(As I mentioned in my post Cold Weather Training last week) the English Channel is going to be somewhere between 15 & 18 degrees C.
Which would be fine except I'm going to be in there for anywhere between 10 & 15 hours (I'm aiming for 12 and a half hours. I'd be happy with that.) And so when swimming the channel there is a risk of suffering from hypothermia. Which amongst more serious worries would scupper my swim.
As well as regularly swimming in cold water and gaining weight - a subject I will be visiting closer to the actual swim - the Channel Swimming Association have some advice on how to get aquatinted with the cold water conditions a channel swimmer will face:
- take cold showers instead of hot
- take cold baths
- swim in the sea at every opportunity, especially during the winter/spring period, even if only for a few minutes. It's not important to stay in the water for long periods but it's advantageous to gradually build up your ability to withstand low temperatures for 20-40 minutes if possible. A minute in May is worth an hour in August.
- sleep with a minimum of bed clothing and with the bedroom windows open
- & generally try to toughen yourself up.
This should be fun... NOT!