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First time in OW

I had my first session on Thursday and wow what a shock to the system.
Found it really difficult to remember all the essentials, breathing, strokes, looking where i was going, it was just all to much for me, and its really made me worried for my swim leg now. i did better towards the end of the session. advice needed please?
is it a normally first time thing and should i just forget about it and get straight back on the horse?


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    FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749
    I'm not going to be able to better any advice from the cone headed one, but offer my personal experience (as limited as it is).

    First OW swim was one week before my first OW race. Similar experience to you initially but towards the end of the session (about an hour and a half of coaching), I did start to relax and swim more naturally.

    First OW race was Eton supersprint and all the panic came back. Breaststoked most of the 400m swim but managed to crawl out eventually.

    Second OW swim a few weeks ago and was much better, swimming about 800m total. Then did Windsor sprint and although I did have to do about 200m breaststroke initially, I brought the rest of the 750m all front crawl. Woohoo!

    In summary, I think it definitely gets easier the more you do it. I'm getting the hang of fitting my wetsuit correctly and not panicing so much.

    Stick with it. Try and get some OW coaching if possible, I'm sure Conehead can point you in the right direction. He's pretty good like that!
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    JulesJules Posts: 987
    spr1983 wrote:

    is it a normally first time thing and should i just forget about it and get straight back on the horse?
    Yes, yes and yes.

    I did my first OW race yesterday. I went from "this is ****ing horrible" to "this is really fun" in four OW practice sessions. It really does get easier.
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    gdh250467gdh250467 Posts: 237
    I've got my first OW event on Thursday evening, an Aquathlon, so I'll let you know how it goes. Always feel pretty confident in the water, as an ex surfer, but actually specifcially swimming is slight different.
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    durhamvamdurhamvam Posts: 246
    I've got my first OW session this week too - was feeling quite calm but now starting to get a bit anxious...... Perhaps I can put it off until next week (again)?
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    justinpjustinp Posts: 3

    I did my first 1-2-1 session yesterday with one of guys at blue seventy. I was anxious etc,etc and had a pucker factor of +10 in the morning. But here's what I found out...
    #1 With a wet suit on your not going to sink, at all. Lie on your back and float around for a while.
    #2 If you feel blind panic accompanied by shortness of breath - don't worry it's normal. Try to breath
    deeply and calmly i.e. regulate your breathing to calm things down.
    #3 Just use your hands to tread water - just relax and breath calmly.
    #4 Some advice I got from Ceri (the instructor), yesterday.
    a. There isn't a blue line to follow, so at the glide point of the 6th stroke bring your head up i.e.
    goggles just out of the water, and sight your target. The target being a whacking big buoy you
    can't miss.
    b. Keep the strokes long and reduce the stroke rate otherwise you'll be breathing out of your bottom.
    c. The buoyancy from the suit will mean you don't have to kick has hard, just flutter them i.e. save
    your legs. Have ago with this one and judge this one for yourself.

    What I did.
    #1 Every shower I took I started of hot and gradually took it to cold i.e. to acclimatise, and hopefully
    stave off the cold shock. Luckily for me the water was warmish.
    #2 I'm swimming challenged and was also training inappropriately i.e. quantity over quality but I've
    changed that. Regarding open water swimming I recommend , having a lesson or two to get
    somebody to spot your flaws and then use floats to isolate different parts of the stroke i.e. pool
    buoy to isolate arm action and breathing, kick board for kicking. This is a very simple approach.
    If you have the time you can do more.
    But most of all enjoy. I didn't expect to but I did
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    Just opinion here, not even attempting to call myself experienced.

    My first OW swim was in Dorney lake for the Eton Supersprint and i honestly thought "what the hell have i done?", this was mainly due to the shock of not being able to breathe (cold water does that to me being asthmatic) and I thought there is no way on earth i can do this swim. I then thought to myself stop being an idiot and dunked my head straight underwater and kept it there for a few seconds. Within a minute or so of this my breathing started to return to normal and I was then able to swim fairly normally for the race.

    My second OW was in Wimbleball lake and the experience was much better, I put my head underwater straight away after entering and then let my breathing calm itself and then really loved the remainder of the swim.

    Bring on Bolton for the thrid attempt

    In short, get back on that horse and keep telling yourself that it isn't as bad as you think becuase quite simply, it isn't!!
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    spr1983spr1983 Posts: 34
    Thanks for all the replies, i will be getting back on that horse very soon dont you worry.
    Im from west london, near heathrow, and was at the Liquid Lesuire OW last week.
    I think i just need to spend longer in the water getting used to slowing it all down.
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