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…

Is the water too cold to swim?

This article is, once again, a variation of the most popular question here: “What temperature of water is too cold to swim in”?, which I’ve written about before. The temperature at the Guillamene last Sunday week (October 16th, 2011) was about 13° Celsius (55° F). That’s far warmer than what most people will imagine, not…

Total Immersion in marathon swimming

I mentioned T.I. in an email to a well-known record-setting swimmer and we thought I might write a post on it. When someone who has set a new record thinks it’s a good subject, you write! Many of you will be aware that Total Immersion, (T.I.) is a method of teaching swimming developed by Terry Laughlin, which…

An ordinary early Irish summer’s swim

You know, in all the swimming I did last year, I never really wrote about ordinary swims that much. Every swim was part of a structure, a plan, the wet road toward Dover and the Strait. I tended to think more about big swims and tough swims, or swims which marked some milestone. I often…

Body_Temp_Model

How we FEEL cold water

You could think of this post as something missing from the five-part series Extreme Cold Adaptation in Humans that I wrote. Yes, even with all that I wrote I still missed a major component. When you enter cold water you feel a few different sensations. I talked about habituation and gasp reflex, peripheral vaso-constriction and…

lanolin and other types of grease and lubrication

Salt-water chafing

When we were in Dover two years ago for our two-way relay swim, one day we were getting ready to go swimming in the harbour. Three guys came over to us and we got talking, as is common in Dover. They had come from New York for a one-way relay. They wanted to know why…

The cumulative effects of cold water?

I’m right in the middle of a painful learning experience, and that is the cumulative effects of daily swimming “into” cold or very cold. I’m tired this week as a consequence partly of last Friday’s nine and a half hour swim. But last Sunday I also started to sea swim daily. I’ve swum through the…

Brown fat vs. white fat

I’ve been doing a bit of reading on some new research papers on body fat (adipose tissue). Most (almost all) of the fat in our bodies is white fat. Fat stores energy and acts as an insulator. White fat specifically, which could be up to 25% of body weight, does not generate heat. Until last…

Women, Men and Cold…

So most of us have noticed a difference between how men and women react to cold, and even that we feel cold at different temperatures, and most noticeably that women will generally feel cold before men. (I’m guessing most men think a duvet with different togs per side is a good idea.) Well, there are…

Back again to the same old subject of Cold

Cold Water: Prepare- I often put on my togs before leaving the house. (Saves me a minute or two of cooling down before getting in the water). Most important on windy days. I stay warm as long as possible. Uncomfortably warm is good! Monitor- How do you feel in the water? How are your fingers/feet?…

How To: Prepare for Cold Water Swimming

I’ve touched on part of this before, but thought I’d expand it. Check the Weather forecast. No point getting there and finding out conditions are too bad. Obvious? Yes. Learn from the forecast though to extrapolate to your local spot conditions if you are not close enough to see it. If you are still learning…

Long Duration Exposure Effects of Cold Water

This is quite simple but if you really understand it, it explains a lot of other things. We’ve briefly covered the various stages of hypothermia. For regular cold water swimming, the important thing here is that as temperature decreases blood-flow changes. Blood circulation from the extremities to the core decreases, in order to protect the…

La Jolla Bay and a hypothermia tale

I’ve surfed in San Diego and swam in La Jolla Bay, in San Diego, a couple of times, last time in middle 2008. La Jolla particularly was a great swimming experience for a cold water swimmer like. On friday nights all the local triathletes, including some the of the world’s top professionals, swim from La…

My hypothermia experience…

In 2008 I did the first* Blackrock to Cobh 8 mile (tide-assisted) in October without a wetsuit that took me 3 hours in 12 to 12.5 Deg Celsius. I had already done a couple of similar or longer distance swims but not at this temperature continuously. (I had done Clew Bay at 12 miles and…