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Starting Block Magazine is used as a marketing and advertising venture published by The Lifeguard Store, All American Swim, and Swim Shops of the Southwest Cover Photo: Katie Meili - Richard Phibbs for Speedo USA

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Good nutrition is a vital, albeit commonly overlooked aspect of swim training. Many athletes who may not see it as an important part of their training disregard this essential component. While most athletes can still perform without paying much attention to their diet, they won’t be performing at their best and may be missing out on reaching their full potential. Eating well during training and in the days before an event can help you recover quicker and swim faster. Proper nutrition for swimmers can mean the difference between placing first or second. Competitive swimmers can use up to 40% of their daily energy expenditure in a rigorous 2-4 hour training session. Their muscles are continuously being broken down and built back up. The nutrients that are lost can't be adequately restored with just ordinary eating habits. It’s important for aerobic athletes to learn more about balancing carbohydrates, protein, and other essential macronutrients, along with staying properly hydrated.

Eat the Right Kinds of Protein Protein is essential in muscle recovery and also keeps you from feeling hungry during your training. You should aim to include some protein in each meal and snack. Eating a small amount of protein about an hour before a workout can decrease muscle breakdown and prepare your muscles to start recovering right away. Know When to Eat Simple & Complex Carbohydrates While too many carbohydrates are not good for you, for swimmers and other aerobic athletes, they are essential for energy, training and recovery. They are the units that fuel the body and the nutrients that the body burns most efficiently. Carbohydrates can be classified as either simple or complex. Simple carbohydrates are quick-burning foods that quickly turn into sugar. Complex carbohydrates are foods that take longer for your body to break down. Carbohydrates should make up about half of your caloric intake, with the recommendation for swimmers being about 8-10 grams per kilogram of body weight. Your carbohydrate intake should be adjusted according to the frequency and intensity of your training along with the type of event for which you’re training. The more intense the training, the more carbohydrates and starchy foods should be

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consumed. Stay Hydrated In a sport where you’re immersed in water, it’s also important for swimmers to keep the inside of their body hydrated. Swimmers actually sweat a lot, but this often goes unnoticed while in the water. Many thletes overlook this vital element and don’t drink the recommended amount of water daily, which is ¾ gallon for females and 1 gallon for males daily. As a result, electrolyte and fluid imbalances are commonly found in swimmers. In swimmers, dehydration can cause undesired weight loss, which in turn can result in a performance decrease of up to 45%. Swimmers should compensate for any weight loss after workouts by drinking enough water to replenish what was lost. Many athletes may not even realize that they're dehydrated since they often don't realize how much they're sweating. Monitoring the urine to make sure that it is a light yellow color is a good indicator of the body’s hydration level. Hydration should occur during and after workouts and competitions. It’s recommended that you replace about 125%-150% of the fluid lost, within the first 4-6 hours of recovery, to achieve proper fluid balance. Keeping a water bottle nearby at all times is a great reminder to keep drinking.

challenging to avoid bad foods if they are readily available in your pantry or fridge. Eliminating them from your environment will help you to avoid the temptation of eating them. An effective way to eliminate temptation while trying to eat well is to plan your meals ahead. Planning your meals and snacks allows you to have control over your nutritional needs and ensures that each meal is providing you with the nutrients that you need. Having a well-planned meal routine prevents you from feeling like you’re starving and eliminates impulsive eating and poor food choices. While planning meals ahead does require some forethought, it doesn’t mean that you have to spend hours shopping and cooking each week. Consider Nutritional Supplements A common question of athletes and swimmers is whether or not they should be using vitamin or mineral supplements. While a well-balanced nutrition plan helps to ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients you need, you may still need to supplement if you have any deficiencies. Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals can wreak havoc on your body and performance. It’s recommended that you discuss any questions or concerns with your physician before taking any supplements.

Balancing It All Eliminate Temptation and Plan Meals Ahead While swimmers are often known for their big appetites after grueling workouts and events, it’s not an excuse to eat loads of junk food and other things you should avoid, such as overly processed foods and those with lots of sugar and bad fats. Even if you're eating a lot, it's still possible to be malnourished if you're eating the wrong foods. It's

Proper nutrition for swimmers consists of eating a well-balanced diet. While each athlete’s nutritional requirements and goals may differ widely, the ultimate goal is an increase in performance. It’s important to balance your protein and carbohydrates and fats to see optimum results. Many athletes benefit from visiting dieticians or nutritionists to help get them started on a healthy eating plan. Here is a basic nutrition guide for swimmers with

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some suggestions for meal planning: Breakfast • Combination of protein, vegetables and fruit • Eggs • Turkey sausage • Whole grain toast • Cereal • Cottage cheese • Milk


