Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to Survive Cold Water Swimming

Dave Erickson filed this report from Boise after he took a very frigid dip in Lucky Peak Reservoir.

The 4th Annual Ironman 70.3 Boise triathlon is Saturday, June 11th. The water temperature in the Lucky Peak Reservoir as of Thursday was 53 degrees. That’s cold by any definition for a triathlon. Now imagine swimming in it for 1.2 miles!? Not my idea of a good time but as my coach told me today, swim like your being chased by a shark and you’ll be out of there in no time.

Wetsuits are strongly recommended for this body of water, heck, booties and neoprene caps are highly encouraged too. Since the water isn’t going to swim itself, an athlete must have a plan. So, how can you survive a 1.2 mile swim in 53 degree water? Harold Frobisher is a ‘Performance Physiologist’ and ‘Triathlon Coach’ in Boise, Idaho. His own athletic career includes seven Hawaiian Ironman races. You can find him at Tri TOWN at 1517 1/2 N. 13th Street in the Hyde Park district of Boise.

Harold explains how to best acclimate to cold water swimming as quickly as possible, how the body reacts when your face hits frigid water, how your heart reacts and tips for athletes who’ve never raced in water this cold.