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Unwell Swimmer Wants to Keep Swimming

QUESTION:

Hi There,

I have a 12 year old boy who is constantly suffering with chest colds at the moment.  He swims in a squad 6 times a week but cannot manage it at the moment because he is unwell.  His squad moved outdoors about 6 weeks ago and the weather here has been alternating from warm to cold and windy.  He often gets out of the pool with blue lips.  He is very keen to keep swimming but I cannot see how he can continue if he does not get better.

He has a good diet, gets plenty of sleep, could probably drink more fluid and has had days off to try and get better. And he has been to doctor to rule out anything more sinister than a cold.

Any suggestion would be appreciated,

Thank you, BJ

ANSWER:

Hi BJ, I can sense your frustration and hope to be able to help you.

I had a similar case with a young boy about 8 years ago and we were training in a heated indoor pool in the mornings and a semi-heated outdoor pool in the afternoons.

In the afternoons he would become very cold, start shivering and have blue lips, especially on cool or windy days. This led to sickness similar to what you describe in your question.

I organised with his parents for him to only attend for one hour of each of the 3 afternoon sessions he attended.  The sessions were for either 1 1/2 or 2 hours. He was made to work hard in this one hour (often harder than the other kids), and then as his core body temperature dropped (usually after 45min to an hour) I would get him out, he would have a warm shower and get dressed in warm clothes and go home earlier.

He spent two whole winters doing this and was much healthier and swam really well at our major competitions.

Diet and plenty of fluid is very important (see www.NutritionForSwimmers.com if you want advice in this area) and he was also made to go to bed at least 45min earlier each night he got out of the water early and I believe this assisted greatly in him staying healthy.

Anyway, hope that helps.

Let me know how you go.

Regards

Gary

The Swimming Expert



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