I swam 3072m today.  Starting at 14:30, at the PC 32m outdoor pool. It was overcast, windy, but not cold. The pool was 20.5 C.

2x 1036m, stopped between to put on quickjohn wetsuit.

SPL (in a 32m pool) SPLIT
512m bare 27-29 8:42
512m bare 29-30 9:01
512m bare 29-30 9:04
512m wetsuited 25-26 7:48
512m wetsuited 26 7:53
512m wetsuited 26 7:50

I decided to keep trying to acclimate above 20 C so I took the plunge bare and did fine for the first 1500. It was less unpleasant on the system than before, and after the first lap I liked the firey feeling afterall. But towards the end of the 1500 I noted my core starting to drop temp just enough, though I might have made the whole 3km bare, it may have taken me an inconvenient amount of time to recover afterwards. So I pulled on the quickjohn I had laying on deck just in case. I had to drive home on my scooter in the wind anyway.

My hands were cold, but not quite numb. My feet were fine though. I kept up a brisk tempo from the start, perhaps too fast at first, but if I dropped the intensity at all I felt the cold start creeping in too quickly. But for whatever reason I still can’t squeeze out better SL in this cool water, not at the tempo I need to swim to stay warm enough. I have been looking for some physiological explanation so I can understand what’s happening in my body, but on the net they only talk about COLD water (like 15 C and below!) so 20 C is not extreme enough to bother with a discussion perhaps.  It’s just that the water feels ‘thicker’ and I just can’t get more distance out of my stroke.

Of course, the wetsuit is like greasing the rails. Once I put the thing on it’s a thrill to slide along like that, but it is also depressing to compare how poorly I was performing without it. 3 SPL less with a slightly faster SR and over 60 seconds faster per 512m. But I took advantage and cranked along even more aggressively to make up for the ease it afforded.

But my consolation is that I am getting acclimated and gaining some experience in ‘cool’ water. I am learning how my body reactes and seeing it adapt to these conditions and I like, once I warm up in a hot shower, how warm I feel the rest of the day! Such training kicks up the metabolism a little more. And it’s satisfying to feel that my range of adaptation and skill is expanding to cooler water.

© 2010, Mediterra International, LLC. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mediterra International, LLC and Mediterraswim.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.