We wanted to give you a reminder of how to ice swim safely for yourself and for us looking after you.
Caroline, aka Crazy Fish, has put some pointers below for you to remember whilst you are swimming with us at Cliff Lakes.
Firstly we want you to stay safe. Cold water really depletes your strength and energy much quicker than you would expect. Compared to swimming in the summer, the duration of swimming time and distance covered in the cold will also have to drop. This is totally normal. Please don’t forget that the acclimatisation takes a while because your body needs to adapt to the new stresses. Listen to what your body is telling you. You need to build up the distances you swim over time; it is really important that you have patience with this and remember that every week is different.
Whilst you are swimming there are many signs that show you have been in too long which are clawed fingers, an inability to turn your arms, suddenly feeling really hot, feeling really cold, slurred speech and numb toes. You will have noticed that we speak to you quite often when you are swimming around the course. If we notice that your speech is slurred of that you are talking funny we will fish you out the water.
You are at higher risk of hypothermia if you are exhausted, dehydrated or hungover (!). Please make sure that you prepare well for your swim.
Warming up after is a process which needs to be taken steadily and slowly with the correct kit. Lots of layers of warm loose clothes are essential. Make sure that you lay these out in the order that you want to put them back on in. Mine is always the same. I take my thermal top, t-shirt and hoodie off together before I swim. That way I can put them all back on together in one (not very dignified) swoop. Next, I address my bottom half! If you have ski/snowboard/insulated trousers, these are excellent to keep you warm. Finally, big fluffy socks, woolly hat, gloves and coat are essential.
Rock the winter fashion with a Dryrobe/Swimzi, statement woolly hat (the brighter the better) and some warm shoes.
Once you are dressed, get the warm drinks down you! Giggles, shivers and cake and a gentle walk about if you can, are well deserved after your swim. Please be mindful of the after drop. These are those epic shivers that hit following you being dressed. It is the time for another cuppa! Make sure these shivers have stopped before you leave.
Warm showers are a great idea but not straight away after you get out. My rule of thumb is to wait an hour after I have got out per degree under 10…
We are here to look after you and educate you to be safe in the water. I love it and want you to love it too.
Stay safe and happy swimming!
Crazy Fish 🐠 xx