I feel like I have some experience of cold water swimming now after my swim in 19 degrees the other day. This week I have been swimming at Manly or Shelly beaches rather than Balmoral as I have realised (and had confirmed by other swimmers) that the water temp at Balmoral is cooler due to the lack of tidal water movement. This makes sense as Balmoral is a harbour beach compared to Shelly or Manly where the currents bring in warmer water at times…
I found this interesting website that shows the water temperature and you can see the currents moving, it’s called WindyTV you are also check up and see if the water temperature is normal or abnormal for the time of year. According to Windy the water at Manly was 0.44 degrees cooler than usual today!
With cold water swimming you can of course get a wetsuit to swim in, but if you don’t want to do that, here are some tips for keeping warm before and after….
5 Tips for Cold Water Swimming
- Wear a woollen beanie under your swim cap, with an estimated 10% of body heat lost through your head this will help. Just make sure it is a thin woollen beanie otherwise the weight might get annoying… A lady I swum with yesterday said that she tried it for the first time that day and she definitely felt warmer… Another option is wearing 2 caps, both normal swim caps as that will also help keep the heat in.
- Take hot water… This could be in an empty milk or juice carton (a 2 litre one), fill it with hot water before you leave the house, wrap your towel in it while you swim. Once out of the water you have warm water to pour on your body (particularly good if there are no hot showers where you swim) plus a warm towel to wrap around you! WIN WIN
- Ugg boots after swimming, if you are a regular blog reader you will know that I love my ugg boots. In swimming it is your extremities that get cold first (hands and feet) so having ugg boots to put on will quickly warm your feet up.
- Neoprene socks, if you don’t want to give in and get a wetsuit, but are really feeling the cold on your toes, then neoprene booties might be just the thing. I got some from a surf shop for AUD$40, they are just 3mm in thickness and although I am trying to hold off trying them out I think that they will really help when the water temp drops to 19 on a regular basis. You can also get neoprene gloves if your hands get cold.
- Put your head underwater before you start actually swimming, or splash water on your face. The cold water hitting your face really takes your breath away, and I know that if I just swim straight in I can only do about 15 -20 strokes before I have to stop and catch my breath from the cold water.
Swim faster! Obvious, yes. But keep moving once you have got going otherwise once you stop the cold really hits you! I actually swim my fastest times in cooler water it seems.
For anyone reading this who is in an area where 19 degrees water temperature seems positively balmy, then shout out I’d love to hear how wimpy you think we are and how you stay warm in and out of the water!
Ps today I worn my Black LOLL because it went with my new swimming costume….