After smashing his personal best time to finish in second place in both the 100m and 200m backstroke at the 2018 Australian Swimming Trials, Bradley Woodward repeated the trick just a few months later, setting further PBs as he won silver medals in both events at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
One of the new Australian stars of the pool says that what he puts into his body plays a crucial role in maintaining such a high level of training and performance outcomes.
“I think food plays a massive role in sport. I find that if I let my diet slip for a couple of days I train much worse. This is a similar case if I don’t eat enough or I eat too much food” says Woodward.
“I am always trying to find a happy medium with the amount of food I eat and ensure that I keep on top of my diet.”
Swimming is a sport of milliseconds and Woodward knows that even the smallest changes to his diet can have a huge impact in the pool.
Maintaining a routine that works around the NSWIS Scholarship Holder’s training sessions helps to make the best use of his energy when he needs it most.
“Generally I like to time my meals so that I have higher amounts of carbs before my sessions, and foods higher in protein after my sessions.
“I always make sure that I eat food that will give me as much fuel as possible for my training, but I will never eat anything that I don’t enjoy.
“Every couple of months I like to re-evaluate my diet with the support of the NSWIS dietitian, and substitute in options that will better fuel my performance.”
Woodward says he tries to stick to his regular diet and nutrition plan when switching from training to competition, even if the demands of competitive swimming mean a few small adjustments.
“My diet doesn’t change massively as I come into competition. I eat the same food as usual because I don’t want to change from what I’ve been eating during training.
“My meal times do change due to my racing schedule. I will also eat less the weeks coming into racing as my training volume decreases considerably and I don’t need as much food to fuel myself.
So what does a typical day of eating look like for the 2018 Commonwealth Games medallist?
Breakfast: Two English muffins with peanut butter, four Weetbix, yoghurt, grapes and fruit juice
Lunch: Spaghetti Bolognese and a bowl of veggies
Dinner: A combo of rice, pasta or potatoes with some chicken or red meat, and a bowl of veggies or salad
Between these meals , Woodward likes to keep it healthy.
“My snacks usually involve either a piece of fruit, a fruit and nut muesli bar, a yoghurt or one of my mum’s homemade muffins.
“If I’m going to treat myself,” he says, “My go to is always a bowl of ice cream or a piece of dark chocolate.”