LOOP: Retro Keith's open water sneeze-saving remedies


I love opportunities like this. Whilst Jane is glued to Portugal v Morocco, I have been let loose with the key board. My debut LOOP offering.

Question is, what shall I share? What’s relevant?

I know.

If, like me, you suffer with incessant coughing and sneezing after an open water swim - I am going to give you my natural remedy sneeze-saver that I discovered (through a process of elimination), tried & tested throughout 2017 when I was swimming longer and longer distances in the lead up to my Windermere One Way epic last September…aka WOW (don’t you just love a crass acronym?!).

I have learned that it’s an occupational hazard, for regular open water swimmers like you and me, to inhale all the surface shizz when skim-feeding like a blue whale, motoring (!!) around Stony Cove. The longer I spent in the water, the longer I suffered afterwards, sometimes up to 4-5 days post swim.

Many of you are aware that Jane is on a whole host of drugs at the mo, but in all honesty - it doesn’t even scratch the surface, or come remotely close to the kind of regime I am going to share with you! I mean this solution was born out of real suffering. I was my own medical trial.

The following is what now works for me.

- I take a daily Quercetin B5 Complex supplement (Veridian, suitable for vegetarians. Amazon Prime it). It is a natural substance present in plants. Not implants. When taken as a natural supplement it acts to combat inflammation and is therefore effective in lessening the symptoms of allergies, asthma and hay fever. It also boosts immunity.

- Use a dab of vaseline under each nostril, before you swim.

- Shower immediately after your swim.

- Prepare an Olbas oil / eucalyptus facial steam when you get home. Flick a couple of drops of Olbas oil in to a bowl of steaming hot water. Sit at a table and place a towel over your head and shoulders and over the bowl. Slowly breathe in and out through your nose. Go easy though (that’s the disclaimer) as you will scald the inside of your nozzies if you go at it too vigorously! Remember it’s the effect of the steam you want, not a full-frontal face plant in scalding hot water. That would present a whole raft of other problems…

- Best malt whiskey - a dram or three post swim (optional).

- Repeat 1 & 4 the following morning if required.

As a footnote to all of this, I am often asked what works well in open water to prevent the misting up of goggles.

A tip I learned from a great friend of The Swim Shed, merman - Jai Evans, is apply a minuscule dab of Johnson’s No Tears Shampoo on the inside of your goggle lens. Either smear it round and leave it or rinse it out.

An ophthalmologist also told me that it is great as an eye wash. Job done.

Am hoping that some if not all of the above enhances your open water swimming experience. You may have your own secret remedies and solutions, feel free to share them with us. If you are a non sufferer, you have just wasted your time reading this.

There you go, a twofer.

I am often asked what the drop in swim is about and who is it for. After nine years of providing these hour long, coached sessions…I’m still asking myself the same question! Jane will slap me for that.

Better get this wrapped up as the final whistle has gone and she’ll be up to check this.

Seriously. We operate these sessions, not as a course - so swimmers can attend whenever they are able. The purpose is to bring together like-minded swimmers who are looking to improve both open water and pool swims. The sessions are technically focussed, where we take one or two ideas and develop them through the evenings session. The fun part for Jo and I is that there is no agenda, until we see who turns up to swim on the night.

We don’t have egos and are not interested in who is the fastest or slowest, we pride ourselves on helping each other to progress.

So whether you are an accomplished swimmer or complete beginner there is always something for you to take away and work on.

This Friday 22nd June, is the last drop in session ‘this semester’ (American accent).

Jane and I would like to thank Jo Wright for lending her coaching skills this term. We know the swimmers she has worked with have improved immeasurably.

Once again we have been spoiled by Grace Williams and her post-swim homemade treats. Grace has selflessly baked for us all in Jane’s absence. My personal faves have been Harry & Meghan's wedding cake and the Anzac cookies.

If you head to our website you will find all the details of next terms swim dates under the SHED HUB tab. We begin again after the summer on Friday 28th September through to Christmas. We look forward welcoming you.

I’ll leave you with this...The Two Wolves - author unknown

An elder Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me. It’s a terrible fight and it’s between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, superiority and ego. The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The same fight is going on inside you and every other person.”

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asks his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”. The elder simply replied, “The one you feed”.

Until next time (if I’m allowed)

Retro Keith


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