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A FIRST-TIMER’S GUIDE TO COLD WATER SWIMMING EVENTS

Have you entered your first cold water swimming competition? John Coningham-rolls explains what to expect and gives some tips on how to make the most of the experience

So you’ve signed up to a winter swimming competition. Aft er the initial bravado and excitement of entering your races and arranging accommodation and travel, there are some serious considerations that can increase your enjoyment of the event and mitigate the danger of being immersed in very cold water.

With more and more competitions being held worldwide each year, it is a good idea to plan ahead to ensure you have a great time without unnecessary pain! Knowing in advance the climate and likely water temperature for your event is a great start: an event in eastern Europe will certainly be colder than the UK in both air and water temperature. A swim in 1 degree Celsius water with air temperature of -15 is a very different proposition to a race in 8 degree water with air temperature of 8 degrees. Make sure you are not only acclimatised for the swim but also prepared for keeping warm when you are out the water.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

In our fifth anniversary issue we take a look back at the first five years of H2Open magazine as well as looking to the future and asking ,where will swimming take you in 2016? Whatever your level of swimming, there is a challenge out there for you! If that challenge is a winter swimming competition, we have plenty of top tips and expert advice on swimming in icy water. But if the cold doesn’t really do it for you, we have destination reports from sunny Bermuda and the German lakes. In this issue we also profile four young BLDSA swimmers as well as catching up with open water swimming champions Keri-anne Payne and Cassie Patten. Plus all the usual training, technique and nutrition advice and gear reviews. Happy swimming!
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