It Is Not A Myth In Open Water Swimming

It Is Not A Myth In Open Water Swimming

Elaine Kornbau, who has achieved the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, commented on the article Are Women Better Than Men In The Open Water?

[That was an] interesting analysis. I have long suspected that ladies had an advantage in the really long, colder swims. Through personal experience, I have found myself gaining on much faster and fitter men as we’ve gotten into the latter miles of 20+ mile open water swims.

Personally, I think some of [the advantages are] physiology and some is mental orientation. We are geared for intense pain (childbirth) and on average, have the higher body fat ratios that better insulate in colder water.

Recently, the Myth Busters program on the Discovery Channel ran a test to see whether men or women have a higher tolerance for pain. The means they used to measure this? Cold water. And women were the far and away winners.

In a different medium, the results may not have been as clear, but I think the ladies have a particular advantage when it comes to the long, cold swims. That’s not to say that the men we compete against are weak: It just seems to me that we ladies are more naturally predisposed to take on these kinds of challenges and I think many (not all – there is a lot of room for individual variation) men might have a tougher time coping with the cold water, which makes their achievements all the more impressive
.”

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