Nutrition - Central States Swim Clinic 2013

I adore the Central States Swim Clinic. I went last year for the first time and LOVED it so attending this year was an easy decision.

Here are some great ideas from the session on nutrition!

Jackie Berning Ph.D.
Central States Clinic 2013

It doesn’t matter what the sport is, there are always challenges with nutrition. Athletes are busy, they don't know what to buy or how to cook and so they often choose poorly.
            Take-home message: **Athletes should eat smaller, frequent meals throughout day vs. back-loading calories in one large meal at night.**
            Berning summarized a Georgia State study on the effects of skipping meals within 24 hours. The study looked at two groups over 12 weeks and measured their energy balance. The control group didn’t eat breakfast and then ate a huge meal at a training table like format late at night, so they backloaded a ton of calories at the end of the day. The second group ate small meals spread throughout the day. Both groups ended at same energy balance level after 12 weeks, BUT the group who backloaded calories had more fat than the other group even though they weighed the same amount. This means the backloaded calorie group lost muscle weight.
            When calories are low throughout the day the body thinks it is starving and therefore burns lean muscle mass. Then if eat a huge meal late at night about 50% of those calories will be stored as fat. It is better to eat well throughout the day and do it consistently even on holidays.
            Most people think you are burning fat when eating low # of calories. Incorrect!
            Take the calories your body needs and break into smaller meals. I am NOT telling you to add a snack but instead divide up your required calories into smaller meals. Don’t add a snack/calories to create an additional time to eat.

-          Eating before exercise vs. exercising in a fasted state has been proven to improve performance. You want fuel to be: high in carbs, low in fiber/fat, moderate in protein, familiar to the athlete (nothing new). Something needs to come in to break the fast during sleep, liquid is fine.

Example fuel:
1 hour or less before meets/workouts:
Liquid form: water, sports drinks
Your brain needs blood glucose up (CHO)
½ banana and toast
Gels 15 minutes before event, if have earlier you will rise and dropoff before needed
Avoid energy drinks (red bulls/monster) etc. You may as well drink a bottle of pancake syrup.
- Orange juice is a little high in CHO %; have at breakfast but not just before get in water. If you have too much sugar in your gut it draws out water. Once exercise starts CHO helps delay the start of exercise induced response.
- Instant breakfast is OK, liquid will digest quicker. CHO digests first in your gut, especially in liquid form.

2 hours before:
Sports drinks
Oatmeal or cereal with skim milk
½ bagel or toast
6 oz yogurt and fruit

3-4 hours before:
Sports drink
Turkey sandwich, with lo-fat cheese, yogurt, fruit, granola,
Pasta w meat sauce, bread sticks, lofat milk
French toast, low fat milk, fruit
*a mini meal, but want stomach to empty before get in the pool, based on timing and volume of food putting in. More food put in, the more time it takes to digest.
*while waiting to get picked up have a sandwich/veg/fruit it should resemble a meal vs. single food concepts.

During exercise:
CHO found in sports drinks (6-8%) is recommended for events 1 hour or less especially for athletes who: exercise after an overnight fast, skip pre-exercise meal, don’t eat enough CHO, train in heat/cold, participate in intense training, 2/day+ practices.
            Longer events need 30-60g/hour and that will extend performance. Consume 6-12 oz sports drinks with 6-8% CHO every 15-30 minutes extends exercise time.

HS Swimmer example: skips breakfast, early lunch, may snack before workout, gets tired within 30 minutes of starting practice.
Minor league baseball example: normally eat one meal a day on the bus, have $20 food allowance and normally order 2 pizzas when get to hotel, cram food in and then go into sleep coma and sleep through the free breakfast provided at the hotel. This leads to low glycogen and fatigue, best to have some fluids with CHO or foods available, eat energy bars, sports drinks in between.

