As a parent I ran my first and only Marathon (10k) in 1989. I ran in the NIKE ‘woman’s own’ event fun run at Hyde Park, I came 282 out of 487. I trained every day, preparing myself by jogging around Victoria Park. My youngest and fifth child was just under 1-year-old.
On the day of the event, there was not one water station at the run. That was normal at the time. I didn’t prepare myself either by bringing any water. About 2/3 through the race, I gotten rather tired. I think that was the last public running event held without water provision.
By now a big industry has sprung up by producing all kinds of water supplies that help counter the dehydration.
I suppose that swimmers produce as much perspiration as marathon runners do. Yet whilst in the water, you cannot see or feel the sweat.
I spoken to some young swimmers and they said that because they feel water in their mouth all the time, their brain might be tricked into believing that they drink water, whilst in fact they do not. Some youngsters just don’t feel thirsty, perhaps again the mind is tricked into thinking that because of all the water around them, they do not need to drink it.
However losing all that body moisture that must fatigue a swimmer. But on the other hand because the body is in water, perhaps the water helps to moisturise. I have not found any study around that.
Perhaps it helps swimmers if they are reminded just to drink more water if they feel fatigued and just think they cannot do another lap. Encourage swimmers to drink lots of water before a training session and also have sips during the session and drink again a considerable amount after the session, I think they feel less tired and worn out doing this.
A child is only as energetic and enthusiastic as it feels fit. As far as nourishment can help there are a few essentials a parent has to know.
Please refer to my Nutrition page for further tips or look up the basic information links below:
The NHS publishes calorie guidelines for children and teens, but, a child that swims more than 1 hour sessions, requires more calories than others. I add more calories to the daily intake if swimming sessions exceed 2 hours per day and sometimes we train twice per day.
The Canadian Paediatric Association publishes tables for sports active youngsters.
As a general rule, your swimmer is most likely to need more food than the parent.
It is not necessary to give your swimmer energy bars, normal food will do.
Though nowadays on poolside, during competitions, organisers do not allow food but energy gels are permitted. I suppose it makes sense to avoid food waste getting into the pool.