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lindsay
September 13th, 2006, 10:59 AM
First I will introduce myself, for I am new here. I am from Poland and practice for long distance swimming. I want to participate in masters competition in winter (it is going to be my third time):)

This morning when I was already after my workout the lifeguard came up to me and he started talking about training, nutrition itp. I told him that I am practicing for long distance, like 400 and 800 and he gave me some nutrition tips. He said that long distance swimmers need mostly fat and little carbs, because their effort is aerobic.

Here I was quite puzzled. I know that you burn fat in case of prolonged effort at low intensity level. But this is not what the long distance swimmer is doing! When I do my 2x800 or 4x400m sets I try to do it at relatively good pace (though, of course, not at the sprint level ). And if I have had a meal rich in fat and low in carbs I feel week during workout. Especially when my volume is 3.500-4000m per session.

What do you think about it?

gull
September 13th, 2006, 11:35 AM
Your muscles need the carbs to replace the glycogen which is depleted during vigorous exercise. He may have been thinking of the fat utilization which occurs during low level exercise (En1, HR 30-50 bpm below max. HR).

lindsay
September 13th, 2006, 12:01 PM
By the way, do you know how to be accurate in checking heartrate? It takes me several seconds to find my pulse when I am tired after a block and in that time it drops down a bit (I very quickly come back to my normal pulse after effort). I never know exactly at what HR I was swimming. Are there any instruments for checking pulse? Or maybe you can estimate the HR by the effort you put into exercise?

gull
September 13th, 2006, 12:13 PM
Heart rate monitors are available, or you can use perceived effort (less precise). Fortunately, I don't have any trouble finding my pulse.

geochuck
September 13th, 2006, 12:35 PM
Everyone has their own idea, we need carbs, protien and fat. 40/30/30 or what ever combination you wish.

Kevin in MD
September 13th, 2006, 04:35 PM
Your lifeguard friend is a little off base. It is true that at lower exertions you will burn higher relative proportions of fat. However, at any swimming velocity you are burning substantial amounts of glycogen form your stores. Those stores need to be full for you to perform your best.

There's a pretty good book out called "Advanced Sports Nutrition" published here in the states by Human Kinetics. He covers the state of the art in nutrition research pretty thoroughly and you will definitely find good info and a good background on nutrition for distance swimming.

As for monitoring heart rate, heart rate is a very important measure in running and to some degree for cycling because the same speeds can mean very different efforts. However, in a pool of constant distance and without substantial waves, the energy required to swim at a given speed is very reproducible form day to do.

Swimming 10 seconds under your threshold pace on tuesday requires the same amount of energy it required on wednesday.

geochuck
September 13th, 2006, 05:16 PM
Kevin

Dr Shute told me years ago that vitamine e helped in the transfer of glycogen to the muscle and that too much iron effected the transfer negatively.

gull
September 13th, 2006, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by Kevin in MD
Swimming 10 seconds under your threshold pace on tuesday requires the same amount of energy it required on wednesday.

For the most part, I agree with you--I don't use heart rate much, but it can be useful. For example, if I'm having a bad workout and struggling to exceed my threshold pace, my heart rate will tell me if I'm really pushing as hard as I think I am.

KaizenSwimmer
September 15th, 2006, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by lindsay
I told him that I am practicing for long distance, like 400 and 800 and he gave me some nutrition tips. He said that long distance swimmers need mostly fat and little carbs, because their effort is aerobic.

400 and 800 are middle, not long, distance and their nutritional requirements are simply for good, basic nutrition. Are your training sessions in excess of two hours? If not, no special nutrition needed. Always a good idea to consume a snack that's got both carbs and protein within 20 to 30 min after completing a training session of at least 75 to 90 minutes.

lindsay
September 16th, 2006, 04:01 AM
Originally posted by totalswimm
Are your training sessions in excess of two hours? .

No. I swim for about 90 minutes per session.

And I feel best if I do not cut on carbs too much. So, judging by what my body tellst us, I just need some balanced diet - some carbs (eg. fruit) before session, complex carbs and protein in the post-session meal, protein-fat later during the day. This is what makes me feel fine and what makes me keep going during the session.

geochuck
September 16th, 2006, 08:38 AM
It is surprising how many carbs are required. I was in to see the dietician, I am overweight and diabetic. When I follow the regimum of swim, bike, run (I walk not run) every day. Eat 3 well balanced meals and have 3 snacks a day I can go off my medication for diabetese and high blood pressure. I must have my carbs and in grater amounts then I ever thought.

craiglll@yahoo.com
September 16th, 2006, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by Kevin in MD
Your lifeguard friend is a little off base. It is true that at lower exertions you will burn higher relative proportions of fat. However, at any swimming velocity you are burning substantial amounts of glycogen form your stores. Those stores need to be full for you to perform your best.

There's a pretty good book out called "Advanced Sports Nutrition" published here in the states by Human Kinetics. He covers the state of the art in nutrition research pretty thoroughly and you will definitely find good info and a good background on nutrition for distance swimming.

As for monitoring heart rate, heart rate is a very important measure in running and to some degree for cycling because the same speeds can mean very different efforts. However, in a pool of constant distance and without substantial waves, the energy required to swim at a given speed is very reproducible form day to do.

Swimming 10 seconds under your threshold pace on tuesday requires the same amount of energy it required on wednesday.

The book is really great. Human Kinetics is a great company. They provide wonderful benefits to the Champaign/Urbana area. Each Spring they sponsor a race in the Crystal Laqe Park. They donate money to area nonprofits. Their management is required t sit on nonprofit boards. Go to their website and look at the wide range of books they publish.