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Kevin in MD
March 14th, 2005, 09:50 AM
Seeing that George is back from Mexico and long distance swims are once again part of the board's consciousness i thought I'd ask about long swim nutrition.

I've found lots of reports of channel swims that indicate feeding once every 30 minutes is a common way to go.

On the other hand Penny Lee Dean in an article on the cataline channel swim website says that 8 ounces of fluid every 15 minutes is a good way to go, bearing in mind that stops should be less than 10 seconds.

I've tried that method and seem to have fair results with it. 8 ounces per hour was not enough though at 5.5 hours I got really loopy someone asked me a question and it took forever to think the answer through. I upped it to 10 to 12 ounces per 15 minutes or for the scientifically minded ad libitum at each stop. But 10 to 12 ounces is three gulps, rather than one or two. Meaning that my stops in practice have been up around 20 to 30 seconds. When I tried doing them faster I swallowed a lot of air, didn't swallow properly etc.

At any rate, I still have a month before the Tampa Bay Swim and am open to hearing what works for you.

Leonard Jansen
March 14th, 2005, 10:02 AM
Originally posted by Kevin in MD
At any rate, I still have a month before the Tampa Bay Swim and am open to hearing what works for you.

12 fluid ounces of Accelerade every 30 minutes. This can drop to 8-12 ounces every 20 minutes if things get grim. Add in the random piece of banana or slice of Snickers bar for variety every few feedings.

Also: Motion sickness prevention/treatment using ginger capsules as needed.

Good luck at Tampa!

-LBJ

geochuck
March 14th, 2005, 10:28 AM
In some of the races we did a one mile coarse and we had a feeding station. I used to drink every time we passed the barge. I drank my prepared stuff glucose powder mixed in a light solution of tang (very weak tang) sometimes a good old cold Coca Cola, which I sometimes dumped over my head when I was too hot.

If the water was cold, Campbell's chicken noodle soup that had been boiled with potatoes to remove some of the salt then the spuds were removed.

In a race in Egypt I tried the coke thing and dumped it on my head but it had been in the sun for hours, was it ever hot. My brother Tom drank 24 cokes during the Atlantic City Marathon however the first drink he wanted after the race was a quart of ice cold milk.

Rob Copeland
March 14th, 2005, 12:16 PM
The times I did Tampa Bay I did 20 ounces of Endurox at half strength (which is pretty much the same as full strength Accelerade) every 30 minutes. Before the swim I put down 40 Ė 60 ounces a couple of bananas and a couple of bagels. Also, I didnít start feedings until the 1 hour mark. At the 4 and 8 hour feedings I had my crew include a dose of liquid Tylenol. I stayed away from solids during the swim, because I have never gotten the knack for chewing food and swimming (and before I hear it from other posters, yes I can chew gum and swim).

20 ounces is more than most people need, but after years in college practicing chugging liquids, Iíve been able to pound down 20 ounces in just a few seconds and I seem to hold my swim together, better, if I am well hydrated. I donít recommend this much fluid intake unless you train with this intake.

And a couple of notes on Pennyís swims/nutrition, Penny is not a big person and she also had an excellent support crew, so she didnít need as much fluid overall as a typical male and her crew handled feedings like a pit crew at Daytona so she was able to make more frequent fast feedings, instead of spending 5-20 seconds just getting your cup or bottle from your paddler.

If 8 ounces works best for you, then stay with 8 ounces every 20 minutes (8 ounces per hour besides making you loopy is not healthy). 8 ounces every 20 minutes, assuming 20 seconds per feeding, will add about 11 minutes for a 12 hour swim (an average for Tampa Bay).

