General Discussion Triathlon Talk » cold water lap pools Rss Feed  
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2008-01-25 7:44 PM

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Subject: cold water lap pools
So, after swimming for a full year, I just discovered a different Y has a "cold water pool".  I've been spoiled by swimming in a warm water pool, I've found.  I'm curious if "cold water pools" are the norm.  Is swimming in a cold water pool a good way to get used to OWS temps?  FYI, the pool temp was 78*F.  I'm used to 85-88*F, so an obvious difference.  :D


2008-01-25 7:57 PM
in reply to: #1176757

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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools
For lap swimming I am pretty sure the lower temp (around 78°) is more usual or preferred...I know I prefer it. At health clubs the pools are frequently kept at a higher temp for the water aerobic classes and such. I get warm when I swim at the local club where it is in the 82+ range. I prefer swimming at my high school pool where it is cooler.

2008-01-25 8:16 PM
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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools
I think 78-80F is more normal... and by no means cold.  I think I'd be roasting if I tried swimming in 85F!!
2008-01-25 8:32 PM
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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools
My club has two pools.  The lap pool is around 76F and the therapy pool is around 85-90F.  I think I would croak if I swam in the therapy pool.  It is good for some of the stretching classes, but too hot for laps, even for me (and I am about as slow as they come).
2008-01-26 2:37 AM
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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools
Cold water is relative. Warm water pools are great for kids lessons, arthritis class, aerobics, etc. "Cool" water pools for lap swimming/competitive training are great because you do sweat while swimming. It would be like running on a treadmill outside in the middle of august vs. running on a nice shaded path in the middle of october. You'll still get warm, but you're not as likely to get overheated. Some people prefer it, but lots of "competitive" swimmers can't stand it when the pool gets too warm because it makes you feel a bit woozy.
2008-01-26 7:40 AM
in reply to: #1176757

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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools
I guess I'll need to HTFU and go there more often then.  :D  I was actually comfortable after I got warmed up in the water.  My first time there was a complete shock, though. 


2008-01-26 7:44 AM
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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools

Count your lucky stars.  Gyms that actually keep their lap pools 80 or below LIKE THEY ARE FREAKING SUPPOSED TO BE are very few and far between.

Most roast out the lap swimmers at 82 or higher while the stupid water aerobics ladies float by on a pool noodle complaining how cold the water is.

I despise swimming in anything hotter than 82.  In fact, I would say I cannot effectively do a workout if it's over 82.

If the pool isn't cold enough that you notice it when you get in...it's too warm.  But really, if it's 76-80 you will warm up in less than 200 yards.  It's just the getting in that's a bit rough.

2008-01-26 8:32 AM
in reply to: #1176806

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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools
SSMinnow - 2008-01-25 9:32 PM

My club has two pools. The lap pool is around 76F and the therapy pool is around 85-90F. I think I would croak if I swam in the therapy pool. It is good for some of the stretching classes, but too hot for laps, even for me (and I am about as slow as they come).


My YMCA has a similar setup, cold water is definitely the norm.
2008-01-26 8:43 AM
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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools

jesswah - 2008-01-25 8:16 PM I think 78-80F is more normal... and by no means cold.  I think I'd be roasting if I tried swimming in 85F!!

I think 82-84 could be simmering while 85+ is just stewing

2008-01-26 9:45 AM
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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools
I gave up my expensive membership at a nice club with a 50-meter pool that was usually in the 80-81 degree range.  Unfortunately, the less expensive, but closer, club that I've joined keeps the thermostat on the pool set at a very warm temp to please the crowd of fat, old people that float in the pool for an hour every morning and call it exercise.  They should have just built a giant spa for those people.  But I figure if I can work out and not die in a warm pool, then competing in a cool ocean or lake will be a joy.
2008-01-26 10:36 AM
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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools
Last year the heating system at our Y was out of service and the water temp was down to about 64. Now that was a cold water pool. Was tempted to bring my wetsuit, but didn't want the chlorine to ruin it. When they fixed it and then temp was back to 78, I realized how nice that water is.


2008-01-26 12:02 PM
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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools
I don't enjoy swimming in the colder lap pools.

