PDA

View Full Version : Cold Water Swimming - Facial Hair?



grahamcoleman
June 27th, 2005, 05:57 AM
Hi all - am doing the Channel next month.

My question is - with the water being COLD will facial hair help keep me warm at all in the water. Will only be in for an hour at a time, as it's the relay.

Am thinking of growing some facial hair (beard), and having had one before I know that once it gets long enough it wont chaff.

Would facial hair help keep you warm in the water or will it not matter too much?

Cheers

aquageek
June 27th, 2005, 08:20 AM
I think I read in a recent edition of our new magazine that more people have been to outer space than have completed the Channel swim. So, I have to tell you, I'm impressed.

Can you tell us a little about your training routine?

Tom Ellison
June 27th, 2005, 09:05 AM
Marcia Cleveland is a very remarkable woman that shared her training regiment and Channel Crossing experience in the book “Dover Solo”. On a 1 to 10 scale, I give this book a 12…!

Lastly, my understanding of growing facial hair or using grease to keep warm, is found in the trade off. The minimal benefit of growing facial hair of using grease is off set by the danger of getting the grease in your goggles and having the hair become a hassle. Swim the Channel as a purest ……

Good luck…..

ande
June 27th, 2005, 10:47 AM
hello,

I'm not sure if facial hair would help much
You probably ought to wear a silicone cap
don't think it would be good to get grease in your goggles either
It probably would help to gain some weight / fat to help you stay warmer, if it works for seals, why not humans?

good luck,

Ande


Originally posted by grahamcoleman
Hi all - am doing the Channel next month.
My question is - with the water being COLD will facial hair help keep me warm at all in the water. Will only be in for an hour at a time, as it's the relay.
Am thinking of growing some facial hair (beard), and having had one before I know that once it gets long enough it wont chaff.
Would facial hair help keep you warm in the water or will it not matter too much?
Cheers

Tom Ellison
June 27th, 2005, 11:10 AM
Graham:
I am not a pro...having said that, I swam four cold water off shore swims in San Francisco Bay as a purest in 52-55 deg. water. I make the following suggestions.

1. Silicone ear plugs. When your ears fill with cold water it can and will effect your inner ear. That WILL make you dizzy. Silicone ear plugs are a MUST.

2. Salt water contains suspended salt that WILL act as sandpaper wherever your body rubs against itself. I had hang mans rash around my neck from breathing side to side the first time I swam the Golden Gate Bridge (and huge welts under my arms). I used A&D Ointment under my armpits and around my neckline which cured that problem. When applying the ointment, make sure you have someone else due the application. Try to keep the ointment off your arms and hands because those are propulsion surfaces and you need their natural resistance to catch the water (the Great ISHOF Swimmer Graham Johnston taught me that).

3. Ande's suggestion is DEAD ON. Wear a good swim cap....or two.

4. Most of the good off shore swimmers I know stay away from the grease thing because it usually ends up fouling your goggles and getting into your eyes. It offers very little benefit for such a huge risk.

5. DO NOT gain weight at the very end of your training program. Swim at the weight you trained at. I know of three swimmers that gained weight during the last three weeks before the SFO swims. All three said they felt sluggish.

Again, good luck….