This time last year I was preparing for a winter of open water lake swims, got as far as the end of October before national lockdown put a stop to this challenge. By the time we got back to the lakes in April/May, the temps were no longer classified as winter swimming.
What’s different this year? – well after a summer of swimming in skins (swimsuit, hat, goggles only) I am resisting the wetsuit and hope to go as far into the depths of winter as possible without the neoprene.
I have signed up and leaping into the Silver Polar Bear challenge – swim 250meteres twice a month from November to March in skins.
For those that know me, I hate the cold! Am asthmatic, live in landlocked Wiltshire, so no quick access to the sea.
However, thought I’d put my lockdown lard to good use, joining Helen Webster on a Cold water safety course, have my membership at the fresh, clear, good vibes Lake32 in the Cotswolds and just in case neoprene wetsuit, booties, gloves and hat at the ready.
I have flasks for coffee, fleeces, woolie socks and hat, an onesie and DryRobe prepared for use.
As inspiration, I am reading Roger Deakin’s Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey Through Britain book which has amazing observational details, is funny, wise and a wonderful read for all swimmers or explorers of the UK. I may also venture away from my local lake.
Anyone care to join me on the Polar Bear or Penguin (neoprene allowed) Challenge? local meetup or virtual.
16th September: Last late night lake swim session done, as nights drawing in and sun sets on summer swims, still 20c air & water temperature.
Couple of reference documents if interested from my post last year:
The secret to acclimatising to cold water
My Octopus Teacher – Netflix film
Cold water swimming may protect the brain from degenerative diseases like dementia
6 Amazing Health Benefits Of Cold Water Swimming