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jamie1966
March 2nd, 2017, 01:26 PM
Heading to Sewanee, TN in the morning for my first meet. Please keep in mind I have never participated in/attended a swim meet.

Food: A good pre race breakfast consists of?
What foods are good for the day (I swim in the first event and the last event so this will an all day affair.)?
caffeine or energy gels before events?

Contents of swimbag: I know all the basics to bring. Is there anything a newbie would not know to bring that he wish he had brought?

Shaving: If so, what? I want to blend in with the other guys. Im ok with being the slow guy. I just don't want to be the slow hairy guy.

Timing mats: I do not do flip turns. Is there a mat in the water I need to touch w my hand so my splits are recorded? If I touch the wall but not the mat am I a DQ?

Diving: My local pool does not allow diving. Therefore, I plan on diving in from the edge of the pool and not the blocks. Any special rules about that?

Long races: For the 1000 free, if necessary, can I go to an ugly/illegal breast stroke? If I use breaststroke do I need to touch the wall with two hands?
Can I rest for a few seconds by holding on to the wall or ropes?

Thanks in advance for any advise!

ssumargo
March 2nd, 2017, 02:03 PM
For my first meet, I had my usual breakfast, which was 3 scrambled eggs and a smoothie (with whey protein). I've been told that a banana and some protein bars are good to munch on while at the meet. I was so nervous in my first meet, I didn't have anything but water. Lots of water...I had to use the restroom several times.

I brought the usual, an extra set of goggles, swim cap, etc. But I mainly used 3 things while I was there: I brought and drank 2 bottles of water, a swim coverall (kept me warm without having to use the towel), and my phone. At my meet, they didn't provide individual swimmers with the heat sheet, they just posted it on the wall. So I used my phone camera to take a picture of the heat sheet so I could go back to my corner and look through it.

I've seen some people bring folding chairs because there weren't enough to go around.

Can't comment on the shaving...

Diving: I started in the water. I didn't want to risk getting water in my goggles for my first swim meet. I had to tell the timers that I was going to start in the water. So just make sure that they know you are not going up on the block.

Not sure about the long races.

Good luck and have fun!

orca1946
March 2nd, 2017, 02:07 PM
Apparently you do not have a swim team background or coach, so here it goes.
A light breakfast and snacks for buying the meet.
Extra cap & goggles - maybe a suit in case of wardrobe malfunction.
Are you going for a state record in your 1st meet? No shaving till Nationals.
Timing touch pads are used mostly for you finish time. You MUSTn touch the front of the pad NOT the TOP to turn off to a finish time.
flip turns with a foot touch will give splits.
You can dive from the side -ok
!,000 free -- why did you enter a race that you cannot finish?? Any stroke you do must be legal -yes 2 hands on fly & br.
Yes you may rest on the end after you finish legally.
Let us know how you do.

ElaineK
March 2nd, 2017, 02:47 PM
:wave: Hi, Jamie! I'll be there at the meet, so I'll look for you. I'm doing the "800 IM Challenge", and I just noticed there will only be three people swimming the 200 fly (I'm the only woman). I guess that means only three of us took up the 800 IM challenge, and one of them is the meet director! Look for me in the international flag suit and the blue Georgia Masters cap.

Here's my :2cents: on your questions:

Pre-race food: ONLY eat food you KNOW will agree with your stomach-- nothing fried, spicy, fatty, etc. :eek:

During the meet: A lot of people eat bananas and PB&J sandwiches. They work for me as do food bars that I know sit well in my stomach. Make sure to stay well-hydrated, too. Caffeine and energy gels are a personal thing, as is foods. It really depends on what your body needs and tolerates.

Swim bag:
-I bring anti-fog spray for my goggles. I make my own: 1oz. rubbing alcohol + 1oz. water + 1 drop of baby shampoo in a small spray bottle.
-Extra towels to sit on; those benches are hard!
-Camera, so my husband can video my races for post-meet feedback.
-Highlighter pen to mark up my heat sheet. (I already studied the psych sheet, and I'm bummed my 55-59 age group is VERY slim at this meet!)
-As others mentioned, extra goggles, extra cap, and extra suit, just in case...
-Lock for the locker room lockers (you never know...)
-If you don't have a swim parka, definitely bring something to keep warm. Yes, it's hot and humid in many natatoriums, but it's amazing how cold you can get sitting around in a wet suit with wet hair.

