Recommended Reading from
Head Coach Josh Fulton
5 Things You
Will Take Away from Swimming
Poirier-Leroy is a former National level swimmer from the beautiful
west coast of BC. In feeding his passion for swimming, he has
developed YourSwimBook.com: a comprehensive tool that
designed for swimmers to track and analyze their
Swimming is a gift in a lot of ways. Sure,
there are lots of “missed” moments, those parties you
have to hear about on Monday mornings (which no one completely
remembers anyways), and bumped heads from not getting the
backstroke flags up in time. But those little things will seem
trivial, funny, or completely irrelevant in the years after you
hang up your suit.
But with those perceived
“losses” comes an overwhelming return. Some of the
awesomeness is apparent while you are competing still;
the camaraderie getting out of an exam because you are
away for a meet, being the only kid in school with a six
Other stuff will take
some time to appreciate. It will come to you slowly, deeply, and at
times very unexpectedly.
Years later you will
look back on your swimming days with a sense of nostalgia. Here are
five ways that swimming will continue to influence your life down
1. You’re part of an amazing
community. We are separated by a few degrees of separation.
It’s a big, open fraternity, but even better as we all have
the shared background of two-a-days and countless weekends in
poorly ventilated pools. This community extends far beyond the
pool, as you will see in the years to come.
Even ten years removed
from competitive swimming I can go to a local meet and find a few
familiar faces in coaches, and the younger siblings of friends and
people I’d raced against. Even some of the officials remain,
having stuck with the sport even long after their own kids had
moved on. The next generation and the longevity of those who have
no commitment to the sport outside of their love for it, and this
is a testament to the bond we grow with this sport.
2. Exercise and Fitness will never intimidate
you. This is something you probably already know. You’ve
gone through your share of Hell Weeks, and New Years Day
10×1000’s to not bat an eye at any physical challenge.
Swimmers have ridiculous cardiovascular fitness, and as such when
athletes from other sports complained about their workouts the
gripes typically fall on deaf ears.
3. That discipline and mental toughness you
honed as a swimmer will serve you well. You will enjoy not
having to get up at 4:30am for morning practice long after you
leave the arena of competitive swimming. This I can promise you.
But the discipline that got you up that early will always be within
you, ready to be seized upon when you find something else you are
4. ‘What if’ Syndrome will pop up
when the Olympics roll around. I get this to the point I can
barely enjoy watching swimming events that used to be my forte.
Thoughts like “If my shoulder hadn’t crapped
out…” bubble to the surface. Avoid this passing sense
of regret by leaving everything at the pool so that you
aren’t watching the Olympics ten years later wondering if you
could get into good enough shape to swim in Rio in 2016. Regardless
of the expectations you have for your swimming career, whether
it’s going to the Olympics, getting a scholarship to your
local college team, or just making this summer’s traveling
squad, embrace the opportunities for travel, competition and
camaraderie that swimming provides.
5. The pool will always be home. You will
always be a swimmer.
People play basketball, playfootball
or hockey, but you are a swimmer. It’s
a sport that most people don’t understand or appreciate until
the Olympics roll around, and that’s fine. Let them have
their sports, for swimming will always be profoundly
It will belong to the
age-groupers struggling to get that first cut. To the teenagers
trying to get noticed by a university program. To the athletes
competing at the Olympics just happy to be there. From age grouper
to World Record holder the sport all belongs to us, and while we
may throw a “every other sport gets all the attention”
tantrum in once in a while, in a lot of ways we should be happy
with our place on the sporting totem pole.
To this day swimming
still feels “mine,” as impossible of a feeling that may
come across as. The quietness of the pool, the stillness of an
empty lane, the quiet stare of that black line, will always be
mine. Yours. Ours.
June 27, 2011
As we prepare for our LC championships, nutrition and rest
become paramount to success. Here is an article from USA Swimming
on nutrition. It is very important that we are properly
fueled before and after each practice. Nutrition and rest
(sleep) are key for maximum recovery after each workout. The
better we fuel our bodies the easier it is to come back the next
day and give great effort. This is very important as we
approach championship season. You get what you put in and
without great nutrition the work you put in can be wasted because
you aren’t allowing for proper recovery.
Nutrition for Recovery
Knowing how much carbohydrate, protein and fat to get in a day
is good. But knowing when you should be getting those nutrients is
even better. In general, follow these guidelines for incorporating
carbohydrate, protein and fat into your day.
Spread carbohydrate intake out over the course of the day (i.e.
smaller meals and frequent snacks). This keeps blood sugar levels
adequate and stable.
Eat some carbohydrate before morning practice. Note: This can be in
the form of juice.
Eat carbohydrate in the form of a carb-electrolyte drink, such as
Gatorade or Powerade, during workout IF workout is 90 minutes or
longer. Gels are also acceptable.
Eat carbohydrate and protein within the first 30 minutes after
practice. This enables the body to replenish glycogen stores and
repair muscle tissue. This is perhaps the most important time to
Eat again (something substantial, like a real meal) before two
hours post-practice has elapsed. This is critical to maximizing
Incorporate fat into the day at times that are not close to
workout. Fat is necessary, but contributes little to the workout or
immediate post-workout recovery period.