Foods for healing/ and reducing inflammation:
What you eat can help reduce your chance of getting diabetes, cancer, heart disease and more. A poor diet plus increase in physical demand leads to oxidative stress/tissue damage and impairs immune system.
-          More fruit/veggies with antioxidants can help prevent damage: dark leafy greens, spinach, kale, celery, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, pears. Blueberries/strawberries/raspberries have a plant nutrient in them that is really powerful and decreases neuromuscular injury and helps strengthen immune system so not sick as often.
-          *Buy frozen! Especially when fresh fruit is hard to find or really expensive. You won’t lose nutrients in frozen.

Night owls have a difficult time dealing with the demands of being a student athlete.
They are more likely to use stimulants to stay away and then can’t sleep at night.
*The body repairs damage when it’s sleeping. Sleep allows nutrients to come out of store and do their repair. You need 7-8 hours/sleep at night for max repair. The biggest part of repair is neuromuscular (how nerves communicate). Sleep needs to be regular and consistent. During deep REM sleep nutrients do repair work.
*A nap is good for mental recovery, but not longer than an hour or else it will interfere with your sleep at night.
*If sleep longer than 8 hours or less than 7 hours you are more likely to gain weight.
Teens need 10+ hours of sleep, 6-8 year olds need 10-12 hours of sleep.

AG Swimmers:
-          40% of AG swimmers think fries are a great source of carbs because it started out as a potato.
-          40% chose oatmeal as a good source of protein (vs. chicken).
-          Only 45% can identify foods from within a food group.
-          30% of teen athletes skip breakfast – THIS is a huge problem.
-          25% skip lunch, forget it or have no time.
-          82% of athletes can’t identify the fuel that muscles use to contract (CHO=Carbs). Most athletes think it’s protein their muscles need.
-          Athletes need more CHO and fluid. Extra calories should be in form of CHO.
-          Timing of meals is important and dependent on GI issues and workout intensity. Athletes with heavy training need to eat more than three meals a day.

88% of athletes have heard about recovery nutrition but only 33% know about putting food in within the 1-hour window of recovery.
*If dehydrated fatigue will set in early.
*20-25 grams of protein (~3 oz of chicken/deck of cards size) after each training session will maximize protein synthesis. Co-ingest small amount of protein will CHO (replaces glycogen store) as soon as possible, this accelerates protein synthesis.

150-pound athlete example:
54 grams CHO: bagel, smoothies, recovery shake
20-25 g protein: 2 tbps peanut butter, 1 C greek yogurt
Fluids: 3 C fluid for each pound lost during exercise
Consume 20-25 gram protein enough to stimulate protein synthesis, higher amounts do NOT bring an increase in protein synthesis – all extra gets oxidized off and peed out. DO NOT use the huge protein shakes! Instead consume protein 5-6x during the day to maximize protein synthesis. **Chronic protein consumption in excess could actually turn off the pathways to make new muscle/protein synthesis.
-          Need the 9 essential branched chain amino acids found mostly in animal products or soy. They get absorbed fast but help turn on pathway for protein synthesis.
-          Chocolate milk is good, has animal protein and good %.
Not all swimmers need recovery nutrition. For example, if taking a day off your body will get back with regular eating. Do recovery nutrition mostly in competition season/phase.

Example: HS soccer team spending tons of time on the road at away games
-          Parents organized snacks on bus for team: spent less time on the road eating junk, team recovered faster, not as hungry coming home or as grouchy, could push harder the next day. Examples: recovery beverage, yogurt smoothies, cheese/crackers, granola, PB sandwich, subs, burritos, trail mix, chocolate milk, fresh fruit, apples, bananas, grapes, yogurt.

Energy drinks:
Body needs and can handle 6-8% CHO (Gatorade is great). Energy drinks like red bull or monster are like 22+% and often come with some type of caffeine and/or ginseng. It’s not formulated for athletes or tested in a lab. It elevates resting heart rate and is dangerous.

*Make better food choices and time them well.

"Becoming a Great Swim Meet Coach" -- Central States Swim Clinic 2013

I adore the Central States Swim Clinic. I went last year for the first time and so attending this year was an easy decision.

