8 Ways to Handle Swimming in Cold Water

‘ll be the first to say that I hate the cold. Cold air and especially cold water. During my 14 years of competitive swimming, I never once got used to or enjoyed jumping into a cold pool.

These days, I prefer open water swimming to pool swimming, but refuse to get in our local Pacific Ocean until it gets up around 66 degrees or so. Anything below that and I’m known to turn various shades of purple.

Cold water can not only be unpleasant and draining, it can also be dangerous. Even here in southern California, swimmers have had to be rescued because they couldn’t cope with the frigid conditions. It’s always best to do your open water swim training with a partner, just in case.

There are many triathlons where cold water is part of the challenge‚ÄĒespecially the early-season ones in April and May (and even mid-summer in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest). What can you do about cold water, other than be uncomfortable, get an ice cream headache, and use up lots of your body’s energy just trying to stay warm?

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