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Open water stomach bugs

I have done 4 open water swims and a few open water training sessions in lakes and a couple of times had a bad stomach causing the inevitable. Bearing in mind the 2 times its happened are after events recently in the Thames, Winsor swim series and then Windsor Triathlon. I realise the Thames isnt that great if you take an unexpected gulp but are stomach bugs comman after open water swims and is there any pre race options to help reduce tje risk as I dont want it to put me off the open watet part of Tri as I am just enjoying getting in to it. Any feedback or advice welcome. Cheers.


  • risris Posts: 1,002

    tricky one - you're not the first person i've heard of whose had issues following a swim in the thames near windsor (i've some clubmates who have mentioned some of the 'warm' spots in the area), and i would hope that you've just been unlucky. 

    obviously, doing your best not to hoover too much water into your face while swimming will help. some illnesses, like weils disease, are as much as risk through cuts/broken skin, so if you have those then avoid or cover them well before swimming.

    personally, and admittedly i don't swim OW that much, i've never had an issue (touches the wood of the desk, sorry, melamine-faced chipboard of the desk). I've swum in some pretty unlikely spots though, including the cumberland basin in bristol.

    most events should test the water ahead of the race so with any luck you've used up all your bad luck. if you are training in a local river or lake it might be worth watching out after recent heavy rainfall that might take stuff off the surrounding land, or overflow the sewerage system.

    some people swear by drinking coke after a swim (acidic content kills bugs), but this is probably an urban/rural myth (your stomach acid is stronger, for a start!). there is a piece on it open water and cola

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