Picture Supply: Getty / Maddie Meyer / Staff
Simone Manuel has formally certified for the 2021 Olympics, although not the best way many predicted. Manuel was unable to qualify within the 100-meter freestyle, the occasion through which she gained Olympic gold in Rio 5 years in the past, however did win the 50-meter freestyle, securing her spot for the Video games in breathtaking style. After her 100-meter loss final week, Manuel revealed that she was recognized with overtraining syndrome (OTS) 11 weeks in the past, which compelled her to take a three-week break from coaching.
The week earlier than a contest in March, Manuel began feeling “pretty bad,” the swimmer stated in a post-race press convention. She went to a health care provider and was recognized, then tried to switch her coaching as a lot as attainable. Her outcomes continued to say no, and on her docs’ suggestion, Manuel took three weeks off, “utterly out of the pool” and never exercising in any respect.
“My physique wasn’t doing what I knew it was able to,” Manuel stated. “I had moments the place I did not even need to go to the pool as a result of I knew it was gonna be unhealthy.” Returning to the water was an “uphill climb,” she stated. “To sit down right here and even do what I did and be at this meet is one thing that I am unable to take flippantly.”
What Is Overtraining Syndrome?
Overtraining syndrome happens when an athlete experiences fatigue or declining efficiency regardless of sustaining or rising their coaching. Additionally referred to as burnout, OTS can occur when your physique fails to recover from training and competitions, in keeping with Rady Kids’s Hospital-San Diego.
Signs of OTS embody fatigue, elevated resting coronary heart price, power muscle and joint ache, lack of urge for food, insomnia, and psychological adjustments, like lack of motivation, nervousness, and elevated irritability.
Manuel had by no means heard of the situation previous to her prognosis, however stated her signs tracked carefully. Considered one of her first indicators was the next coronary heart price at relaxation and through her easier coaching periods. She additionally skilled insomnia, melancholy, nervousness, and sore muscle mass. “Simply strolling up the steps to the pool, I used to be gassed,” she stated. Regardless of giving her finest effort within the pool, Manuel’s velocity declined. “It was undoubtedly discouraging,” she remembered.
How Did Simone Manuel Deal with Her Overtraining Syndrome?
OTS might be handled by way of relaxation, however the period of time an athlete wants can range broadly, from 4 to 12 weeks by some estimates. Manuel ended up taking three weeks off.
Manuel wasn’t certain if different swimmers had skilled OTS as nicely, however speculated that it was attainable given the game’s relentless nature.
“It’s important to be within the water day by day. There is no actual offseason,” she stated. “You are frequently pushing your physique out and in of the water to maximise your potential.” It will also be straightforward to gloss over the warning indicators, as Manuel stated she did for a time. “I did not discover it till my physique utterly crashed.”
It makes what Manuel did on Sunday — profitable the 50-meter freestyle — much more spectacular, however within the press convention, the swimmer stated she was happy with herself for making it to Trials in any respect. “I did every thing I probably might to be right here. And that makes me proud as a result of I proceed to remain sturdy throughout this course of, even when there have been occasions after I needed to surrender,” she stated. “This undoubtedly was my greatest battle.”