Some of you brave and adventurous people may have been swimming and dipping in rivers all through the winter but many of us wait for venues to open up (and warm up). Venues re-opened their waters to paying guests on the 29th March and many of you may be keen to get swimming in 2021 whilst pools are still closed.
Venues are likely to still be rather chilly (most seem to be reporting less than 10 degrees). As a triathlete, a swim leg of a race won't go ahead below 11 degrees and will be limited to 500m between 11 and 12 degrees, between 12 and 13 degrees this rises to 1000m and it's only at 13 degrees a 70.3 distance swim can take place so don't feel you have to brave the cold.
What can I do if the water is cold?
If you are swimming in cold water then make sure you raise the body temperature before swimming by doing some land drills and maybe even some short runs. Once in the water, ensure that your breathing is regulated before getting going by completing a few exhales into the water. There is nothing wrong with completing a few strokes of head up front crawl to get yourself going.
Swimming in open water
It is tempting to just get in and swim - sometimes this is absolutely fine to do: get in, enjoy the space, enjoy nature and just enjoy swimming. However, like anything, we should try to avoid getting into a rut of swimming at one pace so here's a few things you could do:
* Breathe in different directions between different buoys or for a certain number of strokes.
* Change arm speed/turnover.
* Work on your sighting.
* Change speed for a few strokes or between buoys.
Get into the habit of removing your wetsuit quickly after you've exited the water to help on race day. Once out of the water, get warm as quick as possible: a woolly hat is a must.
Have fun and stay safe.