Cold Water Acclimatisation Week

So this is the week I am converting from Pool to Sea, at some stage I am going to have to do more sea sessions than pool sessions, so for one week it is all about the sea!. I will mix the sea and pool for a few more weeks, but for now I’m going for the shock and awe for one week to get it out of my system, swimming weekly in the sea is all well and good, but repeatedly getting in the cold on a daily basis is very very different.

With the wetsuit gone for the summer (I only used it for 3 weeks) it was back to swimming in just togs, but after my week away in Spain last week, I knew it was not going to be an easy transition. Last week was just an R&R week, break from work, training, everything, I’ve a busy summer ahead and I needed to unwind (and sleep!). And that is just what I did, loved the week away, swam only 3 days, but the water was 18deg (wow). I now had to face sub 10 going back into Irish waters!.

Torremolinos, Spain (Water temp 18deg/ Air temp 18deg!)

Torremolinos, Spain (Water temp 18deg/ Air temp 18deg!)

Monday: Myrtleville as usual after work, did 45mins (approx 3k), water was 9.8deg and I felt fine, water was calm, It was a nice evening but I got the chills afterwards for about an hour. A Swim in the pool with Dolphin Masters later that night warmed me back up nicely, but now that is finished for the summer, I can’t rely on that to warm me up, I must get tougher!

Tuesday: Early start at 6.30am in Inniscarra Lake. I was tired, cold, hungry even before I started, nobody cared, so off swimming I went with the 6 others!. We did 45mins (approx 3k), Water was 10.8, but the air temp was only 2deg (with light frost on the ground).. I trudged my way through the swim – lesson learned, eat something good the night before and grab something while driving to the lake. I was struggling getting dressed afterwards in the cold air as I was getting really cold quickly, I rattled my way to work and sat with layers of clothes on me for about an hour, I was not happy with myself, the bowl of porridge helped a lot though!. So I went to the pool at lunchtime to warm up properly, the arms were lead and heavy, but at least I was warm, I was not looking forward to repeating this tomorrow morning 😦

Inniscarra, Fab location to have so close.

Inniscarra, Fab location to have so close.

Wednesday: Early start at Myrtleville this time, but oh my, when you are driving to the sea with the sun rising over it, it just brings a smile to your face, how can you be grumpy at 6am when you have this location on your doorstep! Air temp was 6deg so we were a bit more positive for the sea temp, but the instant we stood in the sea, I looked at Eddie who stared back at me, we knew, nothing to say but to dive in and swim on. We had agreed to turn around at 20mins, but at 16mins I pulled up and stopped and checked the temp, yep 8.8deg, oh what a difference 2 deg makes. Only for the fact that we were lucky with the flat calm sea and a watery sun (that was giving no heat whatsoever) we would have bailed out earlier. We swam back into the beach – 38mins at 8.8deg, that was cold so early in the morning. Having learned from yesterdays misery of the cold, I had come prepared with a hot water bottle this time, I had my clothes wrapped up in it, and then I stuffed it inside my jumper while I was driving to work, still smiling from the glorious day break sunrise. A Little warmer today.

Rising Sun Over Myrtleville, 1st May (Summer!)

Rising Sun Over Myrtleville, 1st May (Summer!)

Thursday: Back to the lake, kneeskins were off and it was back to plain togs! Gabor brought a friend with him to kayak and take photos while we swam. Air temp reading 2.5deg again with glistening grass in the fields around us, But alas the lake temp broke 11deg – Finally. Todays 45min (3k) seemed a little bit more comfortable.

May as well get stuck in! Inniscarra Lake

May as well get stuck in! Inniscarra Lake

Action shot - Brilliantly captured by Rob the Kayaker :)

Action shot – Brilliantly captured by Rob the Kayaker 🙂

I will being hitting the OW again over the long weekend mixing up lake and sea, lets see if my week has prepared me to try to break the next barrier – surviving an hour swimming and recovering within the hour! I have got to get used to warming up faster, as our 2-way Channel Relay is now only 9 weeks away, and I have to be prepared to get cold and recover and get cold and recover and repeat and repeat!

With the Waters in NY climbing up to 12.1deg(53.6f) and the English Channel finally creeping up to 8.8deg(47.8f), its time to get really prepared, the big mileage is done, now the real fun starts! I must balance the mileage for NY (now only 5 weeks away) with the cold swims for the Channel (window opens in 9 weeks)… Bring it on 🙂

The Will to Succeed is worth nothing unless

you have the Will to Prepare!


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1 Response to Cold Water Acclimatisation Week

  1. minkejill says:

    the lake looks beautiful. very jealous; we have no freshwater swimming here :o(

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