Too hot, too cold !

What a difference a change in wind direction makes. For the last few weeks we’ve had mainly northerly-ish winds resulting in below average air temps and general coolness. Today we have southerly winds and general warmness.
I’ve had some swims this month where the sum of the air and water temp has only been 12 degC, but today that was blown completely out of the water, excuse the pun. Today the combined air / water temp was 30 deg C ! But let me explain.

The good weather was flagged on the forecast, so I availed of the opportunity and got in at Dunmore East early this afternoon (thank you flexitime). The pic below is old, but it looked exactly like this anyway

20120521-104956 p.m..jpg

So you know when you first walk into the water and it’s really cold, ankle cracking cold? Well today was nothing like that. It actually felt warm. Time to measure it and confirm. Setting up my feed station, affectionately known as “The Gulp and Go”(more on this in another update), in a depth of about 3 ft, gave my watch sufficient time to register the temp, an unbelievable 15 deg! Ok so this was in the shallows and only in the top few inches of the water, but hey 15 degrees is 15 degrees.

However this euphoria was short lived. I was swimming laps across the cove, for those who know the area, from Counsellors strand to Peigs rock, a distance of about 200m. I equate this to pool swimming except the lengths are longer. This meant I was crossing the same stretch of water continuously. Once I was out of the shallows though, the temperature plummeted back down to 10 deg, so back to normal water temps. So at the beach, 15deg for about 20m, then 10 deg for about 200m, then a slight rise to 11 at Peigs rock. This made for quite a training session, to go through a 5 deg temperature gradient every 3 minutes or so was quite challenging. Swimming slowly in the warm water to make it last as long as possible, then sprinting like a mad thing to keep warm in the cold water, all the while concentrating on maintaining a good stroke and consistent rhythm. 4 hours later I was pooped and also cold, but the warm air helped keep the after drop away.

I got out just as the Monday evening triathlon group were arriving for their weekly session. All in all a good session made more difficult by the constantly changing temperature.

Back again early in the morning for a quick 1 hour sprint session before work and another long set on Wednesday.

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