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open water swimming

Ok I admit it, it scares me, hey I'm 37 I'm allowed to have some fears, there is one problem - it's dark out there, and the pool isn't, so there I am again at Ironbridge and for the second year running I pull out of the swim! I did Trentham, but I could at least stop there, apart from this I'm fine - I can swim a half mile, I was up for the biking - I've ridden the hill hundreds of time I only live 2 miiles form it. And the run will be okay I'm training for my first half marathon, I know I'm a big bloke but this triathlon stuff is meant to be fun, not worrying and its only 200 metres but I get cold, nervous and cramp up, and thats it - I'm doing south Coast in September, and I've now bought as wetsuit to get past the cold thingy, but and here it is after all the waffle, I need to train.... erm, erm.... well ther you go, any one help? - I need somewhere near to Telford and safe, had a net trawl, and not much up unless its in the south.

ta very much



  • BonusBBonusB Posts: 279
    I'm afraid I can't help you there ian, I'm trying to organise a swim in AUgust down in Brighton if your interested but if your Telford thats a way to come for a couple of hours. There are a couple of other members up your way though so hopefully they may be able to help.
  • loonytoonloonytoon Posts: 673
    Hi Ian,

    The severn is a nasty colour it must be said....I am not free between now on the weekends til september otherwise I would have come over to ironbridge for a training swim....

    The only place I know of in the midlands is Bosworth Water trust in Market Bosworth (but these are normally with a tri club whether they are paid group sessions I don't know).. failing that the swim days http://www.thelondontriathlon.com/Swimdays.html held in London for the london tri (anyone can go) although a long way are well worth it also swim for tri have other sessions...I would say having a coach show me the ropes is the best thing I have done re open water swimming

  • waterbabywaterbaby Posts: 10
    Your'e so not alone when it comes to being nervous, a friend who is a superb athlete used to realy freak out open water! but flew on the bike and run.

    Time in the pool definately helps your stamina and confidence in the water but you cant replace open water. The more you practice the more at ease you will become.

    Are there any water ski lakes near you? They tend to be pretty good places to train. Its all about facing your fear head on and building up your time in the water - a good training buddy always helps.

    Remeber that your chances of sinking in a wetsuit are so low, the more you relax the better you will swim. Practice swimming close to other swimmers this will help your confidence when it comes to mass starts.

  • DOtriHarderDOtriHarder Posts: 307
    Nervous about open water swimming? yesterday i went tothe beach with the intention of getting some sea swimming front crawl practice as a start to my plans for next year. After 5 minutes of breaststroke i summoned up the courage to get my face in the water and start crawling and it was mostly ok but i think my stroke was short and too fast so my breathing was uncomfortable after only a few minutes. I coped with the waves and the salt water better than i expected, i have never before been happy at sea like that. the two hours pool swimming a week must have helped a lot. Now all i need to do is slow down my initial enthusiasm and hold my swim speed at a pace where i can continue breathing for a long period of time.

    swimiming freestyle with my face in the water is not in my comfort zone, but it is getting better.

  • robsaundrobsaund Posts: 26
    Hi there,

    Like you, I was bricking it about swimming in Open Water. I'm 38 and training for my first tri in September (only 400m OW 'cos I wussed out of doing the Sprint event for that very reason). I'd done plenty of time in the pool although my technique leaves much to be desired judging by my times

    I went to the Cotswold Water Park - Lake 12 has excellent supervised sessions on Saturday mornings at £3 per shot where you turn up and jump in - not literally, you wade out [;)]. That's exactly what I did. Within about 3 strokes I wondered why I'd felt so worried and I'm sure you'll be exactly the same. In a pool you can take a couple of strokes and reach the side or touch the bottom - in a lake/sea, you can't and I think that that's the foundation of most first time fears - however you'll be amazed at how much buoyancy the wetsuit will provide (I think it's almost impossible to drown even with my style of /swimming/)

    It is very much a confidence thing and if you can find a club that swims in OW locally, it's probably well worth a visit...

