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Open Water - what is cold?
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PCP




Joined: 13 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGreg wrote:
PCP wrote:
Hopefully non of you ever come up and do Slateman, it would give you nightmares!

I'd say the opposite to most above, get in there now. Spend a few minutes stood/sat/sculling in the shallows and acclimatise. Then go and swim a loop. I really, really dislike the cold water but as horrible as it is it will only get better as weeks go by. When it gets to 14 then 15 then 16 it will feel great.
Wait a month till it gets to 15 and that will feel really cold to you and you will still be lacking in OW skills.

My first OW race is in 3.5 weeks and I'll be in the Quays 1-2 times a week preparing, starting on Saturday morning. Really not looking forward to the first 5 minutes but it is what it is.

A lot of races will let you wear neoprene hats, socks and gloves but won't pay prize money if you wear them




Most people really struggle with their first open water experience and often its very off putting, The last thing they need is the feeling of their hands feet and face aching from cold while they uncontrollably flap in the water unable to do anything remotely resembling a "stroke" all for 20 mins where near hyperthermia means they need to get out.

You won't be stood, sat or sculling in 12DegC water if you are not well acclimatised.

I'll be hitting the open water really soon too, and might even consider a dip in my local Ice hole, but I have hundreds of hours under my belt, and have swum in 8/9/10 degC water

Telling a Newbie to just suck it up really is poor advice. I just can't see what can be achieved, unless your first OW A race is REALY early, just wait until things are more pleasant. Rushing into the Cold could easily see you ending your journey there.

Save Freezing your face off for next season.


It;s 12 degrees, not 10. That's not absolutely freezing.

It depends I suppose, I'd never been in open water till 2013 and I got in Salford Quays as soon as the sessions were open and it was really really cold. All personal I suppose, if you are going to quit something just because the 1st time wasn't nice then wait.
I look at it differently, it can only get better after a daunting 1st time so it fills me with confidence.

To acclimatise I like top get in, stand, dip my face in several times till I can take a couple of breathes, lie on my back, spin over do a few breathes with my face out then tilt to replicate swimming breathing (all this still stood up) then go for a short swim (400m). Maybe get out then get back in and go again, sometimes just get out and get dry.
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PhilleusPhogg




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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm quite soft, and anything around 12 degrees causes my feet to hurt so much I actually can't tolerate it long enough to wait for it to go numb and continue swimming Smile

Booties solve that problem but then I found I was so cold afterwards that it wasn't really an enjoyable experience.

I've also struggled with hyperventilation in cold swims early season, which if they had been my first experience of open water swimming might well have put me off - luckily my first open water swim ever was at the London Tri in balmy 19/20deg water, and I loved it so I had a positive experience to fall back on.

So, if you're new to OW, or perhaps not a confident swimmer, maybe wait till it's warmer?
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Tony Stark




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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 9-yr old girl has been wakeboarding in a shorty wetsuit for a few hours each weekend since late March without much complaint, so I can only conclude that as usual your all gay Wink
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Tri'ing Swimmer




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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you can tell, depends very much on personal tolerance, but I'd agree with general consensus that probably a bit early for the average first timer to be able to have a proper swim rather than just go and acclimatize. My first swim was 14C and I couldn't have coped with much colder, took 1km until could keep head under continuously, although just adding a neoprene hat the week after made a huge difference for me.

I used to suffer a bit more than my swimming teammates who were all just as lean when we were on training camps though, so you may fare better. I'm nervous about a non-wetsuit swim in Salford in June, so will need to spend some time acclimatizing.
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rocky79




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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all. Im going to give it a go i don't normally give up at first try so will see how i get on. As a few of you have said it's only going to get warmer from here on so if it's really that and an experience it won't get any worse!
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Wheezy




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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

12 degrees would be too cold for me. Would rather do some work in a pool for a couple of weeks while the lake warms up.
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ed_m




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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do some open water based drills in the pool Smile
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explorerJC




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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ed_m wrote:
Do some open water based drills in the pool Smile


yep...have some lined up the week after next...
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Ade




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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To help acclimatise I run the handheld shower over the side of the bath straight on my head cold 3-4 times a week. Helps you get used to the sensation/shock of cold water on head and then subconscious is a bit less panicked by it in the lake.

I remember the advice I was given. An experienced chap told me that my brain would over react to the sensation of cold because it wasn't used to it, in essence it would panic. You have to talk to yourself calmly and remind yourself that you do know how to swim and remember to breeeeath - not pant, which only feeds the anxiety reaction.
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Jorgan




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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luckily my first OW event isn't until 4th June, so no rush to get into the lake. I think the coldest I've swum in is 11 degrees, when I had an early HIM to train for; wore two swim hats and that's it. I couldn't feel my hands after 40 mins though, and couldn't do up my shoes laces or buttons afterwards Rolling Eyes

So cold water tips would be:
- make sure you have shoes that are easy to get-on afterwards & no shirt buttons
- spend plenty of time getting used to the water before you actually start swimming (esp important for races - don't jump in just before the start)
- top tip, though never used them, were tight fitting 'marigold' gloves.
- get a neoprene hat if you're susceptible to the cold.
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explorerJC




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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i crewed for Chopsy, formerly of these parts, at the Norseman....there's not an ounce of flesh on the lad and not only does he survive the swim, but then proceeded to race dressed as though in was a summer's day sprint...

am currently reading 'Becoming the Iceman' by Wim Hof...one of my athlete's bought it for me as a thank you pressie...
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Jgav




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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got my first OW swim Tri on 28th May and have yet to do OW swimming in the UK. Really need to get some acclimatisation in before then. Would two sessions before the race be enough or do I need more time?