I took a pre-conference session "Becoming a Great Swim Meet Coach" with Guy Edson -- totally awesome.

My notes below if you're interested.

Becoming a Great Swim Meet Coach
-          Guy Edson, ASCA
5-16-13 Central States Clinic

Top ideas:
-          “One of the best tips I got as a coach was to go to nationals and watch the other coaches coach. In the past we could go on deck and watch how coaches work with their athletes and learn from their coaching moments. How you talk to kids in the quieter moments is just as critical.” –Guy Edson
-          3 things during a meet: 1 – refocus (on the now), 2- reframe (in context of season), 3- restore (confidence to swim well). Do these things are you are instantly a better meet coach.
-          You want your swimmers to be involved with at least one of these three things each time they swim and shoot for 3 of 3: 1- best time, 2- were they involved in a race? 3- Did they swim technically well?
-          Instill confidence pre and during the meet. “Whatever we do let’s do it great!”
-          Know your athlete and what he/she needs from you.
-          Remember everyone is watching every single thing you do. J
-          On race day fats (in food) make you slow (something about coagulating red blood cells.)

-  Great meet coaches have swimmers who swim fantastic! Many styles work, coach with your strengths.            
- A swimmer comes to a meet with 3 types of expectations (positive, negative, or nothing at all! J). The last thing that happened to the swimmer that day before arriving at the meet could set the tone for the whole day. We are managers of expectations for other people.
- Set these expectations ahead of time and then remind them upon arrival of what those expectations are. Set time %’s, performance in a single event, points goals but communicate these goals weeks ahead of time and work on every day. Catch them making goal times/paces in practice. Look for these moments that transfer, make a note of it so you can recall at the swim meet, this is called transference. Tell them at practice to remember how it felt and then remind them of that at the meet.

- Excel at creating the proper atmosphere for the team at the meet. Sit with the kids, parents sit apart. Excel at focusing on performance, that’s why we’re there; it’s not a social event. Recognize when they’re under/over aroused and help them manage it. Often certain behaviors are attached to physical symptoms.
- You don’t need to feel great to swim great! At practice when a swimmer says not feeling great, say “great! I’ve been waiting for this day so you can look at your great workout and know you are capable of swimming well even when you didn’t feel great.”

- Swimmers need to own their times and know them.
- 13&U: Ask each athlete in person what he/she needs from you to help him/her go fast.
- Challenge swimmers in practice and than transfer that to the meet.
- Learn the body language of your swimmers. Pay attention to what the swimmer is doing between swims and change that if necessary. Some kids need to think about an event LESS before an event. It’s an art to understand how to coach without overcoaching.
-          Coaching advice can be easy and simple: “Go race!” or “Get a hand on the wall first.”
Put ideas in their heads a week early and then do it.

Entries: The coach should enter kids in the meet, don’t delegate or let parents choose. The coach manages the athletes’ careers, not the parent or swimmer. Put it in the job description it’s that important. A coach will have a different strategy for selecting events than a parent will. As coaches/assistant coaches we handle all the entries, sending them in, communicating with the team/parents etc. With senior swimmers we discuss entries with the swimmer ahead of time so it feels like a partnership; sometimes we’ll talk about with parents if the parents are coachable.  

Be the first person there, claim your territory and mentally prepare. Take two or more watches, your split book, get swimmers to take splits for you so they learn more by watching, goal sheets for each swimmer, your workout notebook, attendance list, pace chart, extra heat sheets for swimmers. Great other coaches, officials and workers, especially the officials.
            Stand at the end of the lane you want w-up to begin in. Wear team colors. Greet swimmers personally, if not old enough to drive don’t blame them if showing up late. There is no such thing as an 11-12 year old girl, they always move in packs. J
            Have a job for everyone, don’t have assistants standing around, and get everyone involved. They bring staff to meets that don’t even have swimmers swimming at that meet.
            Swimmers need to talk with coach before go up, go to blocks, talk to coach first, with nothing in between, especially parents.
            Lead by example and clean up. Take care of yourself (food, drink, sunscreen.) Look professional. Get off the deck for a break.