2go+h20
March 16th, 2005, 06:53 PM
The most important thing is to train on what you will use for fuel for the swim.
Never Do Anything New On Race Day.
When I do long distance swims, I have my formula worked out. However I am also a type 1 diabetic, so this poses an added challenge.
For me, carb loading is a difficult challenge, but is worthwhile if the event is say 5 hours or longer.
Depending on the distance and conditions, I ahve a couple of formulas I stick to.
For shorter swims, 3 hours or less, I eat a balanced pre race meal of low GI carbohydrates and protein with essential fatty oils, and push the fluids a little more . (but not to super saturation point).
During the event I will fuel up every 45 mins of 45gms of carbohydrates. Usually a low GI (Glycemic Index) gel and 10 gulps from my camel back of a low GI sports drink. (I have measured out these gulps to equal 20gms of carbs plus the fluids). I find a camel back is excellent as my crew throw this out to me, and can then haul it back in as it is attached to a rope to the boat. The camel back is very easy to use especially if the waves are large.
They also hand me an opened gel and then I either chuck it back, or let it go and they fish it out with a small fish net.
If the event is over 3 hours, then I refuel after the first 2 hrs 30 (till then every 45 mins) every 30 mins and add a protein powder to the drink mix. Plus I have a variety of flavours of the gels to break the monotomy.
This formula works well for me, the longest I have swum is 34km no wetsuit and was well fuelled and hydrated, excellent energy even when battling the waves. I have stayed with this formula for the past 6 years, works from marathon distances to shorter events like a 5km swim. For most open water swimmers, a refuel in a 5km race would not be necessary, however I have to refuel which is very costly time wise so I have become quick at the gulp method!
I don't chew, much too timeconsuming! You can get good fuel from a few gulps! But post event I will certainly exercise my chewing muscles!!
It is a matter of trial and error of what you like and what works for you. Go to a triathalon store and get a few sample packets of all the different brands and try them. There are many different gels as well so test those as well.
Good Luck.
Happy training!
Kiwi

Kevin in MD
March 18th, 2005, 09:30 AM
Thanks for the comments.

I had ruled out accelerade previously since after it is hot it is undrinkable. But that's from the triathlon days, I wasn't thinking that it could stay in an ice chest on the boat. I'll consider it after this weekend.

I'll be in Tampa this weekend for a practice swim. I'll try my race day plan then and see how it works out.

Leonard Jansen
March 18th, 2005, 10:00 AM
Originally posted by Kevin in MD
Thanks for the comments.

I had ruled out accelerade previously since after it is hot it is undrinkable. But that's from the triathlon days, I wasn't thinking that it could stay in an ice chest on the boat. I'll consider it after this weekend.

I'll be in Tampa this weekend for a practice swim. I'll try my race day plan then and see how it works out.

Two things:
1) Keep in mind that the colder the drink, the longer it takes to be absorbed in the stomach. Thisc an lead to cramping. So having it in a cold ice chest might be an issue.
2) Have your crew mix your accelearde (or whatever) right before you drink it - no warming up issues.

-LBJ

Kevin in MD
March 22nd, 2005, 10:18 AM
Went for 6 hours. I did fine on calories but had too much water. I had to "go" every 15 minutes. I'm going to go with a bit more cocentrated drink in practice and on race day. Push it to 8% carbohydrates instead of the 6% of standard gatorade.

Leonard Jansen
March 23rd, 2005, 07:11 AM
Originally posted by Kevin in MD
Went for 6 hours. I did fine on calories but had too much water. I had to "go" every 15 minutes. I'm going to go with a bit more cocentrated drink in practice and on race day. Push it to 8% carbohydrates instead of the 6% of standard gatorade.

Yes, but keep in mind that you will be in (& swallowing) salt water and the extra fluids might not be a bad thing. Whatever you decide, good luck.

-LBJ

Kevin in MD
March 23rd, 2005, 08:52 AM
Originally posted by Leonard Jansen
Yes, but keep in mind that you will be in (& swallowing) salt water

-LBJ

I forgot to mention that my 6 hour swim was in Tampa Bay, on the race course.

Leonard Jansen
April 15th, 2005, 09:27 AM
Good luck tomorrow, Kevin!

-LBJ

Kevin in MD
April 19th, 2005, 09:15 AM
15 - 20 knot headwinds. 2 to 2.5 foot chop dead into our faces. Before the race, the director mentioned that 9 miles would be considered an official finish, if we wanted to go farther we could.

Things got progressively worse as we headed more and more into the wind rounding PInellas Point. When we finally got it full bore I knew I would be stopping at the 9 mile mark.

Got swamped a lot, never found a rhythm in the big waves, got seasick toward the end. All that meant I took the opportunity to get out at 9 miles.

I was disappointed until i saw Dave Parcells, the race director and double channel crosser standing on the beach looking like he had only been there a few minutes. I figured if he got out at 9 miles, I was in good company.

Nutrition went OK, except for at the end when I stopped eating due to seasickness. I knew i was close to the end anyway.

It was rough enoughthat one powerboat capsized. Most teams took their kayakers out for a while too.

Thank You for all the help. I'm not sure when I'll take another crack at a big swim again. I obviously have some work to do to be fully prepared.