Even for elite competitor Alistair Bell, it was hard not to be caught cold.

This month the 32-year-old represented Team GB in the World Ice Swimming Championships in Murmansk, Russia, in incredibly tough conditions.

And yet, the Tenby Aces member still clocked 19.25 for 1000 metres, not enough for a top 10 finish but he still finished in front of 50 other competitors.

"I'd never swam in as low as zero degreees before and the ice kept reforming as we were swimming," he told Telegraph Sport.

"The last eight lengths were tough and I was really cold and lost feeling in my arms. In the UK it’s usually just the hands!

"But I made it. We had to be really technical with how we pushed off at each end and we could actually see the ice forming under water - they kept having to fish it out."

Conditions meant there was little chance of setting a new personal best, but Bell was full of praise for the way he and other competitors were treated afterwards.

"The recovery was brilliant. I was wrapped up like a mummy in hot towels and had people coaching me to stop hyperventilating and slow my breathing.

"Then there was a sauna which I wanted to stay in forever. I had no bad symptoms afterwards and was even able to go to the pub that night."

Alistair also thanked all sponsors and training partners who had enabled him to qualify and compete in Russia.