winter swim guide

Introduction To Winter Swimming

Join us for a fun, information packed session to learn how to swim safely in cold water!


If you want to keep up your outdoor swimming through the winter but are feeling nervous about the cold and want to learn more before you take the plunge, this session is for you! We’ve designed this 2.5hr session to give you the confidence and knowledge you need to swim safely in cold water. The course will include a combination of classroom discussions on safe and practical approaches to swimming in cold water as well as a short in-water session in Llyn Padarn. 

You will learn about:

  • Benefits of cold water swimming
  • Risks and safety aspects of winter swimming
  • Swim planning, acclimatisation and recovery
  • Water entry & breathing technique

Llyn Padarn, in Llanberis, is the ideal venue for an Introduction to Winter Swimming, providing clean, clear, safe and sheltered water in a beautiful location. Expected water temperature will be 7-8 degrees C.

The swim session will be kept short due to the temperatures but you will be able to get out at any time you choose.

Wetsuits are optional for the swim. Wetsuits will not be provided. Water safety cover is provided.

Date & time:
Saturday 12th December 2020
Morning Session: 9am – 11.30am 
Afternoon Session: 1pm – 15.30pm Afternoon Session FULL

Location: Llyn Padarn, Llanberis, North Wales

Price: £55 per person  (Limited to a maximum of 6 people)
**Only open to people in Wales I’m afraid, due to Coronavirus restrictions **

Includes: 2.5 hour coaching session with a indoor land based session covering the benefits of cold water swimming, choosing swimming gear, swim safety, cold water acclimatisation & breathing technique, cold water related effects on the body/illness and recovery/how to deal with them. 

The Introduction To Winter Swimming course will give you the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to continue your open water swimming adventures through the winter months! The aim of the course is to be a fun and information-packed session to build confidence and inspire your swimming.

Ability level: For competent, open water swimmers aiming to increase their cold endurance limits for swimming in cold water through winter. 

To ensure that you get the most out of this course and to add to your enjoyment of it, you must already be able to confidently swim outdoors. It does not matter whether you swim front crawl or breaststroke and you do not need to be able to swim a geat distance – 100m unaided is the minimum! This is not a course for new and nervous swimmers. Swim requirements are intended to give you an idea of the level of ability and fitness required on the day, they are not intended as a reason to exclude so please contact us if you are unsure.

Age Limit: Participants must be age 18+ to attend this course. Participants age 16+ may take part if accompanied by another participant aged 18+. This course will not include any swimming technique coaching or any other open water techniques. 

Kit list: The following equipment is highly recommended:

  • Wetsuit (it may be possible to hire from Snowdonia Watersports – please contact them directly about this) – this is not compulsory.
  • If you wish to swim without a wetsuit you must use a swimming tow float – these are highly recommended for all participants for safety during the session and when you swim again in the future – use a quality float such as these by Puffin Swim
  • Swimming trunks/costume
  • Goggles & bright swim hat (you’ll be given a Love SwimRun swim cap to keep if you would like one, but you may want to wear 2 hats to add warmth if you don’t have a neoprene hat)
  • Thermal layer/rash vest, neoprene hat, neoprene gloves and socks 
  • Flipflops/deck shoes (the slate round the lake can be sharp!)
  • Towel
  • Warm clothes, layers and hat for after the session
  • Waterproofs if it’s rainy – we may be outside some of the time 
  • High energy snacks (eating well helps you to keep warm)
  • Flask of warm sugary drink
  • Hot water bottle and flask of warm water

We would normally supply you with hot drinks, biscuits and home made cake but due to Coronavirus this is not possible, however we will have flasks of hot squash and wrapped snacks for emergencies!

Water Temperature
Llyn Padarn can vary in temperature at any time of year depending on how sunny it has been or if we have had much rainfall. During the winter months it can drop to 4-7 degrees. You can get out at any time you want to.

Further Information: Further information on kit, the schedule and logistics on the day will be available once you have entered.

Covid-19 Considerations: Covid-19 restrictions are still in place in North Wales and we must adhere to 2m social distancing rules. Currently we are able to meet outdoors in groups of up to 30 people, if the regulations change or we head back into lockdown we may be forced to cancel the course. If we do have to cancel you will be offered a full refund minus the booking fee of £3.

Your coach: Chloe Rafferty

Chloe is passionate about open water swimming having jumped into her first Welsh lake 10 years ago! Since then she has explored most of the lakes, rivers, waterfalls and beaches in Northern Snowdonia as well as finding somewhere to swim wherever ever she travels! Chloe has taken part in many open water swimming and swimrun events in the UK and abroad including two 10km swims and winter swimming events. As well as managing Love SwimRun and organising all the events we run each year, Chloe holds a number of outdoor qualifications and has plenty of leading and coaching experience under her belt. Her newest qualification allows her to begin sharing her love of open water swimming with you!

– STA Level 2 Open Water Swimming Coaching
– UK Athletics: Leadership in Running Fitness
– UK Athletics: Safeguarding in Athletics
– Mountain Leader Award
– Rock Climbing Instructor
– Mountain Bike Leader
– REC Outdoor First Aid

Terms and Conditions

Participation terms & conditions

By entering you declare you are of good health, that you meet the course fitness and other requirements as agreed by your coach when booking and that you take part entirely at your own risk. All swimmers must be 18 years or over, and those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

By joining this course you do so at your own risk. We will provide water safety cover where required and ask that the equipment listed must be worn for safety reasons.
If you decide to leave the group to swim without supervision you do so at your own risk and neither Love SwimRun or any of the coaches employed by Love SwimRun will take any responsibility for you.
By coming along to a course you declare yourself in good health and fit enough to complete the agreed session.
Please inform us if you have any relevant medical conditions we need to know about.
If you ignore any advice given regarding equipment or safety you do so at your own risk.
You accept these terms and will hold on-one else accountable for any incident that may occur during the course.
Love SwimRun reserve the right to cancel the course if they deem the conditions unsafe and the right the refuse a participant if they do not have the correct equipment or they deem them not to be fit enough, able enough or in good health.
Photographs and film may be taken during the session. Participants give Love SwimRun the right to use pictures and film material taken during the session to be used free of rights in marketing, press material, internet and television.

Booking/payment terms & conditions
By booking on to course and making payment you agree to these booking terms and conditions:
All Bookings are made subject to availability. Confirmation of you booking will be given by email.
Payment in full is required to reserve your booking. Until full payment is received the date and time will remain open to other bookings.
Cancellations must be made in writing 14 days prior to the start of the session. In this case an alternative date/time or refund of 75% of any monies paid will be offered. If notification is made less than 14 days prior to the start of the session an alternative date/time or refund of 50% of any monies paid will be offered. We are unable to accept cancellations for any reason if made less than 7 days prior to the session – no alternative date or refund will be offered. All cancellations must be made in writing.
If you are late for your course or do not attend the course, no refund or alternative date will be given. 
We will always do our best to ensure your course goes ahead however we do reserve the right to alter the course location, time  and / or date if necessary due to reasons beyond our control such as; safety issues, adverse weather conditions or extreme circumstances and no refunds will be available. In the unlikely event that we have to cancel the course for personal reasons, you will be notified as soon as possible and offered either an alternative date or a full refund of any monies paid. 
If for any reason you can no longer attend a course you may also transfer your place to someone else (who meets the session requirement) – you must notify us with 24 hour of the session commencing if this is the case and provide contact details for the new participant. Any substitution is at our discretion and we reserve the right to refuse the substitution at any time and this will be treated as a cancellation made by you.