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Friday, June 6, 2014

Preparing To Endure With Elivar

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Donal Hanrahan and Len Dunne are co-founders of Elivar, a product line of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals tailored specifically for athletes over the age of 35.

Active as aquapreneurs, athletes, and event sponsors, their passion is contagious.

They serve as sponsors of the Elivar Open Water Swim Series in Scotland and Ireland as well as sponsors of the Total Immersion in the English Channel (or The EC6) team. The EC6 team includes former English Channel record holder Christof Wandratsch, masters 1500m world record holder Kirsten Cameron, US Olympic Trials qualifier Steve West, All-American masters swimmer Bernie Zeruhn, British national masters champions Andrew Chamberlain and Dave Warren.

All these incredibly fast swimmers are over 35 years - over 40 in fact - so they will be using Elivar products before and during their English Channel relay crossing.

We ask Hanrahan about his product line:

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Your product is touted as the world’s first range of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals tailored for athletes over the age of 35. Does the body need different elements as it ages?

Donal Hanrahan: There are a number of physiological changes that occur as we progress through life. Our body's ability to adapt to training changes, specifically we find it takes longer to recover after hard or long sessions - the body just needs more time and a focus on protein availability over that longer period. There are also issues with absorbing or producing certain vitamins. For example, Vitamin D production is a function of our skin pigment reacting to sunlight. This reaction reduces as we age, with natural Vitamin D production decreasing as a result. Vitamin D is important as it helps bind calcium to our bones. Bone health is important when you are training, but an age related issue is working against that. Vitamin D supplementation is necessary.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Is there a special meaning behind the age of 35?

Donal Hanrahan: From a brand perspective, we needed to draw a line somewhere. We had to call out an age. Depending on lifestyle, some people will be experiencing the age issues earlier or later, however 35 gave us a good starting point as all the research indicated that it is from 35 years old that the age related changes are most obvious to them.

It is interesting to note that the Low GI and Gluten Free formulation of Endure is a healthier during training product for any athlete, than a fructose-based alternative - regardless of age.

People are taking up more and more endurance events as they age where completion and participation are more important than speed and records.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Are your products geared to everyone of every ability and background?

Donal Hanrahan: We developed Elivar to deliver a performance edge through the use of age appropriate ingredients in our products. Whether it's the longer recover window provided by Recover, the low GI sustained energy release of Endure or the availability of vitamins and minerals that need supplementation due to age related issues - people who use Elivar should get a better outcome from their training than those who don't. Bar elite athletes who have the resources and time to manage a customer nutrition plan, all athletes of all abilities can benefit from our focus on the right ingredients delivering the right nutrition for their age.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: You have 3 primary products: pre-race (PREPARE), in-race (ENDURE), and post-race (RECOVER). How do each of these products differ?

Donal Hanrahan: ENDURE is a during-training product and hence the primary focus is delivering sustained release energy (carbohydrates), with some protein to assist with in-training muscle repair and also carbohydrate absorption. The carb to protein ration is 4:1.

RECOVER is for use after training. It delivers a 1:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio as our focus for over 35's is to deliver protein into the system to start the process of muscle repair and recovery. The carbohydrates are low GI - sustained release - to provide some energy to start the process of re-stocking the glycogen that has been depleted during training. Unlike other recover products in the market which typically have 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratios, we felt that the most important factor for people over 35 was getting sufficient protein rather than carbohydrates straight after training. A recent survey found that 65% of our customers said they recovered better and with less aches and pains when using recover rather than their previous brand. We're not surprised. It's a fundamentally different and age appropriate formulation.

PREPARE and RECOVER are very similar in nutritional output, but are formulated differently for different purposes. PREPARE is meant to be used where you are training later in the day, but you do not have time to get a proper meal in advance of your session. For a lot of 35+ people a busy job means that eating during the day can be hit and miss due to work pressures. With a session planned for after work, the vending machine seems like the only option in many cases. We developed PREPARE to deliver a quantity of low GI sustained release energy to manage our low glycogen levels mid-afternoon, whey to help over come the hungry feeling, and casein to ensure that there are sufficient BCAA's (branch chain amino acids)in the system to support our training load. PREPARE is to be taken up to 90 minutes before training, rather than as a pre-training caffeine plus sugar booster that many pre-training products deliver just prior to training.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What is the science behind each of these products?

Donal Hanrahan: The essential components of each of the products are as follows:

Low GI Carbs - using low GI carbohydrate ensures a sustained release into the blood stream. This has two benefits - it avoids the rapid production of insulin required to deal with an equivalent volume of high GI sugar (such as fructose), and it doesn't interfere with the bodies ability to use FAT as an energy source. When the body has elevated blood sugar levels - as with a high GI sugar - it does not utilize fat as an energy source to the same extent. For endurance athletes teaching the body to use our muscle glycogen AND our fat stores as energy sources is an important part of training. Efficient energy metabolism is key to good performance. A reliance of short term high GI sugars is not a healthy approach.

