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Monday, July 8, 2013

Feodor Orlov On Tackling The Kingdom Swim

Feodor Orlov traveled from his home in Dublin, Ohio to the Northeast Kingdom in Vermont to participate in the inaugural World 10 Mile Swimming Championship.

After pushing NCAA All-American Eric Nilsson with all he had, we asked the young 17-year-old about his experience at the 16.2 km Kingdom Swim:

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel before the 10-mile Kingdom Swim?
Feodor Orlov: Going into this swim, I felt a bit nervous since I have not done a 10 mile swim before, but I felt confident that I would get my goal time. My coach and I prepared for this swim by swimming an extra 6000 or so after morning practice on Tuesdays.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel in the first half of the race?
Feodor Orlov: I felt really strong in the first half of the race. I pushed out ahead in the beginning, and made sure to keep my stroke consistent. I knew that if I went out strong, I would be able to keep that pace for the rest of the race.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel in the second half of the race?
Feodor Orlov: My second half was definitely more challenging because that is where I began to feel my body hurting and the water was a bit choppy as well. I kept telling myself that this is the home stretch and that I just have to push through it. The water became unusually cold as well, but I tried to not pay attention to that.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you get over the fatigue during the race?
Feodor Orlov: I tried to stop thinking about the pain and just focus on getting to the next buoy. The fatigue was more noticeable as I was returning to the beach, but I also thought about the finish line and focused on that.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What did you eat or drink? How often?
Feodor Orlov: My coach and I tested different drink and food combinations and decided that Gatorade, Gu and water were the most efficient. My first half of the swim had two stops; one for water and one for Gatorade. Rob and I did tweak this during the race and only Gatorade was used for both stops. During the swim down from the islands, I used Gu and water twice. Once when I came around the islands, and the second time was at Indian Point. There was a quick break between these two points where I just needed some extra Gatorade.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Did you and your kayaker talk during the race?
Feodor Orlov: Rob and I talked during the breaks about where the other swimmers were and about how far away from Eric I was. We changed one of the re-fuel stops as well, and made a quick stop on the way down for some extra Gatorade. When we were about to start the swim down from the islands, he told me that I was well on track for my goal and that I could close the gap between Eric and me. He was a great guy to swim with, and I was really glad to have him accompany me.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What was your strategy?
Feodor Orlov: Going into this race, the only strategy made out was the feedings that I discussed with my coach. I did not really plan on how I was going to swim the race, but I knew that if I had fun during it, everything would be good.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel after the race?
Feodor Orlov: I felt really exhausted after the race, but I was really happy that I had finished really close to my goal time and that I had given it my all.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Was this race easier or harder than other open water races?
Feodor Orlov: I swam a 10K Swim To The Moon last year. I would say that both were challenging in their own ways and I could not pick which one was harder.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What are your next open water swimming goals?
Feodor Orlov: I hope to qualify for the USA Swimming Nationals for either the 10K or the 5K for next year. I love to swim open water due to its many variables and due to the endurance that is needed for these types of swims. I am definitely going to keep doing open water swimming in the future.

Photos courtesy of Phil White.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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