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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…

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…

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…

Ice Mile Dilemmas – IX – Safety Is Everything

The Average Person? As a responsible extreme cold water swimming promoting organisation, it’s frustrating that the IISA doesn’t seem to appreciate its responsibility in promoting safety and reducing risk. The three-article critique on the IISA rules comprehensively illustrate many of the inherent problems, omissions and contradictions. The concerns of my correspondents and myself with Ice…

Cold Water Acclimatization

This post was a companion to HABITUATION, both of which I wrote in early 2010. Since I revisited and largely rewrote that as Cold Water Habituation, my plan was to do the same in this post also. Acclimatization (acclimatisation for those of us who forego the use of the z)  is a different factor to habituation. While…

Cold Water Habituation

HABITUATION was one of my very first posts, and the first post I wrote about cold and cold water swimming, over four years ago, little realising it would become my favourite subject. Although it is linked in the Cold Water Articles Index, I decided to air it out and rewrite it. (And change those capitals).…

The Worst Three Minutes

Over a year ago I wrote a popular post called The First Three Minutes, which investigated just the first few minutes of a cold water swim. (A real cold water swim, not your balmy 10 degree Celsius getting a tan (50F) water for softies). We know, us cold water swimmers, that passers-by focus on the water…

Cold Water Swimming Articles Index

This post is an index with a very brief explanation of each of the specifically cold swimming related articles I’ve written, so one can scan the entire list for what is most relevant for their question or area of specific interest. I was a bit surprised to see just how many I’ve written. Articles sometimes…

The Magic Number

Cold water swimmers have a finely tuned thermo-receptive sense, an ability to judge water temperature reasonably accurately, just from how it feels on our skin. It’s something that develops with time, experience and swimming. As an experienced pool manager my friend Clare told me that regular bathers will notice a temperature difference in warm water…

The relevance of shivering in open water swimming

- Apologies to those email subscribers who saw this earlier in the week and are seeing it now again. For this post, let’s take all the usual pre-swim and first three minutes stuff for granted. You’re in the water. The water is cold. And you are cold. We start there. The water is about 10°…