Low water temperature (<15 °C) has been faced by many organizers of triathlons and swim-runs in the northern part of Europe during recent years. More knowledge about how cold water affects athletes swimming in wetsuits in cold water is warranted. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate the physiological response when swimming a full Ironman distance (3800 m) in a wetsuit in 10 °C water. Twenty triathletes, 37.6 ± 9 years (12 males and 8 females) were recruited to perform open water swimming in 10 °C seawater; while rectal temperature (Tre) and skin temperature (Tskin) were recorded. The results showed that for all participants, Tre was maintained for the first 10–15 min of the swim; and no participants dropped more than 2 °C in Tre during the first 30 min of swimming in 10 °C water. However; according to extrapolations of the results, during a swim time above 135 min; 47% (8/17) of the participants in the present study would fall more than 2 °C in Tre during the swim. The results show that the temperature response to swimming in a wetsuit in 10 °C water is highly individual. However, no participant in the present study dropped more than 2 °C in Tre during the first 30 min of the swim in 10 °C water.
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