Six months ago, I joined a gym with a swimming pool and at that time I couldn’t swim at all. I mean, I wasn’t gonna drown or anything I could doggy paddle around but I couldn’t do the front crawl. So I started going three or four times a week just to keep fit and I started out by trying to do ten lengths of a 25 metre pool and at the beginning I Was hopeless my technique was all over the place. I couldn’t breathe. I’d never had lessons so I didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing and I was agonizingly slow but eventually Things started to improve, my technique got a little bit better, my breathing was under control, things got easier and 10 lengths turned to 20 lengths which turned to 30 40 and 50, 60 lengths and one day I did 64 lengths off a 25 metre pool. Do you know what that is in distance? That is one mile. And one mile just so happens to be the distance from where I’m standing here in my hometown and Dundee, Scotland Across the river there So I’m gonna try and swim across there The only thing is the water here is freezing cold, and I’m gonna attempt this wearing Just a pair of Speedos My name’s Mike Boyd and I’m pretty average But over the last three years, I’ve been trying to learn new skills as quickly as possible This series is all about attempted challenges that are out of my comfort zone. I want to try things that are extraordinary This is average Mike *Sound of Waves* The river I’m trying to swim across is called the Tay and it’s the longest in Scotland I’m trying to cross at the point where the North Sea and the river meet Which means I’ll have to deal with tides and currents. During the summer this water sits between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius that’s pretty cold without a wetsuit. Clearly the cold is gonna play a huge factor in this challenge I have four weeks to prepare for this so I need to get used to the cold Acclimatize to the cold. So what I thought would be a good idea was to start taking cold showers and gradually reduce that temperature and Prepare me for getting in the cold river. This is day one of my training *Upbeat Jazz Music* *Shower Runs* So just for reference I usually take a shower at 35 degrees Celsius so that’s 25 degrees hotter than the river I’m just going to reduce the temperature until I can’t bear it anymore. So here goes *Panting* Ah! Oh God! *Hyperventilating* That temperature was, 21 degrees Celsius. *Laughs* So that was awful what I did was I reduced the temperature until I first started to hyperventilate The *Hyperventilates* uncontrolled breathing and I was gobsmacked to learn that that temperature was like 19/20 degrees which is Basically the temperature of this room right now that I’m comfortably sitting in. Anyway, I’m just going to do this every day and see if I can bear colder temperatures for longer in preparation for getting in the river *Upbeat Jazz Music* Oh! So Cold! Ah! *Panting* 19. 19 degrees. *Hyperventilating* Oh! Ah! Oh! Ah! ~High Pitched~ Oh! Taking cold showers Definitely sucks. I’m not gonna stand here and say that it’s enjoyable But afterwards you do feel pretty relaxed and refreshed. So there’s that *Panting* Ah! So after four days of taking cold showers I thought I’d get some advice from someone who’s done this before So I interviewed president of the open water swim club here in Dundee: Joyce Macintosh. No. By taking cold showers. I don’t think it’s going to umm Help you whatsoever. Because you’re standing in a cold shower that’s coming down upon you and you’re not fighting waves. You’re not fighting, umm, wind. You’re not doing any of that, so I think that’s quite fruitless to do that *Chuckles* Well, I would suggest that you get in everyday. You do not, you do not wear a wet suit. You try and just go with trunks and two caps. You try and get an everyday. You set yourself a program of building this up into small chunks Until you can perhaps stay in the water Comfortably for about half an hour. So the best way to train according to Joyce is to get in the water. *Waves* Ten. (Off-screen: That’s pretty cold mate) 10 degrees Celsius. Okay, time to get serious this is where I’m gonna be training. This is a little harbour here. The aim is to get in this water and stay in there for as long as possible and acclimatized to the cold So ideally I’d be able to stay in there for like 50 or 55 minutes without being dangerously cold today I’m just gonna get in the water and see how long I can last before I start shivering. This will be my first time in the water *Music* In case I don’t survive. Urgh! (Off-screen: *Laughs*) Agh! Agh! (Off-screen: Is it cold?) Yeah Urghhh! f*** me! *Pants* Urgh! *Splash* Ah! *Hyperventilates* Ah! (Off-Screen: Are you okay?) (Off-Screen: Are you okay?) *Continues Panting* Ah! (Off-screen: You coming out?) *Inaudible Sound* Ah! *Laughs* Oh my god! *Laughs* Ah! That was awful (Off screen:You wanna try and go in again?) No, no, no no. Like instantaneous hyperventilation, like *Imitates hyperventilating* Uncontrollable. One of the difficulties with swimming in cold water is something called the cold shock response That is your body’s reaction to a sudden drop in temperature If you jump in cold water, you’ll get this involuntary gasping Followed by a huge increase in your heart rate and breathing rate and eventually shivering as well All of this leads to a sense of panic which makes it really really hard to swim properly When you’re experiencing cold shock. That’s the reason why when you’re on a boat They asked you to wear a life jacket not because they don’t think you can swim It’s because it’s really really hard to swim when you fall in the water accidentally and get cold shock however You can acclimatize and dull the effects of cold shock and train your body to deal with the cold water better studies have shown that regular immersions in water have been proven to reduce the heart rate reduce the gasping response and Prolong shivering until a lower body temperature. All of this means that you can swim better for longer So the way to acclimatise to cold water and swim better is by regular immersions in cold water. That means every day *Piano Music* Okay, we’re gonna try and stay in a little bit longer today *Splash* Oh! *Panting* I’ve already lost feeling in my hands and feet But, my breathing is somewhat under control. Been in the water 10 minutes I’ve had enough. *Expells Air* (Offscreen: Oh!) *Laughs* There is my hand, that is massive! That’s about 20 minutes in the water. That’s my longest, longest I’ve spent in the water yet. Oohhh *Laughs* For the next week, I forced myself to get in the river every day and sure enough, I began to acclimatise. Gasping was reduced massively My heart rate fell under control after just a few seconds. Shivering was delayed and that feeling of panic began to subside. This actually works That is cold. That is cold. So this water that I’m in right now, this is 9 degrees Celsius. That’s only four degrees warmer than your refrigerator. And I’m calm I’m controlled I’m not shivering. What this means is I could start swimming. I was calm enough to breathe properly which means I could start spending longer in the water and training. Acclimatizing to cold shock is just part one of this challenge and this is real progress. However, the hard part is still to come. Tomorrow on average Mike: This is all about cold endurance. That’s your biggest enemy. That’s a enemy number one, and that’s what you have to get over. That was a tough, cold training session. Alright today’s the day. This is it. *Music Continues* I Recently checked. I have 81 active accounts, for which I used to remember, in my head, all the passwords for. Inevitably what happened was I had 81 near-identical passwords, that were something like my first pet’s name plus my day of birth, for all 81 of my accounts. That is a seriously bad idea. What if instead, you had just one really good master password, that gave you access to a service that stores, generates and auto fills dozens of unhackable passwords and allows you to change your passwords with the click of one button? What if this service worked across mobile and desktop, was insanely easy to use and install and was completely free of charge? Well, that service is called Dashlane. Check this out right. 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