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Newcomer with a fear to overcome!

Hi all, Im hoping some of you can offer me some guidance as ever since i can remember i have had a fear of open water especially the sea (i once fell off a jetski and honestly managed to walk on water through sheer terror of going in! ) but lakes also petrify me.

So i have decided to confront my fear head on and enter the blenheim tri in 2011, as you know this involves an open water swim. appart from the fear of not seeing whats beneath me i also have a fear of being bitten (or nudged/stung) by what ever lurks in the depths of the lake.

I know its sad and laughable but my imagination gets the better of me when im in open water!

So my question is has anyone ever been injured or bitten by any under water critters?

cheers, James.


  • gasgasgasgas Posts: 21
    Thanks for your support
  • You'll be in good company. I believe Rebecca Adlington will only swim in a pool. Doesn't go in the sea or a lake.

    Of all my years swimming and surfing in the sea, getting on for 40 years now, I've never been injured by any sea living thing, only ever been injured by my own stupidity, or someone else's stupidity. Had a couple of fish nibble a toe, but very few and far between, and no harm done.

    You just need to just get used to being in the open water before the big day. But once you've started, and over come any fear issues, you'll wonder what all the fuss was about, and prefer open water to spool swimming.
  • Cross post with Conehead, but just to clarify, I am not the 'unseen lurking horror'
  • gasgasgasgas Posts: 21
    Thats certainly reassuring, thanks for the reply.

    Im just worried that i will be panicking about the water and not enjoying the whole Tri experience. I will go to an outdoor swim centre like you recomend and try to overcome before the day.

    Just hope i dont come accross the 'unseen lurking horror' before hand...
  • I did an open water swim course at Dorney Lake run by Zoggs at the start of my first season, and found it really useful. 1 1/2 hours theory, and then about 2 hours practical. Got to practice running and deep water starts, drafting off toes and hips, sighting, turning, finishing with a small fun race to bring everything together and finishing with wetsuit stripping. Well worth it.
  • QuitterQuitter Posts: 160
    Despite my best efforts at concentration to maintain my swim form my mind is all over the place when swimming...in fact it is on the bike and run parts as well but never mind.
    However I have never considered the prospect that there is something about to pluck me from the water like a Great White sharks taking out seals mainly because I,m usually getting kicked in the face but also its a damn stupid notion. There is nt anything dangerous in the water until the triathletes get in - then it seems to increase somehow :roll:

    OW swimming is cool.

    It makes you a better person when you tell people that you do it. If you ever want to be able to look at yourself in a mirror again you need to nail it.

    Wetsuits make you more bouyant and less likely to drown - a good thing...honest.
    Using a snorkel will initially get you used to having your head in the water and seeing f all.
    Swimming in groups (shoals) decreases you risk of being the one picked off by the shark.
  • pretty much what the others have said;

    I remember my first time in open water swim... it was my first triathlon at London in 2007 for charity. I totally ignored advise I read on the net about getting used to open water and also getting used to wearing a wetsuit. I figured I've swam in open sea off boats whilst on holiday a few times so its no problem! Strangely the whole not knowing what was "down there" didn't bother me but I wished I had done an open water swim course before as I found swimming in a wetsuit very hard (almost felt trapped as its tight around the chest) but I got round in last position in my wave with my own personal canooe!

    so when I decided to take up this great sport I made sure I practised first and found a great place where I got used to it and now as the others have said I prefer OW swimming. If you find somewhere to train first you will soon lose those fears. the main advise I would add is to start near the back on raceday so you don't get involved in the mad fights at the front for space with flying legs and kicking legs. Do it at your own pace and you will enjoy it more.

    as for the fear of whats below, the way I look at it is its dark and murky so I can't see whats down there so it doesn't exist!

    see you there as I'm also doing Blenheim for my 3rd time now on the Sunday. the lake is great to swim in and on raceday you will be more bothered about the big f**k off hill you have to climb to get to transition 1!
  • gasgasgasgas Posts: 21
    Many thanks for your comments, I'm just gonna have to 'man up'

    Im in the super sprint on the saturday, im still learning to swim properly so didn't want to get too carried away and enter the sprint(that will be next year).

    Im addicted to the training, it has taken over my life!!! (the missus is well chuffed...NOT)

    Cheers, James.
  • cw_74cw_74 Posts: 11
    I too have a fear of the sea which I've managed to kinda put to the back of my mind!!
    I'm heading to California in April for the Half IM and no doubt the fear will come roaring back but I normally find I can forget it once in the water as I am focussed on my technique and preparing for T1 and the bike leg.
    Blenheim is a brillant tri and a lovely lake also so you'll have no problems, enjoy it as much as you can - especially the bike leg!
  • QuitterQuitter Posts: 160
    If it helps most good swimmers I know are shit on trials bikes

    "...If it starts to go wrong just give it more gas.......oooooooh you alright mate?"
  • Race1Race1 Posts: 58
    I would concentrate at the moment on being able to swim the distance required (+ 20% or so) Then a few months before June. (i.e when it's a bit warmer!) Look around for your nearest OW swim centre. Places like Dorney Lake and Princes Club do beginner sessions. I did mine at PC, it was about £25 for a hour or so. And was organised by the people that run Blenheim and London.

    Dorney is VERY VERY clear water so maybe I'd recommend that as a first one. PC was full of algae that kept attaching itself to me
  • dhcmdhcm Posts: 67
    The sight of 150 splashing wetsuited triathletes is going to send any creatures in the Blenheim lake rushing away as far as they can.

    Just to prepare you though, if you go an the right hand side of your wave at Blenheim there are a fair few weeds under the water that your hands will touch. Don't know about the left/middle.
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