Swim Highs and Lows for NZ’s Daniel Hunter
By Radix Team 12/09/2017 11:05 am
Daniel Hunter

The Fina Airweave Swimming World Championship sees world-class swimmers compete in a series of two-day meets between august and November each year. The circuit moves from the Middle East, to Europe and then Asia. With a total prize-pool of US $2 million, it is a chance for elite swimmers to earn money and for newcomers to race at a professional world-class level. Representing New Zealand, Hunter went to Europe in July and August for the European stage. Beginning with a training camp in Slovakia, his trip was followed by the 2017 World Aquatic Championships in Budapest, Hungary, from July 23rd to 30th.

Then followed three consecutive World Championship events, in Moscow (Russia), Berlin (Germany) and Eindhoven (Netherlands). Having just faced his most challenging opportunity to race on the world class circuit to-date, Hunter is pensive as he reflects on the experience and looks towards his next goal of qualifying for the Commonwealth Games at the end of 2017.

 A Staging Training Camp for the NZ team, at X-Bionics-Sphere in Slovakia, took place between 14-19th July.

“We were a three-hour drive from the first competition in Budapest, so it was a convenient location to acclimatise. I had a good build-up – my sleep pattern adjusted fine and didn’t suffer jet-lag. I ate well, using Radix meals before and after swimming and felt optimistic – it helped that team morale was high.”

Radix meals enable athletes to follow a tested dietary routine, when any ‘normality’ can be key to success. Regardless where in the world they are and what environmental stresses occur, a Radix meal is guaranteed to provide high-quality nutrition designed to optimally refuel the body and provide it with the right macro-and-micro-nutrients for rapid recovery.

“Budapest came around quick – we arrived on the 19th with just a few days to get settled. My first event (100-metre freestyle relay) was on the first day of competition – a quick initiation. I waited five days until my individual races – the 50-metre freestyle heats, followed a day later by the 50-metre backstroke heats. My races didn’t go to plan and I’m still trying to figure out if there was a cause. I felt positive and healthy beforehand, so it came as a shock to not make the finals in my individual races. In hindsight, perhaps I lost touch with the competition after the relay – I spent time sightseeing before my individual races. It could be that ‘zoning back in’ didn’t happen the way I needed it to. Either way, I intend to learn from it with help from David.”

Hunter’s Mental Performance Coach, David Neithe (who has worked with Hunter since 2015) advises him to prepare for every competition the same way; get accustomed to routines and avoid getting overwhelmed at big events or if unusual circumstances arise.

“David and I will discuss the competition and look for any reasons behind my disappointing results. Whatever I can learn from the negatives help shape my future. Failures are a part of sport, you don’t always perform well and there isn’t always a logical reason for it. However, I know I can increase my chances of success when I have quality nutrition in my toolkit. With Radix meals, I’m able to access food that will fuel my body and mind, exactly when I need it. Psychologically that is a positive in itself – something I can rely on in any situation.”

On the 31st, Hunter travelled to Moscow’s Swimming World Cup, arriving on the 1st August.

“This time I felt exhausted, probably exacerbated by a mental come-down form Budapest. I launched into training though, preparing for the first race a day later. The World Cup pool was short-course and some adjustment is necessary. Having had such an anti-climax in Budapest, it was good to swim again and recalibrate.”

Hunter managed personal best times in the 100-metre individual medley, (with a time of 56.55 seconds) and the 50-metre breaststroke (in 25.69 seconds).

 “My 100-metre freestyle went better than I expected but I had a slightly embarrassing technical issue on the blocks, when my swimsuit split. I knew what happened but there was no time to act, so I launched into the pool with added adrenaline. My finish time was just 0.9 seconds off my personal best for the event – in the circumstances I was very happy. In the 100-metre backstroke I secured another personal best of 54.65 seconds, which helped solidify my return to form.”

Berlin did not go well for Hunter as he struggled to find his form so soon after Moscow.

“There was no time to dwell on it however, as we were in Eindhoven for the next competition on the 11th and 12th. I swam the 50-metre freestyle in 21.07 seconds, just 0.2 seconds shy of my New Zealand National record. In the 100-metre freestyle final, I finished just 0.15 seconds off my National record, in 45.47 seconds. The competition was positive for me and it was great for me to end the tour on such a high. By the end the team had bonded and I learned so much collectively on such a long trip.”

 “I took lots of Radix meals on the trip and they proved invaluable. Often when my swim routines made finding time to eat difficult, having a Radix meal on-hand was perfect. An organised lunch was provided at 12pm and dinner was usually served at 8pm. The food wasn’t always what I would choose either and at those times, I could default to the Radix food which makes me feel so vital and energetic. Being super light in my bag, I always carried Radix meals with me to ensure I ate exactly what and when I needed.

Right now, Hunter is making the most of a well-earned break. Soon he will embark on a tough training regime, preparing for the Commonwealth Games trials in December on the Gold Coast. Hunter will appear in the relay, 50 metre freestyle and 100 metre freestyle. In the meantime, he’ll select a few competitions to keep him in touch with the standard of competition he can expect to find in December.

Radix will follow Hunter’s progress here on the Radix Bulletin.

You can also follow his progress on:

Instagram: daniel_hunter11

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