General Discussion Introduce Yourself!!! » Terrified of water, going for first Tri-- Rss Feed  
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2010-01-24 5:41 PM

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Subject: Terrified of water, going for first Tri--
Hi all, here I am. I am a 39 y.o. teacher/musician - I've done a bunch of 5K runs over the years, and have biked for fun a lot. I am a pathetic swimmer just barely able to stay afloat. I got it in my head to give myself a new goal - to overcome my fears - and am thinking of the Oyster Bay tri (a sprint). So here I am, I found this forum. I have access to a pool and am going to see what happens.A little more about me --I work LoNG hours in education.I have been on and off a raw food diet since the summer> i really love how it makes me feel but it is tough to maintain sometimes given my work schedule.I train in vibram five fingers and love them!I have asthma (in control thanks to running!)My plan so far:-Spinning Class 2x week-Running Training 2x week-Swimming 2x week: goals: getting comfortable and relaxed in water, staying afloat, focusing on form.I am on a budget, so I can't really afford lessons or stuff, but if anyone has advice-- thanks a million!


2010-01-24 7:56 PM
in reply to: #2632087

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Subject: RE: Terrified of water, going for first Tri--
One find a buddy who can help coach you in pool-I am helping a friend who is afraid and she haas gone from not being able to leave the shallow to swimming several laps the full lenghth of the pool. also there are some really good article here on this site with drills to help work on fundamentals such as side floating and the shark float. Keep at it and it will come together.
2010-01-24 8:41 PM
in reply to: #2632087

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Subject: RE: Terrified of water, going for first Tri--
Welcome to BT.  It is a great forum and service.  Don't feel alone.  Water fears are one of the most common fears by budding TRI athletes.  About four years ago I started swimming at my kids swim club 'masters program.'  Masters is code for old people! :-)   I could not do the free style at all.   The first couple of swims left me completely spent.

About a year later I was swimming in my first TRI.  A year after that I was swimming Alcatraz.   I just did my first IM in Hawaii.  My point is that if I can do it, you can do it.  Take it one stroke at a time.  Expect good days and bad days.

Find a masters program. Swimming is all technique.  Having someone review your form will cut months/years off of your development.  Good luck! I have full faith in you.
2010-01-24 8:50 PM
in reply to: #2632087

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Subject: RE: Terrified of water, going for first Tri--
shaptavajra - 2010-01-24 6:41 PM Hi all, here I am. I am a 39 y.o. teacher/musician - I've done a bunch of 5K runs over the years, and have biked for fun a lot. I am a pathetic swimmer just barely able to stay afloat. I got it in my head to give myself a new goal - to overcome my fears - and am thinking of the Oyster Bay tri (a sprint). So here I am, I found this forum. I have access to a pool and am going to see what happens.A little more about me --I work LoNG hours in education.I have been on and off a raw food diet since the summer> i really love how it makes me feel but it is tough to maintain sometimes given my work schedule.I train in vibram five fingers and love them!I have asthma (in control thanks to running!)My plan so far:-Spinning Class 2x week-Running Training 2x week-Swimming 2x week: goals: getting comfortable and relaxed in water, staying afloat, focusing on form.I am on a budget, so I can't really afford lessons or stuff, but if anyone has advice-- thanks a million!


Oyster Bay Long Island? 
Swim as much as possible.  For the first month if all you do is swim (and drill and drill and drill) exclusively if you can.  Get into the water as much as possible.  You'll get over your fear and dislike of the water and realize that you might not swim great, but you won't drown.  Once you know you won't drown, life in the pool becomes so much easier.

Also, Oyster Bay is an open water swim.  There are a couple of group open water swims on Long Island.  You should definitely get in the ocean/sound a few times to get used to the salt water, waves and murky water.
2010-01-24 9:35 PM
in reply to: #2632087

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Subject: RE: Terrified of water, going for first Tri--
You understand the value of education. Give someone a guitar and no lessons or instruction, and they will likely not ever end up very good at playing it.

Swimming, unlike biking and running, is NOT intuitive. I would argue that swimming is mostly a technique thing. An out of shape ex D1 college swimmer will kick the crap out of a super-fit person with poor form in any race, and do it while expending a lot less energy.

Find a way to learn how to swim. Flailing in the pool without instruction is a good way, IMO, to end up frustrated.
2010-01-24 9:47 PM
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Subject: RE: Terrified of water, going for first Tri--

Ditto everyone's comments above; get some help. It doesn't have to be expensive; check out a single-session price with a local coach, or pay the casual swim fee at a local pool and get in on a group lesson. One thing's for certain: people will want to help you get over your fears. The local pool lifeguard is a good person to ask about where to find help. They can't coach while on duty obviously, but sometimes can tell you who to see.

Courage, mon ami! You'll be great!

Keep posting your training so people can look in and see  how you are getting on.



