Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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21/05/2009 at 11:25
Will, I like the look of that breathing drill.  I will give that a go tonight.
21/05/2009 at 13:28

Matt there are lots of different types of nose clips.  Have you tried any different ones?  www.[b]swims[/b] have a few different types. 

I can't cope with nose clips at all as I exhale throught both nose and mouth and feel suffocated whn I have a nose peg on. 

I have actually really enjoyed aspects of open water swimming.  I like the being outdoors part of it.  Unlike some people I have no problems with fish of whatever size, bog weeds etc.

But some stuff really throws me...  Not being able to see the floor...  Being far away from "safety", i.e. there is no rope, no pool side...  I know it's psychological.  I "know" I can swim 4.5km (the longest swim I've ever done).  In the pool I'm like a patient hamster in a wheel...  I can go up and down until the cows come home....  but put me in the middle of a lake with a buoy 1000m away and say swim over there... I crap myself...

Only 3 weeks til Bala... 2k OW... 

21/05/2009 at 13:29
21/05/2009 at 13:56

some advice needed

I swim in the sea with my tri club and find it ok but my main aim this year middle distance is a lake swim do i needto siwm in a lake or if i can swim in the sea will this be enough as its a bit of a drive to the nearest lake and the sea is free

21/05/2009 at 13:59

Nam - I got the Speedo Universal (I think) one - only used it once and think it may have been me putting it on wrongly. However it did do the job but does take some getting used to. I get sinusitis from surfing too - in fact I've had a near perma cold (sort of) from it for about two months but still trained.

Despite a couple of near drownings from surfing (surfboard leash snapping in big waves - means swimming back in!) I'm not worried about open water. Obviously need to be aware of currents and rips (easy to spot once you know what to look for) and sometimes have to cope with waves but as long as ypu respect it, it's usually okay. Just got used to not being able to see over the years - hence me not wearing goggles on that tri. I did feel very daft though!

Maybe try swimming on beaches with lifeguards on duty for confidence? Or try some big but safe lakes? I think the main thing is not to panic - surfing by it's very nature often throws up open water challenges - waves get too big, rips stop you getting back in, take you up/down the beach, etc, etc and it's easy to panic but you are a strong swimmer (clearly if you can do 4.5km) and so can easily make it back in wherever you are. I love the feeling of freedom in open water and hate the confines of a pool.

 Another thought - do some low level freediving - touch the bottom, get familiar with the changes in temperature and currents. To me it feels like flying (sort of!).

 And lastly, salt water gives you a lot more bouyancy than  fresh. It makes a big difference!

Sorry if that's boring or anything - but I've more or less grown up in/near the sea!

21/05/2009 at 14:02

Oh and just to bore everyone even more, here is a surfing pic - same wetsuit I did the tri swim in:

Having said all that, there's still loads of room for improvement. Just not scared by the sea - which I think helps.

21/05/2009 at 14:13

The thing about nose pegs not being put on right is funny cos I also had no idea which way around I was supposed to put the feckers on... not exactly an intuitive design are they?

Funny what you said about diving.  I actually liked diving.  Only did it a few times when I backpacked the Middle East and did some diving in the Red Sea.  But because I had my oxygen tank all was well...   I didn't experience many of the anxieties diving that I have with swimming.  I actually thought it was quite relaxing.

I think it matters a lot what kind of psychological relaionship you have with the water...  I know that sounds like a load of whooly claptrap, but what I mean is to you (Matt) water / the sea / waves are 'fun' and it's your playground with lots of positive associations etc.

Did you learn to swim as a kid?   I think that helps also.

I come from a non-swimming family.  Neither of my parents can swim.  Dad can't swim at all and won't go anywhere further than knee deep.  Mum is a very anxious breast stroker who won't swim out of her depth.  I think I picked this up from when I was very little... this message that deep water is something to be afraid of.  School never bothered with the kids like me (the non-swimmers) we were just ignore in the paddling pool for 2 hours while the rest got coached.  So again as a kid you absorb that message "swimming is not for me".

And no matter how logical I try to be about it, it's actually quite hard to shake off that history. 

Farnie    pirate
21/05/2009 at 14:17

I couldn't agree more nam.  I think it certainly helps if you were a swimmer as a child.

I was a semi confident swimmer as a child, but just not very good and could never float.  I think I lost all my water confidence when I saw someone drown.

