Toomas has been training in open water swimming since 2004. Toomas was born in 1972 in Espoo. He currently lives in Lohja, where he also works at his Osteokaari clinic. She is married and has two children in the family with lifeguard class near me.
What is your goal?
-My goal is to swim across the Cook Strait and the Gulf of Finland continuously in accordance with international open water swimming regulations. This means that I swim all the way at once in just swimming trunks. In addition, a swimming cap, goggles, earplugs and a nose clip may be used. Grease can also be applied to the surface of the skin to protect it from abrasions.
The length of the trip is a significant factor, but the most important thing is to put up with the cold for a long time, up to 20 hours at a time with lifeguard class near me.
How is swimming done?
According to the official swimming rules, between departure and arrival, I must not touch anything outside, such as hanging on a boat or stopping on a boat. I have to swim all the way from start to finish.
My swimming is followed by a service boat, where the supervisor constantly monitors my performance and physical condition. The supervisor also has the right to interrupt my swimming. I am also given something to eat and drink from the boat. Do not catch anything floating during swimming, so refueling, for example, should be done while swimming in the water. Similarly, needs are made by swimming directly in the water. This can be quite difficult and needs to be practiced separately with lifeguard class near me.
Why swim without a wet suit?
Wearing a wet suit is not allowed in formal swimming because it warms and supports, in addition it speeds up swimming. A wetsuit is also already mentally quite a big protective cover against open water conditions.
Why do you enjoy open water swimming?
Swimming in the open water is in many ways more challenging than swimming in a swimming pool. In open water you can’t meet the wall of the pool and you can’t see the bottom at all, there are no swimming tracks to follow, the waves are different than in the pool, the currents also affect especially at sea with lifeguard class near me.
Swimming outdoors is also mentally different: when swimming in the open water for a long time, you have to face fear states that are never experienced in the pool, e.g. coldness, darkness, loneliness, weather variations and changes in air temperature, submerged logs, marine life and plants.
How do you practice?
Although there are thousands of lakes in our country, the weather conditions in the country are difficult for open water swimming. The season is very short. In practice, you can swim in open water in Finland from mid-May to mid-September. Therefore, a large part of the training has to be done in the swimming pool.
In the winter, I train in the swimming pool on average three times a week. The main goal is to increase endurance, so I swim 6-12 km long at a time. It takes three hours, for example, for 10 km of swimming training.
In summer, swimming trips are extended. The key is to exercise your body to tolerate the cold for a long time. You can already swim in 8-degree water with a wetsuit, but I will try to swim in the swings as soon as possible in the spring. To cross the English Channel, I practiced in up to 12-degree water without a wet suit.
Safety is important when practicing.
Whenever I swim alone, I pull a light raft after me, on which I can rest, for example in the event of a muscle cramp. There is a colorful flag standing on the ferry so the boaters will notice me in time. I have also attached a gps meter to my ferry. I swam near the beach or along the beach avoiding boat or boat lanes with lifeguard class near me.
What kind of characteristics does the species require?
I’ve always exercised a lot and especially liked endurance sports. I want to build goals for myself and test my own limits. When swimming, you can look at the world from a different perspective, and while swimming for a long time, you learn to control yourself and your mind.
In addition to very good swimming condition, my swimming projects require purposefulness, the courage to practice completely outside the comfort limit, cold endurance and also a little madness.
How does the cold affect you?
At worst, the cold causes hypothermia, a dangerous drop in body temperature. This is really what this species is all about, meaning you have to train your body to tolerate the cold for a long time, both physically and mentally. In cold water, the limbs begin to numb and muscle cramps are common. In addition, I have encountered various “hallucinations” while training: I have repeatedly seen people in colorful clothes walking on the beach, for example, even though the beach is completely empty. Likewise, after swimming for a certain period of time, I have seen a large pike swimming right past me.
In cold water, the human body warns of danger and demands to leave. The urge to leave the water attracts you all the time, and you have to fight it consciously.
Is the sport practiced elsewhere in the world?
The sport is popular worldwide. Especially in the UK, open water swimming is highly valued. For example, the English Channel was first swam in 1875, and since then it has been crossed by about 1,500 swimmers. I myself managed to cross the canal in 2008.
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