It’s finally that time of year again. Finals are long behind us, the holiday season is coming to a close and you are on your way to a (hopefully) warm location for your team’s annual training trip. Training trip is such a pivotal time during the season. While it may be a mentally and physically demanding experience, it is a great opportunity to challenge yourself and get in some quality training (all while getting a killer tan too!). In order to make the most of your trip, it is important to take care of yourself and prioritize your health. This entails getting enough sleep, fueling your body with enough energy, keeping hydrated and taking the time to give your body the necessary recovery it needs. By focusing on these things and listening to your body, you will create a positive environment conducive to success. You put the work in so why not make it easier on yourself by prioritizing the things that you have control over?
After four years of training trip experience, I can relate to the mental and physical stress every swimmer experiences during this time. That is why I compiled some of my biggest tips for preparing your body for training trip!
1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
If you are lucky, you will be traveling to a warm location for your training trip. While soaking up the sun with your teammates is super fun and we all look forward to laying out on the beach for hours at a time hoping to transform our pale, wintery complexion, this can negatively affect our physical performance in the pool. Extended sun exposure in addition to enduring hours of grueling workouts will make you dehydrated. This is why it is so important to be drinking water throughout the day. Drink water when you wake up, during a workout, after a workout and especially before bed. Sports drinks that contain electrolytes can be a drink option however, these contain a lot of refined sugars, which can lead to energy crashes. A more natural way to remain hydrated without all that added sugar is coconut water. This stuff is nutritious, delicious and contains natural electrolytes- sodium and potassium.
The bottom line is, do not neglect H2O. Your water bottle is your best friend!
2. Carbs are your Friend!
Eating right is super important on training trip. Fueling your body with quality, whole foods and enough calories will allow you to feel your best, perform your best and also recover after intense pool or dry land sessions. Whether you are responsible for preparing your own meals or are eating catered team meals, you should be eating balanced meals full of complex carbohydrates, quality protein and healthy fats. If you have meals provided for you, focus on getting in those carbs (rice, pasta, roasted potatoes, etc.), add a serving of lean protein as well as whole fruit or veggies. And if you are responsible for preparing your own meals, here is some recipe inspiration!
3 Ingredient Banana Oat Pancakes
- (Makes 4-5 small pancakes)
- 1 Ripe banana
- ⅓ cup rolled oats
- 2 Eggs
- Dash of cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Chocolate chips (optional)
- Toppings: Creamy peanut butter, banana slices, more chocolate chips
You can combine all ingredients in a blender (recommended) or, mash together the banana, oats and eggs, then stir in the cinnamon and vanilla. While pancakes are most commonly eaten for breakfast, this stack can be enjoyed at any time of day on training trip!
- Corn tortillas
- ½ Avocado or 1 small avocado
- Sliced cherry tomatoes
- Sauteed spinach or kale
- 3 Scrambled eggs or egg whites
- Lime juice
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Paprika (optional)
- Hot sauce (optional)
These tacos are super quick and easy to make and taste delicious! You can make them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You may adhere to this recipe or you can mix it up with different toppings and condiments. Try adding some cheddar cheese, sauteed mushrooms, belle peppers or onions.
Stir Fry Noodles & Veggies
- Pasta noodles (I used edamame pasta)
- Sauteed broccoli, bell pepper, kale & mushrooms
- Liquid aminos or Soy sauce
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Pinch of ginger powder
- Chicken (optional)
I love this recipe, especially when I am craving Lo-Mein noodles. I used edamame pasta for this recipe but, you may also use whole wheat spaghetti, buckwheat noodles or other plant-based pastas. While the pasta cooks, steam your raw vegetables with a little bit of water in a sauce pan, then add in some liquid aminos or soy sauce. Sprinkle in some ginger, salt and pepper and toss in the noodles once they’re done cooking. Combine the veggies and noodles together so they soak up all the flavor from the liquid aminos. This recipe is completely plant-based but, you may also add in some grilled chicken breast or even sauteed shrimp.
*For more pasta recipe inspiration, check out my latest article here.
3. Stock up your grocery cart with these!
On training trip, you will be expending a lot of energy and you may be more hungry than you typically are. Therefore, it is important to listen to your body and eat when you are hungry! To keep yourself feeling fueled and satisfied, stock up on these grocery items for simple, delicious snacks!
- Nut butters: Peanut butter, Almond Butter, Cashew Butter
- Dried fruit & nut mix
- Bars: I like Clif, Lara, Luna, Kind and RX Bars
- Whole fruits: Apples, Bananas, Oranges, Melon
- Cereal: I like Cheerios, Chex, Mini Wheats and Barbara’s Puffins
- Oatmeal packets
Check out my page for more recipe inspiration and be sure to share your plant-based, protein-filled creations with me @whatzoeeeats.
About Zoe Gregorace
Zoe Gregorace is currently studying Nutrition Policy at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and recently graduated from Tufts University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and was a proud member of the Tufts Swimming and Diving team (Go Jumbos!). During her 16 year career as a competitive swimmer, she developed a passion for sports nutrition. She enjoys writing on the topic of nutrition, health and wellness and posts her meal creations on her Instagram page @whatzoeeeats. As a former college swimmer, she strives to share recipes and nutrition tips to promote balanced eating and optimize sports performance.