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  #1  
Old 03-06-2012
tomoy tomoy is offline
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tomoy
Default Cold vs Hot water

My regular swim center has two outdoor pools - one cold pool at around 78-80˚ and a smaller pool at around 86-88˚. Usually I swim in the 'cold' pool, but when it gets cold out I go for the warm pool.

I haven't compared closely, but is there general wisdom on which is better for your body? My context is a 45-50 min. workout after work, before dinner. Usually 2000-2400M.

I searched the forum and see a lot of open water swimmers talking about adjusting (saying nothing about hypothermia!) and feeling more invigorated. But I wonder if the warmer water loosens the muscles or has other benefits.
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomoy View Post
My regular swim center has two outdoor pools - one cold pool at around 78-80˚ and a smaller pool at around 86-88˚. Usually I swim in the 'cold' pool, but when it gets cold out I go for the warm pool.

I haven't compared closely, but is there general wisdom on which is better for your body? My context is a 45-50 min. workout after work, before dinner. Usually 2000-2400M.

I searched the forum and see a lot of open water swimmers talking about adjusting (saying nothing about hypothermia!) and feeling more invigorated. But I wonder if the warmer water loosens the muscles or has other benefits.
The internal heat you generate will far out weight the difference in temperature. 86-88 deg is too hot for most swims that involve any level of physical effort. If you are just doing technique work slowly than the warmer pool is fine.

I find that I am more tired after swim in a warm pool than in a cold pool...even though you are in the water, you still have to be able to coool off.

Compare it to exercising outside...would you rather exercise when it's 78 degrees and humid or 88 degrees and humid?
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  #3  
Old 03-07-2012
naj naj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomoy View Post
I searched the forum and see a lot of open water swimmers talking about adjusting (saying nothing about hypothermia!) and feeling more invigorated. But I wonder if the warmer water loosens the muscles or has other benefits.
Acclimation is an important part, but some folks prefer warm water swims. I am not one of them. I prefer the water to be between 55F-60F in salt water and 58F-63F in fresh water. As for hypothermia, you can read an excellent article here. My muscles get loosen when I stretch properly and use proper TI technique during my workout.

Keep Swimming!
Naji
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  #4  
Old 03-07-2012
daveblt daveblt is offline
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I find that if the water is too cold my stroke does not feel as good, and it takes away from my concentration . 80 degrees or so , maybe low 80s seems good to me .

Dave
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  #5  
Old 03-07-2012
CoachToddE CoachToddE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomoy View Post
My regular swim center has two outdoor pools - one cold pool at around 78-80˚ and a smaller pool at around 86-88˚. Usually I swim in the 'cold' pool, but when it gets cold out I go for the warm pool.

I haven't compared closely, but is there general wisdom on which is better for your body? My context is a 45-50 min. workout after work, before dinner. Usually 2000-2400M.

I searched the forum and see a lot of open water swimmers talking about adjusting (saying nothing about hypothermia!) and feeling more invigorated. But I wonder if the warmer water loosens the muscles or has other benefits.
What you refer to as a cold pool 78-80 is the normal temperature range for lap pools. I have not acclimated myself to cold waters nab and other open water swimmers prefer. I will have to do some colder water swimming as my master's team is trying to convince me to join them in the Trans Tahoe Relay Swim this summer and Lake Tahoe is more to naj's liking. I do know that for me lap swimming for an hour or more in anything over 81 I find that I get overheated as CoachSuzanne stated and my efforts suffer as a result. I have never been in water colder than 63 (with a wet suit I might add) and I felt fine.
So not speaking from a medical standpoint I find colder better for performance and I think you will find this true across all sports.
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