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1: You have an extremely exciting couple of weeks ahead, beginning with a race in the Cayman Islands, followed by a 10K world cup in Hungary, and finishing with Trials. Any quick tips for younger swimmers on staying calm and recovering between exciting and difficult competitions?
I am so excited about my next couple weeks, as it is the start of a travel and race heavy couple of months! My biggest piece of advice is to go with the flow. You cannot control travel delays or cancelations, you cannot control weather, but you can control how you react to things that may happen along the journey or at races. Often, people get worked up about events that are out of their control, and they wear themselves down out from stress, anxiety, and frustration. Those emotions and feelings can be just as exhausting and stressful on your body as swimming a race. Stay calm and focus on what you can control- your reactions!
For recovery, warming down after you race is extremely important. This is especially true if you have a flight that same day. Drinking a protein shake or chocolate milk after you race, followed by lots of water to get toxins out of your body, can help start the recovery process. I also really like compression wear especially when traveling. and making sure I am moving by stretching or walking around to help get the blood flowing through my body! Recovery from races is incredibly important and is crucial in helping you prepare for the next race.
2: What is your favorite open water venue, and why?
So I have two answers to this…
My favorite open water competition is the FINA Hong Kong World Cup, because I have so many incredible memories with incredible people from that race. Back in 2010 a group of USA open water swimmers went to the China and Hong Kong races. It was my second international open water competition but my first competition where I went into it with a more relaxed attitude. It opened my eyes to the world cup circuit and how amazing the open water family is, not only in the United States but around the world. Fran Crippen was our leader at that competition because the other four of us were rookies, and we didn’t really know what we were doing. That trip will always go down as the most incredible international trip I have ever been on. Not only do I have such fond memories from that race, but I love the city of Hong Kong and typically many of my friends/competitors from around the world attend.
My favorite venue would be Miromar Lakes in Florida where our nationals is typically held. While this was not my original favorite because I did not have good races in the beginning there, I learned to separate my performances from the venues. Those who help organize the open water races there, especially Gregg Cross, do an amazing job making sure that athletes and their safety are first priority. The resort there is beautiful and those who work for Miromar are always so nice and helpful.
3: What’s on your reading list for these next couple of weeks?
Well, I am not as quick of a reader, but I do enjoy reading when I travel. The book I am currently reading is Girl on a Train… I know I am a little behind the boat with that book!! I also want to read a book recommended to me by my former coach Jim Richardson, It is called Practicing Positive Leadership by Kim Cameron.