Protein - Protein breaks down into branch chain amino acids (BCAA) when digested. These are the fundamental building blocks of our muscles. They are required to support muscle repair and recovery. We use two types of protein in our products depending on the timing needed for deliver of these building blocks. Whey, which is quickly digested, is used in Endure to support our immediate training load, while whey and casein - which are slowly digested - are used to deliver a longer recover window to our muscles as the combination means there is more protein available to our systems for longer than just whey alone.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Endurance sports hint at marathon runs, channel swims and triathlons. But you are sponsoring the EC6 where 40-something-year-olds will only swim 1 hour each. How do you recommend they use your products?

Donal Hanrahan: There are two aspects to sport. Training and competition. In the case of the EC6, that 1-hour effort is the competition, but will have been supported by multiple hours of training. It is during training that we see our products being used to best effect.

A. ENDURE's low GI carbohydrate formulation delivering an appropriate level of energy plus protein without the sugar spikes or interfering with the metabolism of fat as an energy source.

B. RECOVER providing the right kinds of protein at the right rate to ensure that your muscles recover and adapt between training sessions.

C. PREPARE ensuring that where you can't get a proper meal, that you still get to your training sessions with the right nutrients on board.

For competition - and specifically the EC6 - there is a balance to be struck between delivering a fast relay leg and how you manage your nutrition. Ideally you should not need to take any nutrition on board during a 1 hour effort. There should be sufficient resources within your muscles to support a high-intensity effort over a 60-minute period. However, if you are going into the red in terms of effort, then the resources get depleted sooner and supplementing may be necessary. The trick is to get the energy in before you need it. This will mean having a pre-planned drink schedule where you consume some ENDURE during the period from 40 minutes to the start of your relay leg - but not over doing it or a pee-stop might undo all your good effort. Taking some energy on board at 20 minutes and 40 minutes may be necessary - whether in liquid or gel format will be a personal and temperature related preference.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What flavors do your products come in? Which are the favorite?

Donal Hanrahan: RECOVER and PREPARE come in strawberry and chocolate - currently the strawberry people are just inching ahead - probably 52%:48% now. ENDURE comes in orange and mango or watermelon flavors. Watermelon has been rising up the ranks each month in terms of popularity, but it's currently orange and mango that leads at 58%:42%.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What has been the feedback from swimmers?

Donal Hanrahan: Feedback from swimmers has been similar to other sports - better recovery, felt the difference when using a sustained release formulation during training. However, one issue that seems to have stood out with swimmers more so that other sports, and especially the open water swimmers, is the reduced stomach upset. A number of swimmers have said that they had tried carbohydrate + protein products before, but found them hard to stomach. However, they have found ENDURE to sit easily. We think that is related to the avoidance of fructose as the carbohydrate in our products - the high GI sugar plus protein combination is what is causing the upset. Moving to a low GI sugar reduces the stomach upset and allows the protein sit better in the stomach.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do the products taste any different in fresh water versus salt water?

Donal Hanrahan: Salt water swimming has to change our sense of taste. I guess the question is do they taste better or worse in a salt water environment - and that is going to be different for everyone.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you think swimmers use your products any differently than land-based endurance athletes?

Donal Hanrahan: Open water swimmers are the only people we know of who who use hot water to mix a RECOVER shake. We can understand that - stepping out of the sea on a cold March morning has to be greeted with a hot drink!

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you think women and men use your products any differently? Should they?

Donal Hanrahan: The basic issues we deal with are the same for men and women so I think the fundamentals are the same - we didn't focus on men or women initially - just age. There are however some very specific women age issues that could be dealt with in future Elivar product releases, mostly in relation to the micro-nutrients - vitamins and minerals - rather than the macro-nutrients - carbohydrates and proteins.

For more information, visit PREPARE, ENDURE and RECOVER.

For more information on the Elivar Open Water Series in Ireland and Scotland, visit here.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Agenda

Friday, 19 September



Welcome Reception at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland

Documentary films shown throughout the reception:

Blue Journey-Amerika Samoa – Stronger Together: The Waterman’s Way
(film by Bruckner Chase)

Dancing With The Water, Crossing of Lake Pontchartrain
(film by Wayne Ewing about Matthew Moseley's Lake Pontchartrain crossing)

Bering Strait Swim Chukotka - Alaska
(film by Admiral Konstantin Sidenko about the relay between Russia and Alaska)

The Clean Swim – Hong Kong to Macau
(film about Simon Holiday's Pearl River Delta crossing)

Saturday, 20 September



Registration and Coffee at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland



