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Wednesday, October 2, 2013
A Miracle On Ice - Swimming A Mile At 0°C
Similarly, when certain people enter the open water, it is beauty in action and a masterpiece of creativity. We see it being done, but we have a hard time conceiving how it can actually be done. We see certain people swim, we know there are years of training, sacrifice, and commitment behind these efforts.
Swimming across the English Channel butterfly like Sylvain Estadieu does or medaling in 4 races at the FINA World Championships like Thomas Lurz does or swimming 1.7 km in 0°C water like Ram Barkai does is beauty in action and masterpieces of creativity.
How do they train? How do they stay focused? How do they face their doubts? What separates them from others? While their physiological exploits are remarkable, their mindsets are even more so. One look at their bodies and, from the outside, they do not appear any more physically gifted than the next swimmer. In fact, they appear less physically gifted than some other athletes.
Are their hearts bigger? Do they feel less pain? Are their muscles stronger? What makes them tick when our batteries run out? What makes them go on while we can only imagine getting out…or not even starting?
We do not ask them why they do such things. We ask them how. What do they think about when they accomplish remarkable swims in the open water? We asked Ram Barkai what he was thinking during his 1.7 km swim in 0°C water:
“There were the four of us: Ryan [Stramrood], Kieron [Palframan], Henri [Kaarma], and me. Henri is the fastest among us: he swam 2.15 km while I did 1.7 km. Ryan and Kieron are very similar speed. Kieron usually faster had a serious stomach bug the day before so he was weak and you could see it at the end.
I am the slowest and a little older; I am 55 years old, Ryan is 40; Kieron is 39, and Henri is a bit younger. I swam the same speed most of the way while they all started fast and slowed down quite a bit.
It was a very tough race. First time we did a mile in 0°C water. Henri comes from frozen Estonia, but we come from sunny beach in Cape Town. It was a surreal swim. We were fine for the first 1000 meters. Our splits for the mile shows that the last 600 meters were almost as fast as the first 1000 meters. The last few length were getting very slow.
The mind was a critical part of this swim because the hands and fit were gone after few minutes. Ryan and I swallowed water at one of the turns. It is very dangerous because aside from not being able to breath for a wee while, you stop for few seconds. Those seconds are critical, because your mind loses focus and I remember feeling like I am sinking. I very quickly regained control and told myself keep on swimming.
Everytime that I felt that I couldn’t swim anymore, I did a speedy automatic systems check: hands, legs, breathing, and mind. I realised that I was fine and just told myself, ‘You are just fine - carry on swimming.’ it worked. At the end, I had to tell myself other things…I was much harsher on myself.
What fascinates me is the time that we spend in the water. It took me around 34 minutes to swim 1700 meters. Most of my ice mile swims are between 30 and 34 minutes depending on conditions. Henri covered 2150 meters at the same time.”
Barkai believes that others have it in them also be swim in these extremes. “If we get people who can swim 12 minutes for 1 km, that is not a huge amount of time in the water. It is not too risky and will attract the top swimmers. The current ice swimmers are all extreme hard-core endurance swimmers, but not your usual sprinters.”
Imagine that: talking about sprinting at those extreme water temperatures. Now that is a mindset and belief system that helps lay the groundwork for future generations of swimmers.
Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming
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
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
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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...
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2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
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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.
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Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.