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AngieK

How Cold is Too Cold - When the Pool Temperature Dips?

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by , March 8th, 2014 at 01:58 PM (1012 Views)
There is an almost constant battle at our pool between the Masters swimmers and the Aqua Fitness/pleasure lap swimmers with whom we share our pool over pool water temperatures. Our Masters group would like to have cooler water for our strenuous workouts. This cooler pool water temperature is between 79 and 81 degrees. The Aqua Fitness group is made up of older men and women, who prefer a warmer pool water temperature. The battle raged for what seemed like forever. Finally, it appeared that management was able to mostly appease everyone. They kept one pool, where we have practice, slightly cooler and the other pool is kept quite warm. Now for the mechanical snafu.
The word came via Twitter and Facebook before practice. It said, basically that the water temperature of the PP (Program Pool, where we practice) is a brisk 76 degrees. You may bring your wetsuit if you so desire. Well, I don't own a wetsuit (yet?). I wasn't sure if I would need one, but I was sure that 76 was about what the projected temperature of Mirror Lake (in Lake Placid) is in August. I am hoping to do the two mile cable swim there at that time. So my first thought was, “Yay! I can find out if I'm going to need to rent a wet suit or not for that swim!” My second thought was, I wonder if it will be too cold for me to swim. I haven't really had a lot of opportunities to swim in colder or "brisk" water. So, I was looking forward to the challenge. It took me a lot longer than usual to warm up, but I guess I sort of eventually did. We had two people leave to swim in the hot pool, which was an awful 86 degrees. I could not practice in water that warm. My skin felt cool the whole practice, but I liked it, I was comfortable. It was so much better than swimming in warm water. When we got out of the pool, the walk to the locker was so much more pleasant. We are usually freezing, but after the chilly water, we were fine. The same was true of the locker room. I could get used to that temperature, I think… At the very least, now I know that I can swim for 75 minutes in 76 degree water. Good to know. What about you? Are you a cold water or warm water swimmer?

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Comments

  1. __steve__'s Avatar
    I can tolerate cooler temps though I don't enjoy or perform well in it. I can swim in 86 no problem as long as the air is cooler
  2. rxleakem's Avatar
    I enjoy cooler temps as a rule, especially as I enjoy the open water more and more. I prefer pools in the upper 70's for training, although my local pool is usually around 84. In the lake, I got down to 55 degrees for 27min in October. I have a write-up from Betsy Owens here - I swam it last years for the first time and had an awesome time! Hope to see you this year
  3. ekw's Avatar
    I definitely prefer a cooler pool. Ideally I think it would be about 79-80 for training.

