Yes, it was still cold. I got it at 48F/9C Not a huge surprise. We’ve had crappy cold weather and the lake hasn’t had a chance to warm up yet. But is it unusual?… no.
So far this is just a normal start to the season though. So don’t panic. It will warm up.
There is a ton of flooding… not good for boaters, but it really doesn’t effect us.
However, that didn’t really help much on Saturday. It was still “stupid cold”. Which is the vernacular I have coined for water temp under 50F/10C. When I started using the term Stupid Cold it was a temperature that was so cold that nobody (including myself) would/could swim in it.
But things change.
On Saturday we had an amazing 44 hard-core LOSTies that went swimming!
And this wasn’t just “polar bear dip” swimming… this was real swimming. Everyone was in from 5 minutes to 25 minutes. That’s amazing! I have to say I was closer to the 5 minute end of things.
And not only were people in for that long, a lot of them were “naked” (ie sans wetsuits). That’s impressive.
Now the one thing I should clarify here is that the LOSTies that were naked have trained for it. Yes, you can train for it. And you can actually train your body to acclimatise to that kind of cold. But it takes a while… and yes, you pretty much have to be tough as nails. But it can be done.
For those of you who don’t want to train for the Ice Mile (1.6 km in water colder than 5C… with no wetsuit, of course!), and you just want to swim in open water comfortably, well don’t worry, this is still for you!
Even if you just get in for a quick dip, and you wear a wetsuit, it will still make you a better open water swimmer. For 2 reasons:
- Physically – by repeatedly immersing yourself in cold water, your body will physically acclimatise to it. The physical reaction will become less pronounced. ie) better circulation, better retention of body heat
- Psychological – you really do get mentally more acclimatised too. Once you have a benchmark in your head, it makes it easier to mentally prepare for it. For those that were there on Saturday, now you know what 48F feels like. You will have a mental benchmark. You will know that it is freakin’ cold, but you will also know that you can swim in it for 5 mins, or 10 minutes or 25 minutes. So the next time you will know what to expect and know what you can do. This is key and very important to be knowledgeable and to be realistic and accurate in assessing your cold water abilities. So it also makes you a safer swimmer.
The one thing I neglected to mention, is that having a warm air temperature makes a big difference too!
The air was only about 12C last week. Which really, really sucks, especially this time of year. But good news… it’s looking like we might have finally turned the corner to summer! Looking really nice for this Saturday! So we’ll see you then!