OPEN SWIMMING TRAINING PLAN – JOHN WEST KILLARY GAELFORCE Great Fjord Swim 1st October
Mon, 19 September 2016
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Swimming in open water is different to the pool. You will not have the benefit of relying on the break awarded from tumble-turns. Therefore arms will feel the distance travelled in open water swimming more. It is really important to train before the event both in the pool and more importantly in the open water!!!
In the open water swimmers do not have the advantage of lanes and ropes to keep them on course. It is important to practice the technique of sighting to avoid zig-zagging on the course which will tire you out and add to the distance you swim. The skill can be practised in the pool as well as in the open water.
It is also important to practise the technique of bilateral breathing, the technique will also help you to swim straighter. The transition from swimming in a pool to swimming in open water can be unnerving for some it is essential to overcome any fears or concerns before the event. This is best achieved by swimming in open water over a long period of time. Include open water sessions into your training programme for the event. Do your homework before the event, know the layout of the course, and become familiar with large permanent objects that can be used in sighting while swimming.
DIET DURING TRAINING AND IN THE LEAD UP TO THE EVENT
Diet is very important for all swimmers – you need your energy boost at the right time for optimum performance. Eat a carbohydrate and protein rich meal two or three hours before your swim and then a snack of fruit or energy food - - an hour before your swim. Help your body repair muscles by refuelling with protein and complex carbs within 30 minutes of finishing your swim. John West 80gm pots of Infused Salmon or Tuna are handy nutritious protein snacks to have in or out of the water and used by all our athletes to re-fuel along with the way!
It’s a good idea to rehearse your competition meal routine in training so you know exactly what agrees with you. When the event comes around, you’ll have plenty on your mind already.
The day before the event: • Keep exercise to a minimum and eat meals and snacks high in complex carbohydrates • Drink fluids little and often to stay properly hydrated. • Eat little and often – every two to four hours to keep your blood sugar levels steady and fuel your muscles in preparation for your event. • Avoid big meals or over-eating in the evening – this will almost certainly make you feel uncomfortable and lethargic the next day. Try to stick to familiar foods. Curries, spicy foods, baked beans and pulses (unless you are used to eating them) can cause gas and bloating, so avoid eating anything that may cause stomach discomfort the next day. The Morning of the Event: • Don’t swim on empty. Even if you feel nervous, have breakfast. Stick to easily digested foods - cereal with milk, porridge, banana with yoghurt, some fruit or toast with jam. • Milkshakes, yoghurt drinks or a smoothie.
EQUIPMENT – WHAT SHOULD I WEAR
The event is being held in Killary harbour. In October the average temperature in the water will be roughly 12° C. The temperature for competitive swimming events is 27° C, therefore you will need to be prepared for the cooler conditions. For this event a wetsuit is advisable. If possible use a triathlon specific suit as they are more flexible at the shoulders and will not restrict or compromise your strokes. Regardless of the type it is important that the suit fits you properly (too small results in difficulty in breathing and cramping, too large results in the cuffs being too loose and will let in too much water which will cause excess dragging in the water).
It is important to get used to swimming in a wetsuit prior to the event as your buoyancy and stroke will be affected. Other personal equipment to consider includes: • Goggles: these are personal, they should form a tight seal against eyes and nose and allow you enough vision to see where you are travelling. Tinted goggles are useful when swimming into the sun! • Swimsuit/shorts: just like the wetsuit they should not be baggy otherwise they will cause dragging in the water. • Swimming cap: by wearing one you will ensure you will not allow bodily heat escape while in the open water. Wear two hats (silicone or neoprene), wear a thick one then put on goggles, then a second hat, the second hat will help prevent the goggles slipping and trap more heat if the second hat is brightly coloured you will be more visible in the water. • Non-petroleum products: for lubrication. Apply to your neck to prevent chaffing.