Performance Optimization with SwimBox Elite

Growing up as a competitive swimmer I was always very focused on everything that impacted my performance…Okay, I can’t even write that sentence with a straight face, that is just a blatant lie. I swam all the time, so I ate all the time. Do you think I’m talking about protein and veggies here? Nope, not even close. Donuts were my one true love, probably still are (don’t tell Dominic), and I definitely never paid attention to my sleep habits. An 8:30pm bedtime as a 16 year girl isn’t exactly going to make you a happy camper.

SwimBox Elite Performance Optimization Whoop

But as I’ve gotten older and learned more about taking care of myself (be proud, Mom & Dad) I really wish I had paid attention to these things more when I was younger and competing. Which just makes me want to have everyone else take as good of care of themselves as they can in order to get the best out of their training. Which is why Dominic and I are so excited about SwimBox Elite, our new performance optimization service.

SwimBox Elite Performance Optimization Whoop Strap

Using the Whoop Strap, a wearable that’s worn 24/7 (don’t worry, it’s waterproof), we’re able to monitor your resting heart rate, heart rate variability, recovery, cardio strain, and sleep. Yes, we’re basically asking you to let us stalk you, get excited. Getting all of this data in real time allows us to take the guess work out of your training. Our head of performance, Dr. Marc Luko, takes all of this data and sends you weekly analyses and training suggestions to make sure you’re staying on top of your game.

SwimBox Elite Performance Optimization Whoop Strap

If you’re like me, you definitely have those days where you wake up and wish you could call in sick to your training plan because you’re feeling so beaten down and dead. With SwimBox Elite we’ll see your data, in real time, and let you know you need to give it a rest, take a break, and let your body recover. And even though we all can get a bit obsessed with sticking to our training and getting those endorphin highs from our long workouts, breaks are necessary, and sometimes it’s hard to know when to listen to your body and when to suck it up. But not anymore.

SwimBox Elite Performance Optimization Whoop

As a member of SwimBox Elite you'll receive training tips based off of your personal data, take a movement screen so we can head off injury before it happens, specific advice on how to best prepare for your races, and how to take care of your body in terms of training, recovery, and sleep performance. Members also get data updates, Skype sessions to plan for your race season, and performance coaching. We believe this is a perfect add-on to any swimmer's current training plan to give them the extra edge over their competition. 

SwimBox Elite Performance Optimization

I was always the kid who would miss a practice and come back about 3-4 days behind in my conditioning. But to me it seemed like I was the only one this happened to, because my friends, who would sometimes miss 2-3 practices in a row, would come back even better than they were before they left. I hated not knowing why this was happening, so that makes me super excited to be able to take that guesswork out of your training and give you the answers you're looking for to have you perform at your best.

Miami Man 2017 Trip Recap

Boy does it ever feel good to be back in the dreary, chilly, and wet weather I’ve come to find normal for Northern Virginia in the winter months. Miami was great, but it felt a bit weird to me to be in a tank top and shorts in the middle of the beginning of the winter holiday season. Sweater weather just started and I missed 5 days of it! 

Traveling to Miami to support one of our clients during Miami Man, their A race of the season, proved to be a lot more action packed than we had anticipated. And not just because we started the journey out with a 6 hour maintenance delay at the airport (Stranger Things marathon anyone?).  We took this trip as an opportunity to meet some online clients and do some lessons in person, and we’re so glad we did.  

SwimBox Swim Lessons

Carmen started swimming less than 2 years ago and recently began competing in triathlons with her husband, Jose. Before competing in Miami Man on Sunday we met up with her for two private lessons on Friday and Saturday at her neighborhood pool. Although bringing in outside coaches is “frowned upon,” so we had to be pretty stealthy during our lessons. And by that I mean I walked around taking pictures, Dominic filmed for video analysis, and Jose filmed with his GoPro throughout both two hour sessions. Oops? 

SwimBox Swim Lessons

Dominic worked with her on her kick, rotation, body posture, and balance.  

