A mile in December – why not two…and a bit?


01/12/2011 by Carl Reynolds

Nando bags a December mile

I’d seen from the weather forecast that this was to be the last mild day for a while. And it’s the 1st December, so what better thing to do than swim two miles in 8 degree C water? I imagine people can think of many other things, but I am a cold water obsessive. I’d said to Nando that I’d be down at ten, and he said he’d join me, but he was already stroking up and down the pool, as was Pip. I looked at Pip and thought, “he’s such a competitive soul that he’ll be wanting to do a two miler as well”.

After a quick chat with Jenny of Swimming Round London fame , I thought I might as well get on with it. I arranged a signal with the lifeguards and set off. At the turn of a mile, Pip was standing on the side grinning and said that he’d done 37 lengths (a 100 yards or so past the two miles); so concluded that my earlier assumption was right and rolled on. At just over two kilometres, I saw Peter and Sally get in. They swim head up breaststroke (well in this temperature anyway) and I knew that it’d take me roughly the same time to do another km, as it would for Peter to do eight lengths. At the final turn for the two miles, I realised I was a few minutes under the hour, so thought I should pip Pip. So went on to do 40 lengths.

Although I had turned up to spotting rain and cloud cover, by my fourth length the sun came and shone on me for the whole hour and a bit. And after twenty minutes in the sauna had disappeared again. Which gave Martin plenty of light to film me. He’s posted it here. Thanks Martin. Pip got in later and did another four to take him to 41. But then he doesn’t wear a cap.

3.66km, 8 degrees C (4000 yards/2.27 miles, 46.4 degrees F)

17 thoughts on “A mile in December – why not two…and a bit?

  1. Nando Cuca says:

    What a truly fabulous day. Weather not as good as yesterday’s but it kinda helped to keep your mind on the task at hand. It still takes me ages to do even a mile, so the last 4 lengths were a real struggle. Nothing in particular wrong, just your whole body saying “enough’s enough!”. I appreciate the great company. It really eggs me on. As for Pip… I’m beginning to suspect he’s not actually human. Can anybody bring some kryptonite down one day?

    • Nando – I was lucky, the sun was out for most of my swim. Nice to be mesmerised by the patterns on the bottom and feel a little sun warmth on my back. How long were you in? Time in is a better marker for endurance than distance I think.

  2. Ian says:

    Carl, blimey that is going for it. I had a terrible hangover and stopped at 12 and was amazed to see Pip still in after I’d had a sauna, showered and dressed. Even with a suit however, there was now way I could have done 2 miles. Hats off to you both. Oh yes, I’m intrigued as to what the arranged signal with the lifeguards was?

  3. swansswimmer says:

    Big swim, fantastic.

  4. pip says:

    Kryptonite is that like going clubbing in a grave yard?
    Probably would send shivers down my spine

  5. pip says:

    By the way I do believe it was just under 8 today so we can call that a mile or 2 miler at 7 degrees

  6. pip says:

    1/12/11 Pip’s Version of events
    Today several people at Tooting Bec lido were threatening to swim either a mile or 2 miles
    I intended attempting only a mile as I was sick yesterday
    My wet suited often training partner Ian was already in, so I joined him from the opposite end of the pool he found it too cold and got out after 12 lengths (it’s the rubber that makes you cold you know).
    Then a naked Nando (excepting trunks) and rubber suited Giles got in, they both completed a mile with me, at this stage I had completed 37 lengths or 3,700 yards & this put me over the 2 miles so I got out
    At the same time Small Carl was already attempting his 2 miler and asked me “how far?” according to his version of events I grinned and said 37. Not to be out done Carl then proceeded to complete 4,000 yards (well done Carl hats off to you, well you should swim without one anyway)
    I was about to head off to work content with the fact that I may not have done 4000 yards but had completed 2 miles at just under 8 degrees (for clarity that’s a 7 then) when the competitive south London bystanders Big Carl & Nando twisted my arm and forced me to complete another 400yards This brought my total up to 4,100. I think they were trying to wind up small Carl
    Foot note on the day only 5 yards of my swim really counts as cold water swimming this is because on entering the pool the 2nd time I lost my trunks and was completely naked (do goggles mean was dressed?)

  7. Alex says:

    I’m not sure who’s the most competitive? well done to you all. I’m certainly not up for that sort of challenge. Pip is quite mad not to swim without a hat, I wear one even when I’m not swimming at this time of year.

  8. martin says:

    All of the above backed by a video – http://vimeo.com/33013552
    Pip, sorry for not including you this time…

    • thanks Martin. You make it look like I can swim quickly!

      • martin says:

        Viewers with a critical eye will see that I’ve doubled up the speed. Oh, joys of modern technology…. (just joking, you did appear to be more interested in the turn of speed than in soaking up the benefits of the cold water)

  9. […] I know a few women and men that can swim for a few miles at 9C. I used to be one of them, but I have since lost a fair bit of insulation and the determination, madness or desire to immerse […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address in the box below,
then click Follow to receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 122 other followers

Places to swim etc


  • 244,391


%d bloggers like this: