Art education, inspiration and encouragement for children and parents in Arlington, VA
John de Wit coached a new swimmer today “you want to get out of the wetsuit as soon as you can” he said. “It should be the very first thing you do, some people make the mistake of thinking the wetsuit is better on because it feels warmer when you first get out of the water”. He continued to explain “after drop”.
When I was home and warm and my brain could focus on something other than getting warm I looked up "after drop". When the body is swimming in the cold, the blood goes out of the limbs into the core to protect vital organs. Once out of the water, the blood starts flowing into the limbs again. The cool blood already in the limbs flows to the core creating a temperature drop called the after drop. Getting out of wet clothes and into warm dry clothes is key to helping the body with after drop.
The technique for getting out of a wet suit while in the water, which I learned at Goss Lake during summer clinics is to go under the water, let the feet come up, like a baby grabbing its toes. I always turn upside down when in the water like that. While I prefer to getting my wetsuit off in the water, I bought my beach blanket today to sit on and get out of the rubber.
I enjoyed not thrashing in the water without balance, but, there was sand to wash off which meant going back into the water. My fingers and thumb struggle to grab and hold the fabric. It’s even difficult to get my fingers to push down between the rubber and my skin to help the wetsuit over my heel.
John and Joe are still swimming in briefs, no need to worry about the wet-suit. Teresa donned the rubber skin today and boy was I glad to not have to look at her and try to stay warm myself. So what’s the scoop on what humans bodies can endure in cold waters?
The author of the same article sited above explaining after drop, has experience, being part of a research project on swimming in cold water. The Salish Sea seems to be the perfect temperature (so far this year) for swimming in cold water for long periods if one has experience. After water temps drop below 50 however, it advises conserving energy by staying in shorter times.
More helpful ideas for when the temperatures drop: Bonnie wore her SurFir coat “It’s what surfers wear. It’s the best” she encouraged. Peter, in a summer clinic mentioned wool as one material that is good for keeping a body warm whether the fabric is wet or dry. No matter what one wears after the swim, John’s advice is to get out of the suit quickly before after drop sets in.
How long before Joe and John wear a wetsuit? We shall see what the future holds. The water temperature this Saturday was 52 ° according to John Lovie.
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