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Thread: Cold water tolerance

  1. #1
    Very Active Member mjtyson's Avatar
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    Cold water tolerance

    It started today. Walking around in high 40s in only shirt-sleeves. (I mean, yes, I had pants on, too. Don't get me wrong.)

    Several years ago in prep for my second attempt at a crossing, I would start my cold water tolerance not even in the water, but walking in temperatures that others would consider cold, but without a jacket. See, I had failed my previous attempt (2015) in 55-57F water after 2.5 hours and almost 5k. I didn't want that to happen again. At that time, I had no ready-access to OW to practice in, and pools there (former Soviet Union) were way too hot. So I did a few things. One was being improperly clothed for the temperature and the other was to end every shower with slowly lowering the temp of the water.

    It apparently worked as I succeeded in my next attempt. The water was a bit warmer (64F) but I never felt cold for the 6+ hours I was horizontal.

    Now I'm lucky to be near OW. Been traveling lately, but am planning to go to test the water this coming weekend. Coldest I've ever done was last Halloween, 51F, and that was only standing mid-thigh for 10 minutes, then jumping in, stroking maybe 8-10 times, then turning around and walking out. This year I intend on starting early and continuing for as long as I can.

    What sort of things do you do for cold water tolerance if you a) have no ready-access to OW and b) if you do?
    --Mike Tyson (yes, my real name)

    https://blogs.marathonswimmers.org/ironmike/

  2. #2
    Very Active Member mjtyson's Avatar
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    Re: Cold water tolerance

    Continued today. Did 15 minutes in 46F. No, not swimming. Simply standing. That's the best I can do so far. I did dunk myself at the very end. But much better than my last time trying this, last Halloween, when I did 10 min standing in 51F, then 5-6 strokes. Getting there, slowly but steadily.
    --Mike Tyson (yes, my real name)

    https://blogs.marathonswimmers.org/ironmike/

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    Re: Cold water tolerance

    Where are you dunking at? Pond/lake? (ocean? :O) I'm thinking to find a pond or something, or else with the current weather pattern (ie unless it starts warming up) I fear I'm going to turn into a Badgersicle at the Landshark swim. :|

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    Very Active Member mjtyson's Avatar
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    Re: Cold water tolerance

    Quote Originally Posted by swim_badger View Post
    Where are you dunking at? Pond/lake? (ocean? :O) I'm thinking to find a pond or something, or else with the current weather pattern (ie unless it starts warming up) I fear I'm going to turn into a Badgersicle at the Landshark swim. :|
    Revere Beach. Closest safe/clean water to me being in Melrose.
    --Mike Tyson (yes, my real name)

    https://blogs.marathonswimmers.org/ironmike/

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    Re: Cold water tolerance

    Yikes. I think I'm too much of a weenie for the ocean right now. I also confess I don't want to go somewhere alone, just in case.

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    Re: Cold water tolerance

    Well I went to Walden Pond yesterday (with other people - my choir director's husband happens to be into the open water/cold water thing) and YIKES but pretty much what I expected. Is Walden too far afield for you, in Melrose?

  7. #7
    Very Active Member mjtyson's Avatar
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    Re: Cold water tolerance

    Not too far, but when Revere is so close...
    --Mike Tyson (yes, my real name)

    https://blogs.marathonswimmers.org/ironmike/

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    Re: Cold water tolerance

    But Revere is so... Oceany. Bit colder than an ol' kettle pond. I love the ocean (all bodies of water!) but I think early-season ocean might be a next-year endeavor. Props to you.

  9. #9
    Very Active Member miklcct's Avatar
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    Re: Cold water tolerance

    I just did some foolish thing in my trip, perhaps due to some misunderstanding.

    I had no prior cold water experience (under 18C/64F) but on the 2nd swim of my trip I was already doing nearly half an hour in 7C/44F, and it actually worked well.

    And on the 5th swim I misunderstood the Finnish sauna culture thinking that they like to alternate between sauna and swim and didn't know entering a sauna directly after swimming was outright dangerous, and got sent to the hospital after a moment upon entering the sauna as people thought that I was in trouble even I was (still) feeling well.

    When I looked up how to properly use a sauna no one mentioned that don't go to the sauna directly after swimming!!!!!

    By the end of the trip I was already doing nearly half an hour in 5C/41F and I felt much better than my initial swim in 7C/44F.

    I just don't know why I could do this at all, literally from 0 within a single freaking week!!!!! I don't know if my constant underdressing and non-heated showers helped me on this.

  10. #10
    Very Active Member mjtyson's Avatar
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    Re: Cold water tolerance

    Another good weekend of swimming. 36 minutes of cold water and salt water tolerance. 56-58F. Still building up.
    --Mike Tyson (yes, my real name)

    https://blogs.marathonswimmers.org/ironmike/

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    Very Active Member mjtyson's Avatar
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    Re: Cold water tolerance

    God gave us here in Boston vicinity 3 days of sun this past weekend, and I swam outside each day.

    Saturday: 2.35 miles in Walden Pond. So stinking pretty. (My second time as I swam 1.5 miles in it on the 22nd.)
    Sunday: 0.65 mile in Winthrop in 50-51F water. Horrible.
    Monday: 1.4 miles in Revere in 54-57F. Wonderful.

    Working that stupid cold water/salt water tolerance up, slowly but surely. Here's hoping for a few nice sunny days this week.
    --Mike Tyson (yes, my real name)

    https://blogs.marathonswimmers.org/ironmike/

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    Re: Cold water tolerance

    Quote Originally Posted by mjtyson View Post
    God gave us here in Boston vicinity 3 days of sun this past weekend, and I swam outside each day.

    Saturday: 2.35 miles in Walden Pond. So stinking pretty. (My second time as I swam 1.5 miles in it on the 22nd.)
    Sunday: 0.65 mile in Winthrop in 50-51F water. Horrible.
    Monday: 1.4 miles in Revere in 54-57F. Wonderful.

    Working that stupid cold water/salt water tolerance up, slowly but surely. Here's hoping for a few nice sunny days this week.
    And with that, we've had two days under 65F and cloudy/raining.

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    Re: Cold water tolerance

    I lasted 18min in 12C water on Sunday, sans wetsuit. I shivered a lot after I got out, but I was fine after 10min.
    M-50m, T-200m, W-800m, T-25m, F-100m, S-400m, S-1600m.

    My main swimming goal: Sub6min 400m FS/SC by April 2020.

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    Re: Cold water tolerance

    Quote Originally Posted by mjtyson View Post
    Continued today. Did 15 minutes in 46F. No, not swimming. Simply standing. That's the best I can do so far. I did dunk myself at the very end. But much better than my last time trying this, last Halloween, when I did 10 min standing in 51F, then 5-6 strokes. Getting there, slowly but steadily.
    IMHO, standing is harder than swimming.
    M-50m, T-200m, W-800m, T-25m, F-100m, S-400m, S-1600m.

    My main swimming goal: Sub6min 400m FS/SC by April 2020.

  15. #15
    Very Active Member mjtyson's Avatar
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    Re: Cold water tolerance

    Quote Originally Posted by Skuj View Post
    IMHO, standing is harder than swimming.
    Oh dang, I have not kept this up to date. Since the post you quoted, I've done a bunch of other swims at Revere ranging from 54F to 60F. Getting used to it. Check out my Winthrop experience (32 min in 50-51F) vs. what I mentioned about last Halloween (10min standing, 5-6 strokes in 51F). Acclimatization works!
    --Mike Tyson (yes, my real name)

    https://blogs.marathonswimmers.org/ironmike/

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