Lunch/ Dinner • Tuna/ turkey on whole grain bread • Vegetable stir-fry with brown rice • Whole grain pasta • Lean proteins (chicken, beef, fish, turkey and tofu) • Good fats such as olive oils, avocados and coconut oil • Beans and lentils • Vegetables (fresh or steamed) • Spinach salad with fruit, nuts and olive oil Snacks • Greek yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit • Nuts • Hummus dip with vegetables • A sprinkling of protein powder over any of the above snacks provides added protein • Hard boiled eggs • Granola bar • Seeds Dessert • Fruits • Smoothies Have a great meal or snack idea that works for you? Share it with us on our Facebook Page by clicking below!


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KATIE MEILI Katie Meili had a breakout year in 2016 where she earned a bronze medal in the 100 meter breaststroke and a gold medal for swimming the preliminary heats of the 4 × 100-meter medley relay at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. STARTING BLOCK MAGAZINE: How did you begin swimming? Who got you started? KATIE MEILI: I started swimming when I was 8. My older sister was recovering from a broken ankle and the doctor suggested swimming as physical therapy. I wanted to do everything she did so my mom signed us both up for the summer league team. The rest is history! SBM: What makes swimming a passion of yours? Why does it stand out? KM: Swimming stands out because it

is constantly teaching me new things. I have been swimming fro 18 years but I don't think a day has gone by where I haven't learned something new. Whether its about the sport, my strokes, or myself, swimming is always making me a better athlete and person! SBM: What are some things you are looking forward to in the near future? KM: I am currently in law school so I'm looking forward to my first summer working in the legal industry and brining some new knowledge about the legal field into my professional swimming career! SBM: What are some other things that drive you both personally and professionally? KM: I am always driven to be my best self, both personally and professionally. It's definitely harder some days than others but I'm always trying to gain new perspective and step outside my comfort zone to be a

better friend, teammate, daughter, sister, swimmer and overall person! SBM: What is something you cannot live without, and how does it help push you forward in your career? KM: Friendships! I am so lucky and grateful to have made incredible friendships and relationships over the course of my swimming career. Everything that I have accomplished is because I have incredible support systems and people around me that make me better than I am. SBM: What is something you get excited to do daily? KM: Challenge myself and accomplish goals I set for myself. SBM: Tell me about a time when you were challenged from swimming and you learned a great lesson from it. KM: In 2014, I unfortunately just missed making the national team trip of the year. I felt like I had failed myself and those around me. It took

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me awhile to realize that I had not actually failed, but rather my journey was different and I was not meant to make the team that year. It taught me to appreciate what you have rather than what you have not and that sometimes failure is actually success in disguise. SBM: Do you have any nutritional or fitness recommendations for other swimmers? KM: I try not to be overbearing with nutrition but rather make healthy lifestyle choices like eating fresh and healthy foods regularly and staying away from unhealthy foods. As far as fitness, incorporating Pilates and yoga into my training have made a huge difference. Learning body awareness and how to use your muscles in the most efficient and effective way will make anyone a better overall athlete and swimmer! SBM: If you had any advice for aspiring athletes, what would it be? KM: Set high goals for yourself but know that consistent and dedicated effort and work are needed to achieve those goals. SBM: Where do you see your future going right now and what are your plans? KM: I wish I knew! Other than graduating law school and continuing to swim, I have no idea where my future might take me. But, I prefer it that way and find the unknown exciting! SBM: If you had any advice for aspiring athletes, what would it be? KM: Set high goals for yourself but know that consistent and dedicated effort and work are needed to achieve those goals. SBM: Where do you see your future going right now and what are your plans? KM: I wish I knew! Other than graduating law school and continuing to swim, I have no idea where my future might take me. But, I prefer it that way and find the unknown exciting!


BIOGRAPHY AND STATISTICS (COURTESY OF TEAMUSA.ORG) Name: Katie Meili Sport: Swimming Height: 5-7 Weight: 135 DOB: 4/16/1991 Birthplace: Carrollton, Texas Hometown: Colleyville, Texas High School: Nolan Catholic High School (Concord, Calif.) ‘09 College: Columbia University ’13, Psychology Olympic Experience Olympian (2016); Two-time Olympic medalist (gold, bronze) Rio 2016 Olympic Games, gold (4x100m medley); bronze (100m breast) Other Career Highlights 2015 Pan American Games, gold (100m breast, 4x100m medley); silver (4x100m free) 2015 U.S. National Championships, 1st (100m breast); 13th (50m free) 2014 U.S. National Championships, 3rd (50m breast); 9th (50m free); 14th (100m free); 5th (100m breast)

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 Unique hinge design to initiate the catch for all swim strokes.    Accentuates finger-tip flexion upon water entry.    Reduced surface area and expose thumb to maximize feel for the water.    Tubercles along edges for smooth pulling trajectory, greater ability and control.

