To educate, entertain, and enthuse those who venture beyond the shore. Over 15,230 articles on solo swims, pro races, relays, charity events, ice swims, eco-swims, stage swims, marathon swims, trends, products, services, personalities, coaches, governing bodies, rules, demographics, books, films, blogs, conferences, camps, clinics and happenings in oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, dams, canals, channels, fjords, estuaries, lochs, coves, firths, straits, bays, and harbors. Sponsored by WOWSA.org.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
If The Claw Appears, It Is Time To Get Out
These athletes can enter a realm where the physical discomfort is completely ignored and they can literally will their bodies beyond excruciating pain.
It is a type of swimming that Skip Storch calls "survival swimming".
"When a marathon swimmers enters the outer limits of their swimming endurance and pushes their abilities, they become a survival swimmer. That is, they are swimming ineffectively and are swimming to survive. In most instances, survival swimming is a prelude to the swim being terminated."
But this very small fraternity of humans who can transform themselves into a survival swimmer push forward when other swimmers would have ended the ordeal much earlier.
Storch understands the inherent risk of going to the outer limits of human endurance. "If one becomes a survival swimmer, both the crew and the swimmer must be on full alert and understand the dangers involved. All decisions must be made by an experienced crew without being overruled by the swimmer. Additionally, the swimmer must be able to alter their stroke and breathing patterns. They must take longer and more frequent breaks, occasionally taking different strokes and kicks. They need to make sure not to fatigue, exhaust or injure their muscles while refueling."
One indication that a swimmer has entered the survival mode is when they start fisting in the water while they swim. Fisting is when the swimmer's hands become so cold that their hands start to involuntarily close up into a fist. The swimmer's hand naturally does this to help maintain circulation. Often the fisting is one indication that the swimmer has gone too far and can be occasionally accompanied by a blueness on the skin in other areas of the body. An inability to grip the water bottle is another easy indication of extreme physiological stress. The "claw" is sometimes another term used for this condition.
There is a time to swim and there is a time to pull a swimmer. It is our belief that when a swimmer's stroke count has slowed beyond 10% of their normal pace and fisting or the "claw" becomes the norm, they must be watched very carefully and frequently stopped to check their mental acuity by asking simple questions (e.g., what is your postal code? what are your children's birth dates? where did you first learn to drive? what was your best subject in school? what is the model of your car?). If the swimmer must pause and think about the answer or cannot answer the question at all, it is time to call it a day in our opinion.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
A Thank You Gift from WOWSA
|WOWSA is celebrating the|
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.
Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB
Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.
CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.
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.