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1939 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Dec 5, 2009 10:56 AM by pacificfit
sollunax2 Amateur 23 posts since
Jan 8, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 30, 2009 4:19 PM

cold water --BIG TROUBLE-help

Active folks this weekend I completed a turkey tri where the lake water was about 58 degrees. I was wearing a full website and the second time I had swam in it [the first was a open water ocean half mile ]. Rights off the bat I was immediately exhausted and could not catch my breath, could not get my swim stride and was gasping for breath. It seemed that I was not going to reach the first 25 meters. The water made me fell like I was clinched and could not stretched my arms/legs, At one point it seemed I forgot how to swim and was half dog peddling/half panicking. I kept looking over and wanted to jump on the boat, but I said hell no. About 400 meters suffered leg cramp for the dog peddle.It took me 35 minutes to complete the ½ mile swim. I estimated it would take my 18 to minutes.

Here the kick- this was my last tri before the ½ Ironman California in March 2010.

Was it the water temp , I had never swam in a lake before, any suggestions.

  • Joe_h1 Community Moderator 1,833 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Dec 1, 2009 6:36 AM (in response to sollunax2)
    Re: cold water --BIG TROUBLE-help

    I am thinking it's the cold. 58 is dang cold and can mess upyour day.  only advice I got is try  a squid lid - a neoprene swim can to hkeep your head warm and hope you have warm water for cali

    goals for 2011:

    break 19minutes for 5k

    break 2:42 for olympic triathlon probably Anthracite olympic

    break 3:16 for marathon ( a long shot but it's fun putting yourself out there)

  • Mike Stone Rookie 1 posts since
    Dec 1, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Dec 1, 2009 6:54 AM (in response to sollunax2)
    Re: cold water --BIG TROUBLE-help

    Sorry about this, but.... move to Florida.  No cold water here, and we're giving away the housing!  Lot's of great races as well!

  • ManintheArena Community Moderator 109 posts since
    Jul 3, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Dec 4, 2009 12:29 PM (in response to sollunax2)
    Re: cold water --BIG TROUBLE-help

    This article might help: 8 Ways to Handle Swimming in Cold Water.


    I think your best defense might be a good offense...meaning you should do some practice swims beforehand to get acclimated. Swimming in Oceanside will be a bit brisk.

  • kapfast Pro 53 posts since
    May 30, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Dec 4, 2009 3:02 PM (in response to sollunax2)
    Re: cold water --BIG TROUBLE-help

    I was at the same Tri with the 58 degree water in San Dimas. What helped me was to get in the water before the race, at least 10 minutes. The initial shock of the water temp constricts the whole body. By the time my wave started, I was some what acclimated to the water temp. It still took me a few minutes of breast stroke before I could get my breath.


    Warming up before the race in the water is essential. When I am training in the pool, it usually takes a few laps before I feel 100%, and the same goes for the swim in a Tri.


    Good Luck

  • pacificfit Legend 147 posts since
    Jan 9, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Dec 5, 2009 10:56 AM (in response to sollunax2)
    Re: cold water --BIG TROUBLE-help



    I use a topical muscle warming cream for my cold water triathlons. Here's a link to my blog where I write about it:


    My blog is at

    Also, I'm giving away a free 7-part series on "How To Become Superhuman" at

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