To educate, entertain, and enthuse those who venture beyond the shore. Over 10,900 articles on solo swims, pro races, relays, charity events, eco-swims, stage swims, marathon swims, trends, products, services, personalities, coaches, governing bodies, rules, demographics, books, films, blogs, conferences, camps, clinics, exploits and happenings in oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, dams, canals, channels, fjords, estuaries, lochs, coves, firths, straits, bays, and harbors. Sponsored by WOWSA.org.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Vegetarians In Open Water Swimming
While open water swimmers range in age, ability, culture and swimming background, relatively few are vegetarians.
So we caught up with Mark Ransom, a 12:23 English Channel swimmer from the West Suffolk Swimming Club in the UK, to ask him about his eating habits.
The Daily News: Can you tell us about your open water swimming background?
Mark: My first open water swim was the English Channel. I swam competitively from the ages of 5-17 and then had a 20-year break before taking on the Channel. I was 37 when I started training for the Channel.
The Daily News: Can you tell us a little bit about your English Channel swim?
Mark: I swam it on July 14th from Samphire Hoe in England to Wissant in France. It took 12 hours and 23 mins with about six hours of this in rough conditions with five-foot waves.
The Daily News: What did you eat and drink during this swim?
Mark: Mostly warmed Maxim drink with occasional electrolyte drink or coffee with fruit sugar. Every hour I also had either a small Milky Way or half a banana.
The Daily News: What do you eat normally?
Mark: I’ve been a vegetarian for 16 years. This means no meat, poultry or fish at all. I found the transition to becoming a vegetarian very easy and I can honestly say I actually enjoy my food much more now. Many people often ask what I substitute for meat in a meal. I never actually think about a substitute for meat as I believe that meat never had to be a part of the meal in the first place.
For me, breakfast usually includes porridge or muesli with soya milk. I prefer soya to cow’s milk with cereal, it also contains more calcium), followed by a banana or grapefruit. Sometimes, after a training session, I will have baked beans on toast. For lunch, I usually have a couple of rolls filled with cheese and onion; cheese, cucumber and spinach; soft cheese and cucumber; or egg and spinach. I have various favourite evening meals. I use Quorn a lot for protein. Quorn pieces in a curry or Quorn mince in a Spag bog are delicious. I also like currys made with lentils, another good source of protein, and vegetable stir fries. For snacks, I try to eat plenty of nuts. Cashews are my favourites, I could eat them all day. Also, almonds are a good source of magnesium which helps to prevent cramp.
The Daily News: Have people told you that being a vegetarian is not conducive to being an accomplished endurance athlete?
Mark: I get ribbed all the time at work for being a vegetarian. When I announced I was swimming the English Channel, there were many who thought I would never do it. I had a lot of comments about my diet and people asking how I was going to put weight on if I don’t eat meat. These comments just made me more determined to prove them wrong, which I did!
The Daily News: Why do you think being a vegetarian is acceptable to enabling you to swim the English Channel?
Mark: I don’t believe there is anything healthy you can find in meat that you cannot find in other foods. Being a vegetarian means you have to always be mindful of what you put into your mouth. I am always reading labels on food packaging which means I am more informed about my diet than others. When I eat I can enjoy my food without any feelings of guilt or unease, which I know I experienced before becoming vegetarian. This gives me greater inner peace which is a huge advantage when swimming for hours on end when you have only your thoughts to keep you company.
The Daily News: Did you eat anything special during your heavy training periods?
Mark: Bigger portions of everything is the key here. Also plenty of snacks. Again lots of nuts, but also I tend to eat 'bad' foods such as crisps and Magnum ice creams. Also, drinking Maxim or some other high energy drink during training helps to keep the calories up.
The Daily News: Do you think about food during your swims?
Mark: Yes, I think all endurance swimmers do this. You tend to crave certain foods, usually junk food, and plan what you’re going to cram into your mouth the moment you hit dry land. However, I find if the water is very cold this often takes my mind off thinking about food.
The Daily News: Do you have any advice to other vegetarians who do marathon swims?
Mark: I feel that being a vegetarian is a positive step to a healthy body and healthy mind. It should never be seen as a disadvantage at all, whether you are planning to swim the Channel or undertake any other endurance event.
Footnote: Mark is not the only vegetarian out there.
There are numerous others including Karteek Clarke (shown on left) has completed his ninth English Channel crossing and Vedika Bolliger has completed her fifth English Channel crossing.
Both lead healthy lives as vegetarians.
Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones
2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE
The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.
The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.
The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.
Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.
The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.
"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."
Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."
The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme
Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]
Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland
Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance
Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony
Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute
The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:
* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year
For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:
* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Swim Across the English Channel...
Who else is looking for a qualified open water swimming coach to help them swim across the English Channel?Chloë McCardel is a 6-time English Channel Swimmer who inspires and instructs. Access featured content by Chloë in this month's issue of the Open Water Swimming Magazine. Published monthly by WOWSA, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a digital, interactive publication made available exclusively to WOWSA members. See what you've been missing! Become a WOWSA member today!
Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.
In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.