When to Pull Back

When to Pull Back

When is it time to pull back? That is one of the toughest questions to answer. Swimming is a very intense sport. You train every day, multiple times a day. During peak training weeks, you grid the yardage out day after day after day. What do you do when you feel off? 

I have been asked that question multiple times and I fully believe that you have to listen to your body. Your body will tell you if something isn't right. You have to be able to ask yourself three questions:

1) Am I just sore? 

2) Am I getting sick?

3) Am I getting hurt? 

If you answered "I'm just sore"- that means you are pushing yourself hard and that is a good thing. You are building up your muscles and stamina to race faster come taper time. Keep going. Your hard work will pay off. 

If you answered "I'm getting sick"- this is a sign to temporarily pull back. Talk to your coach and back off for a few days until you're feeling better. Take the rest you need so your body can repair itself and get you back to 100%. I have always found that sicknesses linger for way longer when they should when you DON'T listen to your body and rest. I get it, pulling back and resting is the hardest thing to do in the middle of peak training. You have worked so hard and you don't want to lose your momentum and progress. Two or three days of rest will not set you back. It is WAY better than two weeks of sub par training because you were sick for two weeks. 

If you answered "I'm getting hurt"- identify what hurts and come up with a game plan with your coach to switch up your training. Back off on what hurts, but find ways to keep training. IF your shoulder is starting to hurt, keep practicing but back off on fly, increase your kicking yardage, minimize paddles sets(minimize stress on your shoulders), eliminate pulling sets etc. You can rest your shoulder so it can heal and still train. IF your ankle is starting to hurt, minimize kicking yardage, eliminate fins sets, increase pulling sets etc. You can rest your ankle so it can heal and still train.

Remember, always ask yourself those three questions. You can come up with a game plan once you have identified what the issue is. Are you sore, sick or hurt? Always communicate with your coach so they can understand how you're feeling. Identify, strategize, execute. 


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