you’re not going too far:
- The feeling of fatigue, even after some recovery time
- Feeling moody, or easily irritated
- Loss of competitive desire
If you’re feeling some of these symptoms, then you need to take a few days off from training. Just relax because you’re starting to reach a really dangerous zone.
Here are some things that can happen if you keep going:
- Loss of appetite
- Unwanted weight loss
- Much more prone to injury and illness
What is the cure you may ask?
Ok, so let’s talk about how to skip all that rough stuff and keep on training like champs, shall we? The best thing to do is to initiate a recovery at the end of each workout by incorporating a cool down.
Swim a few slow laps to give your body time to ease back from high intensity swimming to a normal state. Also, don’t forget to stretch.
Now comes my favorite part: eating! Within a few hours of your workout, you need to eat a healthy meal that contains protein for rebuilding muscles and some healthy carbs to replace your energy.
Also, don’t forget the water! It is really important to hydrate after a workout.
Finally, make sure you get some much needed sleep. You need at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep to give your body time to make that hard work worth it.
If you are already in danger zone, then this is a start. However, you need to make sure that you take EXTRA time to let your body catch back up and replenish the stores of energy it needs.
If you push too soon or too fast you will end up worse, not better.
Let’s get back to work
Let’s say you were really beat down. So, you rested and now you want to know when you should go back to the pool.
Well, as to when you should go back, that is up to you. But look at the symptoms and honestly ask yourself how you feel.
It may take a day or it may take a week. But with rest and a proper diet, you can bounce back without a problem.
About prevention… The biggest way to avoid some hard times and the pain of being away from the pool is to create a workout schedule.
This will let you plan hard days and light days so that you’re not going full tilt till you’re down and out. A good workout routine will, in the long run, make you stronger and faster than if you had just dog piled all that unnecessary hard work on yourself.
So, make a plan, execute it, then take a load off and recover!
One last thought
In the end, make sure that you work out smarter not harder and you will find success.
Whatever you do, don’t forget the best training aid out there, a Waterproof iPod Shuffle from Underwater Audio.
With this little player, you can organize and plan your workout and keep up a good healthy pace.
It will change the way that you swim!