During heavy work, swimmers may need as much as 2,500 to 5,000 calories per day. That is a very large amount of energy. Busy swimmers may have difficulty in replacing stored energy under such a demand. Weight loss and the depletion of muscle energy stores are common problems associated with insufficient nutritional intake during intense training periods.
One possible reason that a taper works is that the reduced workload makes it feasible for a swimmer to fully replenish the energy costs of the training program. Performances improve because each taper training session is fueled by adequate energy, something which may not normally exist during heavy training.
Implication. The intake of complex carbohydrates as a means of supplying sufficient energy to replace the daily costs of training is essential for a swimmer's performances and training adaptation to improve. Without it, specific training for most competitive events is not possible. Swimming Science Bulletin (Number 7) contains suggestions for replacing energy in the serious swimmer.
Return to Table of Contents for ICAR 1989-90 Report.