Returning to the Pool: After Effects of Breaks

The muscles are still in good working order, but do they get sore easily! Coming back from a break…

A couple of short sets and some high intensity speed work, and I’m back at it again. I can’t really imagine why I stopped… Oh that’s right, every single person in my family got sick and then traded it around until we all shared two or three little bugs. But I’m back again.

I always wonder about the nature of physiology, psychology, and training.

For instance: are my muscles actually more sore than they were when I was training every day? Or am I less well adjusted to the soreness? The speed is roughly the same, the endurance a bit lower. However, it feels more intense physically and psychologically to even do a remotely hard work out.

It’s times like these that make me grateful for the friends that will kick my but if I don’t give it my all. It’s nice to show up to the pool after a few weeks and step right back into a work out. Without that social aspect today’s work out would have been severely truncated. I would have felt the soreness and just stopped or slowed down.

It isn’t just muscles griping, the cardio feels more intense.

Keeping a heart rate of 150-170 isn’t terribly hard when I’m in shape, but it feels like I’m going to die when I’m working my way back up the ladder. When ever I’m training new comers to the sport or people that have taken a long time getting back, I’ll shorten the distance and up the intensity so they can adapt to the high heart rates quicker. At least that’s the theory.

On the other hand it could be that your heart and muscles get in better shape. And you just don’t feel it any more. Physiologically, you’ve adapted, gotten tougher, toned muscles, and cut the fat. But I think part of it is in the mind. Training the head to get the job done is definitely a huge role, and I just wonder what the role is in cardio vascular health.


About Sean Smith

Husband, Father, Pastor, Swimmer, Writer, Reader, and attempted Adventurer!
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