What should I bring on the swim?
All of your gear for the swim - swimsuit, goggles (clear and tinted), earplugs, cap, sunscreen, feed bottles, feed(s).
We do have extra goggles, caps, feed items and bottles on the boat and we provide the lights for your cap and back of the swimsuit. We also have over-the-counter medications (Advil, Tylenol, Gas-X, Pepto, etc.) in case you request them.
For your feeds, we recommend having the first few feeds mixed and ready to go in your feed bottles. For the remaining feeds, bring a 1-gallon jug of water and instructions on what you want mixed or have your feeds mixed in 1-gallon jugs and ready to pour into your feed bottles.
We do have a microwave on the boat to prepare warm feeds.
Do bring a towel and clothes to change into after your swim.
What should I feed on?
Everyone is different! What works for others may not work for you.
It is important to train using feeds that you plan on using the day of your swim. Also, what works in hours 1-5 may not agree with you hours 6+. Use your training time to train your stomach too!
Electrolytes are important in Lake Tahoe due to the altitude and fresh water. We've found Drip Drop to be a favorite and helpful to swimmers in staving off leg cramps. We recommend loading up on electrolytes days in advance of your swim.
Powder feeds such as CarboPro and UCan are popular with marathon swimmers as are gels such as Gu. Some swimmers like to add in more "real" foods - such as applesauce pouches, soup broths, soft cookies, or our favorite - Ho Hos! Ginger Ale and Coke are handy to help with an upset stomach.
We recommend having the first few feeds mixed and in their bottles and ready. For the remaining feeds, bring a 1-gallon jug of water and instructions on what you want mixed or have your feeds mixed in 1-gallon jugs and ready to pour into feed bottles.
We do have a microwave on each boat to prepare warm feeds.
Remember, on a marathon swim you want your feeds to be quick (under 30 seconds) and it's fine to pass on a feed if your stomach is bothering you or you just aren't hungry.
How do I feed during the swim?
Feeds can be done from a pole with a net or from a line. We have both on our boats to use. We find the pole works best but ultimately the choice is up to the swimmer.
Can you get seasick while swimming in a lake?
Yes, yes, YES.
Altitude, rough water, swimming at night, dehydration, and feeds can all play a factor in a swimmer vomiting.
We do carry over-the-counter medications for stomach ailments, GI distress, gas, and other ailments on the boat if requested by the swimmer.
Do I need to grease?
Some people like 'grease' - vaseline or Aquafor - to prevent chafing on long swims.
In Lake Tahoe, protection from the sun is extremely important and many swimmers use zinc cream or equivalents such as Desitin all over and vaseline in the areas that chafe (armpits, groin area, straps, neck).
Please note, we do not allow lanolin on our boats! It is extremely messy, sticky, and difficult to remove from the surfaces of the boat.
Will I have to swim in the dark?
Yes, all three courses have some element of swimming in the dark. We do provide the lights for your cap and tail in addition to lighting for our escort vessels and any other support vessels.
The Length has swimmers swimming through the night. The lake is very wide and the swimmer doesn't always have a stable horizon line to sight on. This can be problematic for some, causing severe vertigo and vomiting.
True Width and Vikingsholm swims have at least an hour of darkness at the onset of the swim.
What about altitude?
Lake Tahoe is 6,225 feet above sea level. The altitude can wreak havoc with some swimmers!
Complaints range from headaches, nausea, lack of appetite, gas, leg or muscle cramps while swimming. Swimmers have also experienced vomiting, disorientation (especially during night swimming) and shortness of breath.
To mitigate the impact of altitude, many swimmers choose to arrive four days early to allow their body to acclimate. Others arrive the night before and swim the next day, hoping to get the swim done before the impact of altitude really hits them.