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Bobinator
September 8th, 2010, 08:40 AM
We recently were informed Big Shoulder's 5K OW is likely to be cold this year. (60-63)
Due to a very warm summer in central Indiana most of my training was done in water 85-88 degrees warm. This week-end we got a break and out water has been 72 in the pool. (It feels so good!)
My question is how much lower to what I'm used to can I go and be safe?
I am 5'5" and weigh 117. I have done BS 5K in water as cold as 68 with no problem but I'm just not sure where to draw the line and bail into a wetsuit. I do not want to get hypothermia. I'm planning to be in the water somewhere between 1:20-1:30. :coffee:

lefty
September 8th, 2010, 05:13 PM
Try a bath in 65 degree water. If you can handle that for 15 minutes then you should be able to swim in 63. I think you will find 65 to be down right chilly.

Based on the warm water training, I think you should strongly consider a wetsuit. Just my opinion.

pwb
September 8th, 2010, 06:50 PM
Does anyone know if there are any "calculators" out there our guidelines for this relative to body weight and water temp? I'm not worried about me, but I'm taking 3 teenaged girls (my daughters and their friend) out to La Jolla this weekend for the Rough Water swim and the water's likely to be 66-68. While they're only doing a mile, these are very lean kids. I'm wondering if 20-25 minutes in this temp is dangerous?

E=H2O
September 8th, 2010, 06:56 PM
The equation is (particularly over short distances):

Heat generated - Heat Lost > 0 Then they'll be fine
Heat Generated - Heat loss < 0 Then they will be cold

My experience is that teenagers can generate a lot of heat and that should be sufficient for a mile in 66 water. But I suspect there be some whining nevertheless.

evmo
September 8th, 2010, 07:52 PM
If the question is about safety, the only thing that matters is core temperature. Fat can help - it insulates the core - but even if you're lean you can generate plenty of heat through exertion. Which is why I'm not sure tolerance for a cold bath is relevant - there's no exertion to compensate.

But don't confuse safety with comfort. Anything sub-65F probably won't be comfortable, for anyone, even the "well-acclimated." You may lose sensation in your extremities, but that won't necessarily affect your core temperature.

Patrick, if the girls can do an OW mile in 20-25 minutes, they're pretty decent swimmers and know how to maintain a tempo. I'm no physician, but if that's the case, they'll most likely be safe in anything 60 or above. In the low-60's, they won't be happy about it, but they'll be safe.

Personally, I'm planning to do Big Shoulders this weekend (sans wetsuit) in anything above 57. It would definitely suck at that temperature, but with a race tempo I'm fairly sure I can generate enough of my own heat to pull it off.

Bobinator
September 8th, 2010, 09:32 PM
I just tried on a Blue seventy wetsuit from our store. I'm going to try it out in the pool tomorrow. I am thinking I will most likely wear it in the swim.
I don't think I could get myself to sit still in a 65 degree bath. I am a wimp. But I'll be a warm wimp :afraid:

knelson
September 9th, 2010, 10:31 AM
Are neoprene caps allowed? If so, that could help somewhat. Ear plugs, too. Personally I wouldn't think about using a wetsuit unless the water temp is below 60, but everyone is different.

stillwater
September 9th, 2010, 10:38 AM
The temp at the cove is closer to 62. It's been a pretty crummy summer.

pwb
September 9th, 2010, 11:15 AM
The temp at the cove is closer to 62. It's been a pretty crummy summer.Ouch. Shopping for neoprene caps today!

Bobinator
September 9th, 2010, 11:40 AM
I may go look for a neoprene cap after school! Great idea!

stillwater
September 9th, 2010, 11:49 AM
The NOAA web site claims 64, but they usually measure a good distance off shore. The San Diego Lifeguards claim 63. I'm sticking with my chilly 62.

SD Lifeguards have a recorded message of water temp, they are usually accurate by a degree.

SD Lifeguards recorded message, (619) 221-8824.

djacks
September 9th, 2010, 01:14 PM
The NOAA web site claims 64, but they usually measure a good distance off shore. The San Diego Lifeguards claim 63. I'm sticking with my chilly 62.

SD Lifeguards have a recorded message of water temp, they are usually accurate by a degree.

SD Lifeguards recorded message, (619) 221-8824.

