I've been pretty absent these days, but do not fear! I'm still swimming, just for shorter periods of time. Saturday was my most recent swim. It was 3 minutes long. The water was 32F/0C. the air was 27F/-2.7C, windchill of -7.2C. Surprisingly the warm-up was totally fine and took no longer than my 15 minute swims at 38. I am always surprised (and comforted) by the resilience of the human body. Cold swimming is a reminder that I can handle more than I think I can on a daily basis. I mean, if my body can recover from a swim like that, it can handle the stress of grad school, clinical fieldwork during a pandemic, and relationship challenges. It's all good. Just got to trust more.
|Usually, I wear a buoy but was a little concerned the buckle would freeze and I'd be stuck in a loop of icy webbing.|
|Bit of an ice ramp leading to the water. |
A little while ago I was explaining to a friend what we use to figure out how long we swim for.
1. First (and most important) is to know your body and experience level.
2. Start when it's warmer and ride the thermometer down as the water cools.
3. Keep a log of your swims and include:
- air temp
- water temp
- Did you eat before swimming? How long before and what was it?
- How much sleep you got the night before
- Life-related stress?
4. When the combined air/water goes below 100F make sure you have warm/dry clothes and a hot drink when you get out (and whatever else you want to warm up). This is the time to start to learn how your body feels as you get in, while you're swimming, and when you get out. With each degree that gets colder, you'll probably notice things that change. Only do as much as you are comfortable. (For a peek at what I use go to the previous post about my kit
or check out the Lone Swimmer
5. When combined air and water go below 80, really REALLY listen to your body and do not push it just because someone else you are with is! Swim 3-5 minutes less for each degree in a temperature drop.
6. Below 70- automatically swim five minutes less per degree drop.
7. And finally, if for some reason you are still swimming below a combined air and water temp of 60F: Seriously contemplate your life choices.
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