Sometimes I like to do something other than swim. Today was a fantastic day for some cold-water training from on top the water. Fairway Gorge Paddle Club hosted their annual V12 to V21 outrigger race. It was a great opportunity to work my lats and dip my toes in the cold water.
When I first woke up this morning I thought the race would be cancelled. It was 2C out; not exactly ideal weather for paddling. But since we were racing double haul boats there was very little chance of a huli leaving us in the 6C water. And as you can see from the photo below my paddle buddies, who have chosen a Polynesian sport are fond of warmth.
To increase my cold tolerance, to the shock of my paddle mates, I chose to wear flip-flops today. With a steady rain fall and near freezing temperatures, it was a great way for me to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
For the race, I wore a thin long sleeve performance shirt and paddle pants. I could feel the cold working its way through my body at the start but knew that 10 minutes into the race I would warm up. I think it was hardest on my hands. They were so cold they burned. I could feel my paddle, which was getting wet from sea mist, had a very thin sheet of ice on it which I would come into contact with every time we switched paddle sides.
As expected, 10 minutes in my hands were fine and I was able to paddle for the next 43 minutes fairly comfortably. Between the rain and the water from Robin’s paddling, who sat behind me and would send a cold splash of sea water my way every time he switched sides, I was nice and wet by the end. My paddle pants and technical shirt were soaked right through.
It was a good day on the water and a good day to get cold. It was also a good day for a nice long warm bath after paddle.