Open Water Swimming – Keeping Warm!

The 2013 open water swimming season officially started for RG Active this week and for me it started this morning at 6am in the RG Active ham lake venue in SW London.

Yes, it was cold, but not anywhere near as cold as it was this time last year and after 1-2 minutes of heavy breathing, brain freeze and a couple of select choice words I set on my way and really enjoyed the 1.5km swim I did on a bright and sunny April morning.

I wanted to write this blog quickly because there are a few items available to help fight the cold and get you in the open water sooner rather than later and this blog will enlighten you to their existence.

1) The neo-prene swim hat, or ‘nobody hat’ as i have come to know it.

These ARE allowed on race-day!


This might limited your hearing and annoy your coach, but it will keep your head warmer than any silicone or latex swim cap. The Zone 3 hat pictured comes with a chin strap which helps hold t over your ears, but other models come without the strap. Sometime it is not important what you look like if it means getting in those extra training metres.

2) Neo-prene gloves and socks

These are NOT allowed on race-day!

These wonderful items can really save you in the early season training sessions. They are NOT allowed for racing but when training and you want to spend that little longer in the water keeping your extremities warm can make all the difference.



They come available in numerous sizes and like your wetsuits these items need to be tighter rather than looser so they can do their job… of keeping you WARM!

3) Heatseeker neo-prene body warmer


Although our sponsors Zone 3 don’t make a version of this I had to include it as it is definitely my favourite purchase of the winter and I am sure will become my best friend over the coming weeks as I look to spend more and more time in the open water.

This is a think neo-prene vest that you wear under your wetsuit. It is a pain to get on and off, but the warmth it offers is well worth the hassle. I initially found this item in 220 Triathlon magazine and then found it ‘on sale’ at an online retailer, so BARGAIN!

Everyone feels the cold water to different degrees so you may or may not feel this items are required for yourself, but if you are looking to get in your local swim venue and start getting that in-valuable ‘wetsuit time’ then these could make your swimming so much more comfortable and enjoyable!

If anyone has any questions about these items or any other open water swimming related issues please do not hesitate to email the RG Active coaching team at:

Stay fit, stay healthy, happy and WARM!


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