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  #1  
Old 11-03-2015
michaelmarshall5030
 
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Default Time to use wetsuit?

We have had a weird Fall so far, as far as temperatures and precipitation are concerned, and I have been fortunate enough to get back into the river a couple times for some swimming away from the chlorine because the water temperatures raised. I had gone away from the wetsuit to learn proper techniques as I am learning, instead of relying on the floatation aspect of the wetsuit. As I am swimming (in a Speedo, yes I said Speedo) I'm finding the water to be a tad chillier than I like, and I think I want to stay away from the pool a little longer if I can since I enjoy the atmosphere of open water. When do most people transition into a wetsuit to stay warm as the weather gets colder? Is it a personal comfort level thing, or is there a temperature which it is wise to start swimming in a wetsuit?
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  #2  
Old 11-04-2015
Caro Caro is offline
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It's a personal comfort thing. Many people swim all year round without a wetsuit, a lot depends on physiology, how much cold you can put up with and what you prefer. Even wearing a wetsuit you will get cold and pretty much everyone reduces the amount of time they stay in the water. Either way when it gets really cold a neoprene hat, gloves and socks make it more bearable.

Whatever you do it is important to proceed with caution to find out what your body can cope with. It is best to swim with a group so there is help if you get into trouble. Normally the most dangerous time is after the swim when you get the after drop. Make sure you dry your body quickly, leave your feet till last. Lots of warm layers, hat, gloves etc. and a hot drink (most open water swimmers eat cake after as well but that is not essential for getting warm). Wait till you stop shivering before going anywhere too warm or having a shower.
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  #3  
Old 11-04-2015
michaelmarshall5030
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caro View Post
Normally the most dangerous time is after the swim when you get the after drop. Make sure you dry your body quickly, leave your feet till last. Lots of warm layers, hat, gloves etc. and a hot drink (most open water swimmers eat cake after as well but that is not essential for getting warm). Wait till you stop shivering before going anywhere too warm or having a shower.
Even though the river is right out my back door, literally, I never thought about the minute details about what to do after, other than just walk up to the house. Especially, the order of which to dry off and not to get a shower until shivering stops.
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  #4  
Old 11-04-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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This blog is the Bible of cold water swimming:

http://loneswimmer.com/

Enjoy it,
Salvo
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  #5  
Old 11-04-2015
Caro Caro is offline
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How lovely to be able to be able to change in your house. Still a good idea to know how to deal with cold though.

That lone swimmer site looks interesting Salvo, I will certainly have a read of it.
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  #6  
Old 02-17-2016
descending descending is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelmarshall5030 View Post
We have had a weird Fall so far, as far as temperatures and precipitation are concerned, and I have been fortunate enough to get back into the river a couple times for some swimming away from the chlorine because the water temperatures raised. I had gone away from the wetsuit to learn proper techniques as I am learning, instead of relying on the floatation aspect of the wetsuit. As I am swimming (in a Speedo, yes I said Speedo) I'm finding the water to be a tad chillier than I like, and I think I want to stay away from the pool a little longer if I can since I enjoy the atmosphere of open water. When do most people transition into a wetsuit to stay warm as the weather gets colder? Is it a personal comfort level thing, or is there a temperature which it is wise to start swimming in a wetsuit?
Of course you will have to find out your limits, but be very careful wearing a wetsuit in warmer weather if it's a long day you can get in big trouble and not even know it. I overheat in water over 80 degrees very quickly and choose not to swim period if the air temp is much more than that with water of 80+ I've ended up dry heaving more times than I'd like to count. Much of this will depend on your effort level as well, but just keep in mind your body will not like it if you don't give it a way to cool itself coupled with no water intake. YMMV.
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2016
michaelmarshall5030
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by descending View Post
Of course you will have to find out your limits, but be very careful wearing a wetsuit in warmer weather if it's a long day you can get in big trouble and not even know it. I overheat in water over 80 degrees very quickly and choose not to swim period if the air temp is much more than that with water of 80+ I've ended up dry heaving more times than I'd like to count. Much of this will depend on your effort level as well, but just keep in mind your body will not like it if you don't give it a way to cool itself coupled with no water intake. YMMV.
Before I proceed with my response, I need to preface my comment with that at this point we are now nearing the end of our so-called "Winter", as much as we really never had much of typical Winter temperatures other than a few short blasts of arctic air. I tried swimming in the river until about a week and a half after my original post because of water temperature, but more importantly, I ended up back in the pool for the Winter in order to work on some swimming mechanics issues that needed addressed; and I felt the pool would be a better place for that.

