Ice mile training
After digging around through forum and whatnot I found out Ice mile is a thing and I'm hooked on it.
I'm mostly average amateur swimmer, but I've been trying to extend my swimming season for couple of years, and this year I finally stayed in the water through autumn and into the winter. All the different sensations were really exciting and I'm confident and happy to be able to dive into water as long as its liquid, no matter how cold it gets. With that goal done, I want to continue for something more challenging, like under-ice diving and ice mile.
How would I go about training for Ice Mile?
As I said, I'm amateur, I learn to swim on my own and my swimming techniques are all over the place. I don't have any special personal doctors, trainers or support team. There's not really anyone around who would be even remotely interested, short from couple of friends who be like "yeah, I guess I can pull out my phone and film you being crazy for few minutes" ( ).
The water was around +4^C I guess (I measured couple of times with regular outdoor thermometer), it's a fresh water lake. The air temperatures here in January were about -5 to -15 ^C. That time in the youtube video I linked above, air was around 0^C, but once it was somewhat stormy and as soon as I popped out, some of my hair froze and you could clearly see frozen drops of water hanging. Now, I've experienced frozen hair before, but I guess the cap is mandatory? I'm more concerned about my hands and feet. I've tried some neoprene gloves, so totally didn't work. At these temperatures I stay in water for a minute or two, then it takes more than that to dress up, as your motor functions are greatly diminished. Now I ended up using boots and clothing with velcro or something that doesn't really require fingers. Saving time, I put all that on my steaming barely wet body and very much wet shorts and then it's a 500 meter bicycle ride home. The ride keeps me active and warm, but once I stop and attempt to put the key into a lock (hilarious), I start to shiver. I'm reluctant to put my head under that cold water as that short headache it causes is too concerning for now. Would it get better the more I do it? Would the cap make any difference? Next winter I'm planning not to stop diving either.
Perhaps there's something I could do to improve the condition of my toes and fingers? One day the pain was so intense I was getting nauseous and almost had to stop and sit down (obviously worst idea I could have ever come up with). After 10-20 minutes my hands and feet are completely back to normal without any sign of damage, but the memory itself is very discouraging. I've read around and I believe that cold pain would not remain in far extremities and would crawl up my body as I stay in cold for longer. Should I just direct some training into to getting used to it? I think I'm acclimatized enough not to feel much cold shock and it's been quite awhile since I had brainfreeze throughout whole body. I am familiar with cold-induced muscle and brain tiredness. What other sensations and dangers should I be ready for and how? For years random simple people warning me not to swim far (regardless of water temperature) as I might get muscle cramps and drown got me to a point I almost think the cramps are a hoax, or you have to have some specific medical conditions to get them.
Other than the stuff directly related to cold, I know I will have to put a lot of work into improving my stamina and general endurance, as well as swimming technique. I could use some tips about that too.
I've found out there was a guy called Haydn around here who completed Ice Mile. I don't suppose he's still active and eager to advice?