Peripheral Vasoconstriction in fingers demonstrated using Infrared

What Is Peripheral Vasoconstriction?

This physiological response has been mentioned so many times that I decided it needed its own specific post to plug into the Cold Water Swimming articles section. What is peripheral vasoconstriction? Following immersion in cold water, blood flow is reduced in human limbs and skin. Why does peripheral vasoconstriction happen? Peripheral vasoconstriction occurs to allow the…

Open Water Swimmers Are Disgusting

As overheard. By which writers really mean, it’s something they may have said or wished they had said. “That’s the weekend swim towel so it doesn’t really probably need to be washed for another couple of weeks .“ “Yes, he always pees on himself just before he starts a swim.” “Unexpected? Well, I was out in big chop and my sinuses filled…

Cave of Light, Cave of Birds

The Cave of Light and The Cave of Birds – A film of the pure essence of open water swimming – by Sam Krohn

Sam Krohn is an Australian open water swimmer, resident in the south-east of Ireland since his family moved here when he was young, Sam’s a regular swimmer at my own usual location of Tramore’s Newtown and Guillamenes coves. He’s also a regular reader of and the most regular commenter to this blog. Sam and I kept missing opportunities to go…

After I abandoned my first Ice Mile attempt

Ten More Common Myths of Cold Water Swimming

Following the previous Ten Common Myths of Cold Water Swimming. There are quite a few myths, most probably better described as misunderstandings, about cold water and cold water swimming. A few are even true. 11. Fresh water feels colder than sea water at the same temperature. This myth is usually confirmed by most experienced cold water swimmers.…

cold

Ten Common Myths of Cold Water Swimming

You know how one can reliably tell that summer is certainly over? I start writing about cold water.   Let’s kick the winter swimming season off, shall we? Okay, I know the water is still warm, but it’s often this time of the year that people stop or get close to stopping open water swimming…

Donal Self portrait b&w 95% IMG_3831_01.resized

LoneSwimmer Has No Balls

A couple of years later, I am still a little surprised that LoneSwimmer.com won the inaugural 2012 Irish Blog Awards for Best Sport and Recreation award (when the  site was also a finalist in a second category). Ireland is a sport-obsessed country, even more than many others. Football (soccer), football (rugby), football (Gaelic), football (compromise rules) and even…

Swimming out

Swimming for beginning open water swimmers and triathletes is like planting a tree. Twenty common beginner triathlete questions answered.

Swimming is very much like the old saying about planting trees.The very best time to start was ten years ago. The second best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is today. I myself did not start ten years ago but I did incrementally improve my skills and technique and open water experience and achievements.…

Swimming into the tiny cove with the Hood Tower behind.

Swimming Around Hook Head

Though it sits at the tip of the Hook peninsula, the historic Hook Head lighthouse is almost more remote than some of the Irish offshore lighthouses. The Tower of Hook, as it’s known locally, is the world’s second oldest operational lighthouse, and it’s said locally that the phrase “by Hook or by Crook” arose because…

Dark Night of The Soul

Dark Night of the Soul

Swimming for me, as for many of you my readers, provides a valuable part of my life, not least of which is the meditative and mostly non-stressful pursuit, where we swim not just in water waves, but also in alpha-waves. (Though occasionally the more dangerous the water is, the better for my mood and preference). But as…

Brief lessons from marathon swimming – I – Never eat a curry the night before a long swim

There’s a discussion thread on the marathonswimmers.org forum called Tips and Tricks and I’ve been writing my How To articles for a few years. But here’s a list of brief random items I’ve learned that I threw together, which  individually are too short for articles (right now anyway, who knows what’ll be possible mid-winter when…

Storm clouds grow behind Finbarr

Finbarr Hedderman and the North Channel – V – “That’s it. I’m done”

Fin increased his stroke rate after the feed and by 15:35 he’d made three kilometres in the preceding hour. Any half hour dip he suffered seemed to be compensated for in the thirty minutes either before or afterwards. First Mate Mark was plotting every 30 minutes by hand on a chart, separate from the GPS screens, and throughout the…

Quinton Nelson, the pilot who changed the North Channel.

Finbarr Hedderman and the North Channel – IV – Just Eight Laps of Sandycove

For the early hours of the swim, Finbarr was positioned and feeding (including a third of a Turkish Delight) on the port side, while one of the SeaCat fast ferries to Belfast was rapidly approaching about a kilometre south on the starboard side. This threw a large wake which reached Fin a few minutes after his feed, bringing the…