Posted by: jlenchner | September 14, 2009

Questions about Feedings

Many people have asked me about feedings, something that I forgot to discuss much in my “reflections” posting. During the main part of the swim, Philipp and I stopped three times to feed, at intervals of one hour, or a bit more. At the first stop I had Accelerade, at the second stop, hot soup, and at the third stop, Accel Gel. Accelerade is like Powerade or Gatorade with a little bit of protein, and Accel Gel is a gel formulation of this same drink. The company makes varieties with varying amounts of caffeine. I prefer the caffeine-free varieties. In the middle of the swim I am just able to drink about 3-4 ounces at a time of the drink, while I can easily suck in a whole gel so the gel gives me more calories for the invested effort. During the swim there is a need both for calories and for fluids to ward off dehydration – a concern that is magnified by the fact that we were swimming in salt water.

Unfortunately the soup at the second feeding was not very hot – I believe the top-locking mechanism came loose when Maddy threw the thermos in the water and a little bit of sea water seeped in. It took some quite good tosses to get the residues from our feedings back in the boat because of the boat’s high side rails. On one occasion I missed the boat (I think when I was trying to throw back the thermos) and had to swim after it, not wanting to litter the ocean. At the very end of the swim, when we got a bit separated, Philipp may have stopped once or twice more to feed. I think his preference late in the swim was for Coca Cola. As for me, I was getting too cold to stop. I did, however, have a full bladder and would have dearly liked to pee (if only for the warming effect) – but unfortunately, as both Philipp and I remarked afterwards – we were incapable of peeing while swimming.

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