View Full Version : Is 90 degree water dangerous?

December 9th, 2004, 08:12 AM
I know it is incredibly uncomfortable but is it dangerous? I swim at my company pool, they recently increased the temperature to 32 degrees Celsius (90F) from 28 (82F), the air temperature has remainded constant at about 84. I usually swim 4000-5000 meters but with the increased temperature I am having trouble finishing 3K. I feel like I am swimming in pudding, I hope it is the heat and not me just looking for an excuse to cut my workout short.

Also, does anyone have any recommendations for workouts to try at this crazy temperature. I have been doing a lot of kick sets ask quickly as possible in the hope of creating a breeze for my exposed head.. it doesn't really help very much.

December 9th, 2004, 08:29 AM
I think you need to ask your company what in the name of Sam Hill they are thinking. Unless you work for a company of blue haired noodlers there is no reason whatsoever to have a pool this hot. I don't know if it's dangerous (ask Gull80) but it sure as heck has to be miserable.

I will say if you are swimming 4-5K in this soup, you have my admiration for dedication to the sport. I'd have long since given up and quit.

Rob Copeland
December 9th, 2004, 12:33 PM

During the summers our pool also gets into the 90s, so I feel your pain. When this happens I end up doing more stroke technique work, DPS, breath control swims, and lots of pulling. I dont increase my kicking and I dont do a lot of sprint work. And Ill often end up doing a set of broken 50s with 10-20 press-outs at the 25.

A typical 5,000 yd/SCM hot pool workout:
5 X 100 warm-up
4 X 500 1 swim (focus on technique), 2 pull (no paddles, breath every 5), 3 Pull (with paddles, breath every 3), 4 swim with fins and paddles
100 EZ
6 X 200 Breath control by 50 (breath 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th)
100 EZ
16 X 25 kick with fins, underwater dolphin
10 X 50 swim, broken at 25 with 10 press-outs (*1)
200 Warm-down

(*1) press-outs: face wall in deep water, with your hands shoulder with apart on the deck. Press yourself out of the water until your arms are fully extended, then drop back into the water keeping your hands on the deck. Thats one.

December 9th, 2004, 01:03 PM
Found this old post that might have some answers for you...

December 15th, 2004, 01:44 PM
90 degrees is outright unhealthy for vigorous lap swimming. Anything above 84 degrees (according to the Olympic Training Center) hinders proper heat dissipation and places undue strain on the cardio-pulmonary system.

Further, the warmer the water, the higher the chance for elevated bacteria counts, and therefore higher chance for all sorts of infections (uninary tract, ear, sinus, etc.) To compensate, pools need to maintain elevated chemical levels in warmer water, so even if you don't get an infection, you are marinating in chlorine sauce. If your skin is sensitive to this, you will face yet another unhealthy condition in a 90 degree pool.

If you can't get your company's aquatic facility to care about the health of individual swimmers, try appealing to their bottom line -- it costs more to heat the water to such an unduly high temperature, and it costs more to chemically treat warmer water.

Why the change?

Maybe your CEO tried lap swimming for the first time and couldn't handle 82 degrees. If so, this change demonstrates his physical wuss-dom. He should stick to the heat of board rooms and leave lap swimming to those who appreciate it.

Rob Copeland
December 15th, 2004, 01:51 PM
Guvnah, do you have any facts to backup your statements in paragraph 1 and 2?

Im trying to deal with a local aquatic center about heat issues and would love to have some documented proof of the health risks of overheated pools.


December 15th, 2004, 02:17 PM
Rob -- That was verbally given to me over the phone by the guy who maintained (at the time) the US OTC pool.

United States Olympic Training Center -- 719-866-4444.

My opinion is that I would trust the OTC people on something like this over just about anyone else.

December 16th, 2004, 03:47 AM
Thank you all for your responses. Rob, I did your workout and it was fantastic except I couldn't do the press-outs because of the way our drain is set into the wall of the pool.
The good news is this week the pool has been at 28C (82f) so I have been in heaven.
I spoke to the life guard about the heat and she said maintance turns it up and she can't access it.. so everyday it is a surprise as to how warm it is.
The pool is mostly used by women who do laps with kick boards and never get their hair wet so they like it REALLY warm.
I am working in Paris and I don't really speak French so it makes it very difficult to complain about the temperature of the pool. My company is huge so I wouldn't even know with whom to speak. One great thing about swimming in France is if you can do a flip turn they think you are a swimming genius! They don't have high school or college teams so most people are in awe to see anyone, especially a woman swim more than an hour and do drills.
Thanks again, I will refer back to this when the water goes back up in tempeture.

December 17th, 2004, 01:12 AM
Its not dangerious but its too hot for lap swimming. There are hot spring pools ones in Co and there is a lane for swimming there. But normally people shouldn't swim laps in temperatures above 85 and 85 is on the hot side.

December 17th, 2004, 05:06 AM
My advice on swimming in "hot" water, is to keep the distances short. It is almost impossible to do repeat 500's in water that is 86 F (my experience) but repeat 50's is more doable. This type of "hyper thermal" training, although uncomfortable and unpleasant, does result in surprisingly fast (compared to what you can do in the hot water) swims when you get into more reasonalby heated (around 80 F) pools.