Scripps Pier reported at 65.1 today...
http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/dsdt/cwtg/spac.html

I'm thinking of double capping and Mack's ear plugs.

knelson
September 9th, 2010, 01:23 PM
Scripps Pier reported at 65.1 today...
http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/dsdt/cwtg/spac.html

I noticed that. Pretty sure I looked a few days back and it was just a hair under 60, like 59.7 or something. So it would seem it's a little volatile. Under 60 sounds cold!

djacks
September 9th, 2010, 02:07 PM
I noticed that. Pretty sure I looked a few days back and it was just a hair under 60, like 59.7 or something. So it would seem it's a little volatile. Under 60 sounds cold!

I saw that it was under 60 a few days ago as well. A quick check on my flight reservations indicated a no cancellation policy. I guess I've got to go through with the race regardless of the water temp.

pwb
September 9th, 2010, 02:19 PM
I'm thinking of double capping and Mack's ear plugs.I just ordered this cap -- http://www.trisports.com/blseirskcap.html -- for my daughters, their friend and I. I'll wear ear plugs and then a latex cap over top of the B70 cap.


I saw that it was under 60 a few days ago as well. A quick check on my flight reservations indicated a no cancellation policy. I guess I've got to go through with the race regardless of the water temp.Yeah, I'm in. The good thing for me is that I entered both the 1 mile and Gatorman. I'll know after the mile if I can handle the temp for an hour plus.

Any other tricks for staying warm? I usually like to go long DPS and low stroke rate for as long as possible in OW swims, but I think I'll be sprinting the start on this one for much longer than I normally do.

djacks
September 9th, 2010, 02:51 PM
I just ordered this cap -- http://www.trisports.com/blseirskcap.html -- for my daughters, their friend and I. I'll wear ear plugs and then a latex cap over top of the B70 cap.


I've got a DeSoto cap just like that. I'll bring it and try it out on Saturday. I've had some minor problems with the chin strap chafing in salt water.

The neoprene cap really helps keep me warm. I use it during warm-up on cold mornings at the pool.

djacks
September 9th, 2010, 02:58 PM
"Gerry Rodrigues on Warming Up"
http://www.thewaterisopen.com/news/full/gerry_rodrigues_on_warming_up

Q2. Do you do anything different when the water is cold?
Yes, I spend less time in the water and more time on land for my warm-up. For me, water temperatures below 65F (18C) are not enjoyable, especially when it gets down below 62F (16C). The colder the water was, the less in-the-water warm-up I do, unless I had a wetsuit.

My routine is straightforward with water temperatures between 60-64F (15-17C): I stretch, go for a 15-25 minute run to get my core temperature up, enter the water slowly to waist height and then splash water on my face and head to get rid of ice-cream headache from the cold. Once I get rid of the headache, then I do a warm-up swim whose length depends on if I have a wetsuit or not. At times, I bring a wetsuit so I can stay in for a longer swim warm-up if I know ahead of time that the setting does not lend itself to an opportunity for much running. I never stay in too long to get cold. Then I exit the water and go for another short run with a sweat shirt on to get my core temperature really warm......then I'm ready to race.

sdswimmer
September 9th, 2010, 06:30 PM
For the roughwater, I've had a thermometer out in the basin (La Jolla) for the week and have had temps from 54 to 65. I've had some very cold swimmers out with me (I'm used to cold temps). Body fat, previous acclimation, enough sleep, mental attitude, hydration all play major roles. I do find the older fatter folks like me do better than the younger slimmer ones. If I had a group of teens out I would get on a kayak or a board and observe/escort them. THe rough water is big with a lot of folks out there the guards do a great job in general but you could watch for your kids and be very observant. It should at least help them and you with the mental aspect. I'd bring spare life jackets so if one did start to experience issues you coudl get them in the jacket then get help. Just the confidence that they are bieng watched may be enough for them to feel warm "enough"

sydned
September 9th, 2010, 08:47 PM
SOOO glad I did it last year. Good luck folks!

chaos
September 10th, 2010, 02:41 AM
there are two different situations in the above thread:
1. big shoulders = 5k
2. la jolla = 1 mile

for the shorter swim, the greatest danger is probably pulmonary aspiration from gasping at the start. i'd recommend a couple of race like practice starts (run right in and start swimming fast) to get used to the shock before doing it surrounded by 100's of other swimmers.

