As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, the open water venues become quiet and the triathlete's go back to the local pool. There are still some people crazy enough to go swimming without a wetsuit.
I managed to go for a dip twice this week where I coach at The London Royal Docks and survived without my hands dropping off.
Some clubs swim all year round and there are lakes that stay open past September. If you were wondering whether to hang the wetsuit up for the winter then I have a few recommendations on what to wear to keep you swimming in the great outdoors for a little longer.
Extra Kit during winter:
Neoprene gloves help to prevent my hands turning into ice blue claws that loose all hand to brain connection.
If I swim without gloves in cold water for longer than 30 minutes I lose the feeling in my fingers which means that I cant feel my catch in the water and I lose all control in my fingers that make it extremely difficult to put my clothes back on. And when you're cold all you want to do is have your clothes on as quickly as possible- claws make it very difficult to turn my t-shirt round the right way that I am angrily mumbling to myself I should have done before I got into the water.
Please Note- don't wear tight leggings! When you fingers don't bend pulling tight leggings up your damp cold legs is not that easy.
These little booties are fantastic. Like my hands, my feet also become like ice blocks. These help keep the feeling in my tootsies when I swim.
Make sure your wet suit is on top of the sock otherwise when you come out of the water your lower leg looks like to michelene man as the water gathers in the sock.
What part of the body do you lose heat from the most? You head, so wearing a neoprene cap will help keep you warmer
during your swim in the colder months.
I know you are looking at the picture and thinking hmm, but it isn't a fashion show so you need to get over the fact that if some of your mates saw what you were wearing you wouldn't live it down until the next fancy dress party. Oh wait, that has just given me an idea for Paul's Halloween Party....
Make sure you put the coloured cap over the top of the Neoprene one. As number one you need that material next to your head and also you need to wear a coloured cap for safety as the lifeguards need to be able to spot you easily. I have a collection of coloured caps I have kept from events I have raced in and every colour in the rainbow to reflect what mood I am in on the day, a little like a mood ring.
My last recommendation that is in all the fashion magazines this season is a Dryrobe.
This is great to have before you get in the water and to slip on once you are out of the water as you can get changed inside the robe keeping yourself nice and toasty. If you have limited changing facilities this is perfect.
Once you are out of your wetsuit hiding your modesty from fellow swimmers and keeping you snug as a bug, its now time yourself a hot drink, I recommend you treat yourself to a hot chocolate.