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Channel and Marathon Swimming Articles Index & adding a Donate option to LoneSwimmer.com, the world’s most popular open water swimming blog

This post arises from the blog’s fifth anniversary in January. Such milestones tend to make one consider various things. One that I have been ruminating on without any conclusions is the history and evolution of the blog and its place in open water swimming. I have recently come to (hesitatingly) accept that LoneSwimmer.com is probably the world’s most…

Guillamenes cove old steps IMG_2416_02.resized

Cold Turkey

The Internet sucks, doesn’t it? There you are, doing your best and still struggling. Everywhere you look online everyone else is telling you how amazing they are. That’s how I feel about it most of the time anyway. Just considering swimming, everyone else says they are swimming farther, longer, faster and better. They are also swimming colder and…

Other swimmers use dolhins and sharks are animal motifs, I use cartoon skunk Pepe Le Pew, who always keeps going

Advice on New Year’s Swimming Resolutions, whether for health, swimming improvement or weight management

It is known that people are usually more influenced by the other people they know, friends and families, than by experts. It’s from my swimming friends that I have learned most, not distant (both in geographic terms and ability) world champions or experts. I eke out my improvements incrementally, often going backward. I listen to friends, to them…

How To: Advice for Christmas or New Year swimming in cold water for irregular or casual open water swimmers

In Brief: PREPARE and OBSERVE If swimming by yourself, make sure you inform someone where and when and preferably have an observer. Your most important pre-swim action to make sure you know where to exit the water safely. Watch the water before you get in. If you have been drinking alcohol the night before, please don’t…

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…

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…