How Cold is Too Cold for Pool Water?


The word came via Twitter and Facebook. It said, basically that the water temp of PP (Program Pool) is a brisk 76 degrees. You can bring your wetsuit if you think you'll need it. I wasn't sure if I would need one, but I was sure that 76 was about what the projected temperature of Mirror Lake (in Lake Placid) is in August. I am hoping to do a two mile cable swim there at that time. So my first thought was, “Yay! I can find out if I'm going to need to rent a wet suit or not for that swim!” My second thought was, I wonder if it will be too cold for me to swim.

There is an aqua aerobics class before our Masters practice that I thought certainly would be cancelled. But, it was not. Quite a few of the older ladies stuck it out and did the class. Afterwards, in the locker room, several of them were warming their bodies with hair dryers, and saying that it was very, very cold. They think the water is too cold at 79-81 degrees. I was now reasonably sure I could do it, heck, they did.

As everyone started amassing on the pool deck, I noticed that no one had a wet suit. It was a promising sign, I thought. I told ML that I may need to do a couple laps of running through the water to warm up, if it is that cold. She looked at me like I was nuts. I decided to be the first one in – complete with a primal scream as I dove in. It felt exhilarating at first. I popped up and said, “It's not too bad.” Well, Rob, who has no hair and was not wearing a swim cap, labeled me a liar once he got in… Whoopsie. So, I asked Sue to grab him a cap and that helped him a lot. It took me a lot longer than usual to warm up, but I guess I sort of eventually did. We had two people leave to swim in the other (hot) pool, which was an awful 86 degrees. I could not practice in water that warm. My skin felt cool the whole practice, but I liked it. It was so much better than swimming in warm water. When we got out of the pool, the walk to the locker was so much more pleasant. We are usually freezing, but today we were fine. The same was true in the locker room. I could get used to that temperature, I think… At the very least, now I know that I can swim for 75 minutes in 76 degree water. Good to know.

We Were as Cold as Penguins Today!



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