Also, what swim hat (silicone/latex/other material)? I never wear a hat in the pool so not sure what to get.
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GBnathan1980




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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:22 am    Post subject: Re: Open Water - what is cold? Reply with quote

rocky79 wrote:
Hi All,

New to the forum and triathlon but have been reading lot for advice, so hi!

I'm about to start open water training and have now got my wetsuit - but was wondering what is actually cold in terms of the water temp.

Training will be in a lake (Queenford, Oxfordshire) which from looking at the website is around 12c currently but is this cold? Do I need gloves/socks/hat?

I know the question is subjective and have seen pictures of people in just swimmers in the same lake but was paddling in the north sea this weekend and couldn't stay in for a more than 30 secs or so - assuming that is colder than a lake.

I would say I dont feel the cold particularly but I would wear gloves running up to about 10c as tend to get cold hands.

Thanks


Taking a personal view on this. It depends.
If you have a key Open water event in May (ITU Qualifier for example) then it is important to remind yourself of the pleasures of OW swimming before the day! This may mean you need to take a dip towards the end of April \ start of May.

If your Key events are later on then why not give it another month to take the chill off?

If the weather \ water temp is just too cold to get some effective training in... then why not stay in the pool and concentrate on the session rather than the cold.

Again, its just a personal opinion but one that has done me proud in the past.
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SGreg




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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PCP wrote:


It;s 12 degrees, not 10. That's not absolutely freezing.
To acclimatise I like top get in, stand, dip my face in several times till I can take a couple of breathes, lie on my back, spin over do a few breathes with my face out then tilt to replicate swimming breathing (all this still stood up) then go for a short swim (400m). Maybe get out then get back in and go again, sometimes just get out and get dry.


I Guess we are disagreeing on how cold 12DegC is then as to me 12degC IS absolutely freezing. And as said I doubt many lakes are up to 12 yet! The OP with Zero open water experience has plucked that figure out of thin air.



Its the sort of temperature that requires me to get in and then get out 30 secs later through shear pain! next dip may be a minute, then full submersion of the feet, where numbness allows the pain to recede THEN I'll repeat the process with my hands, then my face. after 10 mins or so I am able to actually swim a bit. But still constantly worried about getting cold. Usually ends in a very unproductive session, where IF I had stuck to the pool it would have been very productive.

1-2 DegC More and I can just get in a swim.

I swam in the Salford keys in April/May (10-12DegC) before Ironman Lanza and there was absolutely nothing pleasant or productive about the experience. The time would have been much better spent doing something... anything else.

Swimming now achieves nothing but making you look HARD on the internet. Unless you are preparing for a cold water swim.



Back to the OP, If you really fancy it, go for it, just be very prepared it could really go to #@?#. Don't let that fool you once the water warms up a little things will be very different, UK Lakes can be quite pleasant once the suns been on them a few months.
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PCP




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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGreg wrote:
PCP wrote:


It;s 12 degrees, not 10. That's not absolutely freezing.
To acclimatise I like top get in, stand, dip my face in several times till I can take a couple of breathes, lie on my back, spin over do a few breathes with my face out then tilt to replicate swimming breathing (all this still stood up) then go for a short swim (400m). Maybe get out then get back in and go again, sometimes just get out and get dry.


I Guess we are disagreeing on how cold 12DegC is then as to me 12degC IS absolutely freezing. And as said I doubt many lakes are up to 12 yet! The OP with Zero open water experience has plucked that figure out of thin air.



Its the sort of temperature that requires me to get in and then get out 30 secs later through shear pain! next dip may be a minute, then full submersion of the feet, where numbness allows the pain to recede THEN I'll repeat the process with my hands, then my face. after 10 mins or so I am able to actually swim a bit. But still constantly worried about getting cold. Usually ends in a very unproductive session, where IF I had stuck to the pool it would have been very productive.

1-2 DegC More and I can just get in a swim.

I swam in the Salford keys in April/May (10-12DegC) before Ironman Lanza and there was absolutely nothing pleasant or productive about the experience. The time would have been much better spent doing something... anything else.

Swimming now achieves nothing but making you look HARD on the internet. Unless you are preparing for a cold water swim.



Back to the OP, If you really fancy it, go for it, just be very prepared it could really go to #@?#. Don't let that fool you once the water warms up a little things will be very different, UK Lakes can be quite pleasant once the suns been on them a few months.


I agree with most of what you are saying, including it being a really poor swim session but I see it as being really valuable for when I have too race because it makes me far more comfortable.
I'm racing a HIM on May 14th and if I just get 1 OW swim in before then I'll be scared to death on race day.
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