Swimming the Schuylkill River


He who wants to find the sea should take a river for his guide.

We are training in the Schuylkill River! We’ve done it 3 of last 4 days. Today we swam for 80 minutes. And after doing those miles we plan to swim more and more. Here’s why we love it…

  • It’s cold. Cold is important for us to acclimatize our bodies. The water temps in the Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River has been 58-64F, which is pretty close to the water temps that we’ll see in the English Channel which is 56-58F. So far the cold is treating us well and only our toes are cold during the swim.
  • It’s beautiful. And a fun change of pace from the pool. Keeping the mind busy lets us forget about our shoulders and biceps.
  • It’s clean. Despite popular belief it’s a very clean river. The Philadelphia Department of Water has a website with daily coliform/bacteria counts, water flow, and water temp. These three together form a proxy for water quality. Nothing instills confidence that the river is safe like that big green banner on the Rivercast website!

The green banner means the water is safe.


From behind the camera the river is idealistically beautiful! Up close there tends to be more duck weed and gunk. But we still like it.


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