training & coaching

Why do healthy swimmers die?

Source: University of Portsmouth Posted by Press Office on February 6, 2013 in general news, Research news, Staff

Deaths of seemingly healthy athletes during competitive open water swimming could be explained by research.

Scientists at the University of Portsmouth are looking into why more athletes die during the swim compared to the cycling or running sections of a triathlon. They also want to know why these swimmers die during the competition itself but not during training.

Of the 38 athlete deaths in American triathlons between 2003 and 2011, 30 occurred during the swim. None of those who died had any pre-existing health problems.

Swimming: The Best Form of Recovery After Workouts

Swimming: The Best Form of Recovery After Workouts by Lily McCann

How to Avoid Swimmer’s Shoulder

How to Avoid Swimmer’s Shoulder by Lily McCann

The term ‘Swimmer’s shoulder’ strikes fear into the heart of any dedicated open water swimmer. To suffer from it will inevitably mean a lengthy period of recovery during which swimming has to be avoided and the muscles rested. Over a third of top level swimmers suffer from it.

It is an overuse injury caused by repeated trauma as opposed to a single incident, so it often tends to get ignored until the pain is unbearable. The good news is that there are exercises that can be done to minimise the risk of suffering from swimmer’s shoulder.

HOWTO: Annual advice for a Christmas or New Year’s swim in cold water for the irregular open water swimmer

With Christmas coming, many people who would never consider getting in cold water will be thinking of a Christmas or New Year's Day dip.

The experienced cold water swimmers will not need any of this information. And those of you in the Southern Hemisphere are doubtless annoyed because it's mid-summer for you. And there's the South Africans though, for whom the water can still be cold down there even in mid-Summer.

* Cold is a skill, not a talent so it can be learned. But if your first cold swim is Christmas Day, you won’t do learn it on that one day. So instead plan and know what to expect.


* If it’s an irregular visit, your most important pre-swim action to make sure you know where to exit the water safely. Do not rely on the wisdom of crowds. Many of the people near you will know nothing and some will be acting macho.

Driven - The Marathon Swimming Documentary

posted 28 November on driven the movie

Hello everyone,

Tonight a quick status update:
Thanks to a stream of donations we’ve raised another $775 in the last two days! We have reached our final countdown, however, on this crowdsource fundraiser, and we now have less than 10 days to reach our goal. This is where the ‘crowdsourcing’ part really comes in and where we really need to ask everyone who has contributed so far to help take us an extra mile by sharing this with your friends.


Marathon swimmers often wonder how our sport can reach a wider audience - how our friends can better understand what it is that we do. Marathon swimmers often despair about how to do this without selling out to the wetsuit companies or engaging in circus-like P.R. tactics. In other words - how to promote our sport with integrity.

This film is one answer.

Will you help?

Swimming across a current

from the H2Open Magazine newsletter No 28:

This time we look at swimming across a current. It's worth thinking about this as it can make a huge difference to your time if you get things wrong.

One of our National Series races this summer was held in the sea at Bournemouth. The course was a rectangle, firstly heading directly out to sea, then turning right for a long stretch parallel to the shore, turning right again for a short stretch back towards the coast and then a final long stretch again parallel to the beach. As well as a good deal of chop and swell that day swimmers also had to deal with a strong current moving from right to left along the coast. This caused many participants to swim a lot further than necessary as shown on the sketch below.