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Thread: Feed stick

  1. #1
    Very Active Member Leonard Jansen's Avatar
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    Feed stick

    Does anyone have any clever ideas for the design of a feed stick for longer races? I've used a small aluminum pot on the end of a broomhandle in the past, but it's a bit short/small and not great if the water is rough.

    Also, ideally I'll have my bottle(s) attached by string to the stick so I can drink from them and then drop them, but what to do about things like pills (e.g. seasickness pills)?

    Any other thoughts appreciated.

    -LBJ

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    Hi LBJ!

    I don't have the experience to give you any advice on your questions, but I'll sure be watching for any posts that do answer you.

    I got very seasick during a 2.5KM race I did in cold, very rough and wavy, water yesterday. I cannot imagine eating during a swim (I doubt I'll ever do a swim long enough to require it...) but I do want to know about sea sickness.

    I actually vomited several times (good thing we were in open water) and felt very weak during the last 500m stretch.

    Felt really good to arrive at the FINISH (the judge was very kind) and chat with the other swimmers about their upset tummies. One said "I've got cornflakes in my EAR!!!" That made me laugh!

    Mary
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    www.iswimitaly.it

  3. #3
    Very Active Member Leonard Jansen's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Maryyyyyy

    I got very seasick during a 2.5KM race I did in cold, very rough and wavy, water yesterday. I cannot imagine eating during a swim (I doubt I'll ever do a swim long enough to require it...) but I do want to know about sea sickness.
    Maryyyyy -

    I am very prone to motion sickness and when I first started open water swimming, I was sick/dizzy constantly. Here is what works very well for me ( I swear I am not making this up): I take the equivalent of 3/4 teaspoon of ginger (the spice) right before bed the night before the race and then the same amount about 40 minutes before the race. I say "the equivalent" because I use capsules from the health food store instead of the "raw" spice. The raw spice (in water) works too, but it can be a bit tough to get down as it is hot - the capsules have no such issue. Since doing this, I haven't been sick once. I also have used this to to get through several flights (a HUGE problem) without a single illness.

    Apparently, there WAS a reson that your mom made you drink ginger ale when you were sick when you were a kid...

    -LBJ

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    Thanks for the advice LBJ! That's great, also simple. My next ow swim is next Sunday, and I'll definitely try ginger tablets!

    Sorry if my question/problem took you off the official topic!

    Mary
    VIVA LA VITA!!!!!!!
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    www.iswimitaly.it

  5. #5
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Leonard

    For the sea sickness, yes, ginger does work! You may also want to add a couple of dozen ginger snaps to you pre-race meal.

    As for feeding sticks, etc… I’ve always stuck with a water bottle on a long string, no sticks. I’ve used both the screw-top bottles and sports bottles and I find I can drink more quickly from the screw-tops (provided the crew doesn’t crank down the lid). I find it easier for the crew to toss me a bottle than for them to try to negotiate the boat close enough to use a feeding stick, especially in rough seas.

    As for pills, can they be crushed and added to the drink? I’ve never taken pills during a race, so I don’t know if they are palatable. The closest I come is to add a dose of Liquid Advil every 3 to 4 hours. Your crew could always tape the pill to the bottle.

    For a race like MIMS, I would set up 2 water bottles on strings about 20 – 30 feet long (a primary and a back-up) and I’d have my fluids pre-mixed in gallon jugs on your main boat, and have your crew fill the water bottle up to your serving size for each feeding, passing the bottle off to your kayaker. Put a thick line on the water bottle at the fill to level with a permanent marker, so your crew knows how much to use.

    And on the topic of crew and kayaker… After 6 or 7 hours you may think that they are conspiring to ruin your swim. They aren’t. Also, your kayaker and crew my get a little fatigued and grumpy after hours in the sun, as you pass under the GW Bridge, heading down the Hudson River, let them know that they are doing a great job. They may need some encouragement.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member Leonard Jansen's Avatar
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    Maryyyy - Good luck!

    Rob - Thanks for the advice. The bottle-on-a-string is actually a great idea here because with a kayaker available, I won't have to depend on my wife's throwing arm. (Headline: "MIMS competitor killed when wife hits him in head with tossed water bottle. Yankees sign her for $68 million pending acquittal.") I probably will just crush up the Aleve or ginger and drink it. It can't taste much worse than the Harlem River. I usually say thanks to the volunteers at water stations and such in races, so yes, I will remember to be a bit vocal about it - I do tend to go "very far away" (my wife's words) and get very quiet. But my brother is also on my crew and he is Mr. High Positive Energy. For the Boston Light Swim last year, he kept the boat captain and my wife entertained for most of 4 hours non-stop.

    It's all good. Thanks again.

    -LBJ

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    Very Active Member LindsayNB's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Maryyyyyy
    I actually vomited several times (good thing we were in open water)...
    The question of course is whether this was successful in discouraging drafters?