2010-01-25 8:56 PM
in reply to: #2632087

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Subject: RE: Terrified of water, going for first Tri--
Wow, thanks everyone for all of your comments!!I bought myself some swim fins today, so i can get into the pool with a bit more confidence. I should clarify-- I actually love the idea of swimming. I have had pool memberships in years passed, when I lived elsewhere. However, I don't feel confident that I can keep myself afloat, so I flounder. I was born and raised on Long Island, and actually spent a lot of time at the ocean as a child (just never learned to swim well). Also part of this whole thing is a personal tribute to my parents, who have connections to Oyster Bay, and who are both deceased. Overcoming my absolute terror concerning this is my way -hopefully- of paying tribute to them.I am not sure if my schedule permits a lesson setup (the local lessons I found conflicted with my job); but maybe a one off lesson or two with someone private would be a good idea. Being a music teacher, I totally understand the analogy....to do something well, in particular when you have blockages, you need an expert teacher. Anyone have NYC or Nassau County LI ideas, who would be fairly reasonable?Thanks again BT friends!!
2010-01-26 7:48 AM
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Subject: RE: Terrified of water, going for first Tri--

Hi Shaptavajra!
I live in Bayville, which is just across the water from the town of Oyster Bay. I swim in Oyster Bay and the Sound all the time, once it's warm (May onward, with a wetsuit). I did the Oyster Bay tri a couple of times and was a horrible swimmer when I did it (thank god I have since gotten lessons and have improved). Many others in that tri were also horrible swimmers, we all had a good laugh while we were flailing around out there. Everyone eventually made it to shore alive.

My partner, like you, did not know how to swim until last year and also had a terrible phobia of being in water over her head. She wouldn't even go wading without a life vest! Now she can swim a half-mile with no flotation device and and will go in the deep without fear. So if she can do it, so can you. Many, many triathletes have overcome weakness in swimming and have gone on to really love the sport.

I also have pretty severe asthma, so I know all about that too.

What pool do you have access to? Are there any instructors there?

If you can't find an instructor you might look into these DVDs: Happy Laps (for really, really beginner swimmers) and Freestyle Made Easy. They are both from Total Immersion. There is also a website, www.swimsmooth.com that many people recommend for swimming tips.

Do you have a wetsuit? If you do, once May gets here, I will be happy to go open-water swimming with you and help you feel comfortable in the water. I'm glad to help out a fellow triathlete, and I think it's really beautiful that you want to do this in tribute to your parents. PM me if you're interested, and happy training!

Kelly

2010-01-26 8:25 AM
in reply to: #2632087

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Subject: RE: Terrified of water, going for first Tri--
Thanks!! I don't have a wetsuit yet, though I was planning on purchasing one once open water season hits. It's great there are so many resources on this site to compare gear. I will definitely take you up on your offer for swimming out there, thank you! Dinner or lunch will be on me.There is a pool at the school where I work, but I'm avoiding that situation just because I'm so bad at it so far. Plus it's a High School and I just don't need the kids or staff to see that much of me. (Untill I get my triathelete build!!) ABout 10 mins from my job, I just discovered the NYSC Hicksville has a fantastic pool (for me; it's warm and has a side that is less than four feet deep, LOL) and a little more privacy. I went there for the first time this morning, and just blew bubbles, used the kickboard, and my fins. Did about 20 mins of swimming. Just to start. I noticed they do have lessons offered, so I will take that up and get started there. It was very tolerable.Also, can I use my road bike for these events? I am a bit intimidated by the prices of tri bikes. I have a trek, it cost about $500-600 so it's nothing special (by tri standards -- it's special to me!OK - I'll be talking to you, thanks again!
2010-01-26 10:39 AM
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Subject: RE: Terrified of water, going for first Tri--
Yes, you can use your road bike. People use all sorts of bikes in tris--I've seen people on mountain bikes and old clunker bikes doing Oyster Bay and having a great time. It's not about the bike, it's about the fun and the accomplishment.

I also cannot afford a tri-bike and I use my 13-year-old road bike for everything. I will be using in the Ironman this summer at Lake Placid and I won't be the only one there with a road bike, for sure! Don't worry about the bike.

A wetsuit is a really good idea, though, because Oyster Bay is really cold, plus the wetsuit will add flotation and make it much easier to swim.

Don't worry about lunch/dinner, I am just happy to help out a fellow triathlete and pass on the fun and joy of this sport. I told my partner about you and she and our son will be happy to kayak alongside us on our practice swims in the bay, just to make it feel more secure/safe for you. It will be a blast! Let's keep in touch, if you have any questions about training or tris or swimming in the meantime, just ask!

Kelly
2010-01-27 7:56 PM
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Subject: RE: Terrified of water, going for first Tri--

Welcome to BT!

Swimming appears to be the majority of persons' fears, so you are not alone.  I wasn't a swimmer but could do the basic crawl, and spent a few weeks in a pool just getting some laps in.  In a few weeks, I did my first triathlon - a HIM (yeah, quite aggressive and stupid) in Lake Michigan.  Talk about jumping right into it!  I don't recommend this to anyone, though.

You'll be fine once you start working with a group, a buddy, or a swim coach, to build your base, get comfortable with swimming, and then tackle the open water.

Good luck!



2014-01-27 4:48 PM
in reply to: shaptavajra

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Subject: RE: Terrified of water, going for first Tri--
I grew up in the water in but wouldn't call myself a strong swimmer when I started. Start slow and your comfort level will grow. I could barely get down the length of the pool without feeling totally out of breath when I started. I stuck with it and got better and better - you'll get your pace and find your groove, just stick with it. It is a mind over matter thing. My first race I was sure I would fail on the swim and was totally psyched when I came out of the water on the first leg - seemed like the rest of the race would take care of itself. If you can do it in the pool you are good to go for the race. You can do it! You can enjoy it! Race day will be awesome!

- Virginia in Maryland
2014-01-27 8:04 PM
in reply to: shaptavajra

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Subject: RE: Terrified of water, going for first Tri--

I think you should sign up for a POOL swim triathlon first.  If you really are that uncomfortable in the water, doing an open water race for your first event is just increasing the odds for a dramatic and possibly traumatic situation.  

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