Because Spring in approaching, I am sort of on the other side of the hill pertaining to the issue of needing a wetsuit. I have recently thought about "taking the plunge" by getting back in the river without a wetsuit before the "warmer" weather, arrives after reading a couple of articles by LoneSwimmer pertaining to cold water swimming. Yet I am a little apprehensive to get in without a wetsuit due to the lack of acclimatization, but this might be a good time to get started on ditching the wetsuit altogether so I can swim without one year round. LoneSwimmer's articles do not specifically address how to prep before actually getting in the cold water, so does anyone have any suggestions as what I could do beforehand?
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  #8  
Old 02-17-2016
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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s.sciame
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelmarshall5030 View Post

Because Spring in approaching, I am sort of on the other side of the hill pertaining to the issue of needing a wetsuit. I have recently thought about "taking the plunge" by getting back in the river without a wetsuit before the "warmer" weather, arrives after reading a couple of articles by LoneSwimmer pertaining to cold water swimming. Yet I am a little apprehensive to get in without a wetsuit due to the lack of acclimatization, but this might be a good time to get started on ditching the wetsuit altogether so I can swim without one year round.
Same here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelmarshall5030 View Post
LoneSwimmer's articles do not specifically address how to prep before actually getting in the cold water, so does anyone have any suggestions as what I could do beforehand?
Not a cold water expert, anyway you may also like reading this:

http://www.icemanwimhof.com/innerfire

Since the end of November I committed to consistently doing cold showers, I guess it's the simplest thing you can do beforehand. I either have 100% cold showers or switch between cold and warm to improve blood circulation but always end with cold water. When you get used to cold showers you could try some cold baths in your tube. I think it's a good training for both mind and body (ie good for both habituation and acclimatization).

Regards,
Salvo
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  #9  
Old 02-17-2016
michaelmarshall5030
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
Since the end of November I committed to consistently doing cold showers, I guess it's the simplest thing you can do beforehand. I either have 100% cold showers or switch between cold and warm to improve blood circulation but always end with cold water. When you get used to cold showers you could try some cold baths in your tub. I think it's a good training for both mind and body (i.e. good for both habituation and acclimatization).

Regards,
Salvo
I have contacted the man who is also known as LoneSwimmer, and he has also mentioned folks taking cold showers, but did not provide any specific details about the actual showers. After his reply to my inquiry to him, I have thought about strictly taking cold showers. How long of a cold shower do you take, Salvo? And do you stand under the water the whole time? I just want to understand how to go about it.
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2016
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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s.sciame
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelmarshall5030 View Post
I have contacted the man who is also known as LoneSwimmer, and he has also mentioned folks taking cold showers, but did not provide any specific details about the actual showers. After his reply to my inquiry to him, I have thought about strictly taking cold showers. How long of a cold shower do you take, Salvo? And do you stand under the water the whole time? I just want to understand how to go about it.
Hi Michael, it's cool that the Lone Swimmer mentioned cold showers. I thought he would have smiled at cold showers, he learned cold adaptation the hard way

Anyway I started like it is suggested here (by the way try also the push-ups after the power breaths, you could be amazed):

http://www.icemanwimhof.com/wim-hof-exercises

I started with the last 15s of cold water, then the last 30s, then the last minute etc. And I always expose feet and hands first, head last. Breathing hard while standing still helps a lot to deal with the initial shock. How long, guess about 5 minutes. Once I took a cold bath and stayed 10 minutes but not fully immersed yet. For a shower I think it's pointless to stay more than 5 minutes, you want to train habituation more than acclimatization (for the latter you would need much more time but you may not have it). The key is doing it consistently day by day. As for standing under the water the whole time or not, for me (still a beginner) it depends: after swimming or dryland training I feel stronger and warmer and I stay under cold water the whole time. When I feel less strong I close the water while I use soap and then open it again.
As the lone swimmer says, cold is always cold, you feel it but you just take care less if you're trained to it.
Lastly, at the end of a cold shower, I feel great!

Hope that helps,
Salvo
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