Many of us like the occasional swim, but would balk at the thought of swimming in the sea once it starts to turn colder. Imagine instead, submerging yourself in water at sub zero temperatures and competing against other individuals. Welcome to the world of Winter Swimming. We asked Jack Bright, a leading winter swimmer in the Czech Republic to provide us a small insight:
Jack: Winter swimming isn’t only crazy people taking a short dip at Christmas time. It is an exciting,exhilarating and extreme sport and provided you follow a few guidelines almost any healthy person can participate. You see once you have acclimatised and can understand not only your own body but the power of nature a little more, it really is all down to the personal psyche of the individual. When you know what it feels like to swim in near freezing water there is a certain amount of will required to get into the water each time, particularly when also facing sub zero air temperatures.
Luckily here in the Czech Republic winter swimming is highly organised, with weekly races and an ongoing cup competition that starts in October and finshes in April. The complicated yet excellent rules are the foundation for the tremendous organisation of the sport.
Take a look at my website www.extremewinterswimming.com there is an excellent article that talks about tried and tested ways of starting with this sport.
The main things to remember are respect your own body as well as nature, take things step by step and finally less is better rather than trying to take on too much at once.
Winter Swimming is a tough and challenging sport and it is important that if you want to try it you understand the risks and the training necessary. Keep an eye out in the future for an exclusive article on body conditioning and the requirements if you want to give winter swimming a go.
Jack has also produced an excellent promotional trailer for the sport which you can find here: