Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Gear Galore

At swim practice, I use loads of equipment to improve technique, build strength, and add variety. In today’s post, I will be giving you my insight and comments on swimming stuff!

Kick Board

The definition is pretty self explanatory - you hold onto this block of foam, and as my friend Elise would say it, just flail your legs. Over time, kick boards have become my worst enemy. My biggest pet peeve is when someone steals your kick board during a set and claims that it is their’s when they didn’t even pick one up in the first place! Also, my pool has “good” kick boards and “bad” kick boards. Everybody rushes to get the “good” kick boards, and if you are too late then you have to get one of the “bad” kick boards, which have chunks torn out of them.

Paddles

You would think that since I don’t kick when I swim, I would be a good puller. Well, guess what?You are wrong. Maybe it is because my paddles are twice the size of my hands, or because my hands enters the water in the completely wrong direction. I bought agility paddles to correct this habit, but they fell off every twenty-five yards!

Different Sizes of Paddles
Photo Courtesy: TYR
Fins

I used to like fins, until my coach decided to cut off a piece of them hoping that it would make it harder and increase my kick tempo. Not only do my fins look like little stubs, but they never seem to conform to my feet. I have to wear socks for them just to stay on, and blisters still seem to magically appear on my toes.

Snorkel

Snorkels are not for seeing coral, fish, turtles, or starfish. Instead, they allow you to pay close attention to what your hands are doing underwater. Until you get used to your snorkel, I recommend that you invest in a nose plug, as they are super handy dandy. If you don’t want mold to grow inside the mouthpiece, you should probably put it through the dishwasher every now and then. 

Pull Buoy

A pull buoy is one of my favorites because it helps engage your core. While holding a pull buoy snug between your legs, it often becomes challenging to get a quality push off the wall with powerful dolphin kicks. I have not used a pull buoy in practice recently, and I am not sure why, but hopefully I can put it to good use soon!

Pink Pull Buoy
Photo Courtesy: DJ Sports
Mesh Bag

I am pretty sure that I would look like a complete dork if I had to gather all my gear everyday without a place to store it. I rely heavily on my mesh bag for multiple reasons. It is waterproof and my go-to location to find anything and everything. 

Miscellaneous

Some of the basics that you need no matter what are caps, googles, and your water bottle. From personal experience, I can tell you that if you ever are dumb enough to forget your water bottle, you are pretty much doomed. :(

That is all that I have for you guys today. Thank you so much for reading and check out Swim Outlet for deals and steals on any equipment that your might need. See you later!

XOXO

Siena

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Nutrition No-No's

As a distance swimmer, or really any athlete, it is important that you fuel your body to maximize performance. In todays world, there is lots of research on what to put in your body to get the results out. While this information has been presented to me in many ways (through magazines, coaches, parents, lectures…), it seems to pass right by as my nutrition habits are nowhere, and I mean nowhere, near what they are supposed to be. In this post, I will be giving you a glimpse into my swim meet eating schedule.

For lunch after prelims and before finals, you can find me at the closest In-N-Out Burger ordering a Double-Double Animal Style with no tomato and extra burger spread with french fries. I usually try to pass on the shake, as I figure it might be a little much, but sometimes that extra creamy and thick vanilla ice cream is too hard to resist. I consume exactly 1675 calories of fatty deliciousness every time we go through the drive-thru. Now, my lunch menu is quite different from the simple and complex carbohydrate, protein rich, fresh fruit, crisp vegetable, vitamin and mineral packed, healthy diet. I am pretty sure that I am the only person in the world who would even think of engulfing such a meal before finals.

Double-Double Animal Style Burger
Photo Courtesy: Serious Seats
For the time between races, you are supposed - key word: supposed - to snack on foods that are quickly absorbed, easy to break down, and can reach muscles speedily. Some of these food items include crackers, fruit, energy bars, cheese, peanut butter, or eggs. Instead, I prefer Curious George fruit snacks, Cheez-Its, Chewy chocolate dipped chocolate chip granola bars, Pringles or Lays, and basically anything that is artificial. The only snack I have that is actually recommended is Go-Go Squeez, but only in Apple-Apple or Apple-Cinnamon flavor, I just love the pouch!

Now, you might think that I am a total failure, but there is hope. Hydration is my forte. I go through so many waters and Vitamin Waters, so not only am I quenching my thirst, but water makes the body feel refreshed and energized. As my coach says, you can never have to many fluids.In any sport, recovery is crucial in order to consistently be at the top of your game. My go-to recovery drink is chocolate milk because it tastes great and helps rebuild muscles. 

Before meets, you should start your day off right with a substantial breakfast. Now, at six in the morning in the car, the last thing I want to do is eat. But, I do eat a packet of Quakers blueberry and cream oatmeal. Why settle for anything less than a sugary bite filled with all kinds of dyes and fake fruit?

As you can tell, I might not be the best role model as far as healthy eating is concerned. Now that it is the New Year, and I don’t really have a New Year’s resolution, maybe I should try to start 2015 out right with a better nutrition plan. But, you know, today was all about the junk food from chocolate to cheesy Doritos.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and learned what not to do before a meet! Be sure to check back for another post coming soon and leave any comments below. See you next time!

XOXO

Siena