Part of the reason good nutrition is critical during recovery
has to do with the fact that the body is extremely good at making
the most of what it is given. Following exercise, the body is very
sensitive to the hormone insulin. Insulin is that hormone that
rises every time blood sugar rises. In other words, every time a
swimmer eats carbohydrate, which causes blood sugar to rise,
insulin goes up. Well, it’s insulin’s job to remove
sugar from the bloodstream, and it does so by facilitating its
storage as glycogen. Glycogen, the storage form for carbohydrate,
is what the body taps into for fuel when exercise is very intense.
This can happen quite a bit during a tough workout, which is why
it’s important to see that glycogen is replenished before the
The American College of Sports Medicine, American Dietetic
Association and Dietitians of Canada Joint Position Statement on
Nutrition and Athletic Performance states that:
“After exercise, the dietary goal is to provide adequate
energy and carbohydrates to replace muscle glycogen and to ensure
rapid recovery. If an athlete is glycogen-depleted after exercise,
a carbohydrate intake of 1.5 g/kg body weight during the first 30
min and again every 2h for 4 to 6h will be adequate to replace
glycogen stores. Protein consumed after exercise will provide amino
acids for the building and repair of muscle tissue. Therefore,
athletes should consume a mixed meal providing carbohydrates,
protein, and fat soon after a strenuous competition or training
session.” (ACSM, ADA, Dietitians of Canada, 2000, p 2131)
In addition, research (van Loon et al, 2000) has implicated
immediate post-exercise carbohydrate ingestion (1.2 g/kg/hr for 5
hrs) in the enhancement of glycogen re-synthesis.
Nutritional Cheat Sheet PART I
BY MIKE MEJIA, M.S., C.S.C.S//Special
Keep in mind that in order for nutrition to have an appreciable
impact on your performance, you have to eat the right way on a
year-round basis. Not that you can't occasionally indulge in some
fast food, or sweets; just make sure that your daily diet follows
the 80% rule, meaning that you make the right choices at least 80%
of the time and reserve the other 20% percent for some of your
favorite "cheat" foods. This way, you'll know you're supplying your
body with the nutrients it needs to feel and perform at your best.
The following recommendations will help you stay on the right
The Right Kinds of Carbs
Make sure that the bulk of your diet comes from complex
carbohydrate sources (approximately 50-60% of your total caloric
intake). It's important that these carbs are predominantly in the
form of whole grain breads and cereals, whole wheat pasta, brown
rice, yams (or sweet potatoes) and beans. Try to stay away from
white pasta, rice, breads and bagels as much as possible. They have
an unfavorable effect on blood sugar levels and can really hamper
Try to opt for quality, low-fat protein sources like skinless,
white meat chicken and turkey, lean beef, eggs, tuna, flounder,
sole and cod, skim and low fat milks, low-fat yogurt (not the
"fruit on the bottom kind") and tofu. Limit your intake of high-fat
cuts of beef and pork, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, fried chicken and
pretty much all fast food, as much as possible. Proteins should
make up anywhere between 20-25% of your total caloric intake.
Watch the Fat
Keep an eye on your fat intake. As a general rule, try to limit
your intake of saturated fats, or any type of "hydrogenated oils"
and "trans" fats. You can do this by cutting down on higher-fat
cuts of beef and pork and all types of fast food. Also try to read
as many nutrition labels as possible, as most clearly list the
breakdown of both total fat, and saturated fats. Make sure that any
food you choose has no more than 3 grams of fat per every 100
calories (i.e. in a 200 calorie food, 6 grams of fat is the limit),
and that no more than about 1/3 of the total fat comes from
saturated fat. So, that same 200 calorie food with 6 grams of total
fat should have no more than 2 grams of saturated fat. Overall,
fats should comprise anywhere from 15-20% of your total caloric
Don't Forget Fruits and Vegetables
Eat as many fresh vegetables and fruits as you possibly can.
Most kids fall way short of the recommended 5-9 daily servings of
fruits and vegetables. They provide tons of vitamins and minerals,
as well as much needed fiber.
Proper hydration is absolutely key! You can't drink next to
nothing for several days and think that jumbo Powerade you're
swigging in the car on the way to the pool is going to do anything.
Here's a breakdown of how much you should be drinking and
Overall water consumption for kids age 9 to 13 should be 2.0 to
2.5 liters per day, whereas 14-18 year-olds should strive for 2.5
to 3.5 liters, with girls falling near the lower end of the range,
and boys at the higher end. Keep in mind, we're talking about water
here, not juices, sports drinks, or soda. This should be your
target for each and every day, with your fluid requirements
increasing with athletic activity.
Sports drinks are really only necessary for activities lasting
at least one hour in duration, but can otherwise be consumed in
moderation if they encourage young athletes to drink. Watch the
sugar content, though. When choosing a sports drink, look for one
with a 6-8% carbohydrate concentration, or 50-80 calories per 8
ounces, with 120-170 milligrams of sodium.