Warmups and Stretches

4WT, SEasy: First swim for the year and it was good. Now I know a couple of ways to combat the cold pool water, even without a rash guard:
  1. No stretching in the pool. In the past, I would do some arm, chest and leg stretches IN the pool. In the recent weeks though, I noticed that by the time I'm done stretching, I could really feel the cold and start to shiver. Stretching is stationary and doesn't pump the blood much. Stretching OUTSIDE the pool is okay but then wet after the shower, there is the cold air and breeze to contend with. Maybe brief stretches in the showers could be done instead. With limited stretching though, a proper warmup is still necessary.

  2. Immediate long warmups. A ritual I'd do is to dip my hand first in the water to feel the temp. I psyche myself and then jump. Yow! Brrr... Now, it appears that a quick launch into a vigourous warmup is needed to start the blood a-pumpin' immediately. Treading around the pool works for me. WT stands for Warmup Treading. Treading will not strain the joints and muscles too much but will quickly get the blood flowing and warm me up. A minimum of 3 rounds is needed. So as not to strain the neck, keep the mouth near the waterline and the eyes looking at the water surface rather than above the pool. This sets the head in a more neutral position. Corz, keep the mouth shut should it submerge. No sense swallowing all that chlorinated water.

Today, I had 4 warmup laps around the pool and by the time I started, I was in the zone. The trick to getting warm essentially is to keep moving. Limit the rests in between laps. It's hard to do but in the end the aerobic capacity is improved.

I recently read an article about Ian Thorpe's (the Aussie swimmer) use of moisturizers for flaking skin due to chlorine. I have the same problem especially on my face and I'm wondering if that might work for me. Any recommendations? Inexpensive would be nice!

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