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17 Feb 2004

Tired muscle soreness dizzness
My daughter is 12 and has been training in heavy swimming training - 22hours per week. She complains for the last couple of days that she is tired/ sore / now feels like she wants to faint. Is she over training - not getting sufficient supplements? I give her vitamins, iron, calcium + magnesium.
Help???
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Expert
FitnessDoc
Fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi there

You may be right, it's hard to say for sure if it's a deficiency. I would suspect that rather than being caused by vitamins or minerals, it's probably the macronutrient content - not enough energy in the diet. There's actually a very good article on the Fitness page of the Health 24 site at the moment - if you just log onto www.health24.co.za, and then click on 'Fitness', it's the leading article, titled "Enough energy to exercise", and I would suggest either reading that, or else consider consulting a dietician. There are a couple of things of importance in this case. The first is that your daughter is only 12, and when a 12 year old is in danger of overtraining (possibly), then it sets off more alarm bells than it would for an adult, and so it's important to address this now, because burnout is just around the corner if it isn't. 22 hours a week would make most adults proud, and when you are still in primary school, that is very tough. I'm guessing here, but I would imagine that a large amount of her time outside of training is probably spent with friends and doing what most 12 year olds do, and this in itself is fairly active, and the combination of school, trying to be social, and training may be too much to cope with. The most obvious solution, although possibly not the most desirable, is to reduce the training load. Personally, I would like to see this happen, because I don't think that a 12 year old will benefit much more from 22 hours compared to say 12 hours a week. As she gets older, this time could be increased by 10% a year, so that at the age of 17 and 18 (approaching the beginning of a swimmer's peak years), she is doing 17 or 18 km, and by the time she is approaching 20, she's training as hard as she can, if she still has the swimming bug.

I would imagine that she also has a coach - perhaps you need to discuss this with him/her, because my experience of coaches is that they are often unaware of what goes on outside of the training, and so your daughter may be performing OK in the pool, but suffers outside. I would hope that the coach would also understand this - it's a case now of killing the goose that lays the golden egg, so to speak, and without some discretion, I worry that your daughter will not be a swimmer for much longer.

Hope this helps
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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