Pilot Questions


  1. What will you be using?
    I'll be packing the following, although I might not always drink everything, depending on how I'm feeling during the swim.
    Pre - 2 tall water bottles of Accelerade
    During the swim (all 500ml bottles)
    .75 Accelerade
    1.5 Accelerade
    2 Spiz
    2.5 Water, Accelerade, GU
    3 Spiz, 2 Advil
    3.5 Water, Accelerade, GU
    4 Spiz
    4.5 Water, Accelerade, GU
    5 Spiz, 2 Advil
    5.5 Water, Accelerade, GU
    6 Spiz
    6.5 Water, Accelerade, GU
    7 Spiz, 2 Advil
    7.5 Water, Accelerade, GU
    8 Spiz
    8.5 Water, Accelerade, GU
    9 Spiz, 2 Advil
    9.5 Water, Accelerade, GU
    10 Spiz
    10.5 Water, Accelerade, GU
    11 Spiz, 2 Advil
    11.5 Water, Accelerade, GU
    12 Spiz
    12.5 Water, Accelerade, GU
    13 Spiz, 2 Advil
    13.5 Water, Accelerade, GU
    14 Spiz
    14.5 Water, Accelerade, GU
    15 Spiz, 2 Advil
    15.5 Water, Accelerade, GU
    16 Spiz
    After - 1 tall water bottle of Endurox
  2. Have you used it before?
    Yes, multiple times.
  3. Did you/do you feel great, so-so or not so great about what you used/are using?
    I wouldn't say that an all liquid diet makes me feel the same as a steak dinner, but all things considered, I feel pretty good.
  4. What temperature do you want your solutions to be?
    I've been taking them at room temperature. I did take warm drinks during one swim, and it probably wasn't the best thing, but I think that was because it was too warm. I'm not opposed to having a warm drink during the channel swim, assuming I'm cold, and it's at the right temp.
  5. What type of bottle will we be using?
    I've been using the plastic bottles that the water comes in from the supermarket - screw cap, etc. I would consider using a water bottle, as it might make things faster (wouldn't need to unscrew cap), and you could throw it to me. If we stick with the plastic bottles from the supermarket, I'd prefer to take the cap off. That way, I won't spill any drink when I take Advil, which will be duct-taped to the plastic bottle.
  6. Will I throw it in front of you with a string?
    We'll probably need to talk about this - it sort of depends on whether or not we're using the plastic bottles from the supermarket, or your standard water bottle.
  7. Do you want to premix solutions or do you want me to mix on the boat?
    I've been mixing this ahead of time.
  8. How often will you feed?
    See feeding schedule above.
  9. How many ounces will you take at each feeding?
    I'll typically drink about 500ml per feeding. For the water/Accelerade stops, I'll mix and match what I feel like - I won't drink 500ml water and 500ml Accelerade.
  10. Will you vary feeding solutions during to your swim?
    I always mix the same strength, but will vary the feeding solution by changing how much water and Accelerade I have. That way, I can change the strength based on how I'm feeling during the swim, not how I think I might feel before the swim.
  11. Do you want to take more carbohydrates at certain points?
    See above - I'll mix and match my feeding concentrations.
  12. Do you like to consume any solids during your swim?
    No - all liquids. I have a hard time eating solid food during the swim.
  13. I am assuming that high potassium and high sodium are important to you - is this correct?
    Yes, but not really sure where this question is going.
  14. Do you want to be notified when you are X minutes from a feeding?
    Please let me know 5 minutes before the feed - I try to pick up the pace for the 5 minutes before a feed. This might not always happen, as I try to conserve my energy, or if I'm trying to prevent something from cramping up.

Stroke Count

  1. How often do you want to know your stroke count?
    I'd like to get my stroke count every time I feed. If it's really off, then it would be good to notify me right away.
  2. What is your typical stroke count?
    My typical stroke rate is normally around 60-64. If it drops down to 57 or lower, or up to 66 or higher, let me know.
  3. Do you expect your stroke count to vary?
    It usually doesn't vary by too much.
  4. How often would you like to have your stroke count measured?
    I know you'll be really busy, so you don't need to get this every time. It would be great if you just took my count maybe 10 minutes after a feed, and then again before you tell me '5 more minutes to the next feed'. My stroke count during the 5 minute pick up will (hopefully) be a litter higher than normal.

