Nutrition for Chesapeake Bay Swim

Hi all,

I am doing the Chesapeake Bay swim in a couple of weeks and wanted to see what nutrition options (if any) are available from support vessels. My plan is to simply stuff a few GU packets in my wetsuit sleeves for the swim (I am targeting a three hour finish time) so this should be sufficient to carry my through. Normally, for a two hour swim, I don't use anything and have been fine.

Do the support vessels carry any water on the kayaks or anything? I am guessing the answer is no and you are on your own but since I have never done the race, I thought I would ask.

What do the mid race pack people do for nutrition? Any thoughts or help would be appreciated!

TB

Comments

  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member

    In years past they have water and vanilla wafers on several support boats anchored at various points along the way, but they are very hard to get to unless you are swimming in the middle of the spans and not closer to the sides. I carried my own water the year I did it and it was so hot it wasn't even remotely enough.

  • FrancoFranco Charter Member

    The feed boats are usually in the middle at the two and three mile markers and I have never stopped at them because they can be inconvenient to get to. I think they may have some fruit as well as the stuff @rosemarymint mentioned. I usually carry a few GU with me but almost never stop to take them. The swim has a later start this year so I would suggest swimming later this coming Sunday and try what ever you want to do on the 10th so you can have a practice run. I am an early riser and generally eat very early. When the swim starts at 11 which I think is start time this year, I need to adjust my nutrition accordingly. In short though, If I hydrate well before the race and eat small amounts through the morning I don't have any need for food or water when crossing. I think I am what you would consider mid pack with times from just over two hours to just under three hours.

    And FWIW, If you really want to enjoy the swim and not sweat as much, leave the wetsuit at home. I would recommend a sleeveless if you do use a wetsuit. If you have done a three hour wetsuit swim with a full suit already I wouldn't worry as much. If not, you may find a full suit bothers your shoulders after an hour or two.

    Good luck!

    rosemaryminttbaldi
  • tbalditbaldi Member

    I am curious. How did you take your water with you?

    rosemarymint said: In years past they have water and vanilla wafers on several support boats anchored at various points along the way, but they are very hard to get to unless you are swimming in the middle of the spans and not closer to the sides. I carried my own water the year I did it and it was so hot it wasn't even remotely enough.

  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member

    @tbaldi Shoved a bottle down my suit. I like disposable water bottles with the old sport tops (not flip tops). Plastic is pretty thin so it squishes down and as you drink, keep the air out so you don't get some unexpected buoyancy.

    swimmer25k
  • suziedodssuziedods Member

    The BACK of my suit.. not the front. It ends up abrading various parts of my anatomy that don't need to be abraded or worse slipping out the side of my suit if I put that stuff in the front. Tuck it in your bum side and you're good to go.

    rosemarymint

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member

    I've only done the Bay Swim once back in 1995. I was lucky that my coach was out there in his kayak and was able to score a few feeds from him.

    Rosemarymint and Tbaldi have the right ideas. Getting to a feed boat can and will be a huge PITA. You'll need to concern yourself with a wicked cross current. The time you spend prairie dogging looking for a feed station may put you in a bad spot. I've stuffed a few gel packs in my suit with the tear-off portion sticking out if my suit on the hip. Don't let it float around in your Speedo, or you'll likely end up starting a "Worst Place You've Ever Gotten a Chafe" thread here the day after. There are small plastic flasks available that will give you a good gulp of liquid if needed. It may be harder to stow one of these on your person. I've also stashed gels and stuff I've found on the bottom in my cap, but they too can slide around.

    Have a bottle of your favorite sports drink at the beach start and hammer some before the gun goes off. You may be able to get away with not taking water. The water is chilly, so overheating shouldn't be an issue unless you're wearing a wetsuit.

    You didn't mention if you were going to wear a "W word" ("wetsuit" for uninitiated). Lots of purists here in the MSF, but wear one if you get cold easy or need some of the performance/buoyancy benefits they provide. There is no shame in wearing one if you need it, however, if you can make it without one I think you'll have a greater experience and satisfaction for your accomplishment.

    It's a fun race and you'll most certainly enjoy getting kicked in the face by several hundred of your best friends.

    Best of luck and let us know how you do.

    Chris

    Solodpm50
  • tbalditbaldi Member

    Does anyone ever use a swim buoy instead of a wetsuit? Or are people shamed for using them?

  • tbalditbaldi Member

    Thanks for all the tips! I hope the weather holds. Looks like thunderstorms on the forecast! I am flying in Saturday. Hope to be able to do the race!

  • FrancoFranco Charter Member

    I am not certain but I do not believe they allow swim buoys. I don’t recall seeing anyone use one in the past but I wasn’t looking for it either. There is a lot of support out there and I don’t know why you would need one.

    I can only remember thunder storms once in last ten years and most people were finished when they came. I do remember watching my brother finish and a bolt of lightening coming down right between the two bridges near the finish. Hopefully we won’t get any stoms.

    See you Sunday on the beach.

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