SARAH INTERVIEWED ONE OF OUR ATHLETES, SWIMMING BRONZE MEDALLIST AT THE PARALYMPICS IN 2012, ACHMAT HASSIEM:
Question 1: What has been your hardest nutritional challenge over the last few years as a Paralympic athlete?
Answer: My hardest nutritional challenge over the years as a Paralympic and international swimmer has been to maintain my ideal racing weight. Sticking to eating well and following a nutritional dietary plan has always been a huge problem for me. Now, I have learnt that not eating well affects my training which in turn affects my results. Following the nutritional plan given to me by my dietitian has made me feel stronger and faster, helps me to maintain my race weight and makes me feel healthy, positive and looking good.
Question 2: Expand on how you manage your training load with your eating plan?
Answer: I have a high load training plan averaging between 6 - 7 hours a day, so I make sure to have a good breakfast before my first morning swim session followed by a quick light snack, then gym and cardio session, followed by lunch, my second swimming session and ending off with a recovery shake or light meal. Then it’s supper in the evening. Throughout the day I make sure to stay hydrated especially during sessions. So, it’s regular meals throughout the day, to keep my energy levels up in order to maximise my training output.