Cath Pendleton - First Person to swim one mile inside the Antarctic Polar Circle!

On 22nd February 2020, Welsh ice swimmer Cath Pendleton made history by becoming the first person to ever swim an Ice Mile inside the polar Antarctic circle. She swam in Hanusse Bay in latitude of 66:56 South. Cath is a single mum to two gorgeous girls and doing exercise has always helped her to manage her mental health. Cath discovered her passion for winter/ice swimming in September 2015, since then Cath has tried to go swimming everyday and she refers to it as her "Reset Button”. Cath’s dream is to complete the IISA Ice Sevens Challenge next year and is looking to get back into long distance swimming as-well. Cath is always up for an adventure and enjoys inspiring others to give new things a try. After listening to Cath, she will inspire you to give open water swimming a go!! You can listen to Cath on the Tough Girl Podcast. New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit that subscribe button so you don’t miss out. The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out

Listen to Cath Now!

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Show notes

  • Her passion for ice swimming

  • Growing up as a water baby

  • Being a natural in the water

  • Joining the Royal Air Force

  • Starting triathlon in her 30s

  • Having her time to swim

  • Falling in love with open water swimming

  • Loving the freedom of swimming and being in the water

  • A winter swimming gala…

  • Having a bad back

  • Deciding to ditch the wetsuit

  • Getting addicted to the buzz from open water swimming

  • How does ice swimming work…

  • Start in the spring and keep going

  • How long to stay in the water?

  • 1 minute per degree of water temperature - but it does depend on the person

  • Never swim alone and make sure you have a good warm up routine for afterwards

  • Becoming the first welsh woman to swim an ice mile

  • Struggling to find enough cold places to train in

  • Needing to have a good team around you

  • Not being able to have cold showers

  • Why ice swimming will be with her for life

  • Swimming in Antarctica

  • Ice Sevens Challenge

  • Doing a zero ice mile

  • Deciding to swim the English Channel

  • Having 18 months to train for the English Channel swim

  • Paying for the swimming challenges

  • Being followed by BBC Sports Wales

  • The challenges of swimming the English Channel

  • “Thank you, I’m having a nice day”

  • Keep your head down and keep swimming

  • Positive self talk…

  • Always needing the next goal

  • Heading off to Antarctica for the big swimming challenge!

  • Dealing with the pressure of the swim

  • Being the first swimmer

  • Getting into the water

  • Dealing with cold water shock

  • Why the recovery is really hard on the body

  • Dealing with the After Drop

  • Making sure you warm back up properly

  • Confidence and self belief

  • Getting to represent Team GB in Ice Swimming

  • Why you have to train

  • Follow along with Cath on Social Media

  • 4 more big swims to go!

  • Feeling frustrated about not being able to plan future challenges because of Covid

  • Building the swimming pool in the garden

  • Top tips for getting in the water

Social Media

Facebook: @CathPendleton Instagram: @swimcathswim Twitter: @swimcathswim

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