Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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24/05/2009 at 19:51
24/05/2009 at 19:55

Nam, you sound like you had/have a lot of the same issues about water as I do.  How did you get over it? How long has it taken you to get to this stage?  

24/05/2009 at 20:20

Shiva, just perseverance really, and friends, and the small problem of having entered an IM....

In late autumn 2007 I did my first tri.  It was a fun-tri / try-a-try.  Pool swim of 300m, short MTB bike and short off road run.  I gave myself a full blown panic attack after 3 x25m lengths and just sort of realised just how bad I was.  Really enjoyed the rest of the swim but NOT the swim.

In spring 2008 I did another sprint tri.  I had done a little bit of trying to front crawl but when it came to race day, again I paniced and gave myself a massive panic attack in the pool and ended up having to breast stroke that one too.

Early summer 2008 I watched people do IM France and entered the next big pirate IM...  Why?  Don't ask.

Then I joined Cardiff tri because 2 friends of mine had and joined their swim sessions.  I "progressed" to two lengths FC, but with a heart rate of 180+.  I think they did their best looking after numpties like me but I felt a bit like I did in school, i.e. the ignored non-swimmer.

Then I just chipped away, with another friend off the forum who was about at the same level of (dis)ability as me - the same person I did OW with today.  We'd support each other, laugh about being so crap and we'd just chip away like "let's try for 3 lengths without stopping, really nice and calm" etc...  I remember the first time we did 4x25 and we had a bit of a 100m party... then we did 4x25(x2)... first time we managed 8 lengths was a party too.   Then we started swimming in the morning when it's 50m lengths and boy that looked a long way at first...

Then one day something weird happened...  I always force myself to relax, in order to get away from the paniced "just get to the other side" type of swimming.  And all of a sudden bits "clicked", like the breathing just "clicked"... I went from being able to do 200m to 2000m in one swim.  I almost cried with joy that day and other people on the forum had said they had had certain 'breakthroughs' from time to time.  Then I panicked thinking "it was just a one off" but I chipped away.

In October 2008 I did a novice day with who came to Cardiff.  At first I thought it was a lot of money but it was the best money I ever spent. Dan I immediately felt very comfortable with and he was just very skilled and patient in dealing with me.  You get filmed under water and it helps to unpick technique problems.  Swimming is like learning to drive a car.  There is so much to remember at first.  Mirror, signal, manouvre and you've stalled.  So it doesn't all fall into place all at once but it does bit by bit.

Then I trained all through winter with drill and swim sets from my pirate mentor, eventually swam the IM distance and over the distance.

Recently, only a couple of weeks ago, I did another day with Dan and the swim-for-tri peeps, which again was hugely helpful.  My body position had improved loads, as I literally swam like a brick.

Now I'm chipping away at my OW anxieties.  My stroke goes to pot in OW and my breathing also becomes a bit random.

Having a massive event to do focusses the mind.  It really was a case of "well, now you better learn!".

So to answer your question, about a year. 

24/05/2009 at 20:21
Being succinct is a real skill isn't it.
24/05/2009 at 20:43

Thanks Nam. Thats impressive stuff.  I think it must help to have people around you to train with, unfortunately none of my friends are into this kind of thing.

My real breakthrough came in Decemebr when I swam my first length without panicing.  Its now nearly June and I have progressed to 700m of FC.  My probelm is I can only do FC, and I can't tread water properly yet.  My plan is to do a sprint tri this year, then build up to OW next year.  From your story that sounds doable I think.

24/05/2009 at 21:03

That's totally doable and well done on your progress!!!   From nothing to 700m in 6 months is great stuff!! 

You won't need to be able to treat water in sprint tris and for OW only for those with deep-water starts.  It's a helpful 'skill' though.

Dan taught me to float 2 weeks ago.  That was wicked as I had no idea I could do that, just to lie on the water and not sink.   He was ever so helpful and so patient with someone as anxious as me.  Have you ever had lessons?  I reckon a patient teacher is worth their weight in gold.

24/05/2009 at 21:47

I've been through several different stages of lessons.  A few years back I had water phobic lessons which got me into the pool, and got me started.  I managed to splash out 25m after a few months, but then had a setback and got completey freaked again.  Had a few years of not doing any more, than decided to try again.  This time paid for Shaw method lessons which made a massive difference, and psychologically made a big breakthrough.

I now just go to group lessons at the local council pool.  We mostly do drills, which has helped a lot.  I'm not a very good floater, I think it is easier for women, or so i'm told!

24/05/2009 at 21:55
LOL Shiva for some reason I thought you were a girl.
24/05/2009 at 21:58
That's ok Nam, most people on here do!
24/05/2009 at 22:00
LOL Gertie, and Sweet Feet are boys too with girlie names we recently discovered ...
24/05/2009 at 22:04
I thought Sweet Feet was a  girl too, whoops!
24/05/2009 at 22:09
24/05/2009 at 22:10
I agree, and the pic is very manly too
24/05/2009 at 22:12

You've never heard of Gertie the Dinosaur?

Edited: 24/05/2009 at 22:13
24/05/2009 at 22:34, sorry.  I will go and google it and find out.
24/05/2009 at 22:37

It was a bit before my time

24/05/2009 at 22:39
Shiva wrote (see), sorry.  I will go and google it and find out.

er, don't bother, you'll only find out that Gertie the Dinosaur was actually a 'she'.  If only I knew the hassle I would get when I chose the picture...
24/05/2009 at 22:41

and Gertie was clearly... A GIRL!!!

Farnie    pirate
24/05/2009 at 22:45


I thought you were a girl too, 


24/05/2009 at 22:48

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