DOVER, England. Petar Stoychev, the only person to swim under 7 hours in the English Channel, knows the value of preparing himself in every aspect of the sport. He trains, he eats, he travels and he races like the 11-time professional marathon swimming champion he is.

And he shaves down.

While shaving down is not for everyone or even for most open water swimmers, for Petar it works.

I shave down – full body – for every big race. It’s very good and helpful. You feel much faster in the water. It’s easier to put on sunscreen protection, your numbering, Vaseline and so.

Your body hair doesn’t keep your warm in the water. I also shaved for my English Channel record. I believe shaving is necessary for competitive open water swimming.”

While shaving is not for everyone, one of the greatest professional marathon swimmers in the world tells us how little things work for him.

Part 2 of this 3-part series on shaving down is here. Part 3 of this 3-part series is here. Introduction to this 3-part series is here.

Photo by Michael Oram shows Petar Stoychev after his world record in the English Channel.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source