This article is a bit of much-overdue site maintenance. I’ve used cold as a category, but doing so allows a few less relevant articles to creep up higher in results. Therefore this post is an index with a very brief explanation of the article so you can scan the entire list for what is most relevant for your question or to your area of specific interest.
I was a bit surprised to see just how many I’ve written, though obviously I knew there were a few since it’s my favourite subject.
Articles sometimes tackle a similar area from a different angle, some focus on one small aspect of the cold-water swimming experience. This is a body of articles with which I’m quite happy.
If I had one simple message it’s that cold water swimming is dangerous, difficult and requires repetition to improve. No-one does it naturally or easily.
By exploring the many aspects of cold; environmental, physiological and psychological, I hope to help you understand cold better and therefore become a more confident cold water swimmer. These articles therefore are intended to help swimmers adapt to cold water swimming.
It is really important to repeat that most of us are not naturally good at tolerating cold. (I certainly am not). Cold should be seen as something you train for, the same as any other aspect of your swimming.
Habituation. The process of getting used to getting into cold water. This is where it all starts and was therefore the first cold water swimming article I wrote.
Acclimatization. the process of developing tolerance for staying in cold water.
“I just can’t handle the cold”. Part 1, Part 2 (What is the Vagus nerve and why is it important?), Part 3 (Fear). This is a phrase I hear a lot. Why this belief is irrelevant and why you, or I, are not special when it comes to cold.
One of my hypothermia experiences. It happens to us all. That’s part of the deal.
How To: Prepare for cold water swim. Practical precautions around cold water swimming.
Prepare, Monitor, Recover. A short article on part of experienced cold water swimmers’ ethos.
Men, women and cold. Understanding gender differences in cold water exposure and tolerance.
Brown Fat vs. white fat. Interesting and very relevant recent scientific findings that have direct relevance to cold water swimmers.
Brown Fat. A revised version of the previous post.
Merino wool, my favourite cold weather clothes for per & post swimming.
“What temperature of water is too cold to swim in”. The most common search term into this site.
“What temperature of water is too cold to swim in” Redux. An updated version of the above post with a fuller list of factors affecting the answer.
The cumulative effective of cold water swimming. How it feels to swim in really cold water for many consecutive days.
Six hour swim in sub-eleven degree water. The second toughest swim I’ve ever done.
Christmas and New Year’s Day swim advice. Comprehensive advise for irregular swimmers in cold water. Applies to any irregular swims and swimmers.
Extreme Cold Water Adaptation in Humans. A five-part series trying to tease out all the various factors of cold adaptation: Part 1 Asking the questions about individual variability, Part 2 (habituation and acclimatization), Part 3 (metabolic responses), Part 4 (further physiological responses), Part 5 (conclusion).
How we FEEL cold water. Concerning the body’s thermo-receptive response to cold water.
Always wear a belt. A lesson learned (and sometimes forgotten) about cold water swimming.
Peripheral vaso-constriction. The bodies primary physiological response to cold, in picture.
Wearing a watch. The primary safety device on cold water.
The important of stroke and the deficiencies of Total Immersion type swimming in cold water. Following the wrong advice for cold water is dangerous. Stroke rate is very important.
“Is the water too cold to swim”? Another different take on this popular question.
Winter. I like it. I hate it. The dichotomy of a cold water swimmer’s thoughts.
Introducing a Precise Open Water Temperature Scale. This site’s most popular article.
Come with me on this cold water swim. As close as I can take you to my experiences of swimming in cold water during the Irish winter.
Cold water swimming and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Another experiential post of cold water swimming, with some musing.
Understanding the Claw. What is the Claw and why do cold water swimmers get it?
How To – Understanding Mild Hypothermia in swimmers. To address hypothermia, it is best to understand it. Mild hypothermia is more common than not amongst cold water swimmers.
How To – Understanding Moderate and Severe Hypothermia in swimmers. There’s nothing moderate about Moderate hypothermia.
How To – Diagnosing and addressing Moderate Hypothermia in swimmers. Understanding cold for support crew.
Cold water and cold immersion shock, the first three minutes. It’s really important to understand what happens the body in the vital first few minutes of swimming in cold water.
Speaking as a Coldologist… Analysing (and debunking) a claim to cold adaptation through meditation.
WHY would anyone swim in cold water? Trying to answer the LEAST asked question about cold water swimming.
Cold water swimming and alcohol. They don’t mix and are a dangerous combination. This is important.
The Ten Commandments of Cold Water Swimming. I am the prophet of cold water!
What is Cold Water Diuresis in swimmers? Another physiological response to cold explained.
The relevance of shivering in cold water swimming. Yet another important to understand physiological response to cold.
The Magic Number. A consideration of transitional temperatures in cold water swimming.