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petrified london tri novice

hi all
this my first tri ever and i am petrified...
my stomach gets tied in a knot every time i think of 750meters of murky water and kicking legs and arms around me - i have been having panic attacks in the pool or in the sea where i just wanna get out
i am convinced i will get disqualified for one reason or another and i have horror movie nightmares where i fall off my bike on a turn and all other bikes crush over me...
on top of it all i just came back from a self imposed training camp abroad where all went well but now i have entered a weird frame of mind and i haven't trained for 4days....like i am in some denial self destrucion thing...
this should be fun but has developed to a nightmare - the fact that i am not a confident swimmer or an experienced cyclist simply doesn't help..and neither does the fact that i feel overwelmed by the size of the event and i do not know my way around it AND i race at 5 o clock ..i believe my nerves will be in shreds by then and in need of lethal tranquilizers...
am i alone and the only weird newbie around....?????


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    MGMG Posts: 470
    This is perfectly normal, I think EVERYONE goes throught he same feelings.

    Get down to transition early on the day of the race, get settled maybe (if poss) watch a some of the swim starts and look at the swim course. Its a straight out and back at london with MASSIVE turn bouys (easy to sight with). Get your gear sorted and have a look at T1 and T2 entries and exits, walk thropugh them and remember where youre bikes rackes (every lane is marked VERY clearly at London, remeber your lane number) Once your gears laid out take a moment to mentally run through your transitions, take your time, dont fluster, dont panic.

    When your waves getting ready to go try and be one of the FIRST in the water, this will give you ample time to acclimatise and warm up (very important), the water shouldnt be too cold on the day but it always feels a tad colder than your used to. Take a few minutes to warm up, a few 50m swims, getting used to the murky water and run through some breathe/sighting drills.

    When the hooter goes DONT GO MAD get a rythm and stick to it get your breathing under control and try and find some feet to latch on to. Sight every few strokes and it'll be done before you know it.......

    and the most important tip................

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    BmanBman Posts: 442
    Ive got to agree with everything MG said. I always get nervous before races, but Im sure you are fit enough and you will get through, so just get the logistics sorted out. I find Im a lot more relaxed when the bike is in transition and the kit is laid out. Then you can have a look around. So give yourself extra time, make sure you know where to go in and out of transitions and get to the start in enough time. Like MG said, start swimming slowly and build up, and once you are going, it will all fall into place. Your body will do the rest. Give the bike and run course maps a look too so you have a rough idea of whats ahead. Good luck.
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    sportevesporteve Posts: 141
    thank you both very much for your encouraging msgs....!
    i know i have to get out of this dark place, it is all in my mind and the fact that's all unknown territory just magnifies everything..
    ok, off for my brick now ....if this wont hurt i don't know what will after four days of inactivity...
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    risris Posts: 1,002
    sounds like a spot of 'the fear', we all get it before a race!

    a lot of people's focus on not training enough, training too much, not training too much enough . sometimes the idea of training just feels like a burden too far, and if you've come back from an intensive week then you might have had enough for a bit.

    try to do something you enjoy, take the pressure off yourself. what you do in the next week won't make or break what happens at london! make it a smooth, loose session where you can relax as much as possible.

    for the swim, if the thought of being caught in the scrum bothers you then make sure you are away from it - swim on the edge or at the back, sod what the rest of them do out there - do it your way.

    the other bikes aren't going to crush over you - your awesome speed will keep them at bay! take it steady on the bike, relax as best you can and settle into it. i find it takes me a little while to settle into a comfortable rhythm on the bike. if you can do a reccie of the course then do, but if not look it over on a map so you know a few landmarks - they really help to keep you going.

    if you get any lethal strength tranq's then i'll take some for my next race please!
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    moonshinemoonshine Posts: 335
    so that's me at 4.30 and you at 5 - so you're not alone - you anywhere near Blue seventy Reading I'm plotting to have an OW pootle 6pm Thursday before London to help the nerves in one direction or the other
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    sportevesporteve Posts: 141
    thank you very much for the invite moonshine, unfortunately nowhere near reading and i dont drive either....thankully a friend is doing the upminster technique session on saturday morning so i am joining him just to familiarise myself a bit more with the whole O/W thing...good luck to both of us, well actually everybody!
    got my race pack today..it is official and straight to the final count down...!

    ris thank you so much for your really encouraging words - it was a great help - i have actually started to visualise myself slowly and calmly swimming the distance while before i was instead having frightening pictures of me panicking .... so yes, big thank you!
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    moonshinemoonshine Posts: 335
    or wearing bright pink:) with a welsh flag towel -
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    julesojuleso Posts: 279
    Er, just thinking, 'petrified' is rather a strong word........I wonder what encouraged you to enter in the first place if it's now giving you more fear than I'd think normal in a newbie triathlete....?
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    moonshinemoonshine Posts: 335
    I wonder what encouraged you to enter in the first place if it's now giving you more fear than I'd think normal in a newbie triathlete....?
    probably the same as me when I saw how many in my wave almost 500
    bike and run no fear, swim pertrified is a decent description methinks to the point that hauling my arse out to train is a major effort so far this week Now hauling my arse 75 mile round trip as all our local pools are shut aggghhh
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    iadamaiadama Posts: 60
    [quote:169dv5mn]I wonder what encouraged you to enter in the first place if it's now giving you more fear than I'd think normal in a newbie triathlete....?
    probably the same as me when I saw how many in my wave almost 500
    bike and run no fear, swim pertrified is a decent description methinks to the point that hauling my arse out to train is a major effort so far this week Now hauling my arse 75 mile round trip as all our local pools are shut aggghhh [/quote:169dv5mn]

