Yesterday saw my biggest work-out ever: 31 kms in the river Maas, with Marcel vdT accompanying me in a boat. 9.5 hours straight, no breaks, except very short ones every 20 minutes for feeds. The swim was even mentioned in the Brabants Dagblad's online version: click here.
Lots of good experience and useful lessons learned:
- in principle I can now handle appr.10-12 hours, and perhaps more, of swimming at a reasonable speed. After 9.5 hours I had reserves left, even though I was glad it was over.
- feeding rythm of once every 20 mins works for me. Mixing drinks with .5 part apple juice and .5 part water is easy on the stomach.
- alternating 2 Maxim carboloader feeds with one electrolyte feed (all feeds 250 mls) per hour (all at 1.5 times the recommended dosage), plus half a banana on the hour, works OK. I got hungry only after the 9-hour mark. Taking into account that I had not been properly carboloading the day before, I can probably overcome this. Not sure though how the Channel's lower water temperature will affect this?
- I took 5x400 mgs of Ibuprofen in the course of the swim. While it kept the tendon inflammations in my shoulders more or less under control, the swim was nevertheless quite painful. I may have to use paracetamol during the Swim as well for better pain relief.
- curious: the second quarter of the swim was the worst, whereas I got my second wind after 6 hours and managed to keep a very good pace in the 7th and 8th hours. Knowing that I was on the way back helped - it shows to what extent this is a mental game.
Marcel and I agreed that I don't need any more endurance work now, but rather some more speed work and enough rest to calm down the tendinitises in my shoulders, arms and left knee.
Many thanks by the way to Marcel, who endured a long, sweaty and -by the looks of it - rather boring day in the boat.
No training until Thursday now, apart from some very short and easy recuperation swims and hopefully some physiotherapy/massage on Wednesday. I have really physically exhausted myself, but morale has made a great leap forward!