Open water terrors

9 messages
07/08/2010 at 21:37
Hi all, please help me. I am a very confident pool swimmer, have a good breast stoke and am working hard on my front crawl. However after recently completing my 1st sprint triathlon I am wanting to progress to open water - the serious issue I have, is that I am terrified of this idea. I have had a fear of dark water since a young child (thanks to my older brother putting silly ideas into my mind). I would really really appreciate any experiences/tips to overcome this so that I can move forward. Many thanks to you all, Ines
MG
07/08/2010 at 22:02
I would suggest joining a tri club and start swimming in a group and build your confidence from there. The only thing to worry about in UK waters is the odd turd or shopping trolley....

Enjoy when you can, endure when you must........

07/08/2010 at 23:42
I was a confident swimmer until I first got in the sea. I was terrified initially and had a shocker first time. Next time I went on my own, spoke with the life guards, stayed near the shore and took my time. 5 minutes acclimatising, then 50m or so at a time. Getting used to the wetsuit and its buoyancy. Within a few weeks I'd swam my first Olympic Distance (Bournemouth) in some choppy water and I swam the Solent in July. If you're a good pool swimmer the skill is transferable but its all about confidence. Get acclimatised and don't put pressure on yourself. It will soon come together. Good Luck.

D-Day 10K (Portsmouth) - 45.29
Henley Sprint Tri (400m, 25k, 5k) - 1.27.30
West Wight Tri (600m, 35k, 7.5k) - 2.00.53
07/08/2010 at 23:57
MintyMat wrote:
its all about confidence


Cheers Gok...
09/08/2010 at 22:01
I did my first olympic tri this weekend and I was terrified about the swim and had a pretty sleepless night the night before.

Once I got in the water I managed to calm myself after a bit of hyperventilating and i took my position at the back of the mass start. I just took it easy in my own water and if anyone touched me I did a bit of breaststroke and let them past.

I did have a couple of panic attacks during the race, and I did a fair bit of breaststroke and I stopped a couple of times, and I did consider quitting a couple of times, but I got there in the end, it did take about 40 minutes and I was one of the last out, but so what.

You have a massive advantage over me - i am / was terrified of water and I couldn't swim at all in March and I managed 1500m open water swim yesterday.

Enter. Get in. Swim.
09/08/2010 at 23:20
When I started open water swimming with a friend of mine we both had some issues with it so what we did was bring a surfboard with us and switch back and forth between paddling and swimming so whenever one of us felt uncomfortable swimming we went onto the board. After a couple of sessions like that we just got more and more comfortable to the extent where we just dumped the board. I definitely found it an easy way to get rid of any of those open water fears which are pretty common. Other ways are starting off on a river swim where you can stay close to the bank and stop whenever you feel like it Try to go out with a more experienced OW swimmer if you can and they can talk you through it - we've all been there
23/11/2010 at 16:19
There was a similar thread a while ago and here's water i wrote then..

"I did my first olympic tri this weekend and I was terrified about the swim and had a pretty sleepless night the night before.

Once I got in the water I managed to calm myself after a bit of hyperventilating and i took my position at the back of the mass start. I just took it easy in my own water and if anyone touched me I did a bit of breaststroke and let them past.

I did have a couple of panic attacks during the race, and I did a fair bit of breaststroke and I stopped a couple of times, and I did consider quitting a couple of times, but I got there in the end, it did take about 40 minutes and I was one of the last out, but so what.

You have a massive advantage over me - i am / was terrified of water and I couldn't swim at all in March and I managed 1500m open water swim yesterday.

Enter. Get in. Swim."
25/11/2010 at 15:28
Is your fear from the cartoon "Pirates of Dark Water"? Brilliant that was. Anyway, I digress ...

Have you seen how big pike can get? they can take your arm off. And swans, they're pretty nasty: the ones at heron pretend to be the turn buoys, I've seen plenty of people getting confused sighting off them (me included) as they move.

There is nothing in the water that thinks you are food ... not until you start swimming deep out to sea in much warmer places than here. So nothing's going to eat you. Race directors and people who run open water venues are not going to let you swim somewhere that's unsafe (even if you do sign a disclaimer beforehand).

The biggest thing that's going to cause you problems is other triathletes. These rubber clad harbingers of doom will thump and tug and slap at you, and that's before the gun goes off. for your first few races get in the water early and calm yourself. Seed yourself at the back and just take it easy: once you're calm and happy in the water you'll speed through the pack.

Beginning the transformation from fatman to ironman – Switzerland here I come, better hide the toblerone
25/11/2010 at 21:27
JB's right.. them Heron Lake swans are a nuisance

But open water swimming is a joy. I prefer it much more than pool swimming now. There are plenty of good rookie courses to go on which is how I started.

I love the smell of Neoprene in the morning
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