    I think that covers a lot of people doesn't it? I couldn't swim more than a few lengths when I entered London earlier this year, and whilst I've come on a relatively long way with lessons and OW swimming the thought of swimming in the thames with 379 other people around me still fills me with a dread - but it's all about overcoming your weaknesses and fears isn't it? That's why I signed up for London in the first place. I know I'll feel bloody great when I (finally) get out of the water and wobble towards T1, and then it's time to start really enjoying it on the bike and run

    I'll be the one at the very back of the swim pack, at 15.30 on Saturday :roll:
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    joolzdjoolzd Posts: 245
    Just remember at the start and a great way I found of calming me down is to do a few breathing exercises once in the water, breathing in on four counts and then out on four counts....keep a level head and visualise each stage and the finish..if you get panicky just do the breaststroke for a bit !!! You'll love it, once you are out - I hate the swim leg but love it at the same time!! Go enjoy maybe see you there - I'll be there making sure you get your chips and ensuring they come back at the end of the day!! Come say hello if you get a chance!!
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    matt333matt333 Posts: 32
    Try not to worry too much about the size of the event...it's all very well organised and good directions on the bike course and a brilliant atmospher once you get started all your fears will disolve away
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    FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749
    Join the club sporteve! I was absolutely terrified before my first triathlon (supersprint at Eton)! Nightmares before the race, sweaty palms, stomach churning... On the day I had far too much coffee and energy drink and when the klaxon went I shot off like an idiot. 50metres later I was breastroking trying to catch my breath but looking round about 80% of the wave were doing the same!

    Windsor, still hadn't learned my lesson. Same story

    So for London I'm starting off slooooooooowly and hoping to pick off the people who start too quick!

    Well thats the plan anyway
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    kevinfkevinf Posts: 3

    one of the great hings about London Tri is the atmosphere. There's a little bloke at the swim muster who gets you going and relaxes you with a bit of crack and is v helpful and friendly. The last two years he's worn the same ridiculous long shorts. Do all the routines that help you as previous posters have said and when you pull on the wetsuit and get in with your start wave you'll see people looking around the same as you in exactly the same situation. as you warm up don't be afriaid to chat as this will dispel the tension. Enjoy it cos you know you'll be back for more.

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    YES!!!!!!! I am not alone! Although done a few sprints (my first year) I am absolutely "br@£king it" about the swim! I have manged to persuade my heirachy to allow me to remain in the UK a day later (in the Royal Navy and deploying for 6 months the day after) to take part so will be at the swim start at 0730 on Sun morning!! Although very nervous I can't wait at the same time!!!
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    sportevesporteve Posts: 141
    wow thank you all very much for your support! and to all other equally nervous people out there i'm sure we'd rather not be part of this family but at least we are a family and knowing we are not alone is reassuring...

    i do hope that things will get better once the race is well under way and also in future races
    however at the moment although 'petrified' might be a strong word for you juleso it is a word that describes me the best
    i assume you are a far more accomplished, confident and experienced triathlete and i wish one day i will be just like you but for now i am a nervous novice..

    this has been a great and hard journey for me having started only 5 1/2 months ago with just being able to swim a length at time (in bad style) and only basic balancing skills on the bike so i think i have pretty good reasons to be nervous!

    i hope come saturday evening i will have plenty of reasons to be proud!
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    I'm sure you will do great! I do understand about being 'petrified' though b/c I feel pretty much the same right now. I signed up for this 4 months ago at what sounds like a similar level of ability to you. I'm sure we have done everything we possibly could have to prepare ourselves, or at least I feel I have, but it doesn't mean I'm feeling any more confident at the moment! I can hardly sleep, nightmares, generally feel I could be sick at any moment. I've done one sprint but this is my 'big race', doing the OD and for charity. Just feel nervous about letting myself and all my sponsors down. Having said that I'm sure it will be a fab time and hopefully we'll be looking back Monday wondering what we were worrying so much about
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    maltesermalteser Posts: 25
    amen to that juniacode ... sporteve you're one of many in that position ... I rode a bike for the first time in 20 years 3 months ago (still a bit wobbly and tense in the saddle but at least I'm still on there). If you weren't getting nervous then you wouldn't be taking it seriously ... this is no joke for beginners like us, its a challenge, but its one you've trained for and prepared for so don't worry about it. One thing that helps me when I close my eyes (and start to panic) is to visualise the race (in snippets).

