Biochemical and hematological changes following the 120-km open-water marathon swim.

Abstract

Data on physiological effects and potential risks of a ultraendurance swimming are scarce. This report presents the unique case of a 61-year old athlete who completed a non-stop open-water 120-km ultramarathon swim on the Warta River, Poland. Pre-swimming examinations revealed favorable conditions (blood pressure, 110/70 mmHg; rest heart rate, 54 beats/minute, ejection fraction, 60%, 20.2 metabolic equivalents in a maximal exercise test). The swimming time and distance covered were 27 h 33 min and 120 km, respectively. Blood samples for hematological and biochemical parameters were collected 30 min, 4 hrs, 10 hrs and 8 days after the swim. The body temperature of the swimmer was 36.7°C before and 35.1°C after the swim. The hematological parameters remained within the reference range in the postexercise period except for leucocytes (17.5 and 10.6 x G/l noted 30 minutes and 4 hours after the swim, respectively). Serum urea, aspartate aminotransferase and C-reactive protein increased above the reference range reaching 11.3 mmol/l, 1054 nmol/l/s and 25.9 mg/l, respectively. Symptomatic hyponatremia was not observed. Although the results demonstrate that an experienced athlete is able to complete an ultra-marathon swim without negative health consequences, further studies addressing the potential risks of marathon swimming are required. Key pointsData on biochemical changes due to long-distance swimming are scarce.This report presents the unique case of a 61-year old athlete who completed a non-stop open-water 120-km ultramarathon swim.An experienced athlete is able to complete an ultra-marathon swim without serious health consequences.Regarding the growing popularity of marathon swimming further studies addressing the potential risks of such exhaustive exercise are required.

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Cite this paper

@article{Drygas2014BiochemicalAH, title={Biochemical and hematological changes following the 120-km open-water marathon swim.}, author={Wojciech Drygas and Ewa Rębowska and Ewa Ł Stępień and Jacek Golański and Magdalena Kwaśniewska}, journal={Journal of sports science & medicine}, year={2014}, volume={13 3}, pages={632-7} }