NEW – Open water Swimming

How to Avoid Cold Water Shock

This is the time of year when northern hemisphere swimmers and triathletes are returning to open water venues for training and races. At most locations water temperatures are still pretty chilly and the shock of jumping into water this cold can make you short of breath and anxious when you start swimming. It can also cause panic attacks which are deeply unpleasant and can ruin your swim and your race. Here’s a quick tip to help overcome this:

Before you get in and swim, splash cold water on your face from the lake, river or sea. Doing this for around ten to fifteen seconds allows your face to cool down to the water’s temperature so your body adjusts and the shock passes. Start to enter the water when the initial shock has passed. Get some cold water into your wet suit and move around to warm it up. Re splash your face and neck.

Start swimming soon afterwards to generate some heat into your body and warm the water in your suit. If your particularly nervous, start with a bit of breast stroke, so you can breathe easily but keep dipping your face into the water and blow bubbles under the water to help you relax, cool your face and control your breathing. You should find things more comfortable and you can start swimming properly straight away, exhaling smoothly into the water to settle any remaining nerves.

Note that this trick only works with your face, not any other part of your body.

Sounds simple? Try it – it really does work!


Also please see the attached link how to put on your wetsuit:

Dave Brayer