Touch pads: Orca missed the fact you don't do flip turns. Just make sure you touch the wall at each turn. You won't get DQ'd if you miss the pad, but you WILL get DQ'd if you don't touch the wall at each turn.

Diving: THE WATER IS ONLY 4 FT DEEP AT THE BLOCKS! I was surprised when I read that in the meet info., and it makes me nervous! I will evaluate the situation when I get there, but I will probably either do a dive from the wall or in-water start. Some people have fear of heights, but I have a fear of diving too deep and breaking my neck! :afraid:

1,000 free: If I were you, I would slow down your freestyle stroke, and rest at the wall if needed. (Yes, you can rest at the wall, but give the ropes a miss.) Wouldn't you feel like you accomplished more if you swam the entire race freestyle? That's one of the reasons I don't use breaststroke kick in butterfly (which is legal in Masters).

See you in Sewanee!

swimark
March 2nd, 2017, 02:48 PM
Heading to Sewanee, TN in the morning for my first meet. Please keep in mind I have never participated in/attended a swim meet.

Food: A good pre race breakfast consists of?
What foods are good for the day (I swim in the first event and the last event so this will an all day affair.)?
caffeine or energy gels before events?

Contents of swimbag: I know all the basics to bring. Is there anything a newbie would not know to bring that he wish he had brought?

Shaving: If so, what? I want to blend in with the other guys. Im ok with being the slow guy. I just don't want to be the slow hairy guy.

Timing mats: I do not do flip turns. Is there a mat in the water I need to touch w my hand so my splits are recorded? If I touch the wall but not the mat am I a DQ?

Diving: My local pool does not allow diving. Therefore, I plan on diving in from the edge of the pool and not the blocks. Any special rules about that?

Long races: For the 1000 free, if necessary, can I go to an ugly/illegal breast stroke? If I use breaststroke do I need to touch the wall with two hands?
Can I rest for a few seconds by holding on to the wall or ropes?

Thanks in advance for any advise!

I'm no expert, but have done a few meets.

Food - Don't try anything new for breakfast, and don't over or under eat. Your normal breakfast before a practice swim\workout is probably ok. Personally I always go for PB&J, but that's just me and might be too heavy for some. I also usually bring a banana and an energy bar for between event snacking. Also bring water.

In your bag - you know the basics (suit, goggles, backup pair of goggles, cap), but also bring an extra towel or a sweat shirt to keep warm between events.

Shaving - You will see a mix, some will and some wont. At local\smaller meets most (men) do not shave. Nationals might be another story. For me its not worth the effort, but to each his own

Timing mats - usually just under the starting blocks, but sometimes at the far end too. They are big and hard to miss, but you wont be DQed if you miss them. There might be backup timers with stop watches in case you do. Hit the mat below the water level. Don't hit the top of the mat that sits above the water, it probably wont register.

Diving - same rules apply diving in from the edge as from the blocks. There will be a series of whistles followed by "take your mark". Assume your starting position, stay steady and don't move until you hear the gun or horn.
Official version found here - https://www.usms.org/rules/part1.pdf

1000 freestyle - free pretty much means anything goes. You are "free" to do any "style" stroke. But don't hang on the lane line, not sure if that is legal. Pulling on the laneline is a DQ, but accidentally bumping into it is OK.

Good luck and have fun!

realAlbertan
March 2nd, 2017, 02:55 PM
If you want a break do it at the ends. Grabbing a lane rope might be viewed as pulling on it which is a DQ. Echo the calls for extra suit, caps and goggles.


Make sure your goggles are tight enough. I timed at our club distance time trial and my sons poor friend swam the 800m Freestyle with his goggles around his neck. I try to eat early if the meet has a morning start time, cereal and some protein at least 2 hours before my first race. Afternoon starts are tricky. I will adjust my meal times to mirror an AM start when possible.

My next meet is a 3 hour drive with a noon warm up for example. So I will pack the appropriate food for the drive up.

swimark
March 2nd, 2017, 03:12 PM
As mentioned above, make sure your goggles are tight. Take a few practice dives to make sure they are tight enough and don't fall off. Diving in might be prohibited during general warm-up and\or may only be allowed at certain times and\or in designated lanes. Please ask an official\meet director\lifeguard before diving in at warm-up.

j cook
March 2nd, 2017, 04:34 PM
Looks as if all is answered, the only input I have is Jim Oliver's Smokehouse has breakfast buffet, maybe red eyed gravy, that would give plenty of energy to get through the 1000. I'll be looking for hairy man in the 1000. See you at Sewannee!

