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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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Danny
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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 07-06-2013
Danny Danny is offline
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Danny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
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.
The thermal issue seems to make the most sense to me of all explanations I have heard so far. Since I am skinny, this may explain why I am more vulnerable to this.

There is, however, an issue that still puzzles me: When I am done swimming and when I am done running, I usually feel great, plenty of energy. But with swimming, the fatigue shows up somewhat later, anywhere from 30 minutes to and hour. I find that, if I can nap for about 15-30 minutes, the fatigue is entirely gone. I'm not sure if this delay can be explained by thermal issues, but I would love to hear about it, if it can.
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  #8  
Old 07-06-2013
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
The thermal issue seems to make the most sense to me of all explanations I have heard so far. Since I am skinny, this may explain why I am more vulnerable to this.

There is, however, an issue that still puzzles me: When I am done swimming and when I am done running, I usually feel great, plenty of energy. But with swimming, the fatigue shows up somewhat later, anywhere from 30 minutes to and hour. I find that, if I can nap for about 15-30 minutes, the fatigue is entirely gone. I'm not sure if this delay can be explained by thermal issues, but I would love to hear about it, if it can.
do you eat/refuel after a swim + run workout?
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  #9  
Old 07-07-2013
Danny Danny is offline
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Danny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
do you eat/refuel after a swim + run workout?
Yes I do, but I do it the same for both, so I don't see a difference there. What I am curious about is the delay in the onset of fatigue when I swim. When I google this subject, others also seem to experience this.
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  #10  
Old 07-07-2013
azamy azamy is offline
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Hi Danny,

Let me ask you a question. When you swim do you take rests and walk out of the pool? Yes? No? According to what I have experienced most of the time when I feel extremely tired and fatigued it is because of the lack of oxygen and the build up of CO2 in the muscles during the whole swimming session. We agree that we don't get the 100% oxygen we need while we swim. I have noticed that when I take breaks, walk out of the pool and rest for a while, get enough oxygen and then swim again, I don't feel that much fatigued, instead most of the time I feel more energized!

Nutrition and refueling also plays and important role in the post work out recovery. But Hey the nap after a swimming session is deep and relaxing ;)

my 2cents
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