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Because I don't have one.. lol
I want to start doing some open-water swimming, and the sea is 66 degrees. Should I wait a while until it warms up?
Last edited by:
: Apr 15, 05 2:13
Even though I have swam in water below that temperature, I don't recommend it.
I would say, it's a bit cold...at least for me! :-)
The "Pocket Hercules" - jgrat
Technique sets the upper limit to where your fitness will take you...
81 degrees is too cold for me to swim without a wetsuit. I HATE to get in the pool, and will skip swim workouts because I hate it that much to get in the cold water. Dang, I'm a wuss about it!
Quid quid latine dictum sit altum videtur
(That which is said in Latin sounds profound)
Yes.......too cold....that water will give you a heart attack.
I shall never misuse Rex Kwon Do
I shall be a champion of freedom and justice
It would be too cold for me, to be sure. I usually start swimming in the St. Lawrence at the May/June interface, and that can be uncomfortable. I have a kids' pool thermometer that I put in the shallows, and it'll read right around 60. Sometimes, though, given how cold I get, I'm sure it is colder, but assuming it is close to accurate I can't imagine handling just six degrees "warmer" sans wetsuit. I can also keep close to the shallows for much of my swims in the St. Lawrence, so at least if I get in thermoregulatory difficulty I can vacate the water easily. You mention the sea - might be kind of risky! Tell me that you'll have partners nearby if you're going to do cold ocean swims without a wetsuit!! Finally, how do you measure? I'm 6'3" and about 175, and I have an old QR fullsuit that I'd be happy to send to you if you thought it would fit.
pick up a used wetsuit on ebay, even a QR shorty ( knee-length, sleeveless)- will be much more enjoyable.
you may be ok for short swims, but that is a bit cold.
I get cold very easily (5' 10 and 132lbs) but I coped okay around that temperature in just speedos for a lifeguard competition. It was only a 500m swim and it was late afternoon on a day with air temperatures up in the 90s which helped. Not sure what it would have been like for any reasonable length of time in the water. 10C water with a 2mm thick wetsuit (short legs, long arms) and I was hypothermic after about four minutes.
Remember that one symptom of hypothermia is poor decision making. So you may not be quite as lucid, and properly able to get yourself out of the water before you realize it. The problem with me is that I make the bad decisions long before I even get in the cold water.
I don't think 66 is that terrible, I routinely swim in 70 with no wetsuit. It's not the most comfortable thing in the world, but for 20 minutes or so you should be fine. If you deciide to do it, have someone with you or stay near. That may be more difficult in the ocean, especially when the sharks are feeding.
Water temperature is a very personal matter and for some people 80 degrees is cold. Some of the former Navy SEALs that frequent the board will probably chime in on the realities of lengthy exposure to cold water. Back in the 90's, the US Army Ranger School experienced a tragedy during "Jungle" phase when despite numerous safety measures and the students rigorous activities while exposed to several hours of emersion in waist/chest deep waters, several of the Ranger students developed hypothermia resulting in a fatality.
Now I suggest you draw your own conclusions as everyone has differrent tolerances for cold. I have been exposed at various times to water temps that ranged between 50-70 degrees and although there is a significant initial shock, in my case as long as the water is above 65 degrees or so, if I am exercising or performing some action that prevents me from dwelling on the water temps, I can tolerate (keep in mind that many of those times I did not have much choice in the matter). A couple years ago, the heater at one of the pools I use had broken but the sign indicating the pool was closed for maintenance was only posted on the front entrance and I came in through the back entrance. I was 30-minutes into the workout when the maintenance guy came by and asked me if I thought the water was cold (apparently it was only 75 degrees at the time) to which I responded "only when I first got in." After I finished the workout, I ran on the treadmill and lifted weights and felt none the worse for it. I will note that while I was in the pool, two others attempted to swim; one jumped in and seemed as if she was trying to exit even before her arms hit the water (very humorous, could have one some moeny if we had video) and the other person did not make it past the first step - I had taken the plunge and jumped in (stupid, stupid, stupid!).
Tolerance to cold water varies a great deal. When I was really young (probably about your age), I did do outdoor swim practices in water that was sometimes that cold. Wasn't a great deal of fun, but probably not that dangerous. Of course, one reason why it was not dangerous was that the swim was well supervised by a maniac coach that would have noticed anyone slowing down and there were at least 50 other swimmers in the pool.