ElaineK
March 2nd, 2017, 06:04 PM
Looks as if all is answered, the only input I have is Jim Oliver's Smokehouse has breakfast buffet, maybe red eyed gravy, that would give plenty of energy to get through the 1000. I'll be looking for hairy man in the 1000. See you at Sewannee!

I'd like to meet both of you guys! :agree: Look for me in the international flag suit and blue Georgia Masters cap. My husband will be wearing a white long sleeve from the San Diego "Bay 2 Bay" kayak race.

Jimbosback
March 2nd, 2017, 06:35 PM
I am really hairy, so I do some shaving at every meet, if only because it is easier to dry off. For smaller meets, I just shave with an electric trimmer the night before. For big meets, I finish that with the blade in the morning. It takes me a long time to shave. I always shave my head and face clean for meets.

Eat what you usually eat. Just don't fill up too much too close to the swim. You can rest at the end, but no touching bottom.

There should be back-up timers if you don't hit the pads, but they probably won't be taking your splits.

Allen Stark
March 2nd, 2017, 08:14 PM
To clarify, if you do breaststroke or breaststroke kick or whatever in a freestyle event that is fine as long as it follows freestyle rules, that's why they call it freestyle.

jamie1966
March 2nd, 2017, 09:16 PM
thank you to everyone for the great information. i will put all of the suggestions to work on saturday (except the breakfast buffet:eeew:).
i am a little concerned about the numerous suggestions to bring a second bathing suit. is it that often that a suit becomes unable to continue in a meet?
elaine i will find you. i will be wearing a red suit with a look of pure terror on my face.

ElaineK
March 2nd, 2017, 09:32 PM
i am a little concerned about the numerous suggestions to bring a second bathing suit. is it that often that a suit becomes unable to continue in a meet?
elaine i will find you. i will be wearing a red suit with a look of pure terror on my face.

If you have a new suit or one that is in good shape, you should be fine. You just don't want to end up in a situation where you bend over for the start, and :mooning:. I took an aging Speedo Endurance suit on a cruise with me, and the seam split when I bent over to gather my belongings after my swim in the postage stamp-sized "pool". :blush:

:bighug: That's for the terror you may be feeling about your first meet! Mine was seven years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I must have looked like a deer in headlights when I walked onto the pool deck and saw literally hundreds of people, many in tech suits. (It was the 2010 St. Pat's meet, the last meet to make National Qualifying Times before Spring Nationals at Georgia Tech.)

The best part of the meet was meeting so many nice, encouraging swimmers who understood my fear and cheered me on in my races. I felt very welcomed and comfortable after the initial panic.

Although we won't be arriving until after your 1000 race, I will do my best to pay that encouragement forward when we meet. (Although, since I'm doing the "800 IM Challenge" AND the 400 IM AND the 50 breaststroke, I'll be spending most of the meet in the pool rather than on deck!) My husband, Bruce, knows the ropes, though, and he'll be hanging around to offer encouragement, too!

ElaineK
March 3rd, 2017, 05:10 PM
Hey, Jamie & Marcie! It was great meeting you at the pool today! Don't worry about your 1,000; you will both do great. Good luck!! :cheerleader:

guppy
March 3rd, 2017, 08:48 PM
Bring deck shoes (and even socks, till they get wet) if, like me, you don't want to sit around with cold feet (literally anyway) between events.

orca1946
March 4th, 2017, 12:14 PM
Let us know how you do - please have fun. Don't worry about times.

ElaineK
March 4th, 2017, 07:03 PM
Let us know how you do - please have fun. Don't worry about times.

I'm sure Jamie will be back on here to let you know how he did, but I want to give a shout out to him for a job well done! :applaud: Orca, Jamie looked great in his 1000, and was MORE THAN CAPABLE of going on to swim a 1650. I'm proud of him for not only swimming a strong 1000, but he went on to complete the "Build a Mile" challenge by swimming a strong 500, 100, and 50. He is a much stronger swimmer than he let on. Kudos to both Jamie AND his wife, Marcie for rockin' the pool! :chug: