In this video we talk about overheating in swimming. The mechanisms of cooling a swimmer is different than it is a runner or a cycler. When you’re in air, we cool our bodies through evaporation, we sweat and as that sweat evaporates it cools the body. That is the mechanism we have to reduce the body core temperature.
But in water it’s as if we’re swimming in a 100% humidity. We’re surrounded by water. So sweating doesn’t work. So how do we cool ourselves? Well, the water has to be the right temperature. And if the water is where it should be, between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, then it’s an excellent conductor of heat and as our body temperature rises the water will take the heat away from our body quickly.
The problem comes in when the water temperature is too high. Just recently one of America’s greatest Open Water and distance swimmers died because of too much heat in the water. Fran Crippen succumbed in an Open Water event where the water temperature was allegedly over 85 degrees and the air temperature was over 100. When you enter those kinds of conditions it’s best to say “Thanks, but no thanks!”. Don’t compete when the water is that hot!
R.I.P. Fran Crippen – “Reflecting on the Loss of Fran Crippen” by Gary Hall Sr.