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2013-08-01 9:45 AM
in reply to: Oysterboy

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Subject: RE: first triathlon and a horrible swim
Way to go! My first two tris sounded just like yours, but I had more panic. Nailed it by #3... for me, what helped was a) getting into open water with no pressure, no watch and loads of time to just settle and ease into things, and that helped me get over my 'putting my face in yellow water' panic I was experiencing... the other thing that helped was b) about 10 minutes of paddling about on race morning... getting used to the random people everywhere, lots of time to find my breathing and stroke, getting used to the coolness of the water (I don't have a wetsuit) and get used to the sighting with way more chaos than in my calm-lake practice. I was still super-slow last race, but SO much more relaxed and happy coming out of the water. The speed will come with more practice and more conditioning. For now, I'm just working on comfort and confidence. Good luck!


2013-08-01 11:55 AM
in reply to: happyscientist

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Subject: RE: first triathlon and a horrible swim
I'll also cast my vote for this being a great first race experience. Solid bike, solid run, & you will CRUSH that swim time on your next race!

As for ways to relax in the water, I really like previous poster's suggestion to have someone harass you in the water. 95% of those bumps and kicks are harmless and cannot physically disrupt your form. However, since you cannot see what you are hitting, your brain is free to invent whatever it wants. It's like running through a dark room -- it's easy enough until you start running into stuff. Then your brain goes on high alert, adrenaline starts pumping, your heart rate rises and your form breaks down. It took me about 3 races to get used to the churn & relax, but I would imagine you could teach yourself to ignore (mostly) harmless touching by getting 2-3 buddies and sharing a lane.

A lot of beginners start well wide of the crush or wait 15 seconds or so for the pack to disperse before you even begin. The extra seconds you lose are worth avoiding that running blindfolded feeling.

You'll miss having all those bikes to pass in your next race.
2013-08-01 12:33 PM
in reply to: happyscientist

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Subject: RE: first triathlon and a horrible swim
You did really well for your first tri. Congratulations.

As for the swim it sounds a lot like my first OWS 2 years ago. I thought they were doing to have to pull me from the water - I panicked about 75m out! The weird thing was that I wasn't stressed about the swim before the tri. I'd trained in both a lake and the ocean, but once I got in that flailing mess it scared me.

It was to the point that I didn't do another tri with an OWS until 2 weeks ago. And you know what, that OWS went really really well (it was the run that was shite on this one - over 90°F in the sun). I was really wary of the swim but as I rounded the 1st buoy I realized that the people around me didn't bother me (despite a few whacks on the head and a couple of leg grabs), that my breathing and my stroke were really relaxed and best of all that I was enjoying the swim.

I don't know what clicked - swimming in very packed lanes last summer, more confidence in my swimming ability. Maybe because we got a decent warm up in the water so I was able to set my stroke, get a good feel for the lake.

If you can try to warm up in the water and do breathing exercises while waiting for the gun to go off. Try to imagine your stroke and breathing together to get in the mindset of the swim. Good luck for the next one.
2013-08-01 1:24 PM
in reply to: happyscientist

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Subject: RE: first triathlon and a horrible swim

Originally posted by happyscientist
Originally posted by strykergt hi there i m learning alot from your post. May i know a few things ok so you said your swim is your weakest how did the biking go? and running? ok so your one of the last out of the water how did ypu do overall? let me know man. And congrats you finished it which matters the most. Cheers!!!
I did well on the rest of the race. I love to ride my bike, and passed a lot of people. I passed people who started two or even three swim waves ahead of me. My time was 39:24 for 20K. The run was a couple minutes slower than I wanted (28:36 for 5k), but I have been babying an Achilles tendon and didn't want to risk retearing it. After I have confidence that it is fully healed, a 5k under 26 minutes will be doable. I practiced transitions and did bricks that were longer than the race, so I had confidence in them. Between T1 and T2, I took 3:19, so I don't think that was bad. I ended up 219/478 overall (both genders) and 8/23 for my AG (40+ female). Total time was 1:26:32. The swim was really the only thing that held me back from having a strong first race.

Sounds like a pretty strong first race to me!  Congratulations!

2013-08-01 1:52 PM
in reply to: happyscientist

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Subject: RE: first triathlon and a horrible swim
Congrats ! When is the next one?
2013-08-01 1:57 PM
in reply to: Oysterboy

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Subject: RE: first triathlon and a horrible swim
You did very well! My first sprint my kid were in a panic and my ex was already calling the insurance company I didn't panic, I would just stop every time I got bumped, which, in a pond, was every 5 seconds. OK, I did panic a little when I got tangled up in weeds.More OWS will help you get used to that.

For a lot of us the swim is something to survive. It's very difficult to remain calm with the music blaring and everyone running around just prior to the start. Adrenaline is flowing and then many times you don't even get to warm up, it's just GO.

Find a quiet spot, take some deep breaths, maybe try some relaxation techniques. Better to start out slow and finish fast. Congrats on your first tri!


2013-08-01 2:14 PM
in reply to: beachfinn

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Subject: RE: first triathlon and a horrible swim
Originally posted by beachfinn

Congrats ! When is the next one?

It is in two and a half weeks. It is a bit longer-1k swim, 26 mile bike, 4 mile run. I am really looking foreward to the long bike ride. Hopefully I can calm down a bit on the swim.
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