Three Things You Need to Know to Survive, Thrive During The Holidays

by SwimSwam Partner Content 0

December 04th, 2018 Lifestyle

Courtesy: P2Life, a SwimSwam partner. 

Whether the holidays have you taking stock, planning ahead, or submerged in social events and family time, there’s one thing swimmers tend to have in common; our holidays are punctuated with intense training. For swimmers a Hell Week might signal the end of the holidays and start of the new year, a training camp intensive might put a pause on our holiday fun, or we may have a reluctant start to the new year after more than our fair share of festive foods. Whichever applies to you there are 3 things to keep in mind to help you survive and thrive.

1) Recovery

Stepping into Hell Week or any intensive training camp means stepping out of your comfort zone. Your muscles and mental motivation are bound to be pushed to their limits. Whether you’re looking to take your sport to the next level, or just survive the transition to a new year, recovery will be key to your success. If recovery is not currently part of your training plan now is the perfect time to incorporate it or, if it is, to optimize it. Recovering effectively can be the difference between a best time and taking time out to nurse an injury.

When you train you’re putting resistance on your muscles, which causes microscopic tears in the muscle tissue. This is typically associated with stiffness or soreness after a tough training session. The harder you train, or if you’re training harder you have in a while, the more the micro-tears the muscle tissues sustain. Your body detects the damage and rushes to heal these micro-tears by sending nearby satellite cells to the area. The cells replicate, mature and fuse to muscle fiber tears to generate new muscle protein cells and heal the damaged tissue. This process allows the body to increase the strength and size of the muscle, enabling it to cope with similar activity and levels of resistance in the future.

Not recovering effectively can impact your performance and also puts you at a higher risk for injury and muscle strains. The key to recovery comes down to a simple equation:

Recovery = Nutrition + Sleep.

You can’t recover effectively without the right nutrition and enough sleep.

2) Nutrition

The right nutrition means your body is getting all the nutrients it needs to repair, and typically it is going to need additional nutrients during times of intense training. That means the right mix of simple and complex carbohydrates, the right amount of complete proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, and hydration. Without all of these in the right quantities, the body won’t have what it needs to repair effectively. For those who want to dig deeper into what this means we’ve put together a comprehensive guide with information, tips and meal preparation inspiration. The guide is available here.

3) Sleep

Sleep is necessary for recovery, and getting enough sleep is crucial for athletes. Sleep plays a vital role in brain function, affects glucose, metabolism, appetite regulation as well as the levels of stress hormones, primarily cortisol, in the body. Athletes should ideally be aiming for seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Anything less means you’re giving the body less time to repair and recover, which is a tall order especially when rebuilding muscle tissue is involved. Being fully rested reduces your chances of being under-recovered, and your chances of injury.

Plan for success

Getting through a Hell Week, or a training camp intensive can provide you with a great sense of accomplishment and camaraderie. You can also use any gains as a benchmark for your performance in the new year. Planning your meals, snacks, bedtime and carving out some time to stretch can save you time and stress, and help set you up for success.

How do you typically start planning for your training camps and Hell Weeks? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

About P2Life

P2Life is family owned, performance-based, nutritional supplement company that was designed for swimmers, by swimmers, to protect health and promote performance. P2Life takes great care in ensuring that every batch of their performance line is tested to be free of banned and illegal substances. Even though P2Life products were the preferred choice for over 40% of the USA Men’s Olympic Swim team during the London Olympics, it is not just for Olympians. It is also the preferred choice for the top high school, collegiate and masters swimmers across the globe.

P2Life was founded by Tim Shead, a Masters Swimming Hall of Fame Inductee and 42x World Record Holder, and co-founded by Michael Shead, who was a 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 has a strong e-commerce platform, which allows them to spend less time and funds on retail stores, and dedicate more time to the swimming community.

Follow P2Life on Twitter Here 

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Neuromuscular Adaptations to Training,” Beachle, Powers & Howley. University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

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What happens to your muscles when you work out?”, Sherwood, C. Livestrong.

How does exercise make your muscles stronger?” Scientific American.

Jeukendrup, A., & Gleeson, M. (2010). Sport nutrition: An introduction to energy production and performance (2nd Ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Sports Nutrition.” Brown University

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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

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What Happens When Your Body Runs Out of Glycogen During a Long Workout.” Livestrong.

Shifts Needed To Align With Healthy Eating Patterns: Current Eating Patterns in the United States.” 2020 Dietary Guidelines. Health.Gov

The Power of Sleep – why it’s so important, and how to get more of it.” Precision Nutrition.

The Cumulative Cost of Additional Wakefulness.” Van Dongen et al. Sleep. 2003 Mar 15;26(2):117-26.

Slow-wave sleep: A recovery period after exercise.” Shapiro, C.M., et al. 1981

“Impact of sleep debt on metabolic and endocrine function.” Spiegal, Leproult and Van Cauter. The Lancet (1999;345:1435-1439).

Courtesy: P2Life, a SwimSwam partner. 

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