Open Water Swimmers, Getting Better With Age

Open Water Swimmers, Getting Better With Age

There are few sports in the world where an athlete can get better with age…but marathon swimming is definitely one of them. Improvement can come through increased and more intelligent training, better nutrition and hydration during a swim, technological advancements in navigation and weather predictions, better swimming techniques and the wisdom of age.

Antonio Argüelles is one example of how open water swimmers explains why his channel swims got faster the older he became.

Yes, my swims in the Catalina Channel and English Channel were faster the second time around. There were several reasons,” explained Antonio, the only person to twice join the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.

1. The first Catalina Channel swim came after a disastrous previous attempt.  It was the only time I have not finish an event was on my very first Catalina swim. We decided to start early in the morning and the winds were pretty bad as we approached the shore. The second one was a nightmare. It was the night of the fire in the Los Angeles hills. The third one the ocean gods blessed me with a beautiful night and day.

2. The first Channel Channel swim came only two weeks after Fausta Marin´s death and I faced Catalina with pretty nasty winds and strong currents. It was a combination of bad weather and terrible morale. The second time around the weather was a little better, although I faced heavy winds. The difference was that I had a great attitude. It was the last leg of my Triple Crown.

3. On both swims, the pilots were the same with the best available navigational equipment. They had GPS on the second.

4. I do not believe I was faster at 50, but I was certainly wiser. As with any activity in life, as you do it more frequently, you get used to it. As a matter of fact, in two of the three swims I had shoulder injuries but the combination of many miles in the water and the mental training made it possible.

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