training & coaching

Open Water Swimming: Measuring Marathon Runs and Marathon Swims

The original article by Steven Munatones (with pictures) is on 10k swimmer website since 2009-01-19.

We were discussing differences between the worlds of marathon swimming and marathon running with double Olympic medalist Bob Seagren who runs numerous large marathon runs and open water swims.

Measuring a marathon running course is done by counter hooked to a bicycle . The precise calculation of the 42.195K or 26 miles 385 yards and is a time-consuming process.

 Notwithstanding the popular GPS (global positioning systems) used by travelers worldwide, GPS is not used in the marathon running world. Details of the process used are found here. In the U.S., courses are certified by USA Track & Field authorized measurers.

Nutrition Leading up to a 24-hour Marathon Swim

original article at

Nutrition Leading up to a 24-hour Marathon Swim

Cold water preparation: nature or nurture?

t’s cold outside. The water is also cold – freezing cold in many locations. Throughout the winter months, there are a large and growing number of Polar Bear Swims around the world. The swims range from Hawaii (Maui Polar Bear Fin Swim) to Finland (Finnish Winter Swimming Championships).

What is the best way to prepare for these cold-water swims? It reminds us of the nature vs. nurture debate. Modifying this classic debate for our sport, is an open water swimmer’s innate qualities (e.g., body fat percentage, natural ability to withstand cold water, mental toughness, ability to push oneself) more important than the swimmer’s personal experiences (e.g., amount of training and acclimatization to cold water) when determining one’s ability to swim well in cold water?

Open Water Swimming - For Beginners

I learned to swim in a lake where my family lived, in northern Wisconsin. My siblings and I trained summer workouts in open water since the nearest pool was a thirty minute drive and our back yard was more convenient. Due to this immersion, it did not seem strange when I competed in my first open water race in Seal Beach, California, in my late twenties. Open water swimming has been a never ending adventure. Some of my favorite memories are from swims; leaving from Catalina Island for the California mainland at 1 am on a windless moonlight night, watching the phosphorescence glow as my arm pulled through the water and fish darted below; swimming in tandem with my husband, Dave, silhouetted against the beautiful blue Caribbean water off the coast of St. Lucia. Other memories include the sense of fear before beginning a 42 kilometer race in Newport Vermont, which heads north up Lake Memphremagog towards Canada and a 'foggy' memory (due to mild hypothermia) of finishing in Calais, France after crossing the English Channel.

Music by the pool invalidates Beijing Olympic swimming Gold medals by Michael Phelps

For full article, photos, references and data tables please visit

Alexei R Koudinov

Did you notice that some swimmers wear earphones and are listening music just before their every Olympic start, at Beijing's Summer Olympiad Water Cube pool deck, be it finals or semifinals? I first noticed that before Michael Phelps first gold swim on August 10: he removed earphones 2 minutes before the start, and he was the only swimmer who worn earphones at the pool deck. During other finals several other swimmers worn headphones. Intriguing scientific evidence testifies: Listening to music improves blood oxygen capacity and is a performance enhancement.

Good Turns vs. Flip Turns

source: 10k swimmer
original: 10k swimmer
by: Steven Munatones
date: Thursday, June 26, 2008

Around the pool deck, it is rumored that open water swimmers have bad turns. While that may be true, turns are defined differently by open water swimming community.

Great pool swimmers know how to quickly get in and out of the walls. World-class swimmers gain momentum as they streamline off the wall with maximum velocity. The incredible power of Michael Phelps and the beautiful grace of Natalie Coughlin off the walls are truly something to watch.

Do open water swimmers really have bad turns? Pool turns, maybe. What is considred a good open water turn? How are these turns executed?

There are 5 major distinctions.

Swimming In Open Water Safety Tips


Whether you are training for a triathlon or you are just wanting to stay in shape, swimming in open water breaks the monotony of the mind-numbing lengths of a swimming pool. Open water swimming is great fun, but don't ignore your safety. Here are a few tips for swimming safely in open water.

No Harm, No Foul - Reffing Open Water Swimming

Sunday, January 20, 2008
No Harm, No Foul - Reffing Open Water Swimming

Shark Attack Victim Died Among Friends

source: NBC11
original: NBC11
by: Mike Celizic
date: 6:53 am PDT April 28, 2008

The great sadness that the children of Dave Martin feel at the death of their father during a shark attack while swimming is tempered by the knowledge that he died among friends in a place that he loved.

"Every one of us is going to face our mortality one day," Jeff Martin told TODAY's Meredith Vieira on Monday, three days after his father was fatally bitten during a training swim with eight fellow members of the Triathlon Club of San Diego. "The fact he died doing what he loved to do in a place he loved surrounded by friends - if you could choose the way you're going to go, those things would be high on your list."