The effects of a long swim on the human body

It’s long time since I wrote about Third Spacing of Fluids, the increase of fluids in intercellular spaces that occurs when a person is swimming for a long time, and causes all marathon swimmers to swell and literally bloat.

I though it might be best to show the effects more clearly.

The first video is a commercial my sister, a noted Film and TV producer made using me as the swimmer one typical day driving down to, and then swimming at Sandycove… Notice I look particularly slim, tanned and healthy from my open water swimming life, full of life and raring to go (and some might say, handsome, though that’s not for me to comment). Notice the grace and elegance and indeed, presence and sense of belonging in the water that I embody. Though I do note that my stroke technique was a bit off that day.

Next is a video taken after this year’s of Rob Bohane and I at this year’s Sandycove Distance Week six-hour swim, in 12 to 13 degrees Celsius water . Look at the profound effects. Our body are much enlarged. Swim, goggle and cap lines have created deep creases in the skin, sand and kelp have accumulated on the lanolin, we’re both somewhat clumsy once on land, and we’re quite a peculiar colour, the whole body enlarged. Rob’s demeanour has changed from his normal sunny self to a grumpy disposition and we’re certainly not looking our best, though Rob is looking even worse than me.


6 thoughts on “The effects of a long swim on the human body

  1. Hi Donal!

    I thought the second video of you was a great improvement! I love reading your posts, there are informative, entertaining and very relevant to open water swimming 🙂

    Chloe McCardel


  2. Pingback: Something important that I recently learned | LoneSwimmer

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