On the 20 September 2015, the ASA East Region saw its first Masters Development Day take place at Culford School with 32 attendees booked on. The day began with a presentation from Sharon Lock, the ASA’s Masters Officer about the work that she does for Masters clubs and their members, and the difference between British Swimming and the ASA.
Sharon highlighted the officers available to all Masters members and their clubs for help and support when needed. The Q&A session provided and opportunity for the swimmers to find out more about the rankings process, qualifications for the European Masters event, and long course opportunities.
The day progressed with a presentation from Karen Howells, Sport Psychologist from Loughborough University on the topic of nutrition and hydration for masters swimmers. Karen explored the idea of our body as a ‘training machine’ and how to feed it the right fuel.
Examples such as a 2% decrease in hydration resulted in a 10% drop in performance made interesting listening for the group. Little suggestions such as changing from white pasta to brown were ‘food for thought’ for our swimmers on the day.
Following this presentation was David Jakeman, Strength and Conditioning Therapist, discussing injury prevention and hints and tips for strength and conditioning and how important it is to improve performance and prevent future injuries.
David described how masters swimmers should be concentrating on improving the strength of their type 2 muscle fibres and using plyometrics to aid in this. Pilates and yoga were also highlighted as a more general compliment to swimming to improve the core of our bodies, which results in better performance.
After lunch, David went through some of the exercises recommended to improve the swimmers core muscles in the sports hall and highlighted how easy they can be done at home around training sessions in the pool and does not have to be done in a gym.
The pool session concluded the day, being led by Ian Gunter, Masters swimming coach for over 20 years. He was supported on poolside by Sharon Lock and Phil Ward, swimming coach for West Suffolk SC. The session broke down starts and turns for the swimmers, highlighting the need to concentrate on these, just as much as the strokes themselves.
Increasing power through the full phase of freestyle was also included within the set, along with training at race pace. Each swimmer was given a handout on how to develop a set using the race pace mathematics.
After the success of this development day for masters swimmers, the East Region will be looking at planning something similar next year to provide further opportunities for our swimmers.