Things I Need to Work on Before Swimming 10 Miles: Part 1 of 2

Yes, this is part one of a two-part list. I’m kind of getting the feeling I have my hands full here. Without further ado, Part 1 of the things I need to work on before swimming 10 miles:

  1. Nutrition: What will I drink/eat during the race? When? How much? I’m considering trying coconut water for hydration purposes…anyone out there with experience with this? I’ve also heard a lot about superstarches and am girding myself to try one of the more popular brands. The consistency isn’t something I’ve encountered in a beverage before, but if it works well, maybe I can get used to it. Solids aren’t something I’ve ever used in a long race before, even way back in the dark ages when I was racing 25Ks. I can be stupidly competitive sometimes, so I would hate having to take the time to stop and chew… but on the other hand, the longer the race, the less the time impact, and possible the greater performance boost. We’ll see.
  2. Leaning up: I don’t want to blow out my shoulders by dragging around non-functional padding. This is difficult for me, however, since the harder I train the hungrier I get, and dammit, I get cranky when I’m hungry.
  3. Core strength: 10 miles means a lot of sighting, which puts strain on the lower back. My back has already expressed displeasure with me on various occasions, so I will definitely be working on this. Planks, weights, and more planks.
  4. Goggle fit: For some reason, I have a ridiculously hard time finding goggles that either don’t leak or don’t feel like daggers in my eye sockets after five minutes.
  5. Peeing while swimming: I felt gross just typing that, but when you’re swimming for four hours at a stretch, it kinda has to happen. Unfortunately, it takes some serious concentration, and I’ve never gotten the knack. (For the people that swim in my lane, don’t worry – I won’t work on that one while training in the pool).

I will leave you to ponder that last entry while I go ponder some weirdly viscous energy drink and try to get up the nerve to try it.

Not sure I can.

Not sure I can…

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4 Responses to Things I Need to Work on Before Swimming 10 Miles: Part 1 of 2

  1. Pingback: More Things I Need to Work on Before I Swim 10 Miles | Grappledunk's Slightly Soggy Blog

  2. IronMike says:

    I swam a 5k in Cyprus and saw some kids (19-ish) do an interesting variant of sighting, and I wonder if it’ll save the back? They would swim freestyle, then at some point leave their recovery arm forward until their stroking arm caught up, then they’d immediately turn those two forward arms into a breast stroke or two to sight, then immediately go back to free. They did it so fast I doubt they lost even a second of time. It was beautiful to see.

    As for peeing, the thing that worked for me, besides just drinking till my bladder burst, was to cross my ankles and kinda drag my legs. I don’t know why it worked, but it did.

    What 10-miler are you doing that you won’t have a kayaker?


  3. grappledunk says:

    Hi Mike! I’d love to see what that sighting technique looked like…I don’t suppose you caught a video? I try to lift my head as little as possible when sighting, but it still is a bit of a strain.
    I will have a kayaker for the 10 miler – it’s called To the Bridge and Back, organized by Peluso Open Water. From what I can tell, it looks to be very well organized, and they will provide kayakers for those that don’t have their own. But since I won’t know who it is or how experienced they are, I’ll probably still want to do my own sighting. At least it’s in a river, so the opportunities for going off course are somewhat less than in the ocean. 🙂


    • IronMike says:

      My second 10K was an 8-loop course (in National Harbor in Maryland) w/o escort, so lots of sighting, and I never finished (only managed 7 loops) because my lower back was in so much pain.

      I hope you’ll get a good, experienced kayaker. If you don’t have to sight, all the better. I did Swim the Suck in 2012 and my uncle kayaked for me. The only time I sighted was at the very end to make sure I didn’t miss the finish buoy!

      Good luck!


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