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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Kraving For Food In the Open Water

How did the Night Train Swimmers prepare for their SF to SB Relay, a 6-day swimming adventure along the California coast?

How does a group of swimmers handle their nutritional and sleeping needs while swimming in cold water for an hour every 6 hours for 6 days as they swim non-stop from San Francisco to Santa Barbara?

Day in and day out, morning and night, the Night Train Swimmers were a well-oiled machine.

They were so prepared and so ready that the weak link turned out to be mechanical part on their escort boat. It was not a shoulder that gave out. It was not a lower back that gave way. The group was immune to seasickness and it was the boat that required repairs.

Food (fuel), drink (hydration) and sleep were essential to their success. "The food was fantastic and right on the mark in terms of protein and carbohydrate mix," recalled Patti Bauernfeind. "The hot food was really helpful for getting our body temperatures back to normal especially during the night swims. All of us ate something hot while sitting in the "sauna" aka the boat bathroom with a powerful 'lil heater.

A couple of us used Gu or had some type of bar or had a few gulps of a protein drink during our [one-hour] night swims. For me, that added some calories and a chance to interact with someone both at 20 and 40 minutes during the hour swims. I found that with the sleep deprivation, I was more aware of the water temperature so it was a huge psychological boost to take something in on the feeding interval that I use for solo swims."

One of the keys to a smooth-running machine was how all the pieces (people) fit in terms of personality and the ability to deal with stress and sleep deprivation. Everyone had their role and responsibilities. Both before and during the 6-day swim.

Patrick Horn and swimmer Phil Cutti served as the team chefs. "Our plan was based on getting each swimmer and crew member calorically-dense individual hot meals that they could heat up in the microwave or boiling water. we wanted good food, not manufactured freeze-dried crap. Patrick and I took over our kitchen for a week. Each meal was cooked, packaged or vacuum-sealed and frozen. The first couple of day's meals were not frozen.

Each swimmer and crew member had 3 square meals a day. Lunch and dinner were labeled with day, meal and swimmer/crew name. In the morning, Patrick would take out the day's meals and put them in a 5-gallon bucket on the back deck to thaw out throughout the day. It was a simple system once all the work was done.

We planned for 7+ days with a total of 153 individual meals. Breakfast was not individually packed and consisted of hard-boiled eggs, sausage and bacon. We would do breakfast differently by adding oatmeal or something similar to the options. Plus, each swimmer brought plenty of snacks: Krave, chips, trail mix, food bars, etc. We had a good amount of food
."

Horn knew that proper food and hydration were critical. "We believed that eating real, hot food was going to be really important to the swimmers both physically and mentally. We wanted to make sure that each meal was 500-700 calories and had plenty of good fat. We also looked at low glycemic loading foods so that after a meal the swimmers were not spiking and crashing.

All meals included at least one animal protein with fat and green vegetables. An example is chicken, sweet potatoes and broccoli. We also had chicken and beef stews. This was supplemented with swimmers own snakes and Krave jerky (also a low GI loading food). As Phil explaine, all the food was cooked before hand, separated into individual portions, vacuum sealed, labeled and frozen. Each swimmer would heat there food in the pouch in the microwave, eat and then throw away the pouch eliminating mess."

Captain Vito Bialla had his favorite food on board. "We consumed KRAVE jerky daily. It is a fabulous product. Patti lives on it and it is one of the fastest growing companies in the consumer world."

In addition to the fuel and hydration, the teamwork and camaraderie that developed and was maintained onboard were surely key ingredients of not only the Night Train Swimmers' success, but also a common element of major marathon swimming expeditions. From the Windermere 12-way Warriors to the Lake Taupo 3-way Relay, and from Penny Palfrey to Martin Strel's multi-national crews who assist ultra-marathon swimmers from the Cayman Islands to the Amazon.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE

The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.

The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.

The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.

Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.

The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."

Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."

The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme

Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]

Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland

Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance

Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony

Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute

The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:

* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year

For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:

* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac



An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

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