Whether you are a seasoned open water swimmer or you are dipping your toes in for the first time this season, training and nutrition are the two most important factors of determining performance on the day. Most swimmers will spend many hours a week training and planning sessions but how much thought is put into the fuel that supports your training? Nutrition is an aspect that is neglected all too often and can be the fine line between achieving your goals or not.
With the open water swimming season looming, now is the time to start thinking about your nutrition, to support your training and for the race. For those of you doing the Thames Marathon, on race day you will be in the water between 3-6 hours. To fuel this correctly will take practice and planning. You will need to aim for between 30-60g carb per hour of quickly absorbable carbs (not all carbs are equal as some are absorbed more rapidly than others). Consuming new foods on race day is a big no no as this can lead to stomach problems. It is advised to practice using a mix of sports products (gels/drinks) and real food in training to see what works for you.
Training for this event will be the most demanding part for most of you, on top of a full time job and family commitments. Sports nutrition is very individualised and a bespoke nutrition plan focused on your daily demands will not only keep your training top notch by optimising your energy levels, but also help your body recover quickly and keep your immune system strong.
Guest blogger Alex Cook leads performance nutrition and dietetics for sport performance at DUPL. She has a passion for helping beginners to advanced athletes achieve positive change in their day-to-day lives and excel in their Sports including Running, Swimming & Cycling. As an athlete juggling competitive running, two children and a career herself, she understands how daily life can impact health, fitness and food choices.