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Legs Feel Like Concrete When Swimming


Hello, I have a 15 year old daughter who is in her third year of swimming. She has made states and age nationals for butterfly and freestyle.

In the first 50m she would be leading and then the last 50m she slows down to 4th as the top of her legs start feeling like concrete. When she gets out they hurt so much. She is very sporty and has very large muscles in her legs. She is the sort of girl that doesn’t complain but you can see it when she races like the legs are heavy.

Her dream is to go to the Olympics but we need to work out what is wrong.

Thanking You, Nathan


Hi Nathan,

Congratulations on your daughters efforts and results so far with her swimming.

Without watching your daughter race, my gut feel is that she is experiencing a build up of lactic acid in the large muscles in her legs.

If it is a build up of lactic acid there are a few things she can do.  The first is to do some ‘lactacte tolerance’ work in training.  Her coach will be able to help her with this.  This sort of work will mean she does some hard swims with 10 – 20 sec rest between each one and after a few she should start to feel a little bit of lactic acid building up and by doing a few more repeats, she can train her body to tolerate (or even remove) the lactic acid in her legs.

Something else that may assist her is to do some solid kick sets, both freestyle and butterfly kick, on a regular basis and once again her coach will be able to help her with these.



The Swimming Expert



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