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Thread: Water temperature

  1. #1
    Active Member iswim41's Avatar
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    Water temperature

    I don't get in here often so maybe this has already been discussed, but what do you all think is an ideal water temperature for swimming? I've always liked 80 degrees. The place I swim at most often (Lifetime Fitness in New Hope, Minnesota) hovered there for most of the winter. Sometimes more, but it usually came back down. Due to a work schedule change I didn't go for a week. I got back in on Tuesday and the temp was 86. I actually cut my workout short and switched to mostly kicking. I asked them to lower the temp and later sent an email. I got back in on Friday and it was still 86. I talked to the front desk and explained. I realize, I'm only one person, but I can't imagine anybody else wanting to actually swim laps, wanting the water to be this warm. Not to mention it being cost effective for operations. The guy said it was up because people complained it was too cold. These are probably older people and/or the people doing those water aerobics. I tell them, man, just move around more and you'll warm up. Or sit in the jacuzzi.

    More questions:

    How do I tell if I'm getting overheated w/o actually passing out? Has this happened to anybody else? I recently started wearing a silicone cap, which adds to the problem of releasing heat. I did my intended workout, slower than usual and was pretty wiped out for the rest of the day.

    Do swimmers sweat in the water? I always thought so (it certainly feels like I am, but hard to tell when you're already wet). But some people say no. Is comparing a runner running outside in 86 degree weather and not being able to sweat a reasonable comparison?

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    Water Temp

    do a search on this site. There's been alot of discussion about the little ole ladies complaining "it's cold" as they paddle around and the swimmers are passing out from the water temp.

    There's been some good evidence, that you will find somewhere on this site, about the cost-effectiveness of the lower temp (and the smaller need for chemicals).

    One suggestion that is usually presented is to suggest that the water temp be lowered over a series of days. That way the little ole ladies don't realize that every few days it's gone down a degree or two and their bodies get used to it.

    I swim in an outdoor unheated pool during the summer--solves alot of problems. There is NO way to heat except from the sun--for the little ole ladies--if it's too cold--they just don't come.

  3. #3
    Active Member iswim41's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I'll do some digging.

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    Very Active Member Blue Horn's Avatar
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    I had a similar problem. Fortunately, I was out numbered by the noodlers and piddlers. After darn near passing out, I cancelled my membership and went elsewhere. Because of my frustration, I finally got up the nerve to make the commitment to swim with a swim team (HS and College Kids) and now swim much harder than I would have thought in such a short time period. I used to get tourched everday, but after about a month and a half I am finally starting to keep up. I wouldn't be any where near where I am now if it weren't for that hot pool.

    Hook'em
    Blue

  5. #5
    Active Member iswim41's Avatar
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    Okay, I've spent my spare time tonight (I'm at work) actually going through some of the threads. I should have done it sooner, because you all seem like a great bunch. Not to mention there is a lot of really good first hand information. I don't swim with a team as my work schedule and being a single mom basically make that impossible, so I'm not around other swimmers at all. This is nice and I promise to be more active.

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    Re: Water temperature

    Originally posted by iswim41

    How do I tell if I'm getting overheated w/o actually passing out? Has this happened to anybody else? I recently started wearing a silicone cap, which adds to the problem of releasing heat. I did my intended workout, slower than usual and was pretty wiped out for the rest of the day.

    Do swimmers sweat in the water? I always thought so (it certainly feels like I am, but hard to tell when you're already wet). But some people say no. Is comparing a runner running outside in 86 degree weather and not being able to sweat a reasonable comparison?
    Swimmers sweat. (Or at least they do if they are doing more than noodling and piddling...)

    Temps above 84.0 degrees hinder the body's ability to dissipate heat, and you'll tax your cardiovascular system. 86 degrees is stifling!

    Not sure if "overheated" symptoms are the same for everyone. For me, I start to feel like I'm wearing a shirt and pants as I swim. I can't keep up my speed. My eyes start feeling hot. I can't catch my breath. I have to stand in the shallow end at the end of each set to get some evaporative cooling. My water bottle is empty before the end of the workout. And for the rest of the day I can't seem to recover adequately.

  7. #7
    Active Member iswim41's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I think being wiped out the rest of the day was how I reacted. I also rested longer between sets. It's weird, for all the swimming I've done over the years I don't think I ever swam laps in water that warm.

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    i answered your questions over at

    http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...2682#post42682

    ande

  9. #9
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    You definitely sweat a lot while swimming. If you don't believe it, just weigh yourself immediately before and after your workout. The difference in weight is how much water you've lost. I usually lose about 1.5 pounds in a one hour workout, sometimes more if I'm swimming really hard.

