Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    St. Pete, FL
    Posts
    1,101

    12 days til first Tri

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    OMG, it is almost here. And it is all about the "fear" of the swim. I guess I started swimming about 6 weeks ago. I go to this "tri" focused group swim on T & Th. I remain in the "newbie" lanes. I can do the drills--but I am slower than slow. So when swimming in a lane w/ others I get "rushed". So my form goes out the window. I can't concentrate on it all. I think I finally have the breathing...but if I "roll" my stroke is off, if I kick...then everything else if off. And I can't seem to "paddle"--it is all straight are stroke!
    And I am truly the slowest person you have ever seen swim. I don't know what is wrong w/ me. I am definitely not a natural swimmer. (Ok, nothing really comes easy for me--darn it!)
    And the distance scares me. In the pool it is 25 yards or 50 meters and I can "pop up". But in the OW .25 of a mile seems a LONG way. (especially if you don't seem to be moving--in a forward motion manner, that is!)
    I have did a very short open water swim. I just bobbed around. I can't even imagine doing it for 1/4 of a mile. Ok, yes, I can do it--other people do! But I suspect if I get done in less that 20 minutes it will be a miracle! I keep saying I'll be the last out of the water...but thre is part of me that does NOT want to be last. And I hope not to panic and not finish it at all.
    I am lucky the my S.O. has done tri's. She is planning to swim w/ me. She has been so supportive.
    I have read all the first time tri-reports. I can't wait to post mine, but now I am getting really scared.
    I was supposed to go out for an OW swim this Sunday after my bike ride. But rain and thunderstorms were all around our area. So I will attempt it on Weds. night.
    I think I just needed to express my fears.
    As for the bike and run...haven't really "trained". I can do those. It won't be fast, but hey, that distance isn't what I am worried about.
    I just need to survive the swim. Then I need to figure out...what is wrong mme and my swimming abilities!
    Thanks for letting me whine!
    K
    katluvr

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    10
    I'm scared too! My first one is this weekend! I have been nursing a sprain and missed my last 2 weeks of training - I'm all better and now just need to take it easy before the big day. The swim is definitely the scariest part, but we'll get through it.

    Good luck with yours!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    682
    This long post is from someone whose first tri was just completed a little over 24 hours ago, and I went into it terrified of the swim:

    The night before my first tri this weekend I was talking to a guy at a party (because don't you know that going to a party the night before your first tri is EXACTLY what you want to do? Kidding. It was a dinner a friend of mine hosted for all her other triathlete friends, so it was a very early night for all of us!) who works the swim exit for the triathlon and he says it's so much fun to see the look of relief on the faces of the women coming out of the water, especially the first timers. Even though they are just a short way into the triathlon, in their minds it's OVER because they got through the hard part. So you'll be in good company.

    Thing one: you will be fine. I was fine and I wasn't even the slowest swimmer there and in October I couldn't even make it across the pool once and I had only done one practice OWS and it was a disaster and here I was yesterday swimming the full .62 miles and never once feeling panicked or rushed or like I was in over my head (except literally).

    Thing two: Practice swimming more like you would in open water. After my disastrous OWS I went back to the pool and practiced swimming without pushing off from the wall (not having that little rest followed by a burst of speed wore me out quickly in open water) and with sighting--every few strokes either before or after taking a breath, look up and forward to see where you're going. In the pool, focus on something at the end of the lane. This isn't something you need weeks to learn--you can figure it out in one practice session. Same thing with not touching the wall. Just do it once or twice to reassure yourself that you can do it.

    Thing three: Don't worry about your form. Seriously. Everyone told me to make sure my form is good so I don't waste energy in the water, and I practiced and practiced my form and maybe it helped, but on race day my swim was a combination of breast stroke, choppy freestyle, and occasional seconds of just treading water looking for a way forward. I saw other people doing sidestroke and backstroke. I think only the really good, fast, strong swimmers have to worry about form--it will affect their time (something I didn't really care about) AND they get out ahead of the pack and can actually SWIM. It wasn't exactly chaos in the water yesterday (everyone with the same goal--hard to be chaotic), but there wasn't a lot of time and space for good form.

    Thing four: The thing that got me to not panic, both in the practice and in the race, was to look at the sky as I swam and just enjoy the water. I told myself I wasn't racing--I was just out for a nice swim and the water felt good and the sky looked beautiful with the sun hitting it. When I'd breathe, I'd roll enough to look up and see the sky (reassuring me that there was plenty of air!) and it just relaxed me and I kept going. That and Dory's "just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming" song.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    St. Pete, FL
    Posts
    1,101
    sfa,
    thanks so much for the pep talk. I needed that. It is all the negative thinking. I didn't think of Dory's song...I should put in Nemo so I can practice it!

    I hope to get back in OW...I DO think that is wehre I need to be. So hopefully the weather holds for Weds. night. (Summer and Florida--so there be storms daily!)

    Congrats on completing you first!

