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Time Away From The Water

Time away from the water is hard and can make you feel like you're incapable doing what you were doing before time wise in the water or maybe distance.

Well for this season its been a bit of a crazy roller coaster and I myself have been up and down more this season then ever before. I have had lots of sessions that I was meant to train harder or put some times down but ended up being in a zone of what I call static cooling rather then actually swimming around.

static cooling is being fully immersed but not really swimming and allowing the body to cool (skins of course), more like bobbing about.

There has also been times where I have felt run down or just exhuasted but mainly this winter I have experienced a couple colds (super colds) that have stayed with me for a good 2 weeks forcing me out the water as I dont want to push my body into overdrive.

So looking at time and habitution and basically gaps between not getting in the water, generally speaking all that start this habituation to the cold wont totally lose it in a handful of weeks but you will need to respect some sort of smaller rebuilding process BUT the good news is that it shouldnt be back to the very start as its proven we can return to where we left off fairly quick.

The mental rebuilding is the bigger rebuild.

I do get a bit grumpy if im not in the water and very detached or what normally describe as a bit brain fuzzy, I just get too dry really and start gasping like a landed fish.

Main points are to the fact its the mental strength we tend to loose and the the way we can beat our selves up a little looking back to what we have achived in the past and thinking its not possible to get back there. This tends to be the case when we walk into the water and feel that immense powerful return to the atomic sharpness on the skin PROPA COLD or what I normally describe all year round as scorchio.

You need to remember that we dont really get any habituation or adaptation in that sentation of the cold receptors firing off telling you its super doopa freezing none scorchio.

Its ok to verbalise it and yeah VOICE IT OUT it massively helps with the process, from shouting, swearing, singing or even just a little few words.

Or you might have a mantra you tell your self, Or you might just like being calm and silent and give it some facial expressions.

We're all so different when it comes to the gears for going in.

When it comes to the gap in your swims its ok to just look at littles dips and splash about and get out again. Even just a couple minutes in the water will do so so much.

Never feel silly to turn up to a swim and only manage your feet in and getting back out, the fact youre trying is amazing.

The last little add to this is about experiencing a strong drop in temp feeling sick and dizzy, allowing ourselves to feel a strong afterdrop can put people off and make them drop a few pegs in confidence. Experiencing this for most will be a massive signal to the possibility of pushing too far or not taking care and attention to some of the smaller factors that can effect that cold swim recovery like lack of sleep, fuel, hydration and Stress being one of the biggest.

It might mean that there is a need of fueling alot sooner then what you are doing. A tip would be to utilise them pockets of your robe with a little easy to eat sweet/gummy/pastel as soon as you come out.

Cold water swimming can take up alot of energy.

Fenwick Ridley


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Barbara Duggan
Barbara Duggan
Feb 17, 2022

What a great incite into the roller coster of winter dipping. It really helpful to know it happens to everyone including ‘pros’ like you Mark. Thank you for all you do to inspire and educate us to dip/swim safely 12 months of the year. I am very grateful for all you have done to grow my love of swimming, i used to think swimming in an indoor pool was so good for me mentally and physically, but i gain so much more from wild swimming.


Lorna Kemp
Lorna Kemp
Feb 09, 2022

Very reassuring and encouraging, thank you 😊. We can't be firing on all cylinders all the time!


Linda Hodgson
Linda Hodgson
Feb 09, 2022

Thankyou for this ......... reassurance and advice is so good when life is limiting your experience in the water .

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