    We have an unusual alliance with our water aerobics folks. Where I swim there are two pools, the indoor 25 yard pool that's usually about 83 and a year-round heated outdoor pool that's mostly for goofing off but that does have an area that's good for water aerobics. It's kept much warmer than the indoor pool even in the winter. The swimmers would rather the water exercise folks be outside and the water exercise folks would rather be outside so we are allied against the guards who want to close that pool when the air temperature drops below 60. Put on a sweatshirt, kids!
  4. jpetyk's Avatar
    I prefer the colder pools. At my old club, there was a battle between the high school gym teachers and the swim coaches (both Masters and USA). The pool would routinely be around 84-86 degrees and had reached as high as 88. Once school let out in the beginning of June, they turned the heaters off completely. When the temps hit around 75, I was in swim heaven. I could still tolerate the 70 degree water, however I think I was the only one who could. at 70 degrees, I could feel my muscles wanting to tighten up. Long story short, I much prefer the colder water...75-80 degrees would be ideal.
  5. AngieK's Avatar
    Yeah, I'm with you on that. about 80 seems the best. Funny about the guards! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! ~Angie AngieKozBlogs
  6. AngieK's Avatar
    Oh My GOSH! 55 degrees??!! That is WAY too cold for me. You must be training for something to endure that for 27 minutes. I enjoyed your post on the Betsy Owens Swim! Thanks for linking it for me. Wow. That is a bit colder than I expected -- water and air temps. Well, my plan is to do it, so I'll see you there! I think I follow that same Alicia on Twitter, so I'll have to look for her too! Thanks for link and comment! ~Angie AngieKozBlogs
    Quote Originally Posted by rxleakem
    I enjoy cooler temps as a rule, especially as I enjoy the open water more and more. I prefer pools in the upper 70's for training, although my local pool is usually around 84. In the lake, I got down to 55 degrees for 27min in October. I have a write-up from Betsy Owens here - I swam it last years for the first time and had an awesome time! Hope to see you this year
  7. AngieK's Avatar
    Steve, You should have been at my practice this morning. It was 86 and (for us) not good at all! Our coach had a hose and was hosing us down with the very cold water, as we came in to the wall. We were not a happy bunch today. Nice to hear some folks can swim in that temp though! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! ~Angie AngieKozBlogs
    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__
    I can tolerate cooler temps though I don't enjoy or perform well in it. I can swim in 86 no problem as long as the air is cooler
  8. AngieK's Avatar
    Oh my gosh, I would not be able to swim in that heat! No way! Unfortunately, we had the opposite at practice this morning. The temp was set to 86 to try to quickly warm up the pool for this morning and, well, they blew it. Forgot to reset it back to 81/82. I was so bad the coach had to hose us down with freezing cold water as we touched at the one end. I think 70 would be too cold for me, though... Do I sound picky? : -) Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! ~Angie AngieKozBlogs
    Quote Originally Posted by jpetyk
    I prefer the colder pools. At my old club, there was a battle between the high school gym teachers and the swim coaches (both Masters and USA). The pool would routinely be around 84-86 degrees and had reached as high as 88. Once school let out in the beginning of June, they turned the heaters off completely. When the temps hit around 75, I was in swim heaven. I could still tolerate the 70 degree water, however I think I was the only one who could. at 70 degrees, I could feel my muscles wanting to tighten up. Long story short, I much prefer the colder water...75-80 degrees would be ideal.
  9. knelson's Avatar
    The pool I train in claims the water is kept at 85. If you're used to 80 this seems very warm, but you will adapt. You just need to keep hydrated. After training in this pool for a few years I think it's actually good to train in a slightly warmer pool. If you find yourself in a meet with warmer water you'll be used to it where other swimmers may not be. I also haven't noticed a problem in cold water swims. I've done open waters in water under 70 degrees without any problems.
  10. jaadams1's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by knelson
    The pool I train in claims the water is kept at 85. If you're used to 80 this seems very warm, but you will adapt. You just need to keep hydrated. After training in this pool for a few years I think it's actually good to train in a slightly warmer pool. If you find yourself in a meet with warmer water you'll be used to it where other swimmers may not be. I also haven't noticed a problem in cold water swims. I've done open waters in water under 70 degrees without any problems.
    I also find this to be true. I swim in a pool at the Y that is about 84 degrees, and at the meet last weekend that I swam in, the pool was 81-82. Great for me, but not so great if you're used to training in a 79 degree pool, right? I agree that the warmer water practice temps may be more advantageous when it comes to competitions.
  11. AngieK's Avatar
    I just find it so hard to work hard in that heat. But, it's true, I think, I'd have big problems in a meet setting without being conditioned to warmer temperatures. I'm wondering about the below 70s temp for me. I think I'm going to have to just swim a couple open water events and see how I do... Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! ~Angie AngieKozBlogs
    Quote Originally Posted by knelson
    The pool I train in claims the water is kept at 85. If you're used to 80 this seems very warm, but you will adapt. You just need to keep hydrated. After training in this pool for a few years I think it's actually good to train in a slightly warmer pool. If you find yourself in a meet with warmer water you'll be used to it where other swimmers may not be. I also haven't noticed a problem in cold water swims. I've done open waters in water under 70 degrees without any problems.
  12. aztimm's Avatar
    The pool where my team trains is usually kept around 78F. It feels chilly to first get in, but after 200-300, I feel nice and warm.

    Due to a diving competition, the water temp was raised up to about 85 last Friday, and everyone noticed the difference. It was harder to swim as fast and we needed more rest between sets. At least our pool is outside, and this time of year the morning air temp is in the mid-50s, so all we had to do was sit out on deck to cool off.
    In the summer, our pool water will warm up to mid/upper 80s. It happens gradually over a few weeks, so usually isn't too horrible. As with this past weekend, the coach will adjust our intervals a bit more generous, give more rest between sets, etc. They do use aerators to help cool the pool, but when overnight lows are 90, there isn't much that can be done.
  13. AngieK's Avatar
    It seems like most people adjust to what they have to work with, but like you said, a sudden change can make things uncomfortable. We had the two major swings and learned that lesson! Sounds delightful to be swimming outside now. We are in Maryland, so no such luck for us!! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! It's really fun to hear from other swimmers. ~Angie AngieKozBlogs
    Quote Originally Posted by aztimm
    The pool where my team trains is usually kept around 78F. It feels chilly to first get in, but after 200-300, I feel nice and warm.

    Due to a diving competition, the water temp was raised up to about 85 last Friday, and everyone noticed the difference. It was harder to swim as fast and we needed more rest between sets. At least our pool is outside, and this time of year the morning air temp is in the mid-50s, so all we had to do was sit out on deck to cool off.
    In the summer, our pool water will warm up to mid/upper 80s. It happens gradually over a few weeks, so usually isn't too horrible. As with this past weekend, the coach will adjust our intervals a bit more generous, give more rest between sets, etc. They do use aerators to help cool the pool, but when overnight lows are 90, there isn't much that can be done.
  14. BrendaL's Avatar
    The heater at the pool I work out in routinely breaks and we often swim in 74F water... it's brisk and doable.. the water aerobics people rely on us to "heat it up" before they get in.. and they're such troopers to do that in 74F water.. but they're as dedicated as the rest of us.