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  #1  
Old 07-04-2013
Danny Danny is offline
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Danny
Default why am I so tired after a swimming workout?

This morning I was discussing this fact with my daughter. After running I often feel energized, but after swimming I often want to take a nap. So I googled this question and there is a lot of discussion on this subject, none of it really satisfying. I thought I would solicit feedback here from people.

Here are two suggestions which may or may not make sense: Swimming can lower your body temperature by being in water, which conducts heat better than air. Afterwards your body needs to warm up and this can make you tired.

Does swimming lower your blood pressure more than other exercise? First of all you are in a horizontal position while exercising, which may make it easier for blood to circulate. Second, you have some external water pressure which may contract your blood vessels. Also the colder temperature can do this. Afterwards, is it possible that your body tends to overcorrect and your blood vessels dilate, lowering blood pressure and making you tired? This is idle speculation from someone with no real understanding of these things. Expert opinions are solicited.

Thanks for any input!
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  #2  
Old 07-04-2013
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Hmm,

Don't overlook the role of hormones in regulating your state of awakeness.

Running will probably increase the flow of catecholamine hormons compared to swimming, especially if most of your swim session is made of low level work, such as dps, technique, etc...

Get on a block, work on sprints, and you may find yourself unable to fall asleep once you get back home (more epinephrin, nor epinephrin, cortisol, etc in circulation).
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  #3  
Old 07-04-2013
Danny Danny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
Hmm,

Don't overlook the role of hormones in regulating your state of awakeness.

Running will probably increase the flow of catecholamine hormons compared to swimming, especially if most of your swim session is made of low level work, such as dps, technique, etc...

Get on a block, work on sprints, and you may find yourself unable to fall asleep once you get back home (more epinephrin, nor epinephrin, cortisol, etc in circulation).
Charles, thanks as always for the advice. I do spend a lot of time in distance workouts, and lately my focus has been on trying to relax as much as I can while swimming. I notice that when I start to get out of forward/backward balance my legs and abs tighten up and I try to focus on keeping that balance and feeling my whole body just "melt" while swimming. This obviously isn't any prescription for more epinephrin...

Do you know if there is any truth to my speculation about blood pressure?
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  #4  
Old 07-04-2013
sinker sinker is offline
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Same here.
My theory is that it is the chlorine or other chemicals. Seems to me that these chemical vapors would be strongest right where we are breathing.
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  #5  
Old 07-04-2013
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
This morning I was discussing this fact with my daughter. After running I often feel energized, but after swimming I often want to take a nap. So I googled this question and there is a lot of discussion on this subject, none of it really satisfying. I thought I would solicit feedback here from people.

Here are two suggestions which may or may not make sense: Swimming can lower your body temperature by being in water, which conducts heat better than air. Afterwards your body needs to warm up and this can make you tired.

Does swimming lower your blood pressure more than other exercise? First of all you are in a horizontal position while exercising, which may make it easier for blood to circulate. Second, you have some external water pressure which may contract your blood vessels. Also the colder temperature can do this. Afterwards, is it possible that your body tends to overcorrect and your blood vessels dilate, lowering blood pressure and making you tired? This is idle speculation from someone with no real understanding of these things. Expert opinions are solicited.

Thanks for any input!
being in cold water does burn a ton of calories just because your body is trying to keep warm in the water in addition to fueling movement.

read about this in Tim Ferriss's book 4 Hour Body. a summary is found here:

Feel the Freezer Burn: Losing Weight by Chilling the Body

this guy cronise tried to figure out how Phelps could eat 12K calories a day and figured out it was the water cooling effect and his body attempting to keep warm that made him burn a ton more than could be accounted for by just his physical movement alone.

do you refuel after swimming? i find that if i do not eat immediately after swimming, i'm dead for the rest of the day. but if i down a recovery drink (a water bottle with ultragen), i am much much better.
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2013
helixfairweather helixfairweather is offline
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helixfairweather
Default I am tired after workout too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
do you refuel after swimming? i find that if i do not eat immediately after swimming, i'm dead for the rest of the day. but if i down a recovery drink (a water bottle with ultragen), i am much much better.
Funny thing - I was just going to make this exact post! My swim "workouts" are a collection of 2X 20y of the various Perpetual Motion exercises - a total working time of about 40 minutes.

When I get home, I am absolutely drained of energy. I am wiped out. I am currently working on Lesson 3 - learning to rotate to air, rotate to the side and other positions, all about breathing.

I was wondering if so much focus on breathing technique was part of the problem.

I am very hungry after swimming also - I'll make it a point to eat right away.

Thank you, everyone, for your thoughts on this.

Helix Fairweather
Keizer, OR (still seeking a TI coach)
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  #7  
Old 07-05-2013
Rincewind Rincewind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
This morning I was discussing this fact with my daughter. After running I often feel energized, but after swimming I often want to take a nap. So I googled this question and there is a lot of discussion on this subject, none of it really satisfying. I thought I would solicit feedback here from people.
How does your swimming fitness compare to your running one? If you read about daily routines of elite athletes you will find that almost all of them take naps in between training sessions. I think its normal to feel sleepy after a hard session. Could it be that you are just a relatively better runner than a swimmer?
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  #8  
Old 07-05-2013
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Even as a teenager I used to feel sleepy after swimming. I think almost everybody does. It doesn't come on immediately, but within half an hour to an hour after swimming. I swim at mid day usually so I have lunch after the swim, which may have something to do with it.

I like the sleepy feeling.
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  #9  
Old 07-05-2013
The Parrot The Parrot is offline
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I feel that, too, Richard - but these days I don't even have to have a mid-day swim to feel sleepy after lunch! I can even feel sleepy whilst simply reading of the swimming exploits of others on this site in the evening, too . . .
Perhaps I need to get to bed earlier.

Martin T.
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  #10  
Old 07-05-2013
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Hi Martin

Getting to bed early is universally recognized as a good thing, but the habits of a lifetime are hard to shake off.

Richard

I think lions and other animals like a nap after their hunt and lunch. It's probably built into the body's system.
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