General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Swimming in the COLD Rss Feed  
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2015-08-25 6:51 PM


Subject: Swimming in the COLD

so doing my first olympic distance this weekend, and looks like it's going to be cold! i only have a sleeveless wetsuit (too late to even consider renting a full-sleeved one). i've looked into a neoprene cap and swim socks, but am wondering about my arms... do you think this will be a problem? or should i look into swim sleeves like the ones from TYR?

i'd say i'm not that type that usually gets cold very easily, but open water swimming is still fairly new to me. i've only gotten to swim in Lake Michigan when it was warmer (and once when the waves were crazy high & choppy... obviously, i didn't last that long in that one)

of course, chicago weather would take a turn on my first ever oly.

2015-08-26 7:42 AM
in reply to: jamie1c

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Subject: RE: Swimming in the COLD
Try to adhere to one of the commandments of triathlon: don't try anything new on race day. If you can get the neoprene gloves and cap before the race this weekend then try them out in the pool beforehand; same goes with the sleeves. You just never know what might bother you during your swim stroke and finding out in the pool will lessen the stress.

Sure, it will be chilly the first 100 yards or so, but I would imagine once you get going you're going to forget about the cold and just focus on getting to the swim finish. Good luck!
2015-08-28 1:10 PM
in reply to: #5136875

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Subject: RE: Swimming in the COLD
I have a sleeveless and have done plenty of cold water swims including Lake Michigan. Your arms will be fine since they are constantly moving. As the other poster said one you get past the first 100 yards you forget about the cold. I would suggest a good warmup to get used to the ate then it will not be that much of a shock at race start. Looking at water temp map for today and surface temp is still high 60' will be fine!
2015-08-28 3:23 PM
in reply to: jamie1c

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Subject: RE: Swimming in the COLD
The risk of hypothermia is extremely low in 60 degree water temps and a sleeveless wetsuit. Therefore, it'll just come down to mind over matter. I wouldn't worry at all. If you wear two swim caps...that' will help keep you more "comfortable" and is something you can try in the pool before hand. So that's a quick solution.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!
2015-08-31 4:49 PM
in reply to: Steve-


Subject: RE: Swimming in the COLD
Just for the benefit of future reference - water temps were 64-64.5. My feet and hands were cold on entry but after ~100yds I didn't notice anymore. I wore two swim caps and my head was fine the entire way. This was my first Oly, and second time out in a wetsuit.
2015-09-04 12:48 PM
in reply to: tmoran80


Subject: RE: Swimming in the COLD
thanks everyone! i think the water temps were around 62 when i started, and it was freezing when i first got in! i actually was able to get a hold of a fullsleeve wetsuit (i know, i know, nothing new on race day -- i broke that rule), and was really glad i did! i'm so new to open water swimming and it took me a long time to finish... i definitely think more than the cold, the fullsleeve just gave me that extra buoyancy to feel safe. i got really dizzy for some reason during the first half of the swim... could've been the cold water or maybe i inhaled some exhaust from a motor boat (i do remember smelling it at one point) . the 2nd half went MUCH better, except i kept zigzagging throughout the swim! (i got practice my sighting more!) overall, GREAT experience!!

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date : February 5, 2013
author : b2run
comments : 4
This is an article with lots of great information about running in temperatures from 0 C to - 30 C.
date : June 10, 2008
author : shadoweloc
comments : 7
I was nervous. The water was cold. The cones defining the course were so far away. When the whistle blew for my wave, I waded in slowly to let everyone else pass me.
date : December 17, 2007
author : AMSSM
comments : 0
Learn how to choose appropriate gear for warmth and safety. With proper clothing and exercise adjustments, you can enjoy a season of safe, effective and fun training!
date : October 9, 2007
author : RaytownPete
comments : 0
”Dang! That water’s cold!” immediately hit me. In these first few seconds, my triathlon goal sunk quicker than my legs and torso had. I now knew this was going to be a lot harder than I imagined.
date : May 1, 2006
author : Ingrid Loos
comments : 7
Being lean isn't all wine and roses. The reduction in body fat has, unfortunately, also made me a slower swimmer. I have also become a real wimp in cold of any kind.
date : November 27, 2005
author : Team BT
comments : 0
The toll of fate strikes as those with orange swim caps are beckoned to begin the journey. Ahhh, nothing like the feel of ice cold water seeping in your wetsuit to wake you up. GO!
date : September 3, 2005
author : Jen Doyle
comments : 0
Often athletes forget the fitness basics such as warm up and cool down. We know they are important, but we want to get into the meat of our workout without wasting time.
date : April 17, 2005
author : AMSSM
comments : 0
Training in the cold can be effective and fun with some planning. Overall, prepare for the environment, stay hydrated and dry, listen to your body and have a great safe cold weather outing.