My life is simple: swim, work, gym, eat, sleep. The Creature from the Black Lagoon has a lot more excitement. I don't have time to chase fair maidens doing backstroke or go after mad scientists. You need to pick your priorities.
I've been researching nutrition the past week or so. There is a plethora of pet theories on the best way to keep chuggin' through ultra endurance events. Super starch, brand name UCAN, is a current super star of endurance nutrition. Some people swear by it and others think it's just way overpriced cornstarch.
I've used Perpetuem in my long swim events, but became horribly nauseated after the Pensacola 25K and especially after the Red River Swim. The body can only process about 200-300 calories per hour during exercise and I was consuming about 350 per hour in carb drinks and gu gels. I'm a medium to slower speed swimmer, so I don't think I'm processing as many calories as faster or bigger swimmers. All that sweet gunk builds up in my gut, making me want to puke. And what's worse is I'm not an easy puker. I feel absolutely awful, but can't toss the cookies. So to speak.
I was excited to learn about another carb drink called Genr8, which has low osmolality, meaning it's supposed to pass through the stomach faster than traditional carb drinks like Perpetuem and CarboPro. Sounds like my kind of product. I used it on my 8-hour pool swim a few weeks ago and didn't have any stomach upset, bloating or that other "bubbly" side effect of Perpetuem and CarboPro. But, a pool swim is entirely different from an ocean swim, which involves a lot more effort. I'm taking it with me to Florida for training and hope it will prove to be an effective source of calories without GI distress.
I've also quit drinking alcohol. Sure a beer here or there probably wouldn't hurt, but 1. why would anyone want "a" beer and 2. it helps me feel like I'm in training-mode to stick with ginger beer. When I step into the water to swim to France, I want to know I've done everything I could to be well prepared. The folks at Hammer nutrition have a good article about the effects of drinking on athletic performance and recovery: How alcohol diminishes performance gains from training.
I've also been thinking, stewing and ruminating about cold water acclimation. I've done a few cold baths, I've walked around in short sleeves, but I know I need to do more. Less talking. More doing.