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Cold Water Shock -How it impacts you as a swimmer in competition. It's not about Survival it's about Racing.

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When we get into freezing to Cold water whether to voluntary or involuntary immersion/swimming. Whether an event or accidental, the body changes physically. Our blood, our cardiac responses to function and movement, our veins and our hypothermic responses regardless of why we are in the water- Our body changes once we get into that cold water. Understanding how it applies to us as water users is vital for survival.


There is a large amount of information regarding the management of Cold Shock-the recommendations are to relax and breathe. Take a moment to Float first and Swim second.
But this management is in a 'self rescue' situation or if it happens where you need to steady yourself in the water-which is perfect except we need to sprint.
For a Swimmer-The moment we get into the freezing to cold water, we experience Cold Shock. Our Problem is we require our bodies to swim, to kick our legs, to breathe fast and sometimes to sprint-all contrary to what we are recommended.

Float Fi…

Respect the Water-it can be your paradise- Water Safety Awareness should be every week-

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"Life is filled with certain obligations and responsibilitites, but none more basic, primal or important that the responsibilities we have to ourselves and each other" 

Having respect and understanding for the water and our summer "swimming pool" where we all spend our days is vital for our safety. 
A swimming pool has rules, no jumping, no diving in the shallow end and no running poolside-all these rules are there for your safety-lifeguards are there to watch you. 

In the sea, rivers and lakes-most times you can be on your own or with a small group.  So you need to imagine how each body of water, every time you swim also has rules- though not all written they should be known for your safety.

I have lived my entire life near the sea-from a very young age-we were given RULES of where to swim and where not to go. 
Starting with Irish Water Safety Association from the age of 6 onwards to courses in survival and safety where we learned to undress and rescue in the sea-we lear…

Swim Failure/Cold Incapacitation - No matter who you are as a swimmer-The cold will take you at some point.

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If a swimmer swims past their limits in cold water - The risks are very serious.  The impact of the cold water will stop us as swimmers from rotating our arms or the swimmer will fail - Every swimmer has a limit in Cold Water-the cold will eventually incapacitate us all that is a certainty. Allowing a swimmer to get this point can be very dangerous so knowing the limits of each swimmer is vital for safety. 

One of the scariest moments I have ever experienced was when crewing for a cold water swim I realised that my swimmer was still moving their arms but was not actually lucid-they were swimming in 'automatic', when their eyes looked at me they were not focused and their ability to communicate was nil.  We were terrified. All I could think about was 'how am I going to get this swimmer back?' How are we going to get this swimmer out of the water? and mostly how did that happen? No one trained us for this moment-Understanding the challenge of each swim is vital -more to pr…