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Swimrun in ice cold water – Stay fat

It’s that time of the year!

The southern hemisphere swimrun season is kicking-in with many cool races like the Frogman swimrun in Australia or the Torpedo Swimrun in South Africa. But the season in the north is not over yet, far from it!

Coming up are a couple of fun and challenging winter swimruns, and next in line is the cold Hellas Frostbite swimrun. Swimming during winter is growing in popularity, but there are a couple of things to think about, since swimming in really cold water is associated with (some) risk.

Luckily this subject has been studied before and research can help us stay safe!

First off. Make sure you feel ok and only use gear you know will protect you from hypothermia. Secondly, only get in the water if you feel motivated, mentally strong and have done some pre-training before in similar conditions, and thirdly, get fat (or stay fat). It will help you alot.

Stay safe

/The WoS Team

*Pic: Hellas Frostbite Swimrun

Swimming in ice cold water
B. Knechtle, N. Christinger, G. Kohler, P. Knechtle, T. Rosemann

Abstract
Introduction: We investigated two athletes swimming in 4 C for 23 min (1.3 km, swimmer 1) and 42 min (2.2 km,
swimmer 2), respectively. Materials and methods: Pre-swim, percent body fat was determined; post swim, core temperature was measured.
Results: The core temperature of swimmer 2 was: 37.0 C immediately before the start, 32 C 20 min after getting out
of the water, and 35.5 C 80 min after finishing the swim. Conclusion: We assume that the higher skin-fold thickness
and body fat of swimmer 2 enabled him to perform longer. In addition to this, mental power and experience in
cold water swimming must be considered. In any athlete aiming at swimming in water of less than 5 C, body core
temperature and heart rate should be continuously monitored in order to detect a body core temperature below
32 C and arrhythmia to pull the athlete out of the water before life-threatening circumstances occur.

Read the full study here

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