Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some Questions I've Received

In the past week or so I have received several questions that relate to my swimming and lifestyle. I want to share the questions as well as my answers with all of ya'll.

Question 1: "How much time do you spend working on flexibility? And is it true that ankle flexibility is a huge aspect of swimming?"

Answer: Flexibility is a very important part of being an athlete. If you're flexible your muscles will be more resilient to injury as well as be able to perform at a higher level. I generally try to stretch my legs for five to ten minutes after I weight train. Every single night I do a routine of stretching for about 45 minutes. During this routine I mainly stretch my legs, hips and back. It is very important to work your way into this and warm your muscles up. Stretching cold muscles can be bad so I take time to warm up at the beginning of this routine. Some experts may say I shouldn't stretch at night when my muscles aren't as warm as they would be when I finish working out. My answer to this is that we must all do what works for us and what fits into our schedule. I stretch at night because it is both convenient for me and gets me relaxed to get a good night's sleep for the next day of work. In terms of ankle flexibility...this is very very important. There isn't a single good kicker in the world who does not have flexible ankles. This is essential to swimming fast. You can all take advantage of stretching your ankles. It is easy and can be done at anytime during the day.

Question 2: "What do you do when you are sick? Just tough it out? Are you expected to practice just short of a full blown flu? Inquiring swim fans want to know."

Answer: When I get sick, which I currently am, I am very careful about what I eat and do. I try to make sure I stay consistent with washing my hands and staying away from others who may also be sick (I generally do this anyway, but when I am sick I am much more careful). My diet becomes more focused around eating things that contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. Remember, everything we consume affects the way our body performs and feels. Being extra careful about what I eat and drink when I'm sick is very important. In terms of practicing and working out...I am expected by Eddie and Kris, and expect myself, to continue as normal. Although it is not fun to practice when you feel sick, it is important to continue becoming stronger and fitter. Eddie Reese always tells us that everyday we miss is a day we can never get back. There is also a mental aspect to training through sickness. I'm sure many of you have experienced competing through sickness or have heard of someone who has. It is important to train our minds to cope with the stress of being sick and let ourselves know that we can still perform at a high level, even if we may not be at our best. Of course if I'm really sick with, let's say the full-blown flu diagnosed by a doctor, I won't train.

Question 3: "I have been having some trouble with swimming my own race. Sometimes I worry too much about the time and what the outcome is. What are some of your methods of staying focused and swimming fast under pressure???"

Answer: I have had this problem many times in the past. This is something everyone deals with at some point in their career. It is very difficult to train yourself to focus solely on your own race. One of the ways I train myself to focus only on myself in a race, is by perfecting the technique in practice. It can be very difficult in practice to not look around and race other people but trust me, this will better prepare you for race day. Eventually you will realize that it does not do you any good to focus on your competitors. Through experience I know that if I even glance at a competitor or lose my focus, there is no way I can still go as fast as I may have gone. As for swimming fast under pressure...I'm not really sure how to answer that. Some swimmers are able to swim fast when they need to without exception, and some swimmers are not. I have seen tons of people train fast and when it comes to race day they buckle under the pressure. It sounds crazy but you may try and give yourself an ultimatum. I particularly remember doing this once when we raced in Florida. I told myself if I didn't go a certain time I would make myself go lift weights for two hours on Sunday...I didn't go the time...the next day I killed myself in the weight-room for two hours. This may not be your style but it seems to have worked for me...

6 comments:

Sparkl0413 said...

Thanks for taking time out of what sounds like a very busy week to answer questions. Looking forward to more Q&A's from you. Have a great week.

Isabella said...

Thank you for the answer.I had a particular interest in the first one.Enjoy your week!

Miss Melanie said...

Re the T-shirt designs -

I like the overall design. The only part of the slogan that applies to me right now is "Eat Right". The only training I do is walking, and I don't swim... but maybe the shirt will inspire me to work out. Looking forward to the shirts coming out. I'll have to promise not to wear the shirt when I eat junk food! And maybe a hoodie version someday?

3 days until my meal at Perilla in NYC - SO excited.

crystal said...

thanks Garrett ! i'm lovin the q&a.

i can relate to the last bit. whenever i'm fired up, i'm able to get whatever needs to be done accomplished with better results than if i had gone into it just knowing things will work out. it applies to every day life and not just swimming - for me anyways.

i have a question:
are there times when you feel less motivated to do certain things that will eventually, if not done, negatively effect your performance in the water? if so, how do you work through that?

thanks :)
and enjoy your week !

LUCY said...

Yesterday, I showed your Q&A comments to my younger brother...every since he sprain his ankle…he seemed to be lacking motivation in his training program, working with the team…and maintaining his diet.
I also shared “Motivation in Unique Ways”. I had no verbal response from him, but this morning I had to leave very early to catch a flight to LA and he was up before me...getting ready for morning practice...eating Oatmeal, fruit and having a glass of milk...so Thanks Garrett!! I think he maybe back on track...

Garrett said...

I'm glad ya'll enjoyed the q&a!

Email me at garrett@gwgswims.com if you have more questions.

We may have sweatshirts eventually but for now just t-shirts...

I am very careful to do almost everything I can to help ensure success in my swimming. However, there are always times when it is hard to get motivated...

I'm very happy to hear about your brother! Good Work...


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