Nutrition

The main source of energy during training is derived from carbohydrate; therefore, it is not surprising that high carbohydrate meals and drinks are essential to provide energy and to facilitate recovery. The timing of meals and snacks however, is important.

30-Minute Rule: The muscles are most susceptible to restoration of carbohydrate stores within the first 30 minutes after exercise. The swimmer should eat 50 to 100 grams of carbohydrate, whilst keeping fat ingestion low, as soon as training finishes, and definitely within the first 30 minutes after training. The following are examples of appropriate snack foods:

Fruit, Nutrigrain bars, jam or honey sandwich, malt loaf, fig rolls, smoothie, Muller rice, dried fruit, rice cakes.

Keep hydrated: It is vitally important to drink plenty of fluids (water, juices, sports drink) prior to training, during training and after training.

Morning training: Have a snack item (examples above) with fruit juice 30 minutes before training with breakfast after training.

Guidelines for event meals:

Before a race: High carbohydrate / low fat meal 2-4 hours before the race. Suitable types of food include: breakfast cereals, porridge, bread, toast, fruit juice, fruit, rice cakes, boiled rice, potatoes, boiled pasta, oatmeal biscuits, muffins and carbohydrate drinks. These foods all help to release energy slowly. A small snack (see snacks above) may be eaten about 30 minutes prior to a race.

If the interval between races is less than 30 minutes, the swimmer should drink fluids / juices or a sports drink.

If the interval between races is up to 1 hour, the swimmer should have a snack from the above list, with plenty of fluid, up to 30 minutes before the next race.

If the interval is 1 to 2 hours, the swimmer should have a small high carbohydrate / low fat meal.

Important: As water is stored with carbohydrate, it is essential that a substantial amount of fluid be drunk with meals and snacks. 


Competitions

House Gala

The swimmers in the club are divided into teams; the teams compete against each other just like a normal gala.  A house gala is usually swum towards the end of the season and is a lighthearted event, often followed by a disco etc.

Club Championships

The Annual Club Championships are open to all Club Members and provides a great opportunity for swimmers of all levels to advance their swimming, for some members this may be their first step in their competitive swimming career, for others a chance to improve on their personal bests. The Championships cover all strokes at various distances for the different age groups. You can choose which events you wish to enter and are under no obligation to swim in all the races for your age groups. Points will be awarded to the first six swimmers in their age group, these points will be used to determine the overall winner in each age group for which they win a trophy to keep for one year.

Presentation Evening

Presentation evening is when the trophies and medals won at Club Championships are presented to the swimmers.  There are also individual trophies that are awarded like the Special Merit award.  The Head Coach usually decides the recipients of these special awards.

Recognition is given to individuals who have helped the club over the previous year, or who have had achieved National times etc.

Its great to see the swimmers get dressed up, great photo opportunity when they stand on the podium.  A disco usually follows presentation evening.

Friendly Galas – usually age as of 31stDecember

Age Groups - Junior 9, 10, 11, 12

-      9, 11& Under, 13& Under, 15& Under, Open (16 & over)

-      10,12,14,16& over

Local clubs run friendly galas throughout the season.  Club receives invites via fixtures secretary or club secretary.

Novice galas

Aimed at swimmers who have little competition experience.  Novice galas very often have cut off times which means swimmers achieving a faster time will receive no points.  This is to ensure that clubs don’t just field their fastest swimmers to win every competition.

Trophy Galas

Usually annual events, similar format as above but with a trophy for the winners.

Junior League

League competition comprising three rounds usually over consecutive months, with the league winners going on to take part in the regional finals.  The winners of the regional finals go on to compete in a national final.

1. Individual Events

Ages eligible for selection: as of the last day of competition (3rd round date)
Males: aged between 9 and 12 years          Females: aged between 9 and 12 years

The fastest team will be selected according to the rules of the competition, which state that a swimmer may swim in 3 individual events for 10 and 11 years, two in their own age group and one in the age group directly above. Swimmers in the 9 and 12 years age groups may swim only 2 individual events in their own age group. There are no restrictions in relay events, however swimmers may not swim down an age group.

Under normal circumstances the highest ranked available swimmer according to the Club Rankings will be selected. However, the Head Coach reserves the right to select other swimmers in order to provide the best overall result for the team.

2. Relay Events

4 x 25m Freestyle Relay Selection

The 4 x 25m Freestyle Relay will be made up of the 4 highest ranked available swimmers. However, the Head Coach reserves the right to select other swimmers in order to provide the best overall result for the team.

4 x 25m Medley Relay Selection

The 4 x 25m Medley Relay will be made up of those swimmers who have been selected for each of the individual events in their own age group. However, the Head Coach reserves the right to select other swimmers in order to provide the best overall result for the team.

National Arena League

Ages eligible for selection: as of the last day of competition (3rd round date)

Males & Females: aged between 11 and Open (16 years & over)       

The fastest team will be selected according to the rules of the competition. There are no restrictions in relay events, however swimmers may not swim down an age group.

Under normal circumstances the highest ranked available swimmer according to the Club Rankings will be selected. However, the Head Coach reserves the right to select other swimmers in order to provide the best overall result for the team.

Relay Events

4 x 50m Freestyle Relay Selection

The 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay will be made up of the 4 highest ranked available swimmers. However, the Head Coach reserves the right to select other swimmers in order to provide the best overall result for the team.

4 x 50m Medley Relay Selection

The 4 x 50m Medley Relay will be made up of those swimmers who have been selected for each of the individual events in their own age group. However, the Head Coach reserves the right to select other swimmers in order to provide the best overall result for the team.

Open Meets are competitions that are usually organised by one club and held as a single event on one day or over a weekend. They aren’t part of a League, and they sometimes have qualifying times. This means that the organisers can restrict who enters by setting a time that the swimmer must have achieved to be able to compete. Some Open Meets also have upper limits so that very fast swimmers can’t enter, and it lets others have a chance.

They usually have medals awarded in each event for either top 3, top 6 or top 8 places. They can be HDW, which stands for Heat declared Winner, or they can swim in heats and the fastest swimmers go through to the final.

The main difference is that the swimmer is swimming as an individual representing their club. For example, if the swimmer enters an Open, and swims the 50m Freestyle, they could find that there are 50 other swimmers in that event, from 12 different clubs. They would swim for Derby Phoenix, but be placed as an individual swimmer. The events are all swam in age groups as well.

Open meets are usually good fun, and are a good way to get times and swim for Personal Bests (PB’s). They can seem more competitive than galas but it’s a good experience for the swimmers to have a go.