DNOWS Header

Image Map

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Triathletes Are From Mars, Open Water Swimmers Are From Venus

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

A popular American book called Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by relationship counselor John Gray identified fundamental differences between the genders.

Just as Gray figuratively describes that men and women are from different planets and that each gender is comfortable with its distinct society and customs, but not those of the other that result in a variety of misunderstandings, conflict and confusion.

The singular topic of the availability of a feeding station at the 10km Swim Across America event in Long Beach last week similarly reminded us of the fundamental differences between triathletes and open water swimmers. "A feeding station is available on the course," was described on the pre-race information.

For triathletes, this meant a manned feeding station would provided a variety of sponsored hydration solutions from Gatorade to water to Hammer Nutrition. It meant that wide-eyed, happy volunteers would be freely passing out food to the swimmers who swam passed the feeding station, from bananas to cookies to gels. The feeding station, a necessary requisite and safety measure in the form of a floating pontoon on the course, would take the characteristics of an aid station in a triathlon.

At least from the triathlete's experience and perspective, the availability of a feeding station was something easy enough to understand. The volunteers and race organization would take care of their feeding needs. There was no need to prepare anything for the 6.2-mile race.

But this was not the perspective of an open water swimmer who seemed to come from a different planet. "A feeding station is available on the course" subsequently led to a variety of questions:

1. Can our own coach board the floating pontoon?
2. When will our coach have to be onshore in order to be taken to the feeding station?
3. Can I bring my own escort?
4. How many kayakers can I have?
5. Where is the feeding station relative to the straight line tangent between the turn buoys?
6. Can I leave my own hydration and feeds on the pontoon if I do not have a coach?
7. Will there be officials on the pontoon?
8. How many times will we pass the pontoon during the race?
9. How high is the pontoon from the surface of the water?
10. Who will collect our bottles after the race is over?

At least from the open water swimmer's experience and perspective, the availability of a feeding station was something that led to many different questions. They would have to prepare themselves and their coaches to take care of their feeding needs. There was much to prepare in order to successfully complete the 6.2-mile race to the best of their abilities.

The organizers learned and next time, the triathletes and open water swimmers will be well taken care of...on both planets.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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 Magazine

The 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 Swimming

An 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.


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program