Increased volume = Increased energy use =
Increased calorie intake!
Body weight should NOT drop more than 3 pounds during an intense
period of training in-season. Most large training load increases
in-season come in 2 or 3 week periods, and the benefits can be numerous,
BUT… Losing weight quickly in-season does NOT equate to being
in better shape (necessarily…) – faster swimming equates
to being in better shape at this time! Losing muscle to provide
energy for practice is not the path to increased recovery and faster
swimming, and the idea that you need to “break down”
to build back up has serious limits.
If your practices are coming close to or going beyond double your
normal volume, an additional 1000 calories per day may be in order.
Your body weight and recovery status will determine this need. 1000
calorie examples: 2 large protein shakes OR 4 snickers bars OR 1
If you lose 3+ pounds (in a 2 to 3 week period), add an additional
500 calories per practice.
If you lose 6+ pounds, add an additional 100 calories per practice.
And, as you should be doing throughout the season… drink Gatorade
(or something like it) at any practice over 1 hour, and be sure
to drink something (chocolate milk or a protein shake) or at the
very least eat something with both carbs and protein within one
hour post-practice. The first hour after practice you should try
to get in somewhere between 400 and 800 calories – again coming
mainly from carbs and protein.
Good luck in your training, and remember the take home message here:
During intense in-season training losing weight does not equate
to better shape, faster swimming equates to better shape! Improved
recovery doesn’t have to be a complicated effort, just a consistent