Cool, Windy Swim at Jordanelle

The weather has been cool the last few days with some rain and thunderstorms.  I checked the forecast for Jordanelle last night and saw that there were no storms anticipated, but that it was going to be a much cooler morning with temps in the 50's.

And it was cool when I got there. I didn't waste much time getting ready and diving in.  The water temp was much warmer than the air.

My plan today was to simulate a big swim and test out my nutrition plan.  The goal was to swim 4 miles.

I started the simulation last night by making sure that I drank plenty of water to hydrate myself.  Our baby was up all night, which simulated the restless sleep I usually get before a big swim.  When I got up in the morning, I ate something similar to what I would before a race.  For me that is usually a banana, some kind of bar (Cliff, etc.), and something to drink (water, Gatorade, etc).

I had prepared one bottle of Perpetuem, which is what I use for my main feeds on long swims.  Swimming for 4 miles, I only needed enough for two feeds and I can get 2-3 feeds from one bottle.

My typical nutrition plan for long swims is to just go ahead and swim the first hour without taking in anything additional.  I figure that what I ate before I started the swim is enough to get me through 1 hour.  From there, I take feeds (usually Perpetuem with occasional treats like apple sauce pouches) every 30 minutes.  For today's simulation, I would swim the first two miles without stopping for feeds, and then take a feed after each additional mile.

It's a good idea to test out your nutrition BEFORE the day of your race.  You want to make sure that it is going to give you the energy you need and not make you sick.  The first few long distance swims I did, not knowing any better, I drank Gatorade.  I quickly learned that it was much too sweet and made my stomach sick.  The same thing with gels.  I found I had to water them down to avoid getting sick.  After trying a few other things, I eventually settled on Perpetuem as my main source of energy.  It's easy and quick to drink, doesn't taste too bad, and gives me a noticeable boost.  Another product I have been experimenting with that has been working pretty well is a local product called Carbsport.  It's got some similar things in it as Perpetuem (both are maltodextrin based), but has caffeine as well.  For my next long swim (at Bear Lake) I will probably have a combination of these two drinks for my feeds.

My only objective this morning was to swim 4 miles at a comfortable pace, and see how my feeds went.  The first mile was a little slow, but felt good.  The second mile felt a lot harder and was about 1 minute slower than the first one.  At the end of the second mile, I stopped for a feed (treading water, not standing up or holding on to the dock).  I drank half the bottle and hoped that it would kick in and help me to feel more energy for the third mile.

The feed did help a little.  By this time the wind had picked up and the water was getting choppy.  I wasn't feeling great, not sick or anything, just tired.  I was dreading swimming the last mile and decide to just call it good at three miles.  Maybe this was a mistake.  Maybe I should have taken another feed and just pushed through.  There are certain to be times like this during a big swim or race.  I probably should have kept going.

The sun seems to be coming up later in the morning and we are spending more time swimming in the dark.  It's a challenge sighting the buoys in the dark, but is probably good practice.  It's an opportunity to see how straight I am swimming and gives me a chance to practice sighting.

I saw Goody a handful of times out in the water and also Tim.  As I was getting close to my third mile, Goody wanted me to swim my normal, easy pace and see if he could keep up.  He kept up just fine.  At the red buoy he stopped and yelled something that sounded like "let's keep going" but he must have been saying he wanted to speed up because he took off.

I've got an idea for some workouts for next week (Monday and Wednesday) that I will be posting as we get closer.

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