for BS; i believe it is a wave start so i would just focus on the swimmers in front and keep trying to pick out someone to catch and pass.... a little distraction can work wonders to keep one's mind off the discomfort of the cold.
after the swim, your temp will continue to drop, so have all your dry clothes ready (don't just wrap a towel or mylar blanket around your wet suit, remove it) and include a hat and maybe gloves too. a thermos with hot liquids to drink should help you get comfortable quickly as well.

djacks
September 10th, 2010, 08:20 AM
there are two different situations in the above thread:
1. big shoulders = 5k
2. la jolla = 1 mile



La Jolla Gatorman = 3 mile

The pulmonary aspiration (gasping) has affected me in both long and short races. I've yet to find a good fix for it. I now know to expect it and that helps. It usually subsides after 200-300 meters.

These threads are related:
Cold Water problem...how to solve? - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums
How cold without a wetsuit? - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums
"The gasping is caused by the vagus nerve in the nose..."

Also related:
"The Diving Reflex and Long-Distance Swimming"
http://www.suite101.com/content/the-diving-reflex-and-longdistance-swimming-a114304

(snip)
"How a Swimmer Can Prevent or Minimize the Effects of Immersion in Cold Water...
Pre-race cooling of the face is helpful for many swimmers: immersing the face in cold water, applying an ice pack to the face, or spending some leisurely time in the water prior to the event will initiate – and hopefully ameliorate – the reflex before strenuous competition begins."

sarah_q
September 10th, 2010, 07:18 PM
I was in the lake today for a practice swim and it's not really that cold.

sarah_q
September 11th, 2010, 12:27 PM
...but on race day temps had dropped back to 62 and it. was. cold.

gigi
September 11th, 2010, 01:28 PM
I recently did a 2-miler in 62 degree water in a regular bathing suit and a double cap (silicone under, latex over) and I wasn't cold at all - BUT I'm 5'5" and about 150 - I imagine the more slim swimmers out there would have a different experience!

I can't wait to start hearing how everybody's swims went this weekend!

pwb
September 11th, 2010, 06:35 PM
Not yet a race report, but here's my pre-race test-the-water swim reactions in La Jolla today -- http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?b=11477. Bottom-line: neoprene cap under regular cap with ear plugs worked wonders in 62-65 degree water for a warmup swim. Granted, we only did 0.5 miles and were in the water around 25 minutes (floated around a lot just to spend time in the water), but both my middle daughter (like 5'7" and <100 lbs) and I (6'4" and 185 lbs) did well. I'll post back again tomorrow with any additional thoughts

srcoyote
September 15th, 2010, 02:17 PM
I did the Big Shoulders after a year of training in water that never went below 80.

My post-swim observation: This is indeed a highly personalized decision. Many chose to exit the water early. Many donned wetsuites, and some chose not to get in at all. I pressed on through some trepidation, and found that I was fine. I had a harder time with the rougher water conditions than I did the water temp. I got out, and an Irish coffee was all it took. I was good to go.

On the other hand I saw a number of people including much better swimmers than I shaking and shivering. We all have different metabolisms and body types So while I now believe I could swim in water temps inthe 50's with some prep, others may find sub 70 a challenge.

pwb
September 15th, 2010, 02:39 PM
...On the other hand I saw a number of people including much better swimmers than I shaking and shivering. We all have different metabolisms and body types So while I now believe I could swim in water temps inthe 50's with some prep, others may find sub 70 a challenge.For sure, my experience was different -- fine for 1 mile in 62-65, but 3 miles was too long: http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?b=11492.

djacks
September 15th, 2010, 02:48 PM
I did the LaJolla Gatorman on Sunday. I was surprised at the time differences from last year to this year. Last year was a "rough" year but water temps were 70-72F (if I remember correctly). This year wasn't as rough but water temps were reported at 62-65F. The race times seemed to be down across the board.

Random comparison of 50th place:
2009 1:11:17
2010 1:18:19

Personally, I was 8 minutes slower than last year but finished in about the same over-all position. Does cold water slow us down that much? Other factors?

pwb
September 15th, 2010, 05:35 PM
I did the LaJolla Gatorman on Sunday. I was surprised at the time differences from last year to this year. Last year was a "rough" year but water temps were 70-72F (if I remember correctly). This year wasn't as rough but water temps were reported at 62-65F. The race times seemed to be down across the board.

