Today Mairead got an email from listener Aoife in Wexford who has been inspired by all the people she has seen braving the elements and going sea swimming and she wants to be one of them! She asked for advice on where to start and how to brave the cold, and the response was great!
Mairead gave Ruth Fitzmaurice a call for some tips, she knows a thing or two about sea swimming and swims every day (unless the conditions are too rough) and has been doing this for about 6 years.
Ruth started when her husband Simon was sick and their house was full of nurses. She felt a bit cooped up indoors, not unlike how a lot of us feel during lockdown, so she started sea swimming with a couple of friends which gave her a freedom she still loves to this day!
Some more great tips and tricks that came in from listeners are:
- For sea swimming, get a good swimming wetsuit!! Then find a swimming group and join their swims. I've done four weeks of lessons with Sheila in Sligo this summer and it's brilliant craic. Caoimhe, Sligo.
- To get used to the sea start with a sunny day on a beach that has plenty of sand, when the tide is out so it heats up the sand. When the tide is almost fully in then head in. Best to 'Baywatch' in, run and submerge ASAP. But the heat on the sand will warm up the water as it comes in. A great beach for this is Fountainstown in Cork. Adam
- The best way to get used to cold water is to turn your shower to cold at the end of your hot shower. Stick your face in first and wait until it's cold, then your hands and feet. Turn around slowly. You will find that you soon feel great when you do this. I swim regularly with the Snámhaí Sásta gang in Spanish Point and this method really helped me. There's nothing more exhilarating than a swim in the Atlantic. Valerie O'Connor in Limerick, en route to Spanish Point.
- Mairead- just run into the water, slowly slowly is just torture! Pam in Donegal
- Hi Mairead, re swimming in the sea. Aoife mentioned she's a great pool swimmer - if she just tried swimming in the Irish sea I can promise you, she'd never go back to the pool! Tip on bracing the cool sea: wear a latex swim cap, or two. Honestly, I've been swimming off Skerries now for over 5 years (throughout all seasons, in my togs) and I love it! It helps if one is not too skinny...I find my blubber a great insulator!!!😜 Btw, I'm originally from Southeast Asia, so you natives have no excuse!!😁 Carol.
- Swimming in the sea is fantastic. When you are in, keep moving to keep blood flowing, even running on the spot in the water. And even in the summer have your towel wrapped in a hot water bottle for when you get out. Nothing like wrapping that towel round you after. And a flask of something warm. Lorna in Dublin
- Hi Mairead, just listened to Ruth, she is a tonic! I am a mum of 2 toddlers (15 months apart) and myself and a gang of other moms starting a Thursday dip club a few weeks ago. We head down to ladies beach in Galway every Thursday and we paddle, laugh and drink tea afterwards. Last week we swam in the rain, it was magical. It's now my favourite time of the week! Jacqui.
You can hear the chat in full by pressing the play button on screen.