Swim training during winter is one of the hardest parts of the year for swimmers and can be the most critical for having a successful season. Early mornings during Winter become very challenging as the weather in Britain gets colder and darker, making it very tempting to stay in bed especially as your body becomes more tired from training hard for months.
One of the worst parts of being a swimmer is not being able to swim! As a hard working athlete, your immune system is reduced and the chances of getting ill are highly increased. It's very frustrating for an athlete to be ill, miss training and having to just rest while team mates are in the pool training hard!
The right nutrition during training periods and winter is so important to help avoid getting ill and to get the most out of each training session.
The Window of Opportunity!
Immediately after a training session muscles are primed to accept nutrients that help muscle recovery, growth and strength. It's critical to fuel your body straight away after a workout; the best way to do this is to be prepared every session, take snacks in your swim bag which can be eaten while getting changed or stretching.
It's best to get food in immediately and make sure you can get a good meal in within 2hours of your session finishing. Make sure your fuel includes Carbohydrates and Proteins! Doing this will allow your body to get the benefits from your training, increase the chances of consistent performance throughout each week, reduce the chances of getting ill.
Benefits of immediate post training nutrition:
- Decrease chances of getting ill & injured!
- Increase recovery,
- Increase muscle gains, strength,
- Reduce muscle soreness,
- Maintain performance throughout the week.
The very little amount of Sun we get in the UK in Winter massively affects our stores of Vitamin D especially in hard working swimmers! Training at high intensity and volumes decreases your stores of vitamin D more than the average person. Consuming foods that contain Vitamin D, taking a Vitamin D supplement during Winter can help maintain healthy stores and have similar benefits to the post workout eating window!
Low Vitamin D levels can:
- reduce muscle strength, power,
- increase chances of getting ill,
- increase chances of getting injuries.
Keep on top of the little things and turn your hard training into the results you want!