How To: How do you poop when swimming the English Channel? Or any marathon swim?

Once again apologies for the double post. There’s a problem I just discovered in WordPress where posts are going up their draft creation date. In this case, unless you are an email subscriber, who would’t notice any difference, when you visited the front page occasionally, the most recent post was actually not visible. It looked like I was updating less than I was, because some new posts would appear “back in the past” as it were.

So the apologies are mainly to the subscribers and Twitter followers who are getting this twice.

I really had no desire to be pushing this out twice. The pun may or may be intended, depending on how easily offended you are.


Decorative toilet seat

Image via Wikipedia

To be more delicate, the search term that comes up most is ” how do you take a toilet break while swimming the English Channel” or any other Channel swim for that matter, Molokai like Stephen Redmond, Catalina like Stephen only last week, Karen Throsby or Evan Morrison, etc.

Well, the short answer for most swimmers is that you don’t defecate.  More precisely, you don’t need to. Typically for most marathon swims the swimmer is on liquid carbohydrates, with no solid waste by-product, just urine.

Solids are used occasionally for a morale improver for the swimmer or maybe some swimmers will have a more solid food based diet (but I don’t know any personally).

Should the need arise though, which is what you people really want to know, what do we do? You may think you are the first person to ask this question, but, like the astronauts who say being asked about the toilet on the Shuttle was their most common question, it’s a pretty regular question. Guess.

Yes, drop the togs. No place for embarrassment, and, I’ve got to tell you, it’s another thing you should practice, just in case. maybe ask the crew to move the other side of the boat for a few minutes. As we often say, yes, marathon swimming IS a glamour sport.


3 thoughts on “How To: How do you poop when swimming the English Channel? Or any marathon swim?

  1. Pingback: Channel and Marathon Swimming Articles Index & adding a Donate to, the world’s most popular open water swimming blog option | LoneSwimmer

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.