PARyan

Swimming on Whole30

5 posts in this topic

One of my goals for my first Whole30, today is Day 10, is to increase my energy level and possibly performance during morning swim workouts with my local masters/adult club (roughly 3000 meters, 3 or 4 timers per week). I am  49 (5-0 in July) and while never competitive on an accomplished level like high school or college, love swimming enough that it's my primary form of exercise.  Since I started the Whole30, and realizing I am only 10 days in, swim workouts have been a struggle, or more of a struggle than usual.  Can I expect to experience an uptick in energy over the next few weeks?  I have been following the recommendation to eat a little protein before workouts (tex-mex chicken frittata "muffin", e.g.) followed by a full breakfast (more of the same with fruit, handful of almonds usually).  As of Monday I added potato/starches to 2 or 3 meals.  Anyhow, just looking for general nutritional advice and or insights.  I'm swimming through the doldrums in the meantime, hoping the water starts to feel a little lighter over the next few weeks.  Thanks!

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Hi PARyan --

Thanks for posting this!  I think it's an interesting question.  

I was never a fully competitive swimmer either, unless you want to count 8th grade swim team.  I was a synchronized swimmer in college, and a life guard and swimming instructor.  On top of all that, I'm far from a Whole30 expert.  Nonetheless, here are a couple of thoughts:

- 3000 meters is a good solid workout; far more intense than most people who are non-swimmers would realize.  I think you may not be getting enough food, based on what you said.  Glad you added potato/starch, and I think you should also add more protein.  You might want to add some vegetables to your breakfast, rather than fruit.  Some people find that the fruit isn't so helpful, and the hardcore Whole30ers will tell you that it encourages your body to make the wrong kind of glycogen (which is stored in your liver rather than in your muscles).  

- How's the sleep?  If you're under 7.5 hours a night, try dialing it up to at least that and preferably more.

- Make sure you are salting your food and eating lots of veggies to get your potassium.  And hydrate.  You sweat a ton when you swim, even if you don't notice it.  And at least for me, my body seems to process tons of pee while I'm swimming!  (TMI, I know...)

- Since you're doing masters swimming, does the program also include weights or strength training?  If so, make sure you factor that into your plans.

Good luck with the swims!  I miss that form of exercise quite often, but it doesn't work into my schedule these days.

ThyPeace, recovering from Easter overindulgence.

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Hi @PARyan - this "lead legs" or reduced stamina is pretty common in the beginning stages of Whole30 when your body is working out fat adaptation. It is not swimming specific and most of the discussion surrounding reduced stamina is in other exercise threads. Take a look through the Athletes portion of the forum and read up on any of the threads that discuss lead legs, reduced stamina, decreased energy, decreased performance. A google search of "Whole30" and any of those search terms will return you a wealth of results. 

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@ThyPeace Thank you for your reply.  Sleep is probably an area where I am deficient also, so I will keep that in mind.  I think in general I probably do need to up the veggies but I do love fruit so I keep including it (hopefully not too much).

@ladyshanny Thank you also for the feedback.  I will search and learn.

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No need to give fruit up completely; I love fruit too!  It took me a long time and several Whole30s before I started to be able to identify when I had had too much fruit.  Watermelon, in particular, leaves me with a sugar hangover if I have too much.  If that's the worst of my overindulgences, though, life is much better than it was!  So I'd suggest just doing a trade -- reduce the fruit you have and add some veggies instead, and see if it makes a difference.

Sleep, oh sleep.  If you want your body to function, it must have sleep!  Or at least, that's how it works with my body.  Do you sleep more than two hours longer on weekends?  If so, I suggest trying for 20 minutes earlier during the week, for a whole week.  See what you do on that weekend, and then adjust again.  I still sleep a lot on weekends, but have found that if I can get 7.5 hours of sleep each weeknight, I sleep long the first night of the weekend, but wake up earlier on Sunday.  I take that as my measure of sleep success.  It definitely doesn't always work yet.  This week, for example, I've been way under on sleep and have to be up early both days of the weekend.  Naps, here I come!  Especially after the 10k on Sunday.  

ThyPeace, never experienced the lead legs because she wasn't working out intensely when she started Whole30 stuff.  

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