Hey, short intro name is Doug I am a 22 y.o. male. Have been swimming in the pool at the YMCA over the winter, and enjoy increasing my distance as I go. At the moment on average for 2 days a week swim 4 to 5 miles total. I will be prospectively looking at by the end of the summer to swim maybe two 4-5 mile swims. Looking into going into the military, branch specifically is the USCG. Whether or not that works out will see. Feel confident it will. Though swimming will be a great way to work out and be important in the USCG. My goal with swimming is to do the Kingdom Swim in Vermont or the Burlington Swim in 2011. They are a 10 an 8 mile swim accordingly. Understanding would have to dip my toes in the water before reaching that point. Last year planned on running an Ultra Marathon. Ran a marathon to have a feel of what would be looking at in an Ultra Race. Race was great and great organizers. Just not being able to run right after me was a bother to me. Ignoring how I felt ran and injured myself. So long story short will have to accustom myself to open water swimming. I am planning over the summer to begin swimming in lakes and the oceans. There are a few open water swim races in the area. One I believe is a 1 mile swim and the other is a 3 mile swim. So I will definitely check them out. Will seek out advice and look over these forums on topics that will be a big help. Have two quick questions about open water swimming. One is do you eat when swimming over a certain mile, and do you just eat right in the water? Second question is say if a race is 5 miles do you train by swimming 6 miles? Or even 10 mile race do you swim an 11 mile race? Question is do you need to go over the distance your going to swim at, or a mile close to it? Appreciate the responses. Have a good one.