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Gregory Shaw and Iñigo Mujika

Open-water (OW) 10-km marathon swim was introduced in the Olympics in 2008. Since then, pool swimmers have begun competing in OW disciplines, with successful swimmers often having high pool speeds and pool success prior to OW success. OW swimmers have traditionally been described as shorter and

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Roberto Baldassarre, Marco Bonifazi, Paola Zamparo, and Maria Francesca Piacentini

FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) defines open-water swimming (OWS) as any competition that takes place in rivers, lakes, oceans, or water channels. 1 Three distances, 5 km, 10 km, and 25 km (conventional races), are present in World and European championships, while only the 10 km is

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Luis Rodriguez and Santiago Veiga

Open water swimming events have become much more popular since the 10-km races were included in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. As a result, the number of open water competitions and international swimmers competing in those events has notably increased. 1 For example, the number of

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Roberto Baldassarre, Cristian Ieno, Marco Bonifazi, and Maria Francesca Piacentini

. 3 Nevertheless, there is still scarcity of data analyzing pacing strategies in swimmers, more specifically, open water swimmers (OW-swimmers). 4 For endurance competitions, it seems that athletes will benefit from an even or a negative pacing strategy 5 ; however, tactical reasons may cause

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Roberto Baldassarre, Marco Bonifazi, Romain Meeusen, and Maria Francesca Piacentini

Most models of training distribution in endurance events in literature present data on runners, cyclists, rowers, or skiers, indicating that the majority of training is performed at low intensities with only 20% performed at high intensities. 1 , 2 Open-water swimming (OWS) is an outdoor endurance

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Joffrey Drigny, Marine Rolland, Robin Pla, Christophe Chesneau, Tess Lebreton, Benjamin Marais, Pierre Outin, Sébastien Moussay, Sébastien Racinais, and Benoit Mauvieux

Open-water swimming (OWS) characterizes any swimming competition in rivers, lakes, oceans, or water channels. The 25-km OWS requires ∼5 hours of swimming during which swimmers must cope with various environmental and physiological parameters (water temperature, race strategies, etc) that may lead

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Gregory Shaw, Anu Koivisto, David Gerrard, and Louise M. Burke

Open-water swimming (OWS) is a rapidly developing discipline. Events of 5–25 km are featured at FINA World Championships, and the international circuit includes races of 5–88 km. The Olympic OWS event, introduced in 2008, is contested over 10 km. Differing venues present changing environmental conditions, including water and ambient temperatures, humidity, solar radiation, and unpredictable tides. Furthermore, the duration of most OWS events (1–6 hr) creates unique physiological challenges to thermoregulation, hydration status, and muscle fuel stores. Current nutrition recommendations for open-water training and competition are either an extension of recommendations from pool swimming or are extrapolated from other athletic populations with similar physiological requirements. Competition nutrition should focus on optimizing prerace hydration and glycogen stores. Although swimmers should rely on self-supplied fuel and fluid sources for shorter events, for races of 10 km or greater, fluid and fuel replacement can occur from feeding pontoons when tactically appropriate. Over the longer races, feeding pontoons should be used to achieve desirable targets of up to 90 g/hr of carbohydrates from multitransportable sources. Exposure to variable water and ambient temperatures will play a significant role in determining race nutrition strategies. For example, in extreme environments, thermoregulation may be assisted by manipulating the temperature of the ingested fluids. Swimmers are encouraged to work with nutrition experts to develop effective and efficient strategies that enhance performance through appropriate in-competition nutrition.

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Cristian Ieno, Roberto Baldassarre, Maddalena Pennacchi, Antonio La Torre, Marco Bonifazi, and Maria Francesca Piacentini

, depending on training volume and mode of locomotion. Open water swimmers (OW swimmers) normally swim about 80 km a week 6 and include a long warm-up and technical drills in their training session. Therefore, given the higher training volume and energy cost of swimming compared with ground disciplines, 7

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Rodrigo Zacca, Bruno Mezêncio, Flávio A. de Souza Castro, Fábio Y. Nakamura, David B. Pyne, João Paulo Vilas-Boas, and Ricardo J. Fernandes

Open water (OW) swimming has been included at Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) World Championships in 1991, with the 5-, 10-, and 25-km as regular individual events. The 10-km has been the Olympic Marathon OW event since 2008 ( The FINA rules allow 2 types of

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Michal Kumstát, Silvie Rybářová, Andy Thomas, and Jan Novotný

The nutritional intake of elite open water swimmers during competition is not well established, and therefore this case study aims to provide new insights by describing the feeding strategies adopted by an elite female swimmer (28 yrs; height; 1.71 m; body mass: 60 kg; body fat: 16.0%) in the FINA open water Grand Prix 2014.Seven events of varying distances (15–88 km) and durations (3–12 hrs) were included. In all events, except one, feeds were provided from support boats. Swimmer and support staff were instructed to track in detail all foods and beverages consumed during the events. Nutritional information was gathered from the packaging and dietary supplements labels and analyzed by nutrition software. Mean carbohydrate (CHO) and protein intake reached 83 ± 5 g·h-1 and 12 ± 8 g·h-1, respectively. Fat intake was neglected (~1 g·h-1). Mean in-race energy intake reached 394 ± 26 kcal·h-1. Dietary supplements in the form of sport beverages and gels, containing multitransportable CHO, provided 40 ± 4 and 49 ± 6% of all CHO energy, respectively. Caffeine (3.6 ± 1.8 mg·kg-1 per event) and sodium (423 ± 16 mg·h-1) were additionally supplemented in all events. It was established that continuous intake of high doses of CHO and sodium and moderate dose of caffeine were an essential part of the feeding strategy for elite-level high intensity ultra-endurance open-water swimming races. A well scheduled and well-prepared nutrition strategy is believed to have ensured optimal individual performance during Grand Prix events.