Whilst I am attending and taking part in the BLDSA Champion of Champions event this weekend at Dover, I will also be taking part in a cold water study conducted by The University of Portsmouth,Department of Sport & Exercise Science.
We are surveying swimmers, to find out what factors affect your deep body temperature and also to further improve planning and health and safety for open water swimming and triathlon events worldwide. The information gained may also be of benefit to search and rescue organisations.
Taking part in this research is entirely voluntary. It is up to you to decide if you want to volunteer for the study.
You will be asked to complete a questionnaire about your swimming experience, the event you are taking part in, as well as measure your height, weight, skinfold thickness and wetsuit fit (if you are wearing a wetsuit). You will be required to swallow a temperature pill. The picture below shows the approximate size of the pill (about the size of a Jelly bean). We will ask you to swallow the temperature pill that will start to read your deep body temperature. We would like to record your temperature just prior to the start of your swim, when you finish and again 30 minutes after you have finished.
Once you have swallowed the pill it will pass into your stomach and though your intestines before you pass the pill out.
After swallowing the pill you will have to wear an orange medical wristband until the pill has passed out of your body (this should take between one and two days WE DO NOT WANT IT BACK!). For approximately one hour after swallowing the temperature pill we ask you to drink only tepid drinks, not cold or hot drinks as the temperature of the drink can affect the pill temperature measurements.
What measurements will be taken?
We will take all the measurements (survey, measure your height and weight) before the swim. We will also record your deep body temperature before the start of the swim, as soon as you finish, and then again 30 minutes after you have finished.
What are the possible benefits of taking part?
There are no direct benefits to you, but we hope that the results of this study will increase our understanding of the effects of cold water swimming on the body. This work will contribute towards developing the lower water temperature limits for swimming and triathlon races. This information would also be extremely helpful with event planning and risk assessment, event safety cover and co-ordination, and entrant information and preparation to further improve open water swimming and triathlon events.
Who is funding the research?
This research is being funded by the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), International Triathlon Union (ITU) and International Olympic Committee (IOC).