21/05/2009 at 14:25

Nam - I did learn pretty young (had lessons aged 4) but was never a particularly strong swimmer. Just got used to being bashed around in the sea over the years.

Very nearly drowned twice - once was a proper blackout moment - and had a load of injuries from hitting rocks, being smacked in the face by surfboards (I sliced my top lip in half once -Mrs Matt saw it and fainted!), hitting reefs, etc, etc so I guess I've got used to mild trauma in the sea.

However I've watched (aged 8) my dad being rescued (a very strong swimmer) from the sea at West Wittering when windsuring and getting into trouble - the coastguard got there just in time - 10 minutes to live max - seen a dead body pulled out of the sea, rescued a few quite serious cases when lifeguarding and rescue boating and generally seen quite a lot of nasty things. Guess it just helps on danger awareness?

But put me in a pool and I'll swim 100m very quickly; then run out of puff! Can recover with a length of breast stroke then go back to crawl - must sort pool breathing. It's embarrassing!

With the nose clip - I tried to find pics on-line but no joy! Looks sort of like an upturned "beak" on me! Not a good look but worth avoiding nose trouble - blinding headaches followed by orange liquid pouring out of my nose for several days - eyoooo!

Farnie - that's pretty grim. Got to have a scarring effect?

21/05/2009 at 15:28

Holy feck about watching someone drown, that's awful. 

I remember vividly as a child, being wrapped up in all kinds of inflatable stuff when I was about 5/6 years old.  We'd go to a lovely local lake for a cheap holiday, but because neither of my parents could swim they never let me go in very far, because obviously they knew they wouldn't be able to fetch me if I floated off with all my inflatables!

There are old super-8 films of me in an inflatable swim ring as well as inflatable arm bands.... I had the lot!!!  No wonder I'm not at ease with the idea of floating without accessories... hahaha

21/05/2009 at 15:46

My local primary school had a swimming pool, and we all had lessons there.  However, they used to only uncover half of the pool if one class went (as opposed to 2 classes).  One day, not sure how cos I can't remember, I found myself getting caught up in the plastc sheeting used to cover the pool at the other end.  The more I struggled the more tangled I got, and I ended up completely trapped and submerged.  I don't remember who got me out or how, but it seriously freaked me out and I simply refused to go in the water again.  Took a lot to get over that, and has taken a few years for me to get to the stage I am at. 

I am getting better slowly, and plan to complete my first tri soon.

Farnie, I think watching someone drown is probably worse than what I went through, at least I can't remember too much.

21/05/2009 at 15:53

Shiva - your experience is the sort of things I've had nightmares about before!

Get this for a wierd phobia - I HATE man made objects in open water -weirs, locks, big ships, underwater pipes, piers, etc. No idea where it came from but it's horrible. There are currently some huge ships moored just down river from us. Every time we got out in our boat and have to pass them, I break out into a cold sweat.

21/05/2009 at 15:55
I suppose they are both really bad but in different ways.  The panic and claustrophobia of being caught up under that sheeting sounds horrible too. 
21/05/2009 at 15:57

Matt, weird one that!!! 

I think I'll be grateful for any man made object I'll encounter cos it gives me something to hold on to.

>imagines self thrashing from buoy to buoy<

Farnie    pirate
21/05/2009 at 16:02
Matt, how odd, I am terrified of the same sorts of things, locks, waterwheels, weirs etc.  I think it comes from a childrens telly prog but that about where my hunch ends.  Its not too hot either because I work in the water industry I have to visit reservoirs etc alot and i am totally terrified of them
21/05/2009 at 16:05

I'm with you Nam, the more objects=more stuff to cling to.

Just out of curiosity, what do you do for the water industry Farnie?

Farnie    pirate
21/05/2009 at 16:08

I design really big water and sweage pumps.  I do all the 'clever' maths.

21/05/2009 at 16:09

Farnie - I'm not the only one then!

Even buoys spook me out as do boats  - when I'm in the water. Must be some wierd childhood experience that triggered it!

Signs that say "Danger submerged cable" or "submerged pipe" have me in a near panic situation.

Can we get therapy for it?! Maybe I saw the same TV show?!

Edited: 21/05/2009 at 16:09
21/05/2009 at 16:10
The irony of Farnie actually designing the feckers!!!
21/05/2009 at 16:13

Ponsticill Reservoir has a wicked plug hole....

Get sucked in there and you've had it!

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