After a long hiatus, Coach Patrick welcomes us back with a new coach’s corner…
Welcome to winter in Arizona! As those that have lived here for many years know, or those of us that might be newer to this great state will come to realize, winter in Arizona is pretty much like fall in the rest of the country. Our highs hover in the 40s to 50s for highs with an occasional 60 here and there. At nights, we can and do dip into the 20s and teens from time to time. This can make swimming, especially outdoors at Hamilton, a battle versus the cold. In response to this change in season and temperature, Coach Bob and I have compiled a list of swimming items each swimmer should have on hand as we transition from fall into winter here in Arizona.
Cold Weather Swimming Gear:
-PUT A LID ON IT-
A large percentage of our body heat escapes via our heads. As the temps outside drop, make sure to have a hat available to preserve your body heat. Cover your head at all times, especially when it is wet. After practice, be sure to towel dry your hair as much as possible and then get it covered up. Beanies, wool caps, or hooded sweatshirts are recommended.
-BUSTED FLIP FLOPS-
Have something on your feet before and after practice. This means Socks and Shoes. Flip Flops are OK as a last resort. Barefoot is not acceptable on a cold wet pool deck. Coach Bob and I recommend boots. Slip on boots and/or boots with warm lining are the best. You can wear them, your parka and a hat up to the edge of the pool until the beginning of practice. These items are then readily available at the conclusion of practice.
Wearing a pair of gloves or mittens will help to keep your extremities warm. Hand warmers are also a very cheap and easy solution for your gloves, mittens, or jacket pockets.
-WRAP IT UP-
Always have an extra towel available. Sometimes 1 towel is not enough. Towels get wet, they get dropped, they get forgotten. Things happen. Be prepared. An extra towel is also a great way to keep your body wrapped up as you use your extra towel to dry your hair.
It never hurts to have an extra layer on during the Winter Season. RIO / EVO have Team Parkas and Warm ups available for purchase. A blanket can also be an option for the colder evenings.
What to Eat this Winter for Before and After Practice:
The most important thing we can give our swimmers, above and beyond the aforementioned list, is WATER. Hydrate early and often during the winter. This includes during practice. Have a water bottle, or two, on deck at all times.
The hour or so before practice is an essential time to begin fueling our swimmers. Swimmers should be drinking some fresh fruit or vegetable juice and supplementing that with some fresh fruits or vegetables before they arrive on deck. Whole grains are another great choice an hour before practices begin. Bagels, breads, english muffins etc are great choices. It is also important to re-fuel within an hour of practice ending. A well-balanced meal including juices, fruits, and vegetables, should be on the table after practice has finished. And don’t forget the carbs!
It’s very important to understand that it is always better to be a little warmer than it is to be even a little bit cold.
See you all on deck this winter,