From Saturday 1 May 2021, there is just one supported swim group at Williamstown Beach each week – the 9am Saturday Cool Water Winter Swim Group.
This is not a class or lesson, you set your own distance, pace and time in the water. I set up a 600-700m swim course in the no-boating zone and provide on-water support with a boardy or kayaker keeping an eye on you and the conditions around you.
The course will be a big square or triangle stretching from the shallows to the deep water around the yellow poles at Williamstown. You can swim the entire course any number of times or stick to the shallows.
When you get out there will be hot tea and watermelon. Please BYO snacks for a picnic. You can’t leave and drive away straight after getting out of the cool water. There are warm showers nearby.
Why would anyone want to swim in the cool water?
Because this is an amazing experience that will make you healthier, happier and smarter! Seriously. The cold water improves your circulation, your immune system, gets blood flowing through your brain and boosts your endorphin production and mood. This thing is addictive.
And it’s particularly good for you if you are at an age where you are saying things like “age doesn’t matter, it’s just a number” and “I’m young at heart.”
Here is my guide to cold water swimming from last year. There’s plenty of science about cold water swimming and articles to read about how good it is for you but yes there’s risk and you should not try it by yourself.
Also you nbeed to start early – in Autumn before the temperature gets too low and keep it up at least once per week in order to get acclimatised to the cold. Your body will change, your white fat will change to brown fat, you will possibly lose weight and you won’t need a jumper quite so often. You won’t be turning the heater on quite as much.
So this is the need-to-know information for our cold water swimming group:
1) Meet near carpark behind WSLSC by 8.45am
2) You can hire a wetsuit from me for $20 if you need one.
3) I also have booties, swim gloves and thermal caps.
4) Maximum swim time is 60 minutes at the moment because the water is 16 -17C and this time will be reduced to 45 minutes when the water is 12 -13 C.
5) For people not wearing a wetsuit, the maximum swim time is 45 minutes.
6) You can’t leave straight after swimming. You definitely can’t drive a car straight after swimming in cold water.
7) You can share my tea (BYO cup) and watermelon and/or bring some snacks for yourself or our picnic table.
8) Bring a warm towel (or two) or even a blanket, maybe a chair, but standing in the sun, or going for a run is the best way to get your body temp back towards normal.
9) I have thermal blankets if necessary, there are warm council showers if you feel like it.
10) You can tell your friends and family you have found a new healthy drug called cool water swimming, you’re getting addicted and you don’t need rehab….