Keynote Speech:
Colleen Blair (Scotland) on The History of Scottish Swimming



Christopher Guesdon (Australia) on Multidimensional Roles In The Sport



Colin Hill (England) on Recent Explosion in UK Open Water



Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) on The Feminine Code of Achievement - How a Lady from Down Under Revolutionized Professional Marathon Swimming



Simon Murie (England) on Open Water Swimming Holidays: How A New Sector Was Created Within The Travel Industry



Swimming The Oceans Seven
A round table discussion moderated by:
Kevin Murphy (England), with Stephen Redmond (Ireland), Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden),
Darren Miller (USA), Adam Walker (England), Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand)



Coffee and Break



World Open Water Swimming Awards Luncheon:
with co-hosts Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) and Steven Munatones (USA)

Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year

Olga Kozydub (Russia), 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year

Bering Strait Swim, 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year

Honoring: Vladimir Chegorin, Maria Chizhova, Elena Guseva, Ram Barkai, Jack Bright, Oksana Veklich, Aleksandr Jakovlevs, Matías Ola, Henri Kaarma, Toomas Haggi, Nuala Moore, Anne Marie Ward, Toks Viviers, Melissa O’Reilly, Ryan Stramrood, Cristian Vergara, Craig Lenning, Rafal Ziobro, Andrew Chin, Jackie Cobell, James Pittar, Paolo Chiarino, Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen, Ivan Papulshenko, Zdenek Tlamicha, Zhou Hanming, Oleg Adamov, Andrei Agarkov, Alekseev Semen, Tatiana Alexandrova, Roman Belan, Elena Semenova, Alexander Brylin, Afanasii Diackovskii, Vladimir Nefatov, Evgenii Dokuchaev, Oleg Docuckaev, Roman Efimov, Dmitrii Filitovich, Olga Filitovich, Victor Godlevskiy, Olga Golubeva, Alexei Golubkin, Alexander Golubkin, Alexandr Iurkov, Oleg Ivanov, Pavel Kabakov, Eduard Khodakovskiy, Aleksandr Komarov, Aleksandr Kuliapin, Andrey Kuzmin, Irina Lamkina, Vladimir Litvinov, Andrey Mikhalev, Victor Moskvin, Nikolay Petshak, Sergey Popov, Vladimir Poshivailov, Grigorii Prokopchuk, Dmitrii Zalka, Natalia Seraya, Viacheslav Shaposhnikov, Olga Sokolova, Andrei Sychev, Alexei Tabakov, and Nataliia Usachaeva [represented by Admiral Konstantin Sidenko and Nuala Moore]



Alexey Salmin Pavlovich (Russia) and Dmitry Dragozhilov (Russia)
on the 2016 Winter Swimming World Championships [film]



Sally Minty-Gravett (Jersey) on Motivating Swimmers



Dmitry Blokhin (Russia) and Aleksei Veller (Russia)
on the First World Ice Swimming Championships [film]



Matthew Moseley (USA)’s Dancing With The Water, Crossing of Lake Pontchartrain [film]



Simon Holliday (England) and Doug Woodring (Hong Kong)’s The Clean Swim – Hong Kong to Macau 2014 [film]



International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)
and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF)

IMSHOF Induction Ceremonies and Dinner
with co-hosts Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) and Steven Munatones (USA).

Recognition of International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees:

  • Elizabeth Fry (USA), IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • James Anderson (USA), IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Dr. Jane Katz (USA), IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Indonesian Swimming Federation Open Water Committee (Indonesia), IMSHOF Honour Organisation

  • Melissa Cunningham (Australia), Irving Davids – Captain Roger Wheeler Award by the International Swimming Hall of Fame and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Sandra Bucha (USA), ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Jon Erikson (USA), ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer [represented by Sandra Bucha]



International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Introduction Video.
Welcome speech by host Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia)






International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)
Induction Ceremonies and Dinner with host Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia)

Recognition of International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees:

  • Mercedes Gleitze (England)
    ISHOF Honor Pioneer Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by daughter Doloranda Pember]

  • Dale Petranech (USA)
    ISHOF Honor Contributer and IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Claudio Plit (Argentina)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by Shelley Taylor-Smith]

  • Judith van Berkel-de Nijs (Netherlands)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by Niek Kloots]

  • George Young (Canada)
    ISHOF Honor Pioneer Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation]

  • David Yudovin (USA)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

Sunday, 21 September



Registration and coffee at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland



Nuala Moore (Ireland) on The Mindset of 1000m at 0ºC



Admiral Konstantin Sidenko (Russia)’s Bering Strait Swim Chukotka - Alaska in 2013 [film]



Ned Denison (Ireland) on Swimming The World



Bruckner Chase (USA)’s Blue Journey-Amerika Samoa
Stronger Together: The Waterman’s Way



Rok Kerin (Slovenia) on Lifestyle Benefits From Open Water Swimming



Survey distribution and group photo-taking



Swim at Stravvana Bay, Isle of Bute


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."

Copyright © 2014 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.

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 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