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Sex difference in open-water ultra-swim performance in the longest Freswater Lake swim in Europe: Sex difference in ultra-swimming


Eichenberger, Evelyn; Knechtle, Beat; Knechtle, Patrizia; Rüst, Christoph Alexander; Rosemann, Thomas; Lepers, Romuald; Senn, Oliver (2013). Sex difference in open-water ultra-swim performance in the longest Freswater Lake swim in Europe: Sex difference in ultra-swimming. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 27(5):1362-1369.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: This study examined participation and performance trends in the 26.4-km open-water ultra-swim 'Marathon Swim in Lake Zurich', Switzerland. A total of 461 athletes (157 females and 304 males) finished the race between 1987 and 2011. The mean age of the finishers during the studied period was 32.0±6.5 years for males and 30.9±7.2 years for females, respectively. The mean age of finishers and the age of winners increased significantly across years for both sexes (p < 0.01). The winner times were significantly lower for males (403±43 min) compared to females (452±63 min) (p < 0.01). In contrast, the mean swimming time of the finishers did not differ between males (530±39 min) and females (567±71 min) (p > 0.05). The swimming time performance remained stable (p > 0.05) for both sexes across years. A higher age was associated with an increased risk for not finishing the race (odds ratio = 0.93, p = 0.045). Swim time was negatively associated with water temperature in the top three swimmers (ß = -9.87, p = 0.025). These results show that open-water ultra-swimming performance of elite swimmers over 26.4 km in a freshwater lake is affected by age, sex and water temperature. The sex difference in open-water ultra-swimming performance (∼11.5%) remained unchanged these last 25 years. It seems unlikely that elite female swimmers will achieve the same performance of elite male swimmers competing in open-water ultra-swimming in water of ∼20°C. Anthropometric and physiological characteristics such as skeletal muscle mass and thermoregulation need additional investigations in female and male open-water ultra-swimmers.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: This study examined participation and performance trends in the 26.4-km open-water ultra-swim 'Marathon Swim in Lake Zurich', Switzerland. A total of 461 athletes (157 females and 304 males) finished the race between 1987 and 2011. The mean age of the finishers during the studied period was 32.0±6.5 years for males and 30.9±7.2 years for females, respectively. The mean age of finishers and the age of winners increased significantly across years for both sexes (p < 0.01). The winner times were significantly lower for males (403±43 min) compared to females (452±63 min) (p < 0.01). In contrast, the mean swimming time of the finishers did not differ between males (530±39 min) and females (567±71 min) (p > 0.05). The swimming time performance remained stable (p > 0.05) for both sexes across years. A higher age was associated with an increased risk for not finishing the race (odds ratio = 0.93, p = 0.045). Swim time was negatively associated with water temperature in the top three swimmers (ß = -9.87, p = 0.025). These results show that open-water ultra-swimming performance of elite swimmers over 26.4 km in a freshwater lake is affected by age, sex and water temperature. The sex difference in open-water ultra-swimming performance (∼11.5%) remained unchanged these last 25 years. It seems unlikely that elite female swimmers will achieve the same performance of elite male swimmers competing in open-water ultra-swimming in water of ∼20°C. Anthropometric and physiological characteristics such as skeletal muscle mass and thermoregulation need additional investigations in female and male open-water ultra-swimmers.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, 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:2013
Deposited On:17 Aug 2012 06:49
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:56
Publisher:Lippincott Wiliams & Wilkins
ISSN:1064-8011
Additional Information:This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in Eichenberger, Evelyn; Knechtle, Beat; Knechtle, Patrizia; Rüst, Christoph Alexander; Rosemann, Thomas; Lepers, Romuald; Senn, Oliver (2012). Sex difference in open-water ultra-swim performance in the longest Freswater Lake swim in Europe: Sex difference in ultra-swimming. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research:Epub ahead of print.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e318265a3e9
PubMed ID:22744414

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