  10. #10
    Very Active Member kernow's Avatar
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    Hi iswim41,

    Swimmers sweat, too. The danger here is that b/c you're in the water, you can't tell how much fluid you've lost.

    Hot water will take it out of you. Full stop. IMNSHO, 86F is way, way too hot to practice. My cutoff temp is 82- and I'll complain like hell to my coach if it's that hot!

    Having said that, you can still get some benefit out of training. Make sure that you are staying hydrated! That's really important. Do a lot of kicking sets (which I believe you said you were); get a lot of rest between repeats. When resting, hop onto deck and sit for a moment until it is time to go again. Sprint, rather than focus in distance, and see if you can go without a swim cap, as this will let some heat escape.

    Basically, use this time to focus on quality, rather than quantity.

    With a bit of luck, you'll work through it

    BTW- i know that you said that a team wouldn't work with your schedule, but have you considered going to an early practice, like 5.30AM? It sounds a lot worse than it is...

    In any case, keep us updated- and feel free to ask any questions!

    Happy swimming!
    Swim, piggy, swim!

  11. #11
    Very Active Member F'ueco's Avatar
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    My ideal temperature is somewhere around 60, but then, I am a nutcase.

    The pool I swim at is kept fairly consistantly at about 75. It's still a bit warm some times. When I was swimming competitively we kept the pool at 72.

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    I have read somewhere that 78 - 80 is the ideal range for competitive swimming and that most world class meets are required to have the water temp in this range. I wish I could find some official document that I could give to the aquatics director at the pool I use. It would help me make my case. Personally when the temp goes over 82 I really suffer.

  13. #13
    Active Member iswim41's Avatar
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    Hi Kernow,

    Thanks for the advice. I went back to my old outdoor pool yesterday and today. The water temp was warm (they keep it warm for the lessons), but the air temp was cooler and it's been really nice to swim outside. It closes mid August, though.

    I know 5:30 a.m. probably isn't as bad as it sounds, but seriously, my schedule is whacked. I work four 10 hour days (yet it's my choice to work this way, as a single mom, it gives me the flexibility I need), a split shift on three of those days, and the first half of that split from home. Then I go into work for the rest of my shift getting off at 1 a.m. During the school year I have to get up at 7:30 a.m. So fitting in an hour of swimming gets to be a creative challenge.

  14. #14
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    warm pool

    i have been a master swimmer at least 20 years and have swam in various pools. first bring water with you when you swim, you are sweating in the water as you train. do wear a nylon cap if you need one, so you do not over heat. try to drink water in between sets or even a lite sports drink.in most cases the seniors will over ride your request for temp. so you will have to adjust, if the pool is shallow stand up in between sets or get out and sit on the end for alittle while, to cool your body temp down. it is much harder to train in hot water and your times will be slower, but when you race in cool water you will fly

  15. #15
    Active Member iswim41's Avatar
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    Thanks, Debby. My silicone cap totally ripped today! My problem is I have a huge head. I don't know the circumference, but when I used to wear baseball caps, I only had three holes punched on the back. I have more hair now, too. Way back in college I wore a lycra cap to keep my hair out of my face. I was trying this silicone one to see if it would help chlorine damage to my already dry curly hair. I suppose I should do a search here for help with that, eh? I no longer shampoo my hair as shampoo dries out your scalp (following the "curly girl" method).

    You all have been so kind and helpful! Thank you.

  16. #16
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    iswim41
    I just got a hair cut no longer than 1/2 inch all over almost any cap would fit me. May I suggest a trim...
    Keep it simple George Park
    Swimsuit Sale http://www.swimdownhill.com/index.html

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    1/2 inch hair

    may look good on a guy, but I think Chris is a female as she mentioned being a mother.

    Might look a little strange on a female OR could lead someone to think that you are undergoing treatment for something.

  18. #18
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: 1/2 inch hair

    Originally posted by msgrupp
    may look good on a guy, but I think Chris is a female as she mentioned being a mother.

    Might look a little strange on a female OR could lead someone to think that you are undergoing treatment for something.
    I know that but GI Jane looked good that way.
    Keep it simple George Park
    Swimsuit Sale http://www.swimdownhill.com/index.html

  19. #19
    Very Active Member A.K.'s Avatar
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    82-84 degrees for races

    I always swam better over 80 degrees- less than 80 my body felt tight- this was 20+ years ago

  20. #20
    Active Member iswim41's Avatar
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    Smile

    Thank you msgrupp!

    Sorry, Geochuck, I appreciate the suggestion, but cutting my hair is not an option. After having pixie short hair as a child I cherish my long hair and it's actually become a bit of a signature for me. Most people can recognize me from far away or driving behind me! And I don't have Demi Moore's looks or hollywood makeup artists.

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