    Start off with yourself swimming (visualise technique and breathing) smoothly and relaxed, then visualise getting out of the wter and going through your transition steps ... and keep that going throughout the different phases of the race ... a positive visualisation and deep breathing will really help. I'm not saying it'll stop you bricking it (I still am) but it does help if you can see yourelf being successful at the things you have to do, and having a good time of it.

    Anyone in the 3:30 sprint on Saturday make sure you wave when blasting past me on the bike course ... I'll be bringing up the tail end of the 3:00pm wave
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    The night before the tri i had two night mares. One that id lost my race number and got DNS'd...the second that i was a child and there was a paedophile chasing me

    Even though we got the worst weather short of cancellation, the tri itself was great and rolling across the finish line was the best feeling ever.

    Youll be fine
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    bulletbullet Posts: 115
    I'm not very experienced in open water ,only 2 training sessions so far .
    Going tonight to Bosworth Water Park though , and again on Saturday .

    As someone said to me , just remember to breath and you will be fine .

    Good luck and race with a smile ,remember it's supposed to be FUN
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    LexLex Posts: 65
    Nervous is good - it means you care about how you do and want to do well. As far as im concerned you should be nervous before every bit of exercise you do for the same reason.

    Stay out of trouble at the start of the swim and if necessary let people move off to allow you space to get your stroke going.

    After that enjoy the chaos!! Its the best thing about this sport.

    Good luck!
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    Im SpartacusIm Spartacus Posts: 204
    Great advice about breathing. In my first sprint of the year I couldn't believe how bad I was feeling after only 3 lengths, then I remembered to breath and everything became a lot easier.

    I'm just hoping the rain holds off, I'm a liability on the bike in the rain.

    Good luck to all the newbies, relax and enjoy, it's only your first tri, once.
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    Ron99Ron99 Posts: 237
    Remember that visualisation is one of the most important things with any event - if you spend your time thinking about how all the parts of your race will go, what it will feel like in the water, how you want that to go, what you'll do in transition, etc., then you're preparing your mind to do it well when the time comes. Conversely, If you think the worst now - getting panicked in the water, falling off your bike etc, you're actually making it more likely that that will happen! Put all those negative thoughts out of your mind. Relax, and remember that you're there to take part and enjoy it.

    ...and breathe...

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    moonshinemoonshine Posts: 335
    so thats
    malteser at 3.30
    moonshine at 4,30
    sporteve at 5.00

    all of us a tad nervous I'm getting there at 2 if anyone wants a group hug
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    jasejase Posts: 47
    Don't be nervous London is an excellent event for Newbies (despite what others may say about its size, commericalism etc). It was the event that kicked me into Triathlon, and it was the pure numbers of people taking part that took away my fear of not being very good or coming last.
    I love it. It gives me an annual target and stops me getting too fat through the year.

    (It also has a place in my heart as the first year I did it I proposed to my wife on route from the swim to T1 with dripping wetsuit in hand - oh us romantics!)

    The supporters are excellent encouragement too, especially after the swim and all round the run.

    If you are nervous on the openwater swim just hang back at the start. The dock is huge so you'll soon be in clear water.

    It p1ssed it down with rain last year so I am hoping that the weather is a bit more friendly this year (especially after the soaking I got this year at Blenhiem as well)

    I start at 2.30 on Saturday so come along to the swim start a shout "Come on Jase" I'll be the one in the black wetsuit.

    Good luck one and all
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    TRIumphantTRIumphant Posts: 850
    Jase, I'll keep an eye out for you. You must have brought your wetsuit fromthe same shop as me, because mine's black as well, and I got a trisuit to match.
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    timbo75timbo75 Posts: 3
    First triathlon too, but done a couple of aquathlons recently and was more nervous before that than I am for this. Im sure it will be great event, although got fear of being lost in transition for half an hour... got a couple of practical questions though: does anyone carry puncture repair? I know its only 40k but you never know. And does anyone eat anything mid race - banana after swim? I tend to get extremely hungry after swimming....

    see you sunday

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    joolzdjoolzd Posts: 245
    Good luck everyone....you'll all have an absolute blast and thoroughly enjoy the whole experience and as Ron said 'visualise' and prepare for how you will feel throughout!! Wish I was doing London now but helping out is the next best thing! See you all through registration!!
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    GGBGGB Posts: 482
    Joolzd ... you going to be wearing your forum buddies T shirt ? ]

    jase - am at 2.30 too ... I will also be wearing a black wetsuit -lol

    Good luck to all - as said above enjoy it, it is fun ... but remember it is also a race the more you try the better you feel.
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    Hi all,

    Antother nervous first timer for the London Tri sprint race on Saturday here. I am just wondering what the situation is regarding racking of bikes and placing of other equipment in the transition area - i am racing at 15.30 but no guidelines are given as to when this all should take place. It seems a bit strange that there might be people wandering around and placing bikes etc in the transition area at all hours of the day while others are trying to race around them but if this is how it is meant to be then...

    Cheers - and good luck to all!
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