Acclimitasion and Afterdrop

ACCLIMITISATION

There's no quick way to get used to swimmng in cold water

IT’S NOT OVER UNTIL AFTER THE AFTERDROP

So you’ve swum your swim and now it’s time to get out of the water – this is where the test of your acclimatisation begins.

Beware that when you first stand after swimming for a while you may feel dizzy because of the effect the cold has on your blood pressure. It is useful to have a helper to assist you getting out of the water.

Don’t hang around when you’re out! There is a vital window of 10 minutes before the afterdrop hits – by which time you need to be dry, dressed and have a warm drink inside you. An extra set of base layers (especially socks) can be useful.

The afterdrop occurs when all that warm blood that has been protecting your core starts recirculating out to your extremities. That means that the cold blood in your extremities is recirculating back into your core and chilling your vital organs including your heart. This is potentially dangerous and can shock your system.

It takes about 10 minutes for this recirculation to start to chill you. You will become colder than you were in the water. Extreme shaking may occur and it is really important to be wrapped up snug and warm. A top tip is to keep your swim hat on until the last minute before replacing it with a very warm hat.

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