Daunting Open Water Swim

SwimThere are many newbie triathletes find open water swimming daunting and scary. As a coach, I try find ways to have them overcome the fear. Some are faster than others swimming the distance in the open water.

I had one girl just panic when just thinking about it. She tried multiple times. Thursday, I realized she has been practicing the swimming and can do the distance in the pool. I told her I have an idea that might help her. On Saturday early morning, Lake Gardner had perfect conditions and beach was quiet. We sat on my towel looking across the lake. I took her through a mediation and visualization of the swim she will be doing. We swam across the lake with a few stops. When she finished, we all high five her, she smiled.

Here are few hints to make your open water swim and triathlon swim easier:

  • Look at the course from land – know where the buoys are corresponding to land objects.
  • If you feel like you cannot breathe, do the breath stroke. You will be moving which you will get back on track.
  • During your practice swims enjoy the scenery.
  • While you are waiting for your wave to start do yoga breathing to relax. Take a long breath in through your nose then exhale slowly through mouth. Repeat this 3 times.
  • Take slow, methodical breaths at the beginning of the swim and look at the sky.
  • Rotate eyes forward on breaths to sight buoys.
  • Wiggle fingers on recovery part of the stroke.

Through the years, I come to love swimming and cannot wait to get in the lake.  Have fun with your swims!

1 reply »

  1. This is great! Thanks! My sister is trying to get me to do a triathlon with her next summer. I will have to find a sprint one because she is already doing 2 half ironmans this summer. She is a beast! HAHA!

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