The time is here! The early mornings, the endless afternoons, the weight room sweat, strain and oh, did I mention the big eats—are over! Time to display the awesomeness! That is a word—for swimming of course.
Get it on! The Districts weekend is now on and I am looking forward to fast results, whether unshaved and shaved, with advancement to the Regionals —where it gets really cut throat and scary for some swimmers.
What to do
What is a swimmer to do? Pray? Nah, just relax, Districts and Regionals are just meets…like the millions of others during a very long career. Just hit your starts, turns, transitions, finishes; it should be business as usual. Your coaches are very knowledgeable in how to go fast because they’ve been there. Trust what they tell you, because they see you do it everyday. If they tell you to get out fast…don’t be terrified of dying, don’t be afraid. Unleash hell, concentrate and stay focused. Go out hard with the backlog you built up! Your foundation will help you succeed.
Don’t do anything out of the ordinary. Same food and drink as normal. Don’t overeat cookies from the meet parties the days before. Drinking tons of Gatorade or high calorie drinks are not needed. You are not training here, just competing. The better you feel, the more comfortable you are, the faster you will be. Just keep your water intake normal, don’t forget that. A few good notes on food and drink.
As you progress from Districts to Regions to State, sleep is a huge part of taper. When you are at rest your body is repairing itself for maximum speed. Get plenty of it, at least 8 hours a night. I like my swimmers to get 10. Here is a good read I found on about.com.
Stretching is extremely valuable for swimming fast and muscle recovery. Remember, the faster you recover, the harder you can train, so get at it. Take a look at how to do it.
So guys, take care of your engine, and swim with confidence. The time has come to perform. Follow the items above and it should be no problem.