After pushing NCAA All-American Eric Nilsson with all he had, we asked the young 17-year-old about his experience at the 16.2 km Kingdom Swim:
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel before the 10-mile Kingdom Swim?
Feodor Orlov: Going into this swim, I felt a bit nervous since I have not done a 10 mile swim before, but I felt confident that I would get my goal time. My coach and I prepared for this swim by swimming an extra 6000 or so after morning practice on Tuesdays.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel in the first half of the race?
Feodor Orlov: I felt really strong in the first half of the race. I pushed out ahead in the beginning, and made sure to keep my stroke consistent. I knew that if I went out strong, I would be able to keep that pace for the rest of the race.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel in the second half of the race?
Feodor Orlov: My second half was definitely more challenging because that is where I began to feel my body hurting and the water was a bit choppy as well. I kept telling myself that this is the home stretch and that I just have to push through it. The water became unusually cold as well, but I tried to not pay attention to that.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you get over the fatigue during the race?
Feodor Orlov: I tried to stop thinking about the pain and just focus on getting to the next buoy. The fatigue was more noticeable as I was returning to the beach, but I also thought about the finish line and focused on that.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What did you eat or drink? How often?
Feodor Orlov: My coach and I tested different drink and food combinations and decided that Gatorade, Gu and water were the most efficient. My first half of the swim had two stops; one for water and one for Gatorade. Rob and I did tweak this during the race and only Gatorade was used for both stops. During the swim down from the islands, I used Gu and water twice. Once when I came around the islands, and the second time was at Indian Point. There was a quick break between these two points where I just needed some extra Gatorade.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Did you and your kayaker talk during the race?
Feodor Orlov: Rob and I talked during the breaks about where the other swimmers were and about how far away from Eric I was. We changed one of the re-fuel stops as well, and made a quick stop on the way down for some extra Gatorade. When we were about to start the swim down from the islands, he told me that I was well on track for my goal and that I could close the gap between Eric and me. He was a great guy to swim with, and I was really glad to have him accompany me.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What was your strategy?
Feodor Orlov: Going into this race, the only strategy made out was the feedings that I discussed with my coach. I did not really plan on how I was going to swim the race, but I knew that if I had fun during it, everything would be good.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel after the race?
Feodor Orlov: I felt really exhausted after the race, but I was really happy that I had finished really close to my goal time and that I had given it my all.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Was this race easier or harder than other open water races?
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What are your next open water swimming goals?
Feodor Orlov: I hope to qualify for the USA Swimming Nationals for either the 10K or the 5K for next year. I love to swim open water due to its many variables and due to the endurance that is needed for these types of swims. I am definitely going to keep doing open water swimming in the future.
Photos courtesy of Phil White.
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