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The Marathon Swimmers Forum
Updated: 26 min 14 sec ago

"Where the Crazy People Swim" - new book about marathon swimming

Mon, 22/01/2018 - 22:35

I got the book for Christmas, just finished it. I liked it very much: the candid approach; the mix between swimming goals and life goals, which seem to flow together along the story; the first hand thoughts while swimming...

I've been shocked by the matter-of-factly way to tell (and to approach, or so it seems) swims like Catalina and Juan de Fuca, and other 5 and 8 hours swims in SF, just as training for more ambitious goals. For us mere mortals, a 5 hours swim is a long-run 1-year-at-least-preparation goal. In other threads I've read things like "you should swim Catalina as a training to EC", but I don't think I would be able to put such ambitious swims sort of diminished inside a bigger plan, just as part of the training.

Categories: open water

Joys of Lap Swimming

Sat, 20/01/2018 - 17:42

Hey, I thought it would be a good time for more joys of lap swimming. This week I've been kind of taking it a bit easy because I tweaked a tendon. (Because I'm an idiot if you must know) So I've been doing more pulls and less swim sets. But it does give me time to chat with a few people at the end of the lane.

A woman I haven't seen for a while has returned from shoulder surgery and is starting back into swimming after two months out of the pool. She was so happy and didn't care that she was just drifting down the slow lane. She runs and bikes and keeps pretty active, so I'm guessing she will be back in full swing by summer.

There's this guy that swims lifesaving freestyle. He never puts his head in the water. I've asked him about it and he says he just likes to swim that way. I watched him swimming a couple lengths and it's amazing. He has a really powerful stroke and kick. He just goes and goes forever. I don't know how he does it. He swims in the lake in the summer. I can't imagine how fast he would be if he did normal freestyle.

And maybe this one should go in the "perils" thread. So we have a lot of people from different countries that now live in our town. Very international to say the least. They bring a lot of their traditions with them. When I was in the locker room, there was this elderly Chinese gentleman who was stripping down and getting ready to go to the pool. Well he stripped down to his underwear and walked right out to the pool. They weren't tighty whiteys, they were mid-thigh-tightys. My guess is see-through when wet... I did not stick around to find out.

Categories: open water

Weight training

Fri, 19/01/2018 - 17:51

Just started Les Mills Body Pump. Remind me again how good it is for my abs. They were whining in the last class! ;)

Categories: open water

Medial Epicondylitis (elbow pain)

Fri, 19/01/2018 - 13:23


Stopped with Butterfly, Backstroke and Breaststroke (wasn't doing much anyway)

Been using a tense machine over the area

Started in the Gym doing weights

And the pain has almost gone away completely - significant difference.

Categories: open water

Guide to Swimming the Gibraltar Straits (revised)

Thu, 18/01/2018 - 22:34

Today I saw this notice in the ACNEG website, which may be of interest to anyone who has lately contacted them (or want to do it) - I think it's been there since last September:

Categories: open water

Low Carb/Keto adapted swimming

Thu, 18/01/2018 - 18:48

Much to the delight of my many food allergic, perpetually-dieting and/or overall picky-eating friends (victims), most of whom I've relentlessly derided and mocked for decades (in the best-natured way, of course), I am on a diet [gasp]. I am getting my comeuppance to say the least.

I've consumed less than 50 grams of carbs per day for the past 6 days. It has been one hell of an adjustment (I ordinarily eat a ton of carbs--I never tracked it, but I don't think it would be an exaggeration to suggest I might otherwise average at least 500g/day). For the first several days, I was lethargic, cranky and distracted. I slept well, but woke with a splitting headache. I can barely finish my swim practices (masters' coach says my stroke looks "unhappy") and was so light headed in the locker room one day that I considered (and probably should have) alerting one of my compatriots that I was in distress. In hindsight, I probably should have decreased by carb intake more gradually and/or reduced my exercise volume during transition. My ketones were zero on day one, but have been between 1 and 3 mmol/L for the last two days.

I have a few questions:

(1) How long should I expect it to take from achieving optimal ketone levels to being fully keto-adapted (if I'm saying that right)? In other words, when will I start reaping the full benefit?

(2) Is there a way to "know" I'm there? I do feel MUCH better today. I'm alert, focused and have a far more pleasant disposition. I haven't worked out yet, but I suspect I will feel better than I have been.

(3) Last night, when I stared down the ever-present, family-size Oreo box in the pantry, I actually felt a weird aversion (nausea?) rather than temptation (it has been my regular practice to consume 5 Oreos and a tall glass of milk every night for decades) Is normal to develop negative feelings about junk sugars like this?

I don't presently plan on adopting this as a lifestyle choice. Rather, it is intended a swim tactic to avoid the nausea/vomiting and blood sugar roller coaster that has been such an inhibitor for years. So, for now, I'm just putting my toe in the water to see how far in advance of my swims I need to start the adaptation process and to experiment with some long swims and new feed strategies. I might stay on the train a bit longer if I also experience the weight loss others report (so far, it seems I am losing weight, but it's still early).

Categories: open water

Open Water Swim Calendars

Thu, 18/01/2018 - 17:06

Mid-Atlantic Calendar has been updated for 2018. http://marathonswimmers.org/swim-calendars/mid-atlantic/

Potomac Swim for the Environment returns this year after a year off. The Nanticoke River Swim is not happening. They are going with Triathlon only events this year. The Escape to Lewes Swim in the fall has been moved to Cape May in June and will be called Escape the Cape.

Some swims had not been updated yet but are annual swims typically falling on same weekend. They are noted as tentative date. If you see anything I am missing please PM me and I will get it added.

Categories: open water

Upcoming Philly area swims

Wed, 17/01/2018 - 02:28

Hello all,

These are great events for reasonable prices (so you can spend the $ you save on a nice hotel!). :)

Here's a link to a list of this year's events:


A couple of particular interest to the marathon swimming community:

The Charles Bender Memorial Marathon Swim and Relay: 8 mile river swim with relay options. Low key, well-organized swim, friendly atmosphere--nice spread of food and beer afterward.

2018 French Creek Racing River Day SwimFest: this consists of three races: a 5k, a mile, and an 800. You can do one, two, or all three. Also a river swim, this starts at a different point than the Bender swim does, but also includes the free food/beer.

For those who like to mix swimming and running: 2018 French Creek Racing SwimRun Challenge: the course consists of a 1k swim/5k run, which you can complete once or twice. Or do the run or swim as stand-alone events. Or draft a friend and do it as a relay.

If you're in town during the week for business or pleasure, you might want to look into the Open Water Swim series. The swims are just a half mile, but if you're in a time crunch and want a quick workout, something to consider:

Finally, for the triathletes, the 2018 French Creek Triathlon offers several choices as well, including sprint and Olympic distances, as well as a relay (Olympic only), and aqua-bike. The swim course is flat--the bike and run courses... well, you all like challenges! :)

Categories: open water

San Francisco 24 Hour Relay - February 2018

Tue, 16/01/2018 - 17:34

Tasks for Friday- no, there's no google spread sheet. Show up and find a job or start chatting. From 2-4 ish.. I'll need help with the ever eclectic "goody bags". From 4-6 ish - sign in -waivers , name tags , emergency cards etc 4-6- make a salad- reheat lasagna and make gluten free spaghetti- set tables after dinner- CLEAN UP- stash stuff and clean up. There will also be a tour of the clubs for those who haven't been there. We should be done by 8-8.30PM. Thanks! More to come

Categories: open water