Friday, 23 March 2012


A much later swim than normal for a Friday. Some of the morning crowd were still siting in the sun having coffee. 'What time do you call this?' Shouted Nick. Mandy was in the water doing lengths, I tried to catch her as she reached the shallow end. More practice needed.

I then got in, the water was 9ºC according to David who I saw on his way out. Mandy and I did a couple of lengths together and I got this picture of her tumble turn. After she got out I mostly had the water to myself for the rest of my swim.

The light was dazzling and sharp, time to think about sunscreen! I wasn't in a rush so went on to do twenty two lengths in about 35 minutes. I considered lying in the sun to warm up but when there's a sauna it's a shame not to use it.

After my sauna I saw Carl was in the water no doubt on one of his mammoth swims. Trying to catch him at the end of the pool was no easier than with Mandy.

He was swimming too far out to get a good action shot but at least you can see how nice the water looks.

A too early here but I liked the light in it. By this point Tricky had started swimming as well, perhaps I'd have better luck with a picture of him?

That's more like it! I love the bubbles both as he breathed out and coming off of his fingers.


  1. Missed you today Carl as I was in with the Dolphin at 7am. For a beginner I was deemed worthy of congratulations by Steph (ie the Dolphin) as I did 18 lengths (ie a mile) which took probably just under 45 minutes.

  2. 9°c and no wetsuit? How much colder do you UKers swim in and for how long? I'm dying to get some distance swims in here in NY, but the water has got to be between 4° & 7° still. Any advice is appreciated.

  3. Hello Garbage Barge. We swim all year at Tooting Bec Lido. In the middle of winter the temperature dips below 0ºC and there's ice on the water! We have the good fortune of a sauna though.
    Between 4ºC and 7ºC is a big difference, air temperature and wind speed/direction also change things. My best advice is to do only a little to begin with and very slowly build it up. Acclimatisation only happens really slowly and even if you feel fine in the cold water your core temperature will drop when you get out. We're lucky to have a great open air pool and lifeguards to keep an eye on us.

  4. I never would have thought of swimming in water so cold. I just checked my water hole, and to my surprise, it was between 13°-14° (56° American). Still, that's what I would consider insanely cold.
    One more question. Tooting Bec is a fresh water pool? No chlorine? Is it filtered somehow? If I get back to London, I'm coming for a swim. Serpentine too.

  5. The Lido is Chlorinated. It doesn't feel as chemical as an indoor pool but without the chlorine it would be a real pea souper.
    The Serpentine isn't chlorinated, zero visability and loads of goose shit.