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Whether you swim for exercise or you swim competitively, swimming goggles are one of the few pieces of equipment you need to make swimming easier. They keep your eyes dry and can block bright light, depending on the type you choose. With so many options available, selecting your first pair of swimming goggles can feel intimidating, but understanding the basics helps you sort through the types. Keep reading to learn how to choose the right pair of swimming goggles for your needs and personal preferences. Goggle Size and Fit The size and fit are major factors in buying the perfect pair of swim goggles. If the goggles don’t fit properly, they won’t keep the water away from your eyes efficiently, thus defeating the purpose of wearing them. If they aren’t comfortable, you won’t want to wear them. How should goggles fit? They should feel snug yet comfortable. You want the goggles to fit to your eye socket, with straps long enough to fit around your head yet able to adjust enough to hold the goggles securely. Move your head around while wearing the goggles. Replicate head movements you do in the water with your strokes. This helps you see how the goggles might feel in practice. If you notice

uncomfortable rubbing or you can’t adjust the goggles enough to get a comfortable fit, try a different pair. Adjustment System Goggles should fit snugly to your face to fully seal and keep the water away from your eyes. The adjustment system helps you get the perfect fit. Goggles often have two places to perform adjustments: the straps that go behind the head and the nosepiece or bridge that connects the lenses. Not all goggles allow for adjustments at the nose.

Inspect the adjustment system on the goggles to choose a system that works well for you. When buying goggles in person, adjust the goggles to see how easy the system is to use. Swimming Goggle Tips You’ve narrowed down the options, but perhaps you’re still not sure which goggles to buy. Sometimes it comes down to buying a few

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different pairs of swim goggles and putting them to the test in the water. If you’re not sure what type of goggles you want, start with a less expensive version to try them in a real-world situation.

swimming conditions if you don’t always swim in an indoor pool. It’s also a good idea to have a backup pair of swim goggles in your bag in case your main pair starts to leak.

Consider these additional tips when buying swimming goggles:

• Readjust at the pool: Once you make your goggle selection, test them out at the pool. If you notice water leaking into the goggles, play with the adjustment points to see if you can get a better fit to block out the water.

• Test with your cap: Swimmers typically wear their goggles with the straps over their swim caps. If you plan to swim with a cap, try on the goggles with the cap in place. This helps you test whether or not the two pieces work well together and feel comfortable. The cap can also affect the fit of the goggles.

• Consider the look: Function is by far the most important aspect of selecting your swimming goggles. You should never base your purchase solely on the color or appearance of the goggles. It doesn’t matter how great you look in the goggles or how fun they look if they don’t provide the protection you need. If your final goggle selection comes in different color options or you find multiple goggles that fit well, you can look at the color and appearance of the goggles as a tiebreaker. • Understand men’s versus women’s goggles: You’ll find goggles designed for both men and women. The goggles typically come with the same features. The primary difference is the size of the frames and lenses. Women’s goggles may also come in more feminine colors, which may sway your decision. • Buy multiples: You may find you like one pair of goggles in one swimming situation and another pair in a different situation. Buying multiple pairs of swimming goggles lets you account for varying

• Replace as needed: The longevity of swimming goggles depends on the quality and your swimming schedule. If you swim regularly, you can typically get about four to six months out of a pair of goggles before replacing them. After so long in the pool, the chemicals begin to break down the goggles and affect the seal, making them ineffective in keeping your eyes dry.

• Perform proper care: Extend the life of your goggles by properly caring for them. Rinse goggles after use to remove chemicals, dirt and other debris that can damage the materials. Let them dry completely, but keep the goggles out of the sunlight, as the UV rays are damaging. Never wipe the inside of the lenses on goggles with an anti-fog coating. This can scratch or remove the coating, making it ineffective. Shop for Your Perfect Pair of Swimming Goggles Now that you know how to shop for swimming goggles, check out our selection at The Lifeguard Store to find the perfect pair for your needs. We offer a wide range of styles, sizes and lens colors in swim goggles for kids and adults. Prepare for your next swimming workout with a pair of high-quality swim goggles with the features that meet your specific eye protection needs.

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Starting Block Magazine - February 2018  

February Issue of Starting Block Magazine features Katie Meili, a great article on nutrition and how to choose the right goggles!

Starting Block Magazine - February 2018  

February Issue of Starting Block Magazine features Katie Meili, a great article on nutrition and how to choose the right goggles!