I have a good 45 minute cardiovascular workout just before swimming. Although I’ve got my breath back when I go in I imagine my body is still depleted in some way?
What factors affect my (or anyone’s) ability to conduct sustained swimming under water? And what can I do to improve my performance? Is the change in performance more likely to be due to age or to the prior cardiovascular workout?
A little back ground
I’m now 57 and I do an hour’s cardio workout of quite vigorous intensity twice a week with heart rate up to 170 bpm for the last 5 years. I also play short tennis once a week and do a reasonable amount of walking. So I’m active and reasonably fit. In my early forties I was doing a desk job, didn’t go to the gym and was not that fit, but I was still able to swim a 25m length under water (just) most of the time that I really tried. Now I find that I can only do 20m before coming up for air. That said I swim after going to the gym so I’m not “fresh”, although my breathing has returned to normal when I’m in the pool.
I suppose what I should do is try the swimming first as a proper comparative test for myself, age v fitness. But this made me wonder what factors would affect my performance. Some things I have noticed are that hyperventilating (but not going to mad!) seems to help so perhaps not being fresh is important, as I have only ever been able to do the underwater length once per pool visit, but I’m not sure why?
Update - I am now able to swim this under water length without difficulty provided I spend 7 minutes breathing quickly before trying. Not enough to make me feel dizzy but the blood must be well oxygenated.