1 leg Ilanit Yurman Sea snail in the winter
I’ve always liked the Israeli winter, mainly since I truly suffer in heat, and the summer in Tel Aviv wasn’t my favorite. It’s easier to put an extra sock, or wear a jacket, then running from one air conditioner to the other, to avoid the terrible summer humidity.
This winter I’m swimming in cold weather for hours, and enjoying the chilly water. On the other hand, I feel hot all the time, begging my Menopause at the age of 45.
I’ll try to summarize, mainly to myself, what happened.
Last winter was my first in wetsuit. A good friend suggested that I’ll keep on swimming in open waters in the winter. “Swimming in the rain is an unforgettable experience”. What he didn’t say, is how cold it is, with or without wetsuit. I was stupid enough to assume that you can just jump into the Mediterranean Sea in January, without any preparation, and swim. Took me about 15 minutes just to start breathing normally. It was a short practice, I just couldn’t stand the cold.
Luckily I met the SAFSAL people, that started training me in cold water swimming. In April I was a freak – swimming in my bathing suit in Haifa Triathlon, in 19C. It was cold!!!!
The main thing is to acclimatize your body to the change. If your goal is to swim for one hour in 17C in wetsuit, you can start by swimming regularly from October, wearing your suit when you feel that you just cannot stand the cold.
In order to move from wetsuit to bathing suit in April, you can add a short practice of swimming without – after an hour of swimming with, when your muscles are worm.
To prepare for the winter:
- Swim in groups, for safety and motivation.
- Acclimating your body in cold showers, and light clothing since October.
- Try to swim at least 3 times a week in the sea, so you’ll get used to the decreasing temperature.
- Eat properly, food will help your resistance to the cold. Don’t forget to drink.
- Keep your body as warm as possible before and after the swim. Dress up quickly and wrap your body properly. Take off the wetsuit in a warm place ASAP.
- Most important – enjoy your way.
Looking forward to the upcoming challenges.
The sea snail.
Swimming WEST in the winter.