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!

Published by Pam Houck

Work in the health industry as personal trainer, running and multi-sport coach. As an athlete with celiac disease and asthma, I don't let it limit me to compete in road races and triathlons.

One thought on “Daunting Open Water Swim

  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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