We also got to meet Marcel, who is a client we’ve been communicating with online for about half a year now. His first half Ironman is coming up next March in Puerto Rico, and we got the opportunity to work with him on our Foundational Breathing Method to correct his sinking legs/hips and body posture in the water.  

SwimBox Thoughts Miami Swim Lessons

I had pretty intense oral surgery less than a week before our trip, so hopping on a plane to Miami wasn’t really something I was looking forward to. But getting to meet all of these great people and spend time with them was really a wonderful experience. And yes, I’m sure the fact that I was on painkillers throughout most of it aided my happy mood, but I digress. One of the best things about running your own schedule is getting to take trips like this, and I need to remember to be more appreciative of these experiences while I’m having them. 

Ohh, did I forget to mention the food? The food was AMAZING. We drove an hour and 23 minutes (after our 6 hour plane delay and 3 hours of rental car hassle) to a Cuban restaurant in Miami Beach and it was more than worth it. My mouth is watering now just thinking about that food, sigh. 

SwimBox Swim Lessons

But all of that being said Sunday was the best day. We got to cheer on our client and friend Gail and be there to celebrate all of the hard work she’s put in this season. She placed second overall in her age group! 

Our clients are the driving force to what we do and make all of this so rewarding. We can’t thank you guys enough for your loyalty and support. 


How to Handle Missing a Workout

I grew up as the kid who never missed morning swim practice. I looked forward to it, I got excited about it. I wanted to hear my alarm go off at 3:43am in order to get up and jump in the freezing cold water and swim 3-4 miles before any of my other friends even woke up for school. Well, most days at least. 

I was also the kid who, when she did miss a practice, lost about 80% of my conditioning and spent almost a week getting back up to where I had been before. Which I hated. A lot. And it often felt like I had let everyone down just by sleeping in and getting up at 6am, like any other regular high school student.

SwimBox Thoughts SwimBox Blog

Now that I'm old and wise (kind of) I know that missing a workout isn't the end of the world, but I still struggle with my own self inflicted guilt sometimes. Fortunately the swimming world I live in now is much more forgiving than it was in high school, and my body is much more acclimated to resting and taking care of itself too. I know that sleeping in one day when I'm supposed to go for a long swim won't hurt me or set me back. No one will call my cell phone at 4:30am wondering where I am (yes, my coach used to do that, and no, he isn't the only one) and I won't lose my spot in the lane I normally swim in. 

Even missing a workout because I have too many things planned for the holidays or I decided to go to an impromptu dinner with my husband won't hurt me. In fact it's usually more beneficial than not.

Taking care of myself and getting enough rest is HUGE when it comes to performance. I wish I had realized this when I was competing, but such is life. I just wanted to let you guys know that it's okay to sleep in sometimes. It's okay to go have that dinner with friends and grab a drink (or three) and relax even when it's not in your schedule to do so. 

But the one thing you shouldn't do is try to makeup the workouts you missed. That's when you get into overtraining and can really hurt yourself. So give yourself a break, don't beat yourself up too much, and sleep in a little if you want. Just don't do it everyday, because then you might be in trouble. And I definitely don't want your coach calling me at 4:30am asking me where you are...

Our new blog about what's going on with us at SwimBox

SwimBox Thoughts: a SwimBox Blog

Welcome to SwimBox Thoughts!

These posts are going to be a mix of swim tips/developments, SwimBox current events, and just my general ramblings of things that are related to swimming. Or food. I like to talk about food a lot. Like this morning after swim practice I was dying to have a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel but I had hard boiled eggs instead. Why? Because I'm no longer a 13 year old with the world's fastest metabolism, and it turns out no matter how much you swim you kind of need to pay attention to nutrition (as much as you probably don't want to).

See? Swimming related, but very loosely. Don't say I didn't warn you. 

Some posts are going to be more informative than others and some will just be about whatever I feel like saying at that very moment. You never really can tell with me.

If there's any swim tip you want me to demo or brand of goggle you want me to try let me know, I'm game. Think of this as entertaining yet informative reading. Unless you're already bored, then my sincerest apologies for wasting the past 34 seconds of your life (note the sarcasm).