As the business end of the season starts to evolve all swimmers will have to start making their newly issued lactate training times every set and every session. They will also need to set specific goals for their championship season. For some this is getting to development games and experiencing longer races. For others it is getting Div 1 or Div 2 or open championship times of even qualifying for the Commonwealth games Ulster squad or European events. It is all relative but the common denominator is work rate, technical improvement, fitness, attitude and ambition. It is about going faster in the key areas of underwater and changing direction – making yards on those ‘Any Given Sunday Film “inches”‘. It is also about not looking at the opposition and being negative about your chances, but rather maximising your strengths and slightly fixing your current weaknesses. As a famous 3 Michelin Start Chef said recently “getting the award is the easy bit, keeping it is a lot harder”. So climb the competition ladder gradually, learn and improve as you climb and when you have all the elements in place stepping onto the podium will be automatic.
The 2014 competition season will run for some until June and for others late July. Competitions that are coming up that will get you to these summer galas are as follows; Ulster Development Galas, Leinster Graded Galas, Ulster Qualifying and Age Group and Youth championships and Leinster Distance and Open championships. There are also some national events such as the Dave McCullough and Spring championships. If you are unsure what to enter talk to your squad coach. A meeting will be held shortly to help in event selection and goal setting too.
You are what you eat
All swimmers should now be aware of what they eat and drink and the quantity and type of each. Firstly every swimmer should be bringing a water bottle full of water or very slightly flavoured with orange or Ribena. Eating processed food or take away type food is not recommended. Eating sugar rich food or sweetened food regularly is also a problem as it puts on weight that is hard to shift. This can range from cereals to fizzy drinks from many low fat foods to crisps. So monitor your intake and cut down. Again talk to your squad coach if you need help.