After my mile run on the beach to warm up, I approached the water expecting the crisp and refreshing feel to hit my feet. Unfortunately, the immediate numbness seemed to be uncharacteristically frigid. I continued to do a couple hundred-yard buoy warm up with the thermometer strapped to my suit. It felt much colder than usual, and very uncomfortable with brain freeze-like symptoms occurring. Upon checking my thermometer I found that the water was only 54 degrees F, which falls in the “dangerous” temperature zone. Too much time elapsed in this temperature of water can lead to hypothermia. I decided that for my own personal safety I would only do a couple 30 sec, buoy-to-buoy swims, running out of the water in between each swim to keep the blood flow circulating. I did a few and decided I would get in the milage in the pool later in the day! Safety first!
I can rest assured that the next time I am in 60-degree water it will feel much better! Since the channel will be above 60, it is not necessary to train at temperatures this low, and I do not recommend doing more that 30 sec intervals in it. Since we were unaware of the temperature of the water before we got to the beach, we decided to make the most of what we had available.