When most of us think of open water swimming, we imagine the ocean, or parcels of water that are not enclosed in concrete – or follow the black line. But imagine swimming in water that is zero degrees!
A recent article published on www.dailynews.openwaterswimming.com poses the questions to the remarkable Ram Barkai what he was thinking during his 1.7 km swim in 0°C water:
The mind was a critical part of this swim because the hands and fit were gone after few minutes. Ryan and I swallowed water at one of the turns. It is very dangerous because aside from not being able to breath for a wee while, you stop for few seconds. Those seconds are critical, because your mind loses focus and I remember feeling like I am sinking. I very quickly regained control and told myself keep on swimming.
Everytime that I felt that I couldn’t swim anymore, I did a speedy automatic systems check: hands, legs, breathing, and mind. I realised that I was fine and just told myself, ‘You are just fine – carry on swimming.’ it worked. At the end, I had to tell myself other things…I was much harsher on myself.
How do you prepare your mind and body for the toughness that is required for open water swimming? I hope just some of the tips in this article help you as you prepare for your own adventures in the open water.