The breaking news regarding Arizona State redshirting its swimming program broke many a heart and almost the entire SwimSwam website. Bob Bowman’s announcement forced the SwimSwam team into the deep end of a traffic tsunami but, fortunately, they’re a team of excellent swimmers and found a way to tread. This near breakage shows just how focused we all what getting back to school will look like, and when.
While Arizona State won’t be having a swim season this year, the jury is out on how many other schools will follow suit. There is one thing that is for certain for swimmers getting back in the pool, and that’s captured perfectly in “SwimSwam Podcast: Bob Bowman Responds to SwimSam’s ASU Redshirt Comments”:
Gold Medal Mel: This is what I predict when they get back in the pool: Pain!”
Bowman: “It will be delivered in a very disciplined and built up of a way.”
Having had access to a pool or following intense dryland training, while helpful, won’t be enough to save you from the negative impacts of four months out of the pool with your team and away from your regular training. In preparation for the inevitable pain train associated with clawing your way back to normal training, all you can do is figure out how to mitigate it and speed up what promises to be a long process. Especially in light of Bowman’s 2 for 1 rule. Unfamiliar with this rule? Listen to the whole podcast above. If you’re not already focusing on optimizing your recovery, you should start immediately, especially if you’re hoping to ramp up training quickly and efficiently without sustaining an injury, or unnecessarily adding to the pain.
The good news? Optimal recovery comes down to a very simple equation. Have we got your attention? Great! This may be news to you, or you this may count as a refresher course, either way, school’s in session, and this is Recovery 101.
Whether you can perform at your best, and show up to train harder, consistently, all comes down to how well you have recovered. This makes recovery a crucial part of your training. Cooldown exercises and stretching are just a start. Here’s a quick refresher on why we need to recover: training puts resistance on your skeletal muscles, which results in microscopic tears in the tissue. The greater the resistance, especially if it’s more than what your body is used to, the greater the micro-tears. We also have these micro-tears to thank for the stiffness and pain we feel the day after (and two days after) a tough training session. The muscle tissue needs to repair to adapt to greater training loads, and continuing to ramp up training while being under-recovered can lead to more pain and even injury. In order to repair the muscle tissue, your body needs two things.
Recovery = Nutrition + Sleep
The body essentially uses nutrition as the materials to repair muscle tissue, and the time you spend sleeping is how long your body gets to repair those muscles. If you think about your body as a car in the repair shop every night, without the right parts (nutrition) and enough time to put it all together (sleep) your car is not going to be fully prepared and won’t be able to run optimally the next day. It could even leave you stranded on the side of the road for “hours” or however long it takes you to bounce back from an injury. Ultimately, it’s going to take you longer to reach your desired destination.
It makes sense to give the mechanic everything they need to give repair your car correctly. If the metaphorical mechanic, your body, doesn’t have the materials it needs to build new muscle fibers, it enters a catabolic state and seeks out nutrients from other sources, such as by breaking down healthy muscle tissue to repair the damaged muscle tissue. This means it’s going to take even longer to build your muscles up to their previous levels. As your training ramps up you’ll find your body may be needing greater amounts of particular nutrients, which is something you can prepare for.
What you get out of the upcoming months is going to depend on what you put into your body. To help you get the most out of it, we’ve put together a complete Recovery 101 eBook together for our swim family, including a breakdown of recovery-focused nutrition, how you can improve your sleep, as well as tips and tricks from the pros. For those looking for something to help them sleep easily at night knowing their inner “mechanic” has access to all the materials, it needs to repair and recover, take a look at the P2Life’s NutriBoost Shake.
- “Neuromuscular Adaptations to Training,” Beachle, Powers & Howley. University of Massachusetts, Lowell. https://www.uml.edu/campusrecreation/staff/EP%20II%20Materials/Neuromuscular%20Adaptations%20to%20Training.pdf
- “Role of nutrition in performance enhancement and post-exercise recovery.” Beck, K., Thomson, J. Et al in Open Access J Sports Med. 2015; 6: 259-267 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4540168/
- “What happens to your muscles when you work out?”, Sherwood, C. Livestrong. https://www.livestrong.com/article/533248-what-happen-to-your-muscles-when-you- work-out/
- “How does exercise make your muscles stronger?” Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-does-exercise-make-yo/
- “Joint Position Statement: nutrition and athletic performance. American College of Sports Medicine, American Dietetic Association, and Dietitians of Canada.” In Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Dec 32(12):2130-45 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11128862
- Jeukendrup, A., & Gleeson, M. (2010). Sport nutrition: An introduction to energy production and performance (2nd Ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/dehydration-andits-effects-on- performance
- “Sports Nutrition.” Brown University https://www.brown.edu/campus-life/health/services/promotion/nutrition-eating- concerns-sports-nutrition/sports-nutrition
P2Life is a family-owned, performance-based, nutritional supplement company that was designed for swimmers, by swimmers, to protect health and promote performance. Within one year of launching, P2Life was the preferred choice for 40% of the USA Men’s National Swim at the London Olympics. Today P2Life is the dominant force in nutrition and is tried, tested, and loved by elite and aspiring athletes across all levels; high school, collegiate and masters swimmers around the globe. Every P2Life product is independently batch tested to be certified free of banned and illegal substances. P2life products have undergone +35 years of rigorous research and development, and the difference they make is evident in the numbers. With 18 Olympic medals, +800 World Records, and +100 National Age Group Records and counting, it’s clear that P2Life athletes feel the difference.
P2Life was founded by Tim Shead, a Masters Swimming Hall of Fame Inductee and +45x World Record Holder, and co-founded by Michael Shead, a former national water polo player. Tim’s expertise in swimming and years of experience and knowledge working with nutritional products, combined with Michael’s love of innovation and technical background, has enabled the P2Life team to create a technologically savvy company that is dedicated to furthering athletic potential. P2Life strives to empower athletes with the highest-quality nutritional supplements, backed by peer-reviewed scientific research, and to arm athletes and their loved ones with accurate and reliable information to make informed decisions. The whole P2Life team is working to fuel the athletes of today and tomorrow for a bright future, in which dreams become achievable goals and sustainable realities.
P2Life is a SwimSwam partner.