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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
Read the November 2023 issue in full in flipbook format
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- The benefits of ice bathsRowan Clarke finds out why so many swimmers sit in backyard baths, barrels and tubs full of icy water
- Cold water swimming: a healthy habitDipping and swimming in cold water is increasingly being touted as good for health. But what does the science say?
- Leszek Naziemiec’s Yukon OdysseyAfter conquering the 1,000km Vistula River in his native Poland, adventure swimmer Leszek Naziemiec turned his attention to the far north and Alaska.
- What does it take to swim an ice mile?If you’ve ever seen a swimmer at the end of their ice mile, you’ll appreciate what an incredible feat of human endurance it is. As more people not only achieve ice miles but also push its boundaries, we ask if everyone has ice mile potential. And what takes ice-milers from contemplation to completion? By Rowan Clarke.
- Winter Freestyle Refresher: Breathing for front crawlHow to identify areas for improvement and work out what to do. Your winter freestyle refresher by Simon Griffiths.
- How and why should I practise kicking?I wear a wetsuit and barely kick my legs when I swim in open water but I’ve been told I need to do more kicking with a float in training. Why?
- Unsinkable: Alan Corcoran’s swim of the length of IrelandAlan Corcoran swam the length of Ireland in memory of his father. He spoke to Jonathan Cowie about his experience.
- ReWild Swim Club, GloucestershireNestled in rewilding land, tucked into the meandering course of the River Severn, is a hidden space where you will find a natural pond, sauna and small community of swimmers. Ella Foote discovers a hidden gem in Gloucestershire.
- Swimming watercolours in County Mayo, IrelandFrom golden lough swims and yellow flat periwinkles to pale turquoise seas and grey skies, County Mayo’s swims are drawn from a painter’s palette. Susanne Masters explored the region’s sea and freshwater swimming spots.
- Ultraswim33.3: “We’ve got the formula right”Fresh from Ultraswim33.3 #2Montenegro, Mark Turner tells us about this multi-day swimming event that’s fast becoming a highlight on the calendar for swimmers from all over the world.
- Best neoprene accessories for open water swimmers 2023Swim socks, fleece-lined caps and baselayers: as temperatures drop, we review some of the best neoprene accessories (and natural rubber alternatives) for keeping you warm while you swim this winter.
- “Swimming has been my lifesaver”Derek Yach kept swimming while receiving treatment for cancer – he shares his incredible story with us.
- How can I pace myself when swimming long distances?Giving a talk before Swim Serpentine, swim coach Cassie Patten advised swimmers to start out steady and build into their long-distance swim – but how exactly do you do this?