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Ice Swimming (IISA)

Cold Water Shock- making myself aware of the causes, symptoms and responses.

I've recently decided that I'd like to continue swimming in the open water into the winter (not continually like Forrest Gump, 'cause that would be just too exhausting!), but even before I've even put a toe in the cold water, a good friend, who is always one to put the fear of God into you if she thinks you are being an idiot/stupid/risking life and limb, has already had her two penneth. She appears to be well versed to the dangers of cold water. Impressed, I enquire as to how she had become such an expert in the field. She admitted that she's quoting the RNLI's advice about the dangers of cold water to me having recently been on an educational visit and, well, (her words) "some of it had sunk in. I knew I'd need it one day to lecture my idiot friend who has no sense whatsoever! Why would you want to do it?"

Top Tips for Cold Water Swimming that don't involve Swimming

If you're planning to swim through the winter then here's a few tips now that it's getting chillier ..........

  1. Don't swim alone. swim with a buddy or at least have someone watching out for you from shore. Swimmimg with friends is safer than swimming alone if you watch out for each other and it's more fun and companionable than swimming alone.
  2. Don't hang about chatting after your swim - that can wait. Get yourself dry, dressed and with a warm drink inside within 10 minutes as that's when the afterdrop will hit and the shivers will start. 
  3. Before you swim make sure your clothes are ready for when you get out. They should be right side out and stacked so that the clothes you want to put on first are on the top with your towel over them. When you're getting dressed sort out your top half first and then if you've got a robie or DryRobe put that on and sort out the bottom half.

10 things you only know if you swim through winter

You need cake, a flask, more warm clothes than you can imagine – and don’t even think about a hot shower.

  1. All-year swimmers don’t wear wetsuits. That defeats the purpose.
  2. You will never have enough warm clothes. You need many more things than you think you might need, to recover after a cold swim. Thermals, fleeces, your thickest jackets, woolly hats, gloves, socks and scarves. And you won’t want to take them off all day. It’s a pretty strong look.

Josef Köberl eröffnet Eisschwimmsaison

Am 07.10.2017 hat die Ice Swimming Association Austria die Eisschwimmsaison eröffnet.
Mitglieder aus dem gesamten Bundesgebiet haben sich am Hintertuxergletscher getroffen um in dem 0 Grad warmen Wasser
zu schwimmen. Unterhalb der Gefrorenen Wand ist auf einer Seehöhe von 3200 Metern der Eispalast. In dieser Eishöhle herrscht eine Lufttemperatur von 0 Grad. Dort konnten die Eisschwimmer, angeführt vom Extremschwimmer und Präsidenten der Ice Swimming Association Austria Josef Köberl, ihre härte unter Beweis stellen.

Hypothermia Myths And The Truth About Cold Water

I was meeting with 40 professional mariners last week to discuss their man-overboard procedures. Since they operated where the water is cold (under 60 degrees most of the year), I asked them my favorite question. 

“If you go overboard in January wearing street clothes when the water is just above 33 degrees, how long until you become hypothermic?”

Cold water swimming: why the hell do so many people like doing it?

The other week, I found myself front crawling my way down the icy lane of Brockwell Lido at 8am.

It was a lovely sunny September morning but bloody hell, was it f*cking freezing.

Even wearing a wetsuit, I found myself gasping for panicky air, trying not to ice to death. I thought I was a pretty good swimmer until I found myself floundering in sub-zero temperatures barely able to go four lengths without wheezing like a 90-year-old.

Hypothermia: What I needed to know before I began swimming in cold water

The water at the beginning of the season seemed to take an age to warm up, yet now it's nearing the end it feels like it's taken a bit of a nose dive! Not to be deterred I make the (feels like) bold decision to ditch the wetsuit and try swimming in skins. The last time I swam sans wetsuit was over a month ago, when the water was warm, the sky was blue, flowers were in bloom ...  This time, although the water wasn't so cold at 17.3oc, when you're not accustomed or acclimatised to it, it's frankly a bit of a shock when you get in.

US endurance swimmer Lynne Cox swam the frigid waters of the Bering Strait into warm Soviet embrace

It was the shortest slog in endurance swimmer Lynne Cox’s 16-year career, at just 3.75km, but her arrival on bleak, inhospitable Big Diomede Island 30 years ago won global acclaim.

With every stroke across the chill waters of Bering Strait on August 7, 1987, Cox helped thaw the US-Soviet Cold War.

Her two-hour crossing from US Little Diomede Island to Soviet Big Diomede had been in planning for 11 years, and even as she ploughed through fog in 6C degree waters, Cox was not sure she would be permitted to step onto Soviet territory.

From freezing lows to adrenaline highs: Why go ice swimming?

On a chilly afternoon along the picturesque shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, the sound of bagpipes pierces the air as competitors in swimsuits, caps and goggles line up.

The audience, clad in warm winter coats, erupts in cheers as the swimmers dash into the ice-cold water of the green lake.

Post Ice Swim Recovery

There are many descriptions to recovery from an Ice Swim. Some will describe it as “out the body experience” a “bad trip” or “black rain”. In some ways, it is a very personal experience because it is a hard one and painful, we all deal with it physically but mostly mentally in our own way. For me personally, the possible hard recovery is always part of my swim and my planning. My swim ends when my recovery ends. When I push further in the ICE I take into consideration that I have to come back and it will be steeper.

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