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Swimming performances in long distance open-water events with and without wetsuit


Ulsamer, Sebastian; Rüst, Christoph Alexander; Rosemann, Thomas; Lepers, Romuald; Knechtle, Beat (2014). Swimming performances in long distance open-water events with and without wetsuit. BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation, 6:20.

Abstract

Background Existing literature showed improved swimming performances for swimmers wearing wetsuits competing under standardized conditions in races held in pools on short to middle distances. Data about the influence of wetsuits on swimming performances in long and ultra-long open-water swimming races are missing. It is unknown whether the benefit of wearing wetsuits is comparable in men and women. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of wearing a wetsuit on open-water swimming performances at the 26.4 km 'Marathon Swim in Lake Zurich' in Lake Zurich, Switzerland, and the 3.8 km Lake Ontario Swim Team-Race (LOST-Race) in Lake Ontario, Canada. Methods Race times of the fastest female and male swimmers competing with and without wetsuit were compared using multi-level regression analyses and analysis of variance. Results In the 'Marathon Swim' in Lake Zurich, wearing a wetsuit had no effect on race time regarding the gender where athletes wearing a wetsuit were not faster than athletes without wetsuit. However, the ten fastest men wearing a wetsuit (410.6 +/- 26.7 min) were faster (32.7%, p < 0.01) than the ten fastest women without wetsuit (544.9 +/- 81.3 min). In the 'LOST-Race', the top ten men wearing a wetsuit (51.7 +/- 2.5 min) were faster (13.2%, p < 0.01) than the top ten women wearing a wetsuit (58.5 +/- 3.2 min). Additionally, the top ten men without wetsuit (52.1 +/- 2.4 min) were faster (19.6%, p < 0.01) than the top ten women without wetsuit (62.3 +/- 2.5 min). The top ten women wearing a wetsuit (58.5 +/- 3.2 min) were faster (6.5%, p < 0.01) than top ten women wearing a wetsuit (62.3 +/- 25 min). Conclusions These results suggest that wearing a wetsuit had a positive influence on swimming speed for both women and men but the benefit of the use of wetsuits seemed to depend on additional factors (i.e. race distance). Women seemed to benefit more from wearing wetsuits than men in longer open-water ultra-distance swimming races.

Background Existing literature showed improved swimming performances for swimmers wearing wetsuits competing under standardized conditions in races held in pools on short to middle distances. Data about the influence of wetsuits on swimming performances in long and ultra-long open-water swimming races are missing. It is unknown whether the benefit of wearing wetsuits is comparable in men and women. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of wearing a wetsuit on open-water swimming performances at the 26.4 km 'Marathon Swim in Lake Zurich' in Lake Zurich, Switzerland, and the 3.8 km Lake Ontario Swim Team-Race (LOST-Race) in Lake Ontario, Canada. Methods Race times of the fastest female and male swimmers competing with and without wetsuit were compared using multi-level regression analyses and analysis of variance. Results In the 'Marathon Swim' in Lake Zurich, wearing a wetsuit had no effect on race time regarding the gender where athletes wearing a wetsuit were not faster than athletes without wetsuit. However, the ten fastest men wearing a wetsuit (410.6 +/- 26.7 min) were faster (32.7%, p < 0.01) than the ten fastest women without wetsuit (544.9 +/- 81.3 min). In the 'LOST-Race', the top ten men wearing a wetsuit (51.7 +/- 2.5 min) were faster (13.2%, p < 0.01) than the top ten women wearing a wetsuit (58.5 +/- 3.2 min). Additionally, the top ten men without wetsuit (52.1 +/- 2.4 min) were faster (19.6%, p < 0.01) than the top ten women without wetsuit (62.3 +/- 2.5 min). The top ten women wearing a wetsuit (58.5 +/- 3.2 min) were faster (6.5%, p < 0.01) than top ten women wearing a wetsuit (62.3 +/- 25 min). Conclusions These results suggest that wearing a wetsuit had a positive influence on swimming speed for both women and men but the benefit of the use of wetsuits seemed to depend on additional factors (i.e. race distance). Women seemed to benefit more from wearing wetsuits than men in longer open-water ultra-distance swimming races.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:22 May 2014 08:20
Last Modified:07 Nov 2016 14:08
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:2052-1847
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/2052-1847-6-20
PubMed ID:24891942
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-96059

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