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November 2023 ‘Cold Water’

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Many swimmers I know and meet cannot wait for winter swimming season to arrive. As soon as September rolls around there is talk of ice swimming, neoprene accessories and then there is the undecided dance of those who haven’t yet swam through winter.

I have mixed feelings about winter swimming. I certainly don’t look forward to it, but I do understand the desire to plunge in for that zingy feeling. For me it is the extra admin that comes with winter swimming that puts me off: you need a lot more kit and you need to set aside more time to prepare. Often in winter you can spend more time getting ready for a swim than swimming itself! My favourite kind of winter swims are the super cold ones – give me snow, ice and frost with bright blue skies please. None of this dreary drizzle swimming!

Whatever kind of winter swimmer you are, or if you are yet to become one, this month’s issue is designed to inspire and support.

Rowan Clarke explores ice baths and finds out if they aid your swimming; Elaine K Howley dives into the science behind cold water swimming; and we investigate what it takes to swim an ice mile. As well as our cold water features you can also learn from swimmers like Alan Corcoran and Nuala Moore. In gear we test neoprene accessories and we travel to the Lake District and Ireland to inspire 2024 swim trips.

Enjoy the issue!

Ella Foote, Editor


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