8 Ways to Handle Swimming in Cold Water

- Harshad Daswani, The Beach Company
I'll be the first to say that I hate cold water. During all my 14 years swimming, I never once got used to or enjoyed jumping into a cold pool. But I love swimming so I've found the best way to beat the cold!

Here is a list of tips to minimize the negative affects and the uncomfortable feelings that can result from cold water swimming.

1. Wear two caps. You lose most of your heat through your head, and doubling up your "capage" helps you to keep your heat in.

2. Wear a neoprene cap. Neoprene is better suited for cold water than standard latex. 

3. You also lose lots of heat through your feet. Neoprene socks are a good idea, but you may want to use these mostly on training swims, else just swim with simple splashers.

4. Wear a wetsuit. The sleeveless suits allow heat to escape through your armpits. I learned this the hard way when doing the Alcatraz swim in 52 degree water with a sleeveless style suit! 

5. Put in earplugs. When the water drops below 22 degrees, I think earplugs become necessary—and they do work well in keeping your core temperature up.

6. At first, cold water can be a shock to your system, so, you will want to swim slowly until you catch your breath. 

7. Do a slight warm-up, this will help you to get into a stroke rhythm much faster.

8. Blow bubbles before taking off on your swim. Go waist deep into the water and submerge your face to blow bubbles. This helps alleviate the shock of the cold water.

Use these tips not only to help your body tolerate cold water swimming, but to use it to your advantage and gain a leg up on your competition.


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