Monday, February 23, 2015

Snarking Sports Drinks

Chubby Mermaid
Courtesy of Peter Vinton Jr. Art and Illustration.
Me darlin' Spoose.
I swam 4,000 yards on Saturday.  I know, for the usual marathon swimmer, that's just an easy training day.  See the subtitle of my blog? See the word "aspiring?"

Yeah.  So, get off my back, you nutcases, I'm working on it. I swam over 10,000 yards in the past week, so I'm definitely working on volume.

It was a personal distance record for me; and took me an hour and fifty-four minutes.

About once a month, between now and the end of June, I'm going to be doing a swim that's simply going for distance -- challenging myself to swim further than I ever have before.   March, I'm probably going to see if I can hit 4500 yards.  To be honest, I am probably physically capable of doing that now, but I really don't want to court a shoulder injury and am ramping up distance at a fairly steady rate.

Last month, when I went for a personal distance record (3600 yards.  I'm doing a two mile open water swim this summer, and it was recommended that I try and see if I could swim two miles.  Totally can, thanks) I got a horrific cramp in my right calf about 3,000 yards into the swim. Now, I am a former ballerina, so I take no shit from calf cramps, and gave my foot a really hard flex, swimming with my right foot as a sea anchor for a bit until that nonsense went away.

But still, I did look up cramping in swimmers online to see what I came up with, and wouldn't you know it, lack of hydration can do it.  Had I brought water with me for that 3600 yard swim?

*grin* You know I didn't, right?

I brought a sports drink with me for the Saturday swim.  Now, I tend to snark them for the casual exerciser.  Unless you have a specific medical condition, it's pretty unlikely you even need water for the average workout under an hour, much less calories or electrolytes.  I find people who are not endurance athletes with their sports gels and their sports drinks kinda funny to be frank.

Though I am going to have to admit, when you start racking up the hours, yeah, maybe a sports drink is a good idea.  I brought some for my recent swim because I'm kinda experimenting with what I need for longer events in terms of nutrition and hydration.  I took a swig about every half hour during my 4,000 yard swim.  No calf cramps at all.  Whether that was due to the sugar and salt, or if it was more due to the hydration, I am not sure.  Yes, yes, an experiment with too many variables.  I should be ashamed myself.  My money is on the hydration, to be frank.

But, anyway, I do think that for longer swims, I'm probably going to at least drink some juice or something.  There is still something inside that offends me about sports drinks.
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