Group or individual warmup?
Most like some sort of team thing to build team aspect. Guy has everyone do a basic w-up together and then some swimmers do custom w-up after. Salo has kids in charge of their own w-up, but Guy disagrees.
Guy’s warmup for a-level AG & up: Swim 500-1200 yards free, 50s 12-20 IM order down SC, Kick ½, Swim ½ LC. 3-5 100s down divide kids in groups and time them. Some are done and warm down, others do more.
            Warmup for b-level and little kids: Pushoffs, turns, finishes and stroke mechanics. Normally use 12 yards the whole time. Practice warming up during the season using just one lane so when arrive at meet feel more comfortable in these conditions. Get kids used to it.
- For nervous athletes Guy usually does more breastroke in warmup because they will get more air and that helps calm the swimmers.

Analyze the performance based on facts not on feelings (splits, finals time, previous best time, stroke tempo, all of the above vs. previous efforts).
            Guy talks to swimmers in groups vs. 1v1. He tells them in a group how to beat each other and then lets them race.
            The senior coach should watch the competition and know their splits, +/-.
            Watch the race. Be honest if you miss it and ask the swimmer how he or she did. Be positive and constructive all the time, unless working with seniors, don’t need to always be positive.
            Ask how they swam before telling them what you saw. Be specific with younger kids. You want them to swim 1, 2, or all 3 of these things: 1- best time, 2- race someone, 3- swim technically well. After the swim, look at all three and tell swimmer how to swim better. Try to avoid giving feedback like “I can’t believe you broke a minute…” be careful with your word choices, give factual information on how to save time. Don’t patronize. With senior swimmers give em hell but always end negative comments with hope for the future.
            If a swimmer comes back after a bad swim and is overemotional send him/her away to calm down vs. spending your time calming him/her down because you have to focus on others too.
            DQs: our attitude is a surprise or fluke, not a huge issue. In Florida they don’t find out until later on if DQ. We deal with it unemotionally and tell the swimmer how to fix next time. Sometime we’ll tell the parents ahead of time, some parents will see as a failure but help to see not a big deal.
            Post-race talk: evaluate and set the stage for next event/next meet etc. Give hope. Tell them how to go faster. It’s about making mistakes and getting better.
            Be excited with the young swimmers. With older swimmers provide minimal emotional comments, their friends and families are there to cheer.

            Excellent performance is normal, natural and expected. Build this attitude at practice so when you are at a meet this is a normal expectation.
During a race: Don’t need to be a cheerleader but stand up and be engaged. Watch the pushoffs and breakouts vs. looking down at your watch.
- Hostile parents: avoid escalating emotions in a confrontation. Ask permission to talk about it later, and when you do, take it out of site. Book: 21 Ways to Diffuse Anger. Deal with the emotion first, facts second. Brain chemistry changes when you are emotional. Use polite interruption/clarifying questions about what said to try to bring back to rational stage. Men need to know that you can’t bring women back to the rational state of mind with facts. Facts don’t matter.
- If down time, catch idle swimmers and review their swims, be an active coach and bring them down early.
- Look at best times and look at patterns, like the third 50 of a 200. Analyze level of swims by age, event, how many new best times, bb times, etc, breakthrough swims, celebration swims.
- Visualizing: for younger kids show them pictures of the venue ahead of time; this helps them feel more comfortable on arrival. When visualizing your swims, do it from the perspective of other people, the clearer your picture is the better chance you have to achieve your goals.


My 1st 25 FLY

Today I finished my first length of butterfly at the Princeton Club! Then I took my fins off and finished 4 more lengths (no fins) with drills in between.
It's important to me to practice/do everything my Mini Sharks do, so I've been working on it on my own for a long time. At Shark practice & meets Coach Stu gets kids to:
  1. try it
  2. finish it
  3. improve it.
Currently my fly isn't fast and it's not technically that great ---But I think it's a really powerful place to be.