Swimming Outdoors

1 11 2012

Shortly after I moved to Tampa (back in January), I met the XP gang and started swimming with them at the Loretta Ingraham Pool.

Loretta is an outdoor, 6 lane, 25 yard pool with a cute little kids section. Being from the north, I thought it was so cool that my new “regular” swimming pool was outside! Growing up, my home pool was a 25 meter indoor pool at my high school. I swam there year round and the only time I got to swim in a 25 yard outdoor pool was for summer swim league meets.

I went to college in the midwest so the pool was most certainly inside, and in DC I did most of my workouts at the Wilson Pool, while anxiously awaiting the three summer months when I could swim at the outdoor, 50 meter, not very crowded, Haines Point pool.

After Memorial Day, XP practices were moved to the Bobby Hicks pool, an outdoor, 8 lane, 50 meter pool. Heck Yea!

(Photo courtesy of Meghann)

To live in a place where I get to swim outside all year round was very exciting to me! It’s a breeze to dive in to the water when the air temperature is 94 degrees.

But this week, we had a cold front come in.

Swimming in a quasi-heated pool (only one of the three heaters is working) when the air is in the mid sixties isn’t quite as much fun.

Yup, the novelty of outdoor swimming has officially worn off.

Being a newbie to outdoor swimming in cooler temperatures, I did the best I could to stay warm. I tried to stay submerged to my neck when we were on the walls, and I avoided kicking with a board so my back wouldn’t be as exposed to the cool night air. Even so, my goosebumps would not disappear! My parents joked that I’m a true Floridian now; my blood has thinned!

Thankfully, the temperatures are starting to warm up, but I’m sure in December/January, I’ll experience some more cold days at the pool! So, here’s a few things I learned about swimming outside when it’s cold (true Floridians who are used to this, don’t laugh at me!)

1) Bring two towels- one to dry off and one to wrap around you. (Thanks Courtney!) I definitely wrapped them both around me and then threw on my sweatshirt.

2) Take your towels out of your bag and place them close to the pool, but not so close they’ll get wet when you swim. This is sort of a no brainer, but I was thankful I only had to run about 10 feet to get my towels!

3) When the water is warmer than the air, stay under!

4) Sweatshirts are glorious after you’ve dried off. I don’t think this needs any explanation:)

5) I didn’t bring mine this week, but I’m definitely bringing my Uggs next time it is chilly. My feet get cold really fast, so being able to throw those babies on will be awesome.

6) Have something hot ready for dinner after practice. I’m making chili in the crock pot for my post-practice dinner tonight. It is going to Hit. the. spot!

What other advice do you have for me?

On the bright side, at least I (hopefully) will never have to do this again:

Question of the day: What tips do you have for swimming outdoors when it gets chilly outside??