another reason to swim outdoors


31/03/2011 by Carl Reynolds

Prompted by a plea here from Jenny about ‘chlorine allergy’.

In one word – chlorine. In a few more – even low levels of chlorine react to heat, sweat and piss and create chloramines. These can give you problems breathing and itchy skin. Outdoor pools may use chlorine, but they also rely on UV to keep the contaminants down.

Some advice – avoid indoor pools, particularly those used by young people who are likely to piss unashamedly in them. And those that tend to be overheated – as people sweat more when they swim. See here for more information. Or do a goggle search – ‘chlorine, urine and sweat’.

Greenwich Arches has a pool dedicated to lane only swimming – very slow, slow, medium, fast and crawl only – and is usually below 28 degrees C. And with the occasional lifeguard, as I remember, who was willing to engage with miscreants and inform them that their rapidly moving arms and legs did not make them a fast swimmer.

Crystal Palace pool is also adult friendly and serious swimmer friendly; and has the added advantage of only being £2.40 off peak. Although it’s heated up to 28/29 degrees, the size of the space makes it less hot; and the absence of freely pissing children makes it less rash inducing.

If you can’t stand the thought of cold outdoor swimming or indoor pissoir swimming, you can swim in warm water and outdoors at London Fields Lido (around 26 degrees C) and Hampton Lido (unsure of the temperature), which I am exploring with Big C tomorrow. Let’s hope it’s not coinciding with a day out for the incontinent.


4 thoughts on “another reason to swim outdoors

  1. Bryn Dymott says:

    Have a great swim with Big C at London Fields. How did the guerilla swim chat with Jenny go – likely dates? River was great tonight. 4 wimpsuits and me lasted 25 minutes and I could have done more. Why did I take so long to discover fresh air swimming???

  2. Bryn – need to coincide with it being in profile elsewhere. Eg if 38 Degrees did do a campaign…Otherwise we’d have to keep at it to raise the profile. I’m going to discuss it some more with Jenny and then invite other participants, get the media angle sorted out, briefing on likely trouble we might get into etc etc. Gonna have to swim with you at St Neots before we go to Barra. Speak soon.

  3. Alex says:

    Brockwell Lido is opening this weekend and is free on Saturday and Sunday! I like Hampton lido, it really is an indoor pool outside. It does get very crowded on the weekend though.
    I also did 1200 yards on Thurday at Tooting, wasn’t so bad warming through again except my feet which felt cold and clammy all day.

  4. Dominic says:

    Urine and Chlorine mixed makes your eyes sting too. Tooting Bec Lido is like swimming in fresh water compared to the average indoor pool!

    I agree with the verdict on Crystal Palace, I used to have nagging allergic sneezing after swimming in most indoor pools but not in there.

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