Above: Training @ Culford School swimming Pool, on August 19, 2006. The start of my first English Channel swim journey.
This week I took the plunge (sorry about the pun!) and decided to get back in the pool and see how I felt after 18 months out of the pool. So at 06:50am on Wednesday, I arrived back at my old school where it all started back in 2006, Culford School swimming pool. In the men's changing rooms, the same old face were all there. It was like I hadn't been away. Glynn who was one of the members of my 2007 Virtual Channel Swim team was the first person I saw and it was great to be back.
As always when I haven't swum for a while, I swim to see how far I can go in the one hour session from 7am to 8am. Whatever that may be is my starting point. My starting point turned out to be 50 lengths, or 1,250 Metres. Not bad, not good, but it was my starting point.
This morning I was really eager to get in again. Arriving early I was the second in the pool and my goal was to achieve 54 lengths, 4 more than Wednesday. I was therefore surprised when after 30 lengths I looked at the clock and only 22 minutes had passed. At 30 minutes I was already on 50, and so I carried on. At 07:55 I was delighted to have clocked up 100 lengths or 2,500 Metres. I was chuffed to bits to double my distance on only my second session back. Just goes to show how with good nutrition, massage and the right mental philosophy you can achieve anything, and that's how I feel right now. Focused.
As soon as I arrived home, I ensured that I practice what I preached and consumed a good quantity of protein about 1 hour and 10 minutes after my swim.
Building and protecting your muscles with protein
Swimming and indeed any exercise causes changes in the muscles, including breakdown as well as depletion of energy stores and some tissue damage. The proteins in muscle tissue are broken down into amino acids, and these are used by the body for energy during exercise. Any good sports regime will include a variety of nutrients to offset these effects and will not only rebuild muscle but build up the body's reserves of energy again as soon as possible. I have recently started using Nature's Sunshine Products (NSP) as my daily source of essential nutrients.
A complete protein source taken soon after finishing exercise is needed - ideally within 2 hours (20 minutes being optimal). If the body doesn't have this immediately available, it can take anything up to 2 weeks for the muscles to fully recover. Also, some tissue damage can occur during exercise, and protein is required to repair this efficiently.
In addition, every muscle movement involves both contraction and relaxation and a depletion of vital nutrients can lead to cramps and lactic acid build up.
I use SynerProTein on a daily basis after exercise and after my work as a sports massage therapist and diet and nutrition consultant. SynerProTein is a powerful protein supplement designed by Dr James Scala, nutritionist to NASA and the US Olympic team so I know it is good for me!
Having had two good sessions in the pool, I feel great and now can't wait for Monday when I will now have to better 100 lengths!