I swam for 1 hour tonight at Lake Jordan with my friend, Russell, who is also doing B2B. We had planned on swimming 4000 m, or about 6 laps of the cove. But it was way too f’ing cold, so we bailed after 1 hour (4 laps). I wore my neoprene booties, so my feet were fine. I skipped my neoprene cap because I hate the way it digs into my neck. As soon as I put my face in the water, I wanted the cap. But it was such a long way back to the shore to get it, so I decided to just suck it up and start swimming. I figured I’d warm up soon enough. WRONG!
The cold was such a shock that my whole body became tense. My hands, ears and face were incredibly- uncomfortably – cold; and, I couldn’t wait for the workout to be done. I breathed every two strokes, rather than the preferred every three, because I wanted to get my face out of the water as much as possible! I kept thinking about my friend, Rebecca, who did B2B last year in 37 degree air temperature. She did not have warmer air to bring any relief from the frigid water.
After 45 minutes, my fingers were so numb that they became useless in catching the water. They would not stay together like a paddle no matter how hard I tried. My stroke completely degraded. I tried fist swimming to see if that would help, but that seemed slower. I ended up just forgetting about my fingers, and thinking about my palm and forearms doing the work to catch the water…that helped. The last lap was pure agony and I just wanted it to be over. I kept thinking about how hard it is going to be to get on a bike feeling that cold.
As Cold As Ice!
Walking back to my car, I looked down at my hands…they were BLUE! I was so glad for the neoprene booties – at least my feet felt perfectly comfortable. Next week I will try to tolerate the neoprene cap…it will be worth the discomfort of the chin strap if it keeps me warmer.
For B2B, I was planning to breeze thru transitions as fast as possible, even considered skipping the changing tent and wearing my tri suit under the wetsuit. But now I think the primary goal of T1 will be to warm up and make sure I am warm for the bike ride. I hate being cold! And cold muscles do not perform nearly as well as warm muscles. So, hopefully, a few minutes lost in T1 getting warm, will pay back in a better bike performance.
Cold was my friend today. I am always glad for adverse training conditions. They help me learn how to prepare, mentally and physically, for the challenges I will face on race day. And if I am better prepared for adversity on race day than my competitors, that that gives me an edge.
Water temp: 68 degrees.
Air temp: 67 degrees. Air sure felt alot warmer!
The Garmin 310xt does not work too well in water. That cove is only 750m per lap max, so I swam about 3000meters. Garmin is saying that I swam 3.7 miles in 1 hour. No way! And, if you click the link below, you’ll see my zigzagging… no way I am THAT bad at sighting! Am I?