So, yesterday I went OWS for the first time at a swimming lake near where I'm now living, and to cut a long story short I had a panic attack in the water. The thing is, I didn't feel panicked or stressed, but I just couldn't breathe at all. I felt like my wetsuit was constricting my breathing, so my friend unzipped it for me (didn't help). I was able, with a lot of stopping and flipping over on my back, to make it the 150m or so metres back to the pontoon. This - the panic attack - I gather, is common to OWS newbies.
But about 21 hours later, and my chest still feels tight. Is this normal? Did it trigger some sort of asthma attack or something? Or has the constriction of the wetsuit with the panicking pulled some muscles maybe? Has this happened to anyone else or does anyone have any ideas what it might be?
Probably best asking here: http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/forum/triathlon/12.html
Some OW newbies here: http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/forum/triathlon/crp-swimmers-r-us/44061-593.html
Sounds like a panic attack to me. Couple of daft questions do you get closterfobic and have you had any rash since? Asking about the rash just to rule out you are alergic to the wetsuit.
There is a viral upper respiratory tract infection doing the rounds at the moment, the symptoms include feeling breathless but no other obvious cold type symptoms until a few days later.
No rash. Possibly hayfever or infection, or maybe I pulled my diaphragm. Still a bit dodgy - did my second-to-worst ever 5km at the weekend. Will see how I get on at the lake tomorrow with a bigger suit and report back (some people might think this is a bit stupid, but I think I'm better off to keep going in case it is just panic, even if I'm only in there for 5 minutes, or I'll never be able to do a OWS triathlon).
Is there anything that you are afraid of? I ow swim in the sea. I have a phobia of sharks (very common) and I dislike seaweed.
I think that panic attacks are very common as there is so much 'unknown' in the water it's easy to think the worst.
Try some relaxation techniques pluss some positive self talk before you get in the water. Also, don't try and swim, just try to get used to the experience.
The sea is different as i have swum in the sea all my life. I'm still scared of sharks.
I dont have time to reply in full but I experienced a similar thing a few years ago in an IM swim in RothI took some advice from a few people and there were a few suggestionsThe above was one, possibly exercised induced asthma or even a hay fever type allergy? I was unable to breathe properly for about a week and had my peak flow measured by the GP when I got homeI havent 'suffered' the same since but I do feel my lungs have worked hard for any session over1/2 IM or marathon
I might get a peak flow monitor and have a look. Thanks everyone for the advice.
Is it actually a panic attack if like you say, you didn't feel panicked or stressed at all? Maybe just a normal reaction to finding that swimming in OW and breathing while wearing a wetsuit is totally different to pool swimming.
I just did my first OW tri in a borrowed wetsuit and didn't have a chance to practice beforehand. I felt like I couldn't breathe properly, couldn't get my breathing rhythm sorted, didn't like the murky weird tasting water, didn't like not having stripy lines to follow on the bottom of the river, felt literally way out of my depth and kept having to stop and mentally regroup and get my breath and focus back. Definitely not a panic attack though. Just an "OMFG this is hard!" kind of thing.
Thanks everyone for your advice. I managed a mile at the lake last night. Wore a looser wetsuit which helped me to get control of my breathing a bit. Struggled a bit with the direction though - did a lot of zigzaging (RWD - def. problem with the lack of blue lines!). I also got so streamed up I couldn't even see the buoy I was heading for any more, so just tried to swim towards the sun... lol!
For the zig zagging if you look up every 6 stokes or whatever sorts your swimming style best you will cut that out. Hard at first but makes a difference. I swim breaststroke at races still because my crawl is an ongoing saga and you would be surprised how many better swimmer’s I’ve overtaken just by being able to keep a direct line through spotting. For the streaming up part there are as many ways to solve this as there are pebbles at the seaside. One way is sorting it is you want is spit in your goggles before you start.
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