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Thread: Cold showers to acclimate to cold water swimming?

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    Very Active Member LindsayNB's Avatar
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    Cold showers to acclimate to cold water swimming?

    I recently saw an article recommending a process of taking progressively colder showers until after about four weeks you are using just cold water as a way to acclimate for cold water open water swimming. Does anyone have experience with using this method and if so how did it work for you?

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    Very Active Member ourswimmer's Avatar
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    Re: Cold showers to acclimate to cold water swimming?

    I took cold showers regularly one summer when I was unable to go for cold swims aside from races. It was psychologically helpful, anyway.

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    Very Active Member swim4me's Avatar
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    Re: Cold showers to acclimate to cold water swimming?

    I read that somewhere as well, and was very concerned about my Alcatraz last September after an extremely hot summer in South Texas. I tried, after all my swimming and non-swimming workouts, to take cold showers and I feel that it helped my swim in San Francisco. I did wear a wetsuit, but after all the very warm (air and water) open-water swimming I did all summer, the cold of the Bay did not seem to bother me after I got over the initial shock of jumping off of the boat.
    If you want a place in the sun, you have to put up with a few blisters. Abigail Van Buren

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    Very Active Member Leonard Jansen's Avatar
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    Re: Cold showers to acclimate to cold water swimming?

    Although cold showering is helpful, I have found that a better way is to sleep without any covers. It does take some getting used to. The downside is that the cats use me as their personal space heater at night and I often wake up sore and in contorted positions.

    -LBJ
    "Excitable boy" they all said.

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    Re: Cold showers to acclimate to cold water swimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leonard Jansen View Post
    the cats use me as their personal space heater at night and I often wake up sore and in contorted positions.
    Actually the cats warmed you up while you were asleep, so you didn't achieve your goal

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    Re: Cold showers to acclimate to cold water swimming?

    ...


    ...and take your after swim cleanup in a cold shower.
    Will get you ready for paddling out into a cold lineup.
    brrrr...

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    Very Active Member SolarEnergy's Avatar
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    Re: Cold showers to acclimate to cold water swimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by LindsayNB View Post
    I recently saw an article recommending a process of taking progressively colder showers until after about four weeks you are using just cold water as a way to acclimate for cold water open water swimming. Does anyone have experience with using this method and if so how did it work for you?
    Yes. But cold baths are even better.

    Note that depending on the racing venues, there's a possibility that even your coldest home cold water won't match the temperature of the open water.

    A cold water bath will often be near 60deg, first half of Lac St-Jean's race is often swam in water near 55deg. In such a case, it's better to add some ice to the cold bath.

    I don't know if your question pertains to short OW events or full marathons. In the case of a marathon, this cold bath regiment is only beneficial for the psychological component. If a swimmer is due for falling in hypothermia, it will occur no matter what.

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    Re: Cold showers to acclimate to cold water swimming?

    I think it is your hypothalamus but whatever it is that regulates body temp I have been told by my internist that yes, cold showers will increase your tolerance for cold water swimming.

    Cold baths are even better! The initial shock is always the worst part expecially the arm pits!

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