Two Of A Kind, Workin' On A Full House

I'm continuing to struggle with my knee/IT band as well as the sirens that reside near my couch, but used the opportunity to take a very non-scientific look at training effect on others this week.

Our local club hosted a swim meet this past weekend, and while it may not apply directly, I looked at the training my two kids have been doing, and what their results were at the meet.

Anna, who is 14, trains 6 days a week. All of those days include 2 hours of swimming, with 4 days including an additional hour of dry-land training(active strength training like running stairs, hops, lunges, crunches, etc.). The swim sessions vary in intensity, but range from around 5,000-8,000 yards a day. Will, 11, trains 6 days a week. 5 days are 15 minutes of stretching followed by 1 1/2 hours of swimming, the sixth day is just 1 hour of swimming. A hard day in the pool for him is usually around 2,000-2,500 yards. School comes first and homework load occasionally wins out, but both kids make practice most days.

So at the meet this weekend, each of the kids had 10 events, plus 2 relays to swim. The relays have a certain adrenaline rush and team factor thrown in, so I won't include them in my observations. For Anna, she only had best times in 3 of her events (50 fr, 200 IM, 1650 fr) with only slight improvements. Will had improvements in all of his events, with most of them being big time drops. He went into the championship meet cuts in the 2 breaststroke events and came out with a total of five cuts - the maximum you can enter at the divisional championship meet. I know that Anna is older, and as you get older and have been swimming longer, it is more difficult to find large improvements, but in my opinion their training habits have had the largest impact.

Since the end of football season, Will has been eager to go to practice and has only missed a handful of them. Since the intensity, while a challenge at times, it is not pushing the kids hard every night, in my opinion the dedication to the sport and training effect is definitely showing in his results.

Anna, since getting her cast off in November, has been good about training consistently. But her coach told her training group not to expect many time drops. If they got a lot of them, it meant they weren't training hard enough.

So what I think I witnessed was someone (Anna) at the peak of hard training, having an average performance because the training has left her tired. Taper showing results would validate this. The other side is Will. As long as he maintains his consistent training, he should continue to see improvement.

Artist for Song in Title: Garth Brooks


  1. Sorry about the IT band. Hang in there--injuries are such a mental drain! Don't let it get to you if you can help it!

    My 4 miles today was more difficult than just about any run I've done in the last several years. I'm coming back after an illness: it's been maybe 3 weeks since I've run. My fitness is gone! oy! but today I feel determined, if not strong.


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