Feb 16, 2011

Comparing marathon swimming to running, for perspective...

I recently came across a blog entry from Simon who resides in the UK on discussing the caloric expenditure for a 10k and relating it to marathon running. This is probably the simplest (maybe not the most scientifically accurate, but who knows) explanation for all you land lubbers out that have wondered wit like's like to swim 10k or further...

The basic calculation he found on the web was 2.93 calories per mile, per
So assuming you are 13 Stone (182 pounds) the calculation would be: 2.93 X 10 Miles X 182 Pounds = 5,332.6 calories

I, myself talking here, weigh 207 lb, so you can see 7000 calories per ten miles is easily in the range. For a channel length swim you are into the 20,000 range I'll bet with factoring in the cold water shiver factor probably more. Good to know I can keep eating!

Going back to Simon's comments...I have also heard 'said' that swimming a distance is the rough equivalent to 4 times a running distance - not sure about that one though?


  1. Hi Don, it's Lindsay and Nicky! We're cheering you on back here in Chicago this summer.

    I just started swimming again and as someone who has run marathons I have to say you can't really compare the two sports very well...it's a completely different way of working your body. I think the big difference with swimming is the fatigue sets in when you're already pretty depleted. When I'm running I can sense when my energy levels are going down, I can tell by how much I'm sweating how hard I'm working etc. At least to this land lubber it's much harder to tell when I'm swimming as those fatigue markers aren't so readily apparent.

    Good luck on your journey to Tampa!

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