Random comparison of 50th place:
2009 1:11:17
2010 1:18:19

Personally, I was 8 minutes slower than last year but finished in about the same over-all position. Does cold water slow us down that much? Other factors?I last did it in 2008 when the water was definitely warmer, but I was also not in great shape. I was about 4 minutes faster then versus this year, as were a couple of other guys I know who beat me both years. I would think that times on this race year-to-year should be pretty comparable since we swim to a fixed point and aren't therefore subject to buoy missplacement / course marking. What I don't know is how much influence both temperature and tides/waves make? This race felt rough out in the open water even though the shore seemed milder than last year.

Fueco
September 27th, 2010, 04:38 PM
How cold you can go simply depends on what you're used to and how well you adapt!

I've swum in 45 degree water before... It wasn't fun, but I survived a hundred yards or so. I recently did 1.15 miles in 55 degree water. I didn't get overly cold until I got out of the water in the mid-60s air!

My comfort level goes into the upper 50s. Much cooler and it becomes more of a sufferfest. I can tolerate salt water colder than fresh water, and I'm not sure why!

swimmerb212
May 14th, 2011, 01:27 PM
I'm curious if anyone knows how to properly gauge how safe one is in the water. I hopped in the Hudson River this morning (56 degrees) in my regular suit and two caps. It was cold, but I could move, with some tingling in my extremities. But after about 200 yards, I started to feel really hot in my chest.

I know that extremes of temperature can feel like each other, and I don't know where the line is of strange sensations and hypothermia risk, so I got out and let the wetsuit guys finish the swim while I was in the shower.

We're going to try again next week, any advice out there of what I should do to stay safe and what warning signs to look out for and what's just a weird feeling because it's really cold?

Herb
May 14th, 2011, 04:42 PM
I found the swim smooth site a few months ago and dig what they are saying. I think I am an overglider and they helped point me towards exhaling better and bilateral breathing which indirectly helped get rid of some pause in my stroke. It seems a bit odd though that they would be preaching high stroke rates to an audience of triathletes when many of them seem to take 20+ strokes per 25.

chaos
May 14th, 2011, 05:12 PM
I'm curious if anyone knows how to properly gauge how safe one is in the water. I hopped in the Hudson River this morning (56 degrees) in my regular suit and two caps. It was cold, but I could move, with some tingling in my extremities. But after about 200 yards, I started to feel really hot in my chest.

I know that extremes of temperature can feel like each other, and I don't know where the line is of strange sensations and hypothermia risk, so I got out and let the wetsuit guys finish the swim while I was in the shower.

We're going to try again next week, any advice out there of what I should do to stay safe and what warning signs to look out for and what's just a weird feeling because it's really cold?

been swimming in the hudson (between beacon and new hamburg) for 3 weeks. send me an e-mail. perhaps we can combine groups!
dvdbarra@yahoo.com
might be going out tomorrow.

E=H2O
May 14th, 2011, 05:31 PM
I found the swim smooth site a few months ago and dig what they are saying. I think I am an overglider and they helped point me towards exhaling better and bilateral breathing which indirectly helped get rid of some pause in my stroke. It seems a bit odd though that they would be preaching high stroke rates to an audience of triathletes when many of them seem to take 20+ strokes per 25.

They preach a high stroke rate because all those skinny triathletes are always SHIVERING.

chaos
May 14th, 2011, 07:37 PM
hey, i think you guys wandered onto the wrong thread.... this on is about frostbite, shrinkage and shivering.....

evmo
May 14th, 2011, 07:49 PM
High SR helps you stay warm in cold water. Not sure if it does much for shrinkage, though.

chaos
May 14th, 2011, 10:02 PM
High SR helps you stay warm in cold water. Not sure if it does much for shrinkage, though.

not gonna touch that one.

Herb
May 17th, 2011, 09:33 AM
oops, looks like I posted my comment in the wrong thread. Oh well, I think most of my posts are ignored anyway.

As for water temps, I'm not going below 70 anymore. I don't know about safety but I certainly don't enjoy it and I've got enough health issues not to push it. BTW, I was recently told I likely have Raynaud's (a circulation problem where my hands and feet turn purple). It doesn't seem to bother me in general, but does anyone know something about it and whether this would cold water swimming extra risky?

swimmerb212
May 17th, 2011, 10:20 AM
been swimming in the hudson (between beacon and new hamburg) for 3 weeks. send me an e-mail. perhaps we can combine groups!

