Pre-Race Preparation: Important Things To Follow
You have been receiving swim lessons in Omaha NE for quite some years now and the much-awaited day has finally arrived when you are chosen to participate in a competition. For all swimmers, taking part in swimming races is a challenging, exciting and fun task. In fact, if you aspire to become an expert swimmer, in the long run, it is essential that you keep participating in these competitions because these are great tools for self-analysis. However, preparing for the big day not only requires you to practice with considerable consistency but also take care of several other things. While your coach is the best person to guide you in the right direction and prepare you for the final day, here is a list of tips or guidelines for you to follow.
Avoid Training Too Much Just Before the Race Day
Swimming competitions involve wide ranges of distances. The kind of training you should receive and the intensity of your practice in the month preceding the race day will largely depend on the type of swim style you are going to perform. However, considering that you are a long distance swimmer, it is best to spend some time in the pool but not spend too much energy on vigorous practice. The primary focus, in the last few days before the race, should be more on resting when you allow your body to soak up all the hard work and store the fresh energy. Even experienced swimming coaches are of the view that training during this time should be done to keep your muscles tuned up and nothing more than that. If you keep training too hard till the last day, chances are that you will end up underperforming.
Keep Your Diet Plan the Same
One common but huge mistake that swimmers, who are about to participate in competitions, make is that they consume extra amounts of water, calories and sodium. You should make it a point to stick to the same dietary plan that you have always been following through your practice sessions. Bringing a sudden change in the plan and increasing the volume of consumption only turns out to be counterproductive. This is because your body finds it difficult to accept the excess amounts of salt and fluids and so on. And this excess is either passed through the bowel or stored as fat.
Many swimmers have a misconception regarding carbo-loading, which involves maximizing the glycogen storage capabilities. However, this carbo-loading is something you have already done in the first 60 minutes after all of your workouts. So, stuffing yourself with extra carbohydrates for the upcoming race will prove to be more harmful than beneficial.
However, just the night before the race, you can consume some high-quality protein and sufficient amounts of water. Avoid fatty foods, alcohol and desserts as they have chances of making you feel uncomfortable. The pre-race “pasta feeds” are good for some quick carbohydrate intake but keeping that restricted to a certain limit is recommended.
Avoid Eating for Three Hours Prior to the Start
It is best not to eat anything solid for at least three hours prior to the race. There are several reasons behind this. Now, the first fuel your body will be using right at the start of the race is the muscle glycogen. Eating a pre-race meal at the wrong time exercises a negative effect on how this glycogen is utilized by the body and in turn, affects your performance.
When you eat within three hours prior to the race, you burn up the muscle glycogen faster. If you are participating in long distance swim competitions which will last for not less than 60 minutes, the need for the glycogen stores will be immense. So, you will need to preserve them as much as possible instead of triggering their depletion. If you feel the need to consume something prior to the race, keep that restricted to a small amount of some easily digested fuel. Also, make sure consuming it only 5-8 minutes before the start. This is because, by this time, your body has digested the calories leading to the elevation of the blood sugar levels.
So, now that you are aware of the vital things, get set and achieve your swimming goal.