I've been to gyms with 76-78 degree lap pools. Brrrrrr.

My gym has four pools: a lap pool at 81, a deep water multi-purpose pool at 84, a recreational pool at 84, and a teaching pool at 88. The "old lady' classes are all in the recreational pool in the mornings, then in the evenings it's all family and kids.

I think the 81 degree lap pool is a little too cold for me unless I'm doing fast intervals and the like. I just feel a little chilled all over when I'm done. My coach says if I swam faster I'd be fine. Yeah, OK. For long steady sets I prefer the 84 degree multipurpose pool - much more comfortable and I don't feel I have to soak in the spa for 2 minutes to get the chill out.

I don't really know swimming in colder lap pools would help with OWS swim. I know I wouldn't enjoy it as much. And BTW, I've done ocean swimming in 75-76 degree water, and it somehow seemed fine to me, same with 78 degree outdoor pools. Outdoor and OWS is just different - the sun is on you, etc. Hard to compare to laps at the indoor pool.

Edited by brucemorgan 2008-01-26 12:02 PM
2008-01-26 12:29 PM
in reply to: #1177162

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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools
southwestmba - 2008-01-26 11:36 AM

Last year the heating system at our Y was out of service and the water temp was down to about 64. Now that was a cold water pool. Was tempted to bring my wetsuit, but didn't want the chlorine to ruin it. When they fixed it and then temp was back to 78, I realized how nice that water is.


This happened at our Y last year also. It was great! The pool temp was 76, so no one else used it. Once they fixed it, the pool went to 82. I now use the High School pool. They keep it around 78-79, but I've noticed they lower the water temp to around 77 before swim meets. My 200 yard warm-up is 'Exactly' that!
2008-01-26 4:40 PM
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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools
For the Malibu tri last year the water temp was 59, wetsuit or not that is cold. Combined with the surf it's the longest 800m swim there is.

Like others above have said cold is relative. It probably helps to train a little in colder water.
2008-01-26 4:49 PM
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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools

At my club, the normal lap pool was closed so I got in the water aerobics pool. I was surprised at how warm it was. Then I looked at all of the fat ladies and began to worry about how it got that warm.

Our 25m lap pool is about 78 and is indoor. It's perfect. The 20 yd water aerobics pool is probably around 82-84. I only go in there when I have too. The outdoor 25 yd pool is 80, which is great on a cooler day. Get to do laps outside and stay comfortable. 80 would be too warm for the indoor pool.

2008-01-26 9:49 PM
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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools
My Y has three pools as well. Kids under 3rd grade only at about 88. Multi purpose at about 86 and the lap/diving pool in the lower 80s.

I didn't realize the difference until one cold early morning when I couldn't bring myself to get into the colder pool so I swam in the multi purpose pool. By the time I was done I was roasting.


2008-01-26 10:18 PM
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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools
At the two pools I lifeguard at, the temperatures are kept at 82 and 83 degrees.

I'm a fan of 82... Not too hot, not too cold, just right.
2008-01-27 11:00 AM
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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools
I swim in two different pools and I've noticed a temp difference (you all should hear the whimpering and whining on Monday mornings getting into the cooler pool), but now that I think about it, I believe the warmer (health club) pool is too warm and my workouts are more labored compared to the cooler (High School) pool. No "blue hairs" ridin' noodles in the HS pool.
2008-01-27 11:20 AM
in reply to: #1178237

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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools
My pool is generally around 81-82, which I've gotten used to. I definitely do get warm on occasion. There have been times when the temp dropped to the upper 70s...all the old folks complained, but I loved it. One summer, the cooling system malfunctioned and the water was 90+. Yeah. I didn't even make it through my workouts. That really sucked...
2008-01-27 1:16 PM
in reply to: #1177225

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Subject: RE: cold water lap pools
brucemorgan - 2008-01-26 1:02 PM

I don't enjoy swimming in the colder lap pools.

I've been to gyms with 76-78 degree lap pools. Brrrrrr.

My gym has four pools:


Wow, that's amazing. Sign me up!!

My gym has two pools, one is 85ish and the other around 78. I can't swim in the 85 degree pool, wayyy too hot. Also, I think the cold water makes me swim faster
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