    I'm only worried about there being enough water in the lake if this heatwave continues...

    Hope this provides some reassurance although you really must just do it!


  • rolyatnairolyatnai Posts: 9
    Hi all thanks for the advice - I'm popping over to Wales tomorrow to try a sea swim - hope to do 800m - depending on the weather depends on the wetsuit - will let you know how I get on - and the plan is to swim just out of my depth to get used to not being able to stand up.

    the missus is coming with so she's gonna keep an eye on me!!! Need someone to hold my hand and keep the bad tings away!!!!!


  • OutwinOutwin Posts: 3
    Yeah, you're right to be worried about the Lake at Cotswold. Last season there was barely enough water and people were running on the swim leg [:D]. I did the 400 m swim as my first open water comp at the Cotswold sprint. Pretty gentle introduction. Very enjoyable.
  • rolyatnairolyatnai Posts: 9
    OK - so who hid the hot water bottles in my wetsuit? - I walk into the sea - and the missus stands there shivering up to her ankles whilst I walk out deeper and deeper - got swimming although the swells at Barmouth meant in the trough of the wave I was scraping sand and at the peak I was about 10 feet off the bottom, but hey I swam around 400m, and i was hot not warm hot, so Bala next wwekend, and then when I gets back off me hols, a river swim somewhere in the Severn. Will try cotswolds soon certainly before next season , but I'm buying the missus one now so we can swim together - everyone say AAAHHH!


  • PC67PC67 Posts: 101
    I'm with robsaund on this one.

    Obviously everyone's different but my (limited) personal experience from having swum in the Liffey, the Thames and Dorney is that it beats the hell out of swimming in a pool.

    It never ceases to amuse me how it feels to pop into open water in a wetsuit. You almost feel unsinkable.

    I'm a pretty awful swimmer, but it's so nice just swimming and not having to stop & turn every 25m which I find very frustrating and tiring.

    That said, I'd never go open water swimming by myself.
  • loonytoonloonytoon Posts: 673
    Gotta agree with PC and Robsaund as well only swam open water twice but its way better than any pool...

    it just makes you feel so free [:)]...

  • Hi folks

    down at Seaford this weekend - but have found a great - and very quiet pool near home - recommended by the diving instructor who teaches PADI stuff at my gym, went there with the missus last weekend and it was fantastic - will need to get into my suit better - rubbed the back of my neck but it was good, the missus was in her suit too and we just swam and when we didnt want to we floated - thanks to all for giving me the advice - gonna be doing lots of training here as its around 125m long and that means nice long swims without turns, and we could even do laps if we wanted - which would be around 500m, so 3 laps to an olympic - well I can build up to it. C U in Seaford
  • BonusBBonusB Posts: 279
    My wetsuit must be broke. I sink in fresh water and I sink in salt water. I want a refund! [:D]

    (I did get very excited when I found I could nearly float on my back though, always wanted to try that...)
  • JasonBJasonB Posts: 303
    I was nervous when I did my first open water swim. but I LOVED it.

    At first I thought, how is this suit going to keep me warm. So I got in and was amazed, it was almost like I was not in the water. Completely dry and warm.

    Then I was nervous about how am I going to be able to swim in this. Because I had been swimming hard in the pool, I was off like a rocket. It is so much easier to swim.

    I was nervous about the boxing trying to get a nice space to swim in. This was quite fun in a way, maybe a little frustrating when I couldn't get any faster due to a complete wall of swimmers.

    I was nervous about not being able to breath. I found becuase I had trained to breath every three strokes, then watching the elite do it every second stroke, I copied, and it also worked a treat. So found I was breathing more.

    There was only one negative, and that was trying to see where I was going. This I must admit needs working on.

    But apart from that it has REALLY inspired me to do more open water tris than pool triathlons.

    Hope this helps.

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