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    Yep, can say I too have fed the fishes!! Makes a new way of thinking about being in a slipstream!!
    Loved the Headline. . I do think about the possibility of being nailed by my husband, especially in the waves!!
    I use a camelback as my feeding stick. It is also on a rope attached to the kayak. It is way easier to use than a water bottle and it floats!!! (Mind you in some OW swims, these would be banned as it would be considered a floatation aid!) Also is easy to refill when needed. I take all my fuels premixed and add to the camel back as the day progresses.
    Also the webbing can hold a couple of gels, which when used can be stuffed back, the camelback pulled back in, and no litter in the lake.
    Happy training.
    Kiwi

  9. #9
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    I have probably done more open water races than any one, we used paper cups and threw them back into a boat. Or a feeding station drink and throw back on the feeding station. Hey if you get sick just bring it up and get going again. When you have some one beside you bringing up it just looks yucky but don't stop to look at it.
    Keep it simple George Park
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  10. #10
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Rob Copeland
    Leonard

    I’ve always stuck with a water bottle on a long string,
    And if you get tired grab the string.
    Keep it simple George Park
    Swimsuit Sale http://www.swimdownhill.com/index.html

  11. #11
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Originally posted by geochuck
    And if you get tired grab the string.
    But, we would never do that, right?

  12. #12
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    No we would not do that but in the Capri to Napoli swim the official in the boat offered to sell swim finns during the race. I guess that is better than a string.
    Keep it simple George Park
    Swimsuit Sale http://www.swimdownhill.com/index.html

  13. #13
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Originally posted by geochuck
    No we would not do that but in the Capri to Napoli swim the official in the boat offered to sell swim finns during the race. I guess that is better than a string.
    This sounds like something Abouheif would do

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    I bought my ginger capsules today!!

    Hopefully I won't be leaving any more puke in my wake!

    Thanks to all for the helpful suggestions, advice and wisedom!!

    Mary
    VIVA LA VITA!!!!!!!
    VIVA LO SPORT (Sano e Pulito)!!!!!

    www.iswimitaly.it

  15. #15
    Very Active Member Scansy's Avatar
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    OK, I'm basically a pool swimmer. Anything I have done outdoors (actually only one swim) was short and part of a tri. Way to short to need food/water during the swim. Sooooo, I must ask. What is a feed stick.
    Go Steelers!

  16. #16
    Very Active Member Leonard Jansen's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Scansy
    OK, I'm basically a pool swimmer. Anything I have done outdoors (actually only one swim) was short and part of a tri. Way to short to need food/water during the swim. Sooooo, I must ask. What is a feed stick.
    A feed stick is something that allows your crew to pass you your water bottle/food/whatever without you having to go right up to the boat - especially if it's rough and getting clobbered by the boat is a possibility. They hold it out, you get your drink bottle and when done, you put it back. Typically, it is a long pole (like a pool cleaning pole) with some sort of basket attached. Often the bottles/containers are attached to the basket by rope so that you can just drop the bottle when done without worrying about getting it into the basket.

    In this case (MIMS), Rob's idea of using bottles on ropes makes more sense since a kayaker can ferry the bottles from the boat to swimmer more readily than trying to line up the boat and swimmer.

    -LBJ

  17. #17
    Very Active Member Scansy's Avatar
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    Hmmmm.... I hadn't thought about getting clobbered by the boat in rough water.... but I can see it happening. Ouch.
    Go Steelers!

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    Waterbottles or camelbacks on a rope are very easy for kayak or canoe crew to use. plus crew in bigger powered boats. When it is rough I have had a degree of difficulty getting close enough to a boat to get the food, and then trying to refuel, then give it back. The catch and release method is better!!
    In the English Channel, you may not have the rope taught, if you do you will be DQ'd as it is considered getting a tow. Plus the waterbottle must be above the water when drinking. I should imagine my camelback would not be allowed there.
    Check with the race officials what is allowed, and train on that method.
    Good Luck.
    Kiwi

  19. #19
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Kiwi,

    When I swam the Channel in 2000, I was fed by a water bottle on a string. And I was never warned of any potential problems by either the official observer or the captain. While I wasn’t towed by a taut (or taught) string, I did give it some thought. And I can see that the observer would warn or disqualify the swimmer for such an offense.

    “Plus the water bottle must be above the water when drinking.” How could one drink with the water bottle under the water?

    “Check with the race officials what is allowed, and train on that method” is excellent advice!

  20. #20
    Active Member u352's Avatar
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    Gel packs in the suit

    Ever thought of jamming one or two gel packs in the rump part of the suit or sewing pockets in the back like bikers shirts.

    For the bay swim I wore a wet suit and was prepared to put one in each leg just in case. I wish I had becuase by the time I got to the fourth mile I was running on EEEEEEEe.

    My friend did and he felt better than I did by the end.

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