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Sprint Queen VS Distance Machine

26 September 2019

Holly Barratt

In swimming, the difference between winning a gold medal and missing the podium can be as small as a tenth of a second. Even the smallest things you do during the season can impact how you perform when it really counts. Nutrition plays an important role in any athlete's regime and not fuelling yourself the right way with healthy and nourishing food could lead to becoming burnt out. Whether you choose to swim hard and fast, or keep up the stamina in the pool, sprinters and long distance swimmers both need adequate fuel to keep them going. But the question remains, are there major differences in the diet of a sprinter versus a long distance swimmer? Who else better to ask than the experts themselves (at both eating and swimming)? We sat down with F-Teamers Holly Barratt and Blair Evans to find out how they fuel themselves to compete against the best in the world.

Blair Evans

Holly and Blair are very different athletes. Holly is the sprint queen that dominates in the super short 50m races. Blair on the other hand, commits to those tough 400IM's that provide a whole lot of hurt. First, we asked Holly about the staples of her diet and what she focuses on eating. Her response?

"Lots of carbs! I have to make sure I get enough protein, carbs, fruit and veggies. Spaghetti Bolognese is a favourite, chicken curry or a BBQ with some good salads. I have to make sure I get enough carbs for energy, but I also increase my protein intake a little bit before and after a very hard session."

The increased protein before and after a hard session will help your recovery, so good point Holly! Plus, a bolognese is super yummy. We spoke further about what she eats in competition vs training and what are her recovery snacks?

"I make sure to eat a little less during taper and competition because I'm using less energy, just so my weight doesn't really change. What I eat doesn't really change, just the amount. Right after training, I'll make sure I eat something quick like a muesli bar or a protein shake." 

Lastly, we asked Holly a sneaky question. What is her cheat meal?

"I have a sweet tooth, so my cheat meal is often Tim Tams or lollies. I can get through a whole packet pretty easily!"

Holly & Blair
Holly and Blair at the 2018 Commonwealth Games refuelling with a smoothie!

It seems that even the best athletes in the world can't escape the sweet tooth. Fair enough with all that training! Secondly, we sat down with Blair and asked what are her staple foods and what does she focus on in her diet?

"Carbs, protein, greens and a bit of dairy. I try to limit dairy pre training as it blocks my sinus' and I need all the air I can get while swimming. I love a good pasta or risotto and don't have that much red meat although I try to eat it once or twice a week! Depending on the session coming up, if it's going to be tough quality session, I'll usually eat a fair bit more carbs. I feel better training off carbs and post session I mostly eat protein to recover."

"Not so much changes during training vs competition. I eat less while competing but the same types of foods. After training I love a choccy milk, banana or Chobani yoghurt. I'm a bit slack with recovery snacks so anything easy and accessible is the go-to."

Now, Holly loves some good Tim Tams or lollies so let's see what Blair's kryptonite is.

"I don't really have cheat meals. I eat what I want in moderation because some days are just tougher than others and I may need a burger mid-week to get me through (mentally haha). I'm also lucky I do the kilometres to work off any treats."

The difference between Holly and Blair is not so much after all. Even though they swim very different events, they go off the same principles on food. Lots and lots of carbs, protein and vegetables! Fuelling yourself adequately to train hard and compete harder! A convenient recovery snack is important to make sure you have it after every session to help your recovery to continue smashing out those hard sets!

Holly Barratt

Check out Pete Evans 4 great recipes featured in the latest Swimstyle here.

Pete Evans
Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Salmoriglio

Good luck to our Funkita F-Teamers! To keep up to date with our F-Teamers, follow us on our social media pages below:


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