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swimsuit addict

First Brighton swim of 2014

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Yesterday I double dipped, swimming in both the pool and the ocean. The day started at Riverbank, where it was decently cool and uncrowded—for most of the session John, Rondi, and I had our own lcm lane. The workout was inspired by a vintage HVT workout (2012.37.4).. Here’s what I did:

1000 lcm warmup (400s, 200k, 200p, 200 d/s IM)

9 x 100 FR: 3 @ 1:45, 3 @ 1:40, 3 @ 1:35
50 easy

700, FR except every 4th 50 ST (IM order)
500, FR except every 3rd 50 ST (IM order)
400, FR except every 2nd 50 ST (order)
200 IM

400 various warmdown

Floating practice, with equipment

After that I headed directly to the beach, happily meeting up with a couple of other beach-bound CIBBOWS swimmers on the subway ride. It was my first time out since December, and I relished once again seeing the familiar sights and stations on the Q line as I we wended our way out. It was a nice day, still chilly (air temps in the 40s), but very sunny and without much wind.

With the cold weather, the water has been slow to warm up this spring—it just topped 40 in recent days--and up until Saturday night I wasn’t sure that I really wanted to go the beach yet. I have a race coming up in 4 weeks (a 5-miler in CT) that I would like to be acclimating for, but I’m dubious that dipping for a few minutes in truly frigid water will actually help prepare my body for hours-plus efforts in water warm enough to sustain body temperature through exertion (which is what I hope I’ll find in CT).

So it was instead sheer impatience to be in the ocean again, even if just for a brief swim, that brought me out Sunday. And it was worth it. The water at 42F was bracing, painful even, and I swam for only about 200 meters, but the salt water immersion worked its usual magic, softening me up, opening my heart, and making me receptive to the beauty and wonder all around. Lying on the sand afterwards, basking in the sun and surrounded by friends, was so very sweet.

There were eight of us out on Sunday, 5 who had been coming out throughout the winter, and two others, like me, who were beginning their season. Times in the water ranged from about a minute to over 20—there are some hardy winter swimmers in these parts! Two among us, Cara and Brad, had recently returned from winter swimming championships in Russia and Finland, so I got to hear all about their experiences in that sport. (If you’ve never heard of winter swimming competitions, think of a swim meet held outdoors, in freezing temperatures, in a big swimming-pool sized hole cut in a frozen-over lake, outfitted with lane lines and timers and the whole works. Pretty amazing!)

Sunday’s experience just whetted my appetite for more beach days, and for water warm enough that I can combine my workout and my outdoor swim instead of getting them in sequentially. I love this time of year when there is the whole season to look forward to, and just more and more people coming out to the beach each weekend.

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Comments

  1. pwb's Avatar
    Any amount of meters more than zero in 42F is crazy ... I cannot imagine winter swimming championships.
  2. ekw's Avatar
    The winter swimming championships sound both fun and terrifying. I would love to see that "pool."
  3. jpetyk's Avatar
    Google the winter swimming champs there is a cool video of how they prep the site. A fellow from Pittsburgh was also there representing USA this year. It was fun to see the pictures he posted. The prep work is amazing as they chainsaw the ice out of the river!
  4. slknight's Avatar
    What do you think the temp for the CT race will be? I was considering going, especially since I loved their race last fall, but I think it's going to be too cold for me for 5 miles. I'm not going to be acclimated by then.
  5. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pwb
    Any amount of meters more than zero in 42F is crazy ... I cannot imagine winter swimming championships.
    On the crazy front--ice miles have also become a big thing. Swimming a mile in 5C/41F or under gets you into the club. Have to say I'm not tempted by that one!
  6. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ekw
    I would love to see that "pool."
    Ooh, I have wish granting power today! Here's a video from this year's Finland competition:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOjq...=1&app=desktop

    And this might be the one jpetyk is referring to--it's from last year's Murmansk competition. It's cool watching them remove those big chunks of ice from the lake to make the pool:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCBG...=1&app=desktop
  7. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by slknight
    What do you think the temp for the CT race will be? I was considering going, especially since I loved their race last fall, but I think it's going to be too cold for me for 5 miles. I'm not going to be acclimated by then.
    I've been wondering about that too. I think the temps at Brighton and in the that part of the LI sound follow pretty similar tracks. Both last year and this year, the temp broke 40 here the first weekend in April. Last year, the temp here was 53 the first weekend in May. So I'm expecting something between 50 and 55--I would be surprised (and a little worried about swimming that far) if it's below 50 by then, but not shocked if some warmer weather pushes it up to nearer 60.

    I'm thinking there will be plenty of chatter on the FB page about water temps as the date gets closer. If I'm remembering right, the sign-up deadline is pretty close to the event date, so you can always hold the date clear but wait and see how things are trending before you commit. I'd love to see you there again!
  8. slknight's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by swimsuit addict
    So I'm expecting something between 50 and 55--I would be surprised (and a little worried about swimming that far) if it's below 50 by then, but not shocked if some warmer weather pushes it up to nearer 60.
    !
    I could handle 55 in the fall when I've been in our cold water all season. But I'm not sure about going from an 82-degree pool to 55, kwim? I'm also going to Hawaii right before that, so that might be quite a temperature shock.
  9. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by slknight
    I could handle 55 in the fall when I've been in our cold water all season. But I'm not sure about going from an 82-degree pool to 55, kwim? I'm also going to Hawaii right before that, so that might be quite a temperature shock.
    I see your dilemma. It will be a tough race to acclimate for, even for those of us around here. Maybe the temp will be higher than I think though? It's worth keeping our fingers crossed. And if I don't see you in CT, maybe 2Bridges?

    Hawaii!! I know you'll have a great time there!!!