Watch out for after-drop (OWS)

Home Page California Triathlon Discussion Watch out for after-drop (OWS)

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  urs 9 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #3098

    • Total Posts: 28

      Hey swimmers, I was FREEZING last weekend & wanted to talk about “after-drop.” It can be a serious thing. That’s the delayed drop in core body temperature that happens post-training session once you get out of the (cold, open) water. I suffer from it pretty intensely and wanted to pass along some recommendations that work for me…

      So, as I understand it what’s happening is this: during your swim your body protects the essential organs in your core by reducing blood flow out to your skin and limbs. Once you leave the water this stops (the fancy term is peripheral vasoconstriction), and the cold blood that was hanging out in your limbs rushes back into your core, chilling your body from the inside out. You might feel good for the first 10 minutes out of the water, but then you start to shiver. And shiver! It’s important to head this off by dressing warmly as soon as you get out…even “overdressing” for the air temperature (I love sporting a big fuzzy hat, for which my training partner never fails to mock me), eating something, and if you can… drink something hot. Ironically, taking a hot shower is not recommended — it makes the cooled blood return to the core faster & the resultant “drop” deeper. This can particularly be an issue if you jump in your car and suddenly find yourself shaking uncontrollably.

      Anyhoo! FWIW. Yours in swim nerdiness.

    • #3110
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      Caitlin Nicholas
      • Total Posts: 11

        In a race scenario, I have heard some folks stuff a gel or blocks in their wetsuit, so on the trot to T-1 they can put some calories in their system before they head out for the bike. Maybe this can be done during longer open water swim workouts? Also parkas are amazing fluffy warm jackets that can be a life saver post OWS or at swim meets.

      • #3111

        • Total Posts: 28

          Love swim parkas!

          Blocks make sense, although I wonder, do they hold up in the water? I guess they must? I don’t do the really long swims that require eating, but I’m fascinated by stories of food solutions from people who do. I’ve even heard peanut butter sandwiches, towed along in a ziploc bag (!!!)

          The incredible Diana Nyad used to train at the Rose Bowl and people always said you could tell it was her swimming by the cooler of food parked at the end of the pool. 🙂

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