Thanks for the invite! I'd love to tag along sometime this spring.

I'd like to share some offline advice from Swimsuit Addict, who told me that the hot feeling is OK, it usually passes as you acclimate in the first few minutes of cold water. What one should test for is being able to touch your thumb to your little finger, because hand rigidity is a sign of the start of trouble. Shivering, slurred speech, and not being able to feel your feet while swimming are also signs of trouble. Next time, I'm going to try swimming for a slightly longer period of time to test this out.

Shrinkage, not so much an issue for us ladies... Unless you're telling tales of people who worked out so hard that they lost that natural layer of fat insulation and became skinny little triathletes with high stroke counts.

Rykno
May 18th, 2011, 07:55 AM
I won't swim below 65 with out a wetsuit. but with a wet suit my first swims this year were 8-13C (46-55F)

the water around here is around 60F now, feels good with a wetsuit on. but until it's above 65F in the water and preferable over over 70F in the air i will keep my wetsuit on.

Ken Classen
May 25th, 2011, 10:29 PM
Did 40 minutes on May 7, at 52F, no wetsuit. Air temp was warm and it was sunny. Took me about 10 minutes of slowly getting in before I set off on the swim. After swim it was about 2-hours to get core temp back to normal. Second OW of the season last Sunday, water at 55F went for almost 80 minutes, this tie around 3-hours to get core temp back to normal, air temp not as warm as earlier swim. Honestly, I'm not sure it's fun. My ultra-marathon swimming buds and training partners have been doubling this with no wetsuits. But then there truly crazy.

I've had my best race finishes at around 62-66F, when temp is in that range I've beaten many in OW that kick my butt in the pool.

Rykno
May 26th, 2011, 04:45 AM
I left my wetsuit at home yesterday. I had two options. let the others know I was going to swim in the pool instead or man up and swim in the lake with just my jammers.

I swam in the lake it was just under 59F at the first bouy. and slightly colder about 400m south of that bouy. we only swam 2km, but since the others I was out with swam at a slower pace than me I wound up waiting on them every 200m or so to keep the distance between us to a min.

It felt great. I would never had just tried that without reading what others here have done. I had always thought 64-68 was my min temp, but now I know I can handle 59 too.

but I noticed that I burned alot more calories during that short swim. I ate a pint of Ben and Jerrys (1600-2000 cal) last night and was still 1lb lighter today than yesterday ;)

chaos
May 26th, 2011, 07:33 AM
I swam in the lake it was just under 59F at the first bouy. and slightly colder about 400m south of that bouy.

welcome to the dark side

Chicken of the Sea
May 27th, 2011, 01:14 PM
but I noticed that I burned alot more calories during that short swim. I ate a pint of Ben and Jerrys (1600-2000 cal) last night and was still 1lb lighter today than yesterday ;)

Definitely welcome to the Dark Side :)

swimmerb212
May 28th, 2011, 09:42 PM
how is it going?

Because of the weather, the water quality of the Hudson hasn't been good enough to swim in. ... until today! The temperature was about 63, and my swim buddy and I swam up and around an island near the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club, about 1.5 miles total. We floated for a while to talk to a friend on his sailboat, and to look around, and to swat away sticks, devilheads, and weeds.

It was beautiful, I was cold only for about 5 minutes before I got used to it, and my breathing normalized. My only complaint was that we didn't have a boat to watch us, and had to use rescue tubes that kept getting caught on my feet. But they were nice to have when we stopped.

Also, I ate some ice cream afterward. Yum!

Tomorrow, we're swimming in a lake in Carmel, which might be colder than today.

chaos
May 29th, 2011, 06:08 AM
Because of the weather, the water quality of the Hudson hasn't been good enough to swim in. ... until today!

water quality is a very localized issue. study the info available on riverkeeper's site.

MikeGarr
May 29th, 2011, 09:16 AM
I swam 50 minutes in Cold water Friday sans wetsuit. variable, 59-65F. Definitely took alot more out of me. Pretty simple. The body is working hard to stay warm at this temp, no matter what. We only prolong our ability to stay alive by raising our temp swimming. No way I can hang out at these temps. Gotta swim!

swimmerb212
May 29th, 2011, 04:23 PM
water quality is a very localized issue. study the info available on riverkeeper's site.

That is a great site. Our decision was also based on some basic visuals, there were entire trees floating down the river after that last big storm.