Encounter Lakes Marathon Swim
For some time now I've been planning to feature videos speaking to Marathon Swimming after all the name of this channel does have 'Endurance Swimmer' in it. I've decided the best way to do this is to take part in a series of challenges where I attempt to complete an official marathon swimming distance in as many different bodies of water as possible.
Since 2008 when the Olympic Games first featured a 10 km open water swim, a swimming marathon has been considered a swim of a duration of 10 km or more (as opposed to 25 km which was the official distance prior to this). This is somewhat appropriate as the average time it takes a decent distance swimmer to do a 10 km swim is not too dissimilar to that which a decent marathon runner runs a 42 km marathon on the road. There is some parity here.
Unlike in most competitive open water events I will be using a full length wetsuit for all of them. Now I know some hard core open water swimmers out there may thumb their nose a bit at the idea of this and I must admit I came from that mould too. If you'd have asked me 10 years ago I would have been dead set against endorsing wetsuits for any type of event or recognised swim on the principal of parity, but it occurs to me that just because something can be done without and it is arguably more challenging doesn't necessarily mean it is best practice. After all, one can climb high on many mountains in shorts and a T-Shirt if you get the right weather but the folly there is pretty clear. I'm wearing it mainly for protection from the sun but acknowledge it provides some protection from other environmental issues such as the cold and stinging jellyfish. I'm planning to test a variety of suits and this will be part of the conversation moving forward. I also note on this subject that FINA has approved certain wetsuits for some events that take place in extremely cold conditions. This arguably opens up the sport to more countries and more competitors. Anyway it's a subject I'll revisit as I produce more videos on the topic.
For my first Marathon Swimming Challenge I've chosen to swim 6 laps of Encounter Lakes which is located in Encounter Bay, South Australia. That's a total distance of 10.14 km. For this challenge I'm using the very reasonably priced Orca S6 wetsuit. Stay tuned for many more marathon swimming challenges.
For Endurance Swimmer articles and other information go to http://www.enduranceswimmeraustralia.com
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