Sarah Thomas demonstrates “quick feed” technique

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Sometimes marathon swimmers treat their feed stops as a chance for a rest and a chat. Keep in mind this extra stoppage time builds up over the duration of a long swim! On certain types of marathon swims (cold, strong currents, speed record attempts), quick feeds are essential.

Here’s a great demonstration of “quick feed” technique by Sarah Thomas and kayaker Neil van der Byl on a recent Anacapa Channel swim. SBCSA observer Dave Van Mouwerik notes this was actually one of her *slower* feeds (12 seconds) – most were between 7 and 10 seconds. Thanks to Dave and the SBCSA for providing this footage.

Neil van der Byl adds:

Thanks for posting & tks Dave for capturing this moment in time. This was not our best feed, but the current turned against her right after this for a couple hours, so we dropped feeds to around 7/8 seconds or so while she was fighting it. During later feeds we were also able to relay speed, currents, and mileage remaining so she could calculate progress while swimming and determine best gears to stay on track. After that, you can check feeds for how much was consumed, void status, and relay back to boat what’s needed (e.g. meds) for the next feed so prep can begin and it can be logged accordingly – no meds were needed on this one since it was short by her standards, but we had to restock the kayak once. Sometimes you feel like an auctioneer trying to get it all in a few seconds, but it’s invaluable for the swimmer. Soon after, Sarah was actually kicking out there to break through the current. Whatever it takes, right;-)? Always in awe what the body and mind is capable of doing when observing the elites do their thing. #Oneforthebooks