Pain Relief

  1. Do you have experience with using pain relief? If so, what does it tell you?
    I've been using Advil Liquid gel caps, per my feed schedule above. One Advil doesn't do much for me, but two make a big difference. I'll plan to take two, but will pack three, just in case things get difficult.
  2. Do you want to use some kind of pain relief during this swim?
    Yes - see my feeding schedule.
  3. If so, how often do you want to use it?
    See my feeding schedule.
  4. If you were to use pain relief, in what form would the pain medication be delivered to you? Phil Scarborough used Advil every 3.5 hours because he found that to be right for him.
    See my feeding schedule.
  5. Where are your pain points? Shoulders? Neck?
    "...And the swim only hurt once - from the beginning to the end." - Doc Counsilman
    So where does it hurt? Pretty much everywhere. I sometimes get pains in my left elbow, both shoulders, knees, and ankles. If my stroke is good, things feel pretty good, but if my stroke deteriorates, things can get pretty ugly.
  6. How can I assess how you are feeling?
    I think my stroke will show a lot - basically what's tired and what's hurting. I'll also tell you about it during a feed.
  7. What do you look like when you are struggling?
    If I'm struggling, but have a good attitude, then you probably won't notice a difference - there's a certain amount of pain/difficulty that I think is a good think.
    If I'm in a bad place mentally and really frustrated, you might see my stroke rate pick up, or a lot of jerky movements. I just get frustrated, and try to take it out on the water, which, as I'm sure you'll agree, is completely useless.


  1. Bag Balm - Walgreens in a green square can - have you tried this or do you like something else?
    I've been using Aquaphor.
  2. Goggles - What is the plan? How many changes? When?
    I haven't had problems with goggles in the past - I usually wear them fairly loose. I will have a few extra pairs, in case I do need to change goggles.
  3. Suit changes?
    None planned. If I start to chafe, honestly, I'll probably just ditch the suit altogether.


  1. What is your goal in this swim?
    My goal is to get across, and not do any permanent damage while trying.
  2. Do you want to finish, or would you feel satisfied if you completed X hours or X percentage of the swim?
    I want to finish, but it really depends on the day. Would I feel satisfied if I finished on an easy day? The answer is yes. Would I feel satisfied if things got really ugly, but I stuck it out for a few hours and pushed beyond what I thought was possible? Yes. Would I feel satisfied if things got really ugly, and then I got out after 10 minutes, with energy to spare? No.
  3. At what point(s) do you typically feel discouraged or like stopping, and how do you most effectively handle these kinds of feelings?
    I haven't run into this before, honestly, because I've never done a swim this long. In other parts of life, the best way for me to handle these types of situations is to just press on.
  4. What kind of communication do you like?
    No need to over communicate, but it's good to give me a general idea how things are going, but keep it positive. If my stroke looks horrible, don't tell me it looks like crap - just tell me what I need to change. I'd rather not know if the weather is going to improve or get worse, unless I ask for it.
  5. How hard do you want to be pushed?
    I'm okay with being pushed fairly hard. That being said, I'm not going for a world record (obviously) or anything like that - my goal is to make it across. If I need to swim faster to make it across, do whatever you have to do to get me moving. Same goes for if swimming faster now will save me a few hours later in the swim.
  6. What would be the most effective way for me to encourage you?
    Something like - 'pick up the pace for the next 30 min to save 2 hours at the end' is pretty persuasive in my book. I'm going to trust that if you're telling me to pick up the pace, there's a good reason for it.
  7. Do you like to use a white board as a messaging tool?
    I'm going to try to pick one up in England (but not a permanent marker).
  8. Do you want to be entertained or distracted in any way?
    I'm fine with being entertained or distracted, but I'm pretty happy just keeping my mind in the swim. A joke or two would never hurt though.
  9. Are you OK with the idea of using laminated 8.5 by 11 sheets of paper with big numbers on them to communicate stroke count and minutes until feeding?
    That's fine, but I think the dry erase board will do the same thing. Let me know if I should get some laminated sheets as well.
  10. Do you want to be told when you are within X distance of certain landmarks or the finish?
    That's a tough one. I probably don't want to know until I'm maybe 2 hours from the finish. After that point, you can tell me whatever you want.
  11. Do you want to know elapsed time or distance during the swim?
    I'll know the time from numbers on the plastic bottles, so there's no problem in repeating this. In terms of distance, I'd like to know when I hit the middle of the channel, and then maybe again when I'm two hours from the finish.