It depends on the person. My boss is a competitive and long distance swimmer and he finds it too hot if the water temperature is much over 60 F. He is making his third attempt at the English Channel this summer (at 62 years old). The sad thing is that he makes me look slow and I'm 34 years younger.
It's too cold for me. I could swim for a while, but I don't think it would be very worthwhile training -- my technique would probably be bad and I couldn't push too hard because I'd be focused on how f'n cold the water was. But, I don't tolerate cold of any sort well...it's that high surface area to volume ratio thing.
I did an Oly last year in water that tested 70 just off the bank. In the channel it was probably colder, and I didn't have a wetsuit. I made it, but my legs wouldn't really bend running to the transition area and I definitely didn't set a PR. This season I think I'll be getting a wet suit :). I need to loose a couple minutes on my swim anyway...
I did my very first tri with out one in 62 degree water.
I was younger then, than you are now.
I didn't die, but I can't say it was boatloads of fun either.
You would happen to need a small QR would you?
Thanks everyone for the offers, but I decided to go ahead and do the 1k open-water race tommorow without a wetsuit.
Will let everyone know how it goes.
It's ok for me. I do it all the time (though I swim MUCH better with the cheat suit on). Cold water does get my HR higher, though. Go try it for yourself.
What a drag it is getting old. -- Stones
My second tri was 61 water with a 61 air temp and it rained the whole day. At no point was I warm, and I hate the cold. Many were there in speedo's but I did have a half. The initial shock was breathtaking and I never really felt my muscles, so I wasn't sure at what point I would die, but none of us did and it was only a mental battle. You'll be fine, just don't panic when you hit the water as your breathing may be weird for a while. After my IM I got rid of my suit and now will go suitless as I admire speedo swimmers more than us life vest swimmers.
How well you do in cooler water depends on body fat percentage, genetics, and acclimation.
For me, 66 falls in the realm of 'yeah, the first 50-75 yards will be kind of sucky, but after that, no big deal' I've done plenty of swim practices in water that cool or cooler.
But then I'm probably higher body fat than most folks here, and suspect I also have a bit of the genetics going for me (though not like Lynne Cox or anything). A while back, my kid sister had to go through rescue swimmer training for her job, and as part of that, they got told to go tread water in 60-61 degree conditions. The idea was for them to learn symptoms of hypothermia, and the instructors would pull them when the swimmers were starting to feel them. Sister got pulled not for body temperature, but because they ran out of time and had to go onto the next class. She was left muttering 'it's not like it was that cold or anything, everyone else was wimps'
I don't have a problem at that temp sans wetsuit. Well, for 500 yds or so. A 1K, I'd have to think twice, though.
In my first no wetsuit race, I came out of the water and experienced some tunnel vision, even after I removed the goggles. It cleared within a mile on the bike. It was my first triathlon, too.
The second time I did it, Solana Beach, last year, I think the water was below 70. It's such a short swim, I decided not to wear the suit. It was a great choice as I'm not much faster with a suit and still came out in first in my AG. On the run out, I passed Emilio DeSoto, removing his T1 bib. So, having no wetsuit saved me that removal time and I had an incredible transition. Emilio passed me back shortly after that, among a few others in my AG (dammit).
Proud member of FISHTWITCH: doing a bit more than fish exercise now.
Ah-ha! It's that soon, eh? Well then, best of luck with it. At this point you might want to consider some lard to serve as an insulative coating. I'm serious about this. When I swim in the low 60s, I will put it on my hands and feet ( note: adjust goggles first!), and that helps a lot. Ambient temperatures will determine your comfort level as well - swimming in cold water with cool air temps makes for very cold hands slicing through the chilly air alternatively with pulling through frigid water. If it's a warm day tomorrow, you should be okay. Have fun, but if your testicles retract too far into your body, don't panic - they'll find their way to the outside again in good time!
No problem--Swim about two miles out and two miles back. Don't bother having a buddy, and no need to tell anyone where you are and what you are doing. Have a great swim! :)
Last edited by:
: Apr 16, 05 7:34
The swim went fine. My legs were kinda numb but it wasn't that cold.
There was a major swell though. Big big waves. It's weird swimming 'uphill'. Swam about 2/3s of the race with my head out of the water. Gotta work on that.
Bottom line: 19 C isn't that cold.
Freestyle--cold water will catch up with you over a longer distance. Another thing that can happen is leg cramps from the cold water, and it will be harder to run when you come out, and maybe take longer for your bike legs to warm up and get up to speed. Plus, if your bathing suit should come off, you will never be able to get a date--"shrinkage factor".