A Guide to Recovery After Swimming Training

Many people feel tired and exhausted after an intensive swimming training and this is not a surprise because swimming activates all muscles in our body. Luckily, the feeling of exhaustion and tiredness should not be a reason for concern because they belong to the group of standard problems among swimmers. The following is a short guide to few methods that can help swimmers overcome this problem fast.

Recovery – general information

Recovery in sports is a concept that includes the phase of restoring the condition of the body in rest mode. In this rest phase, the causes that lead to fatigue caused by physical activity are gradually eliminated under the influence of certain metabolic changes and oxidative activity. This means that the recovery speed depends mostly on the type, intensity and volume of physical activity. The methods and duration of recovery after each training session will depend primarily on the overall volume of activity, intensity, duration, practiced exercises, the number of repetitions and their character and finally, the efficiency and length of rest after training and competitions. In other words, ff the intensity of the physical activity is higher and the duration longer, the recovery will also last longer. Passive rest is the most important element for restoring the working capacity.

In order to get optimal recovery you will need to focus on five different elements – cooling, nutrition, stretching, massage and sleep.


High intensity swimming, especially during swimming competitions can lead to metabolic disturbances in the body. One of the most common problems in swimmers is the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles – an occurrence that can significantly affect swimming performance. The cooling period includes the elimination of these acids. That’s why, all swimmers need to have a good warm up before the training starts, because in this way the muscles will be ready and adapted for the big efforts.


Nutrition is one of the most important things for the performance of every athlete. Swimmers need to get the optimal level of energy through their diet. They need to take about 1,5 g of carbs and 1,5 g proteins per 1 kg of body mass and good amount of minerals and vitamins.


Stretching is a key element of every swimmer’s workout routine. This practice plays significant role in the process of recovery and during preparation for the next training or competition. Stretching improves blood flow in the muscles, accelerates the process of recovery and accelerates protein synthesis. What is important to understand is that stretching can reduce the chances of injuries.


There are many swimmers who face chronic pain and muscle inflammations after long-term preparations for competitions. Sports massages which involve rhythmical compressions remove lactic acid from the muscles faster and stimulate blood flow too.


As previously mentioned, the body gets the best rest when the swimmers are sleeping. What is worth mentioning is that developing a good sleep routine (going in bed and waking up at the same time every day) is the key to a good night’s sleep.