Cold water swimming is no mean feat and is something that requires practice, correct equipment and a large dose of character! Its vital that you try and maintain as much of your body heat as possible when performing in cold conditions, making the apparel you choose to wear a very important choice indeed. Here are 5 swimming tips to help you on your way to conquering the cold water’s icy bite this Winter:
When cold water hits your face, the shock causes your lungs to contract, which can cause serious breathing problems. Blow bubbles before starting your swim by going waist deep into the water and submerging your face to blow. This helps alleviate the shock of the cold water.
Neoprene is more effective in cold water than standard latex. Wearing a neoprene cap will not only be more effective, it will also help to keep your head warm. Neoprene socks are also a good idea as they help to prevent heat loss through your feet. It might be a good idea to only use them on training swims though, as they can be a hassle to take off when transitioning to your bike during a race!
Double Up and Plug In
You lose the majority of your body heat through your head, so wearing multiple caps will help you to maintain vital warmth while swimming in cold conditions. Wearing a pair of earplugs in arctic temperatures can also help to maintain core body temperature. Why not take all the help you can get?
Performing a notable warm up on the morning of your race will help to reduce the shock that cold water can deliver. This warm up (of around 15-20 minutes), will also enable you to ease into your swimming stroke more effectively.
Practice makes Perfect
Cold water can shock the body into panicking or hyperventilating, so its important you become accustomed to it. Practice swimming in cold water in the months building up to your race day. To start with, you should swim slower than normal until you get your breath, as this will allow you to ease more comfortably into your usual swim.
Written by Rory Owen from TG Store