    And good luck Newbie! I'll look for your race report! Take it easy on that ankle!
    katluvr

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Southeast Idaho
    Posts
    219
    Katluvr,
    My best advise to you is....Go and have fun!! This is coming from another newbie. I also did my first tri this month. I seriously could not make it across the pool either. I was also having panic attacks thinking about the swim. I had only swam 2 OWS before my 1/2 mile swim. I was definitely in the bottom 1/4 of the females but it was FUN! My form and time were terrible! But I finished and I can't wait to do another. Just have fun! All of the swimmers still out there swimming with me were just trying to finish and we were all so proud to say we did it! Don't worry! Hurry and post your race report!! We can't wait to hear from you.
    Anita "Shiraz"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    3,565
    SFA - That was a great post. Sometimes I forget how frightening that first OWS is and it's really great to hear how people think through it.

    Katluvr - go out to the lake where the race is being held the day before if you can. Put on your wetsuit and float around in it. Don't worry about swimming, just float around and get used to trusting your wetsuit. It will float you. When you're tired in the race you can just float and look around.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

    http://gorgebikefitter.com/


    2007 Look Dura Ace
    2010 Custom Tonic cross with discs, SRAM
    2012 Moots YBB 2 x 10 Shimano XTR
    2014 Soma B-Side SS

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    St. Pete, FL
    Posts
    1,101
    Thanks all.
    I plan to go to beach tomorrow night (weather premitting) and mark off a 1/4 mile and just go for it. I think I just need to know I can do it. I was that way about my first 1/2 marathon...I did 13 miles in training..I needed to knwo I could do it.

    Wahine,
    Thanks for the advice. I do think I'll try and get in the water where the tri is teh day before. (If it is still light when I get there). I live in Florida...so it is salt water and warm--thus no wetsuit (aka "floatation enhancer").

    Ran this AM. Still slow...but who cares. (Hot and early in running training plan). Tonight is swim (pool). I can't believe it is now 11 days....and counting.

    I appreciate all the advice, posts and support!

    K
    katluvr

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ventura County CA
    Posts
    605
    Kat: I sort of feel that way about the run. I am not a runner. I just bought a pair of shoes from an actual running shop because I was getting shin splints. I have to run a 5k as part of my first tri in less than 5 weeks. I can do it, even if I walk. You can do that swim. 1/4 mile is 18 pool lengths- barely a warm up. You may think 5k is nothing, just a warmup for a 1/2 marathon. See what I'm getting at? We all have a weaker sport. You can do it. And on the run you just might pass some of those who passed you in the water.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Skagit County, Washington
    Posts
    1,306
    Good Luck to you both! You can do it, and you'll likely have a LOT of fun in the process! Can't wait to hear how it all goes.
    Everyone Deserves a Lifetime

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ventura County CA
    Posts
    605
    I read this on Active.com
    Learn a stroke called a "catch up" stroke, where one hand is in front of you and then the other hand catches up to it, then the first hand strokes back.
    Use this stroke at the beginning of the swim when the water is real crowded. You will always have a hand in front of you to protect your face. After the crowd thins, use a regular freestyle stroke.

    I will try this if I have to. I would prefer to breakaway from the crowd with a good freestyle.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Bogota
    Posts
    294
    Another way to avoid the rush in the swim out is wait a minute for them to get off, and then go. I did this in my first very populated triathlon. Then by the time a minute had passed people were already dispersing in there own directions and lines and I could just swim past. I also do a lot of sight seeing while I swim, if it is clear I look at fishies and plants and garbage...If it is murky, when I breathe to each side, I look at the shore, the sky and admire the view. Same on bike and run. Really, except for the elite folks, time and placing shouldn't matter much. Good luck!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,645
    Good luck, and have a great time! Looking forward to seeing your report.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,436
    katluvr---

    You're going to be okay. And I bet you'll even have fun!

    Deep breaths. Take some deep breathes. It'll be good.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    St. Pete, FL
    Posts
    1,101

    OW swim last night

    So I met the swim coach that I go to on T & Th (it is a group tri swim practice). He does OW swims. Instead of swimming w/ my S.O. (and comfort buddy) I was with others. I get so self conscious. I was relating my feeling about being so slow in the swim and expecting to come out of the water last as when I was a child and was always picked last when picking teams. Who wanted the short, slow gal?

    Well it was a rough start. I just had problems sighting and was very self conscious of the person helping me (she had been a "swim angel" recently). The first "distance" I felt for sure that I was going to cancel and not do the tri. I get so worked up. I was almost (ok, more than almost) in tears. But after we did it a couple more times and I got more determined...it was better. So I am still doing it. It is such a mental thing. Once I KNOW I can swim the distance then I feel ok...no matter how slow. So for my Tri it is almost like I need to go out and do my warm up by just about swimming the whole thing.

    Thanks to all for the words of encouragement and all the other first timers posting race reports.

    I think the other thing I notice is that the tri community is the most welcoming and supportive community. I noticed it when I first did some duathlons. Everyone is so happy you are there and supportive and say "good job" etc. Then you read these posts ... again love and support. And last night, Dawn...the coaching assistant that walked while I swam...and she keep saying words of encouragement and said "see you will have no problem". Sure beats being picked last for the kickball team at age 6 and 7, etc.

    Thanks all!
    (yes, I am very emotional this week...not sure why and it is NOT PMS!)
    katluvr

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    northern california
    Posts
    1,460
    It's so important to KNOW that you can do it. Your body can't go where your mind doesn't go first. Can you practice visualizing the swim? Picture yourself being comfortable in the water, then swimming, then running happily to T1. If you can take just a few minutes a day and do that it really helps. Your body will know what to do if your mind lets it.

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •