The same is happening in your brain on race day. I’d like to think that I’ve done that with many or the people I’ve swum with over the years. Let it rant until it runs out of insulting and scary things to say. The swimming blog Swimming Open-water swimming: how do you handle the Fear? Overcoming Your Fear of Open Water Swimming Step 1. Swim Ergs have the added advantage of providing data on your stroke (e.g., power, cadence, stroke length) and enable you to do very specific upper body resistance work to reduce deficits in your wet swimming. If you are in a place that has clear, ocean water, looking at the sea life can be an amazing experience. Each of these is worth a post in itself, but I’ve boiled it down to answer this question with a few of my own personal thoughts and experiences, specifically fear of swimming in open water. We take a look at some of the most common inconveniences and issues that swimmers face when in open water and give advice on how best to tackle them so that you can enjoy and thrive when swimming in open water. Categories. It’s called thalassophobia, which is a fear of open water. Open-water swimming is not always easy for those used to swimming with their eyes fixed on the blue line along the bottom of the pool. Open water swimming can be daunting, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll have a skill you can take to any body of water — and the knowledge that a few choppy waves can’t stop you! The swimming blog Swimming Open-water swimming: how do you handle the Fear? Let it have 2 to 3 minutes of uninterrupted ranting. If we let our fears and concerns linger long enough, we can become paralyzed by them, unable to make a decision. This could be a very small amount of water, like what’s found in the bathroom sink, or … And I think the realisation of that helps disarm its potency; it loses some of its sway over you. Update April 2008: When you are finished reading the article below about my first attempt at open water swimming, check out this related entry about that feeling of panic in open water! Like many swim coaches, I’m often asked questions that aren’t always related to swimming technique or stroke development. Recognize that feeling overwhelmed by fear and anxiety about the swim simply means that your brain has been hijacked by the part of your brain trying to keep you alive (Brain #1). Eosophobia is fear of dawn or daylight. This will really help if you’ve sensitive feet! From my observation, unless you want to race out the first 300m at full speed to find your space (that's just terrible advice), the initial theory is to relax and start when you are comfortable. And of course, with pools closed, practise is also a no. Took a wee solo swim out from Wardie Bay beach thi, A gorgeous swim out to the white buoy this morning, A very happy new year to you all from me and my wi, For my 500th Instagram post I figured I should do, Taken the other day while swimming with my better, If you slip on the ice on your way to a swim, does, A very warm thank you to all you bold swimmers who, Was a bit of a wild one this morning! I do one day hope to add my own online resources in relation to swimming front crawl in open water. Thereâs thrashing, thereâs kicking. ), I’ll be trying to push the distance a wee bit, though staying within comfort zones. Not being able to see the bottom in the sea, lake or river can throw even the most experienced swimmer. … I had a fear of seaweed (and still do to an extent). Not being able to see the bottom in the sea, lake or river can throw even the most experienced swimmer. Iâm amazed at the number of triathletes for whom the swim is their weakest discipline, or who are terrified of ocean starts, but never actually practice or simulate race conditions. (While a good coach will make all the difference, not all open water swim coaches are swim teachers so may not have the experience in breaking down and analysing your stroke.) I am in the process of conquering this fear myself. It means making a risk assessment before you get in, and making dynamic risk assessments throughout. The slowest athletes get the biggest cheer!â. I have managed to keep going in skins this winter (but lack bioprene!) Weeks went by swimming four times a week in open water, twice a week in a group and twice a week with my teacher and I was really seeing an improvement in my technique. I’d like to overcome irrational fear and retain my survival mode while open water swimming! So, even though the triathlon and open-water swimming season will not be starting for some time yet, we would like to give you a few good tips about how to prepare for your first races. Edinburgh Leisure, for example, runs skills and drills sessions, as well as masters. Besides, isn’t that one of the reasons we love outdoor swimming so much?! The number one deterrent to competing in a triathlon is open water swimming. 3rd May 2017. Move about, get your face in and head under, turn around so your back and shoulders get cold, too. As for your ability and water skills. Open water swim anxiety is characterized as the fear of swimming in lakes, oceans, and other open bodies of water. I don’t think fear when you’re swimming in a lake, loch, sea or river is irrational at all! Remember, itâs not the âreal youâ talking, itâs your Chimp using tricks to get you to quit. Below is a query I received recently that covers a few subjects, specifically cold water resistance and confidence, but also touches upon diet, fear, fatigue and risk. It can be caused by the fear of the unknown, of what might be lurking below the water surface in deep, cloudy or muddy waters. Fear and confidence while open water swimming … This is a big subject! This is a big subject! On the other hand, other swimmers can’t cope with jellyfish, which don’t really bother me (though maybe I haven’t been stung badly enough yet!). It is a common emotion experienced by many swimmers - particularly in the ever-changing environment of open water. The gun goes off and you sprint into the water. Nothing in this world is going to help you overcome your fears faster…not a $1000 wetsuit, not a skin suit, not … One of the biggest misjudgments that people make is mistaking a failed plan for a failed person. I drove my daughters to the beach for a … Recent research in neuroscience has told us a lot about why some people become extremely nervous and worried before the swim. Building Confidence and Skills Start small, in shallow water. Brain #1 is irrational, paranoid, very emotional, and thinks catastrophically. When the goal is under your control, you always get to define success and failure. Cryophobia (or Frigophobia or Cheimatophobia) is a fear of cold, cold weather or cold things. Without seeing you swim, it’s impossible to give a stroke analysis. Iâm going to get pushed under by those big waves. While the idea of swimming in the ocean can be intimidating and sometimes, borderline impossible for some swimmers, this specific fear of water can be overcome. The most common colour in the sea. Why not invest in a swim ergometer and bang out intervals in your garage? With the water starting to warm up (almost double figures! Iâm not a real athlete. 1. Youâre left with too few experiences to draw on in which things went ok (you lived) or even felt great. I was eating less water, swimming in rougher seas, entering the water headfirst and even managing to increase my speed. Stop avoiding things that scare you and instead confront them head on. For some, the ‘pool drain’ phobia extends to the swimming pool lights and filters too. And then the day came. This is in part due to the fact that I can’t see more than one meter below the water surface. By letting it say all the things that it hopes will persuade you to pack your bags and go home, it will start to calm down. Sighting is key for keeping on course and staving off disorientation. To regain composure and enjoy yourself, you need to take back control. Plans fail. The first few seconds can be bracing but exciting, and you will quickly settle. Although it’s the shortest part of a triathlon, the swim often causes the most stress and anxiety. Causes. The best goal is based on the effort you plan to give, not the time it takes you, where you finish, or how others see you. Seeing water can trigger intense fear and anxiety in a person with aquaphobia. (Using only logic). Can you help? Unlike your Chimp Brain, your frontal cortex deals only in facts and logic. Just watch an Ironman finish at the cutoff? Whether you’re hitting your local lake or trying the open waters on vacation, learn more about the body of water by talking with locals or using apps to track conditions in the area before heading out. Sea-swimmers all know the creeping dread that something awful – from sharks to evil seals to water … If you donât live near an open water location or your schedule prevents you from getting to the pool enough, get creative. I hated swimming over it. Actions fail. and love the feeling it gives me, but it also scares me! Picture yourself as an outsider, as though youâre watching someone else look nervously at the water. Everyone is looking at my fat legs.â And on it goes. The word comes from the Greek word “Thalassa,” which means sea or ocean. Fear. In fact, I’d say it was normal. Cold showers are a very effective strategy (I much prefer them to cold baths though they’ll be good too). When I started to do triathlon, one of the biggest obstacles I need to conquer is to swim in the open water. Getting out immediately means I can train my body to a faster recovery (which it has). The other reason for the fear of open water swimming is the crowds. Stop avoiding things that scare you and instead confront them head on. An actual event combined with intense emotional experience gets quickly embedded into your nervous system making any thoughts of swimming an anxious moment. Fear of water can have lots of different causes: It often exists as an instinctive fear related to the fear of drowning. (One of the aspects of open water swimming I most love is being alone, away from people and even from land). Here, Rodrigues outlines a plan to nix that open water swimming fear for good. After all, everyone likes feeling listened to. Itâs the only part actually capable of thinking (as opposed to just reacting). Build up over a few weeks from 30 seconds to two minutes and longer. A bit … Fear of open water swimming is common in both newbies and season veterans. If you have any issues with not seeing the bottom of the water you are swimming in, or retaining feeling in your extremities, this may not be for you. There is no doubt that the open water swim of a triathlon is what many triathletes find the most intimidating portion of the race. Evolution has given it incredible powers, like the ability to receive and process information much quicker than the rest of your brain, and the ability to throw a chemical brick at your rational brain to stop it taking âover thinkingâ when your life really is in danger. And to swim the Channel, you have to train in open water, preferably the sea, a LOT. 1.Your goggles get knocked off It's a nightmare situation in an open water swim, especially if you are a contact lens wearer or have sensitive eyes. Sometimes, itâs good to be impulsive. Go on I dare you, make a quick decision about something scary in the future, whether itâs entering a certain race known for big surf or signing up for masterâs swim. But if you only do it … Fear caused by lack of visibility/not being able to see the bottom. It also tells us how to do something about it. The parts of your brain that are best described as the âreal youâ are located in your frontal cortex (Brains #2-6). Just at that moment, someone grabs your ankle. Itâs a clichÃ©, but the magic really does happen out of your comfort zone. In addition, get a group of tri club members to meet you at a local OWS location and practice race-simulation entries and exits â complete with body contact, drafting, and mishaps. For example, swim trainers and ergometers are incredibly useful tools to work on technique and race simulation sans the anxiety and/or boredom. Hello, I’d like to increase my confidence and water skills. Notice how the wind, current and bottom surface affect how you’re swimming. So if I had a wee wobble, I might say to myself, “I’m only feeling nervous because I’m becoming tired and cold, and I’m only tired because I’ve been swimming for an hour and the water’s cold, so that’s all quite normal. Open Water swimming is a common fear, even among some of the toughest triathlon athletes. Once pools reopen, see if your local pool runs sessions on stroke development. Itâs one of the oldest parts of your brain and is the source of the fight-or-flight response and the fountain of all instincts, drives, and pleasure. People are not failures. Specifically, I’m talking about open water swimming. Warm-Up Right Fatigue makes the fear worse, hence my earlier tips about improving your resistance. Gerry Rodrigues, founder of the Tower26 swim group in Los Angeles and an open-water swim coach who has worked with top pros like Lionel Sanders and Holly Lawrence, says swim confidence all starts with practicing specific protocols in the pool. Open water swimming can be dangerous, no doubt, if you don’t know what you’re doing. Most people don’t/can’t/won’t, so please do hold on to that. Most open water swimmers experience fear at some point, but when the water is cold, fatigue can creep in making your swim even more of a mental challenge. I’m enjoying using an app called Down Dog that lets you work on specific areas, such as flexibility, core strength or shoulders, while there are many YouTube videos on Yoga for Swimming. Aquaphobia (from Latin aqua 'water', and Ancient Greek φόβος (phóbos) 'fear') is an irrational fear of water. Recognize that feeling overwhelmed by fear and anxiety about the swim … How to overcome fear of open water swimming. Be prepared and find a way. Without access to pools or coaches, there are plenty of online resources. Fear of open water is not always rational or easy to understand. Thirty-seven percent of Americans are unable to … Once you can comfortably stay in for a few minutes maintain until you feel the shivers starting. With some of the wind taken out of your Chimpâs sails, you are ready to regain control of your brain using facts and logic. You might be able to find a local open water coach, which I would always recommend, though you should be clear that it’s stroke development and water confidence you’re looking for. Another thing I would recommend is agreeing with yourself how long/far you are going to do BEFORE you get in. A shark is going to eat me. Go to a local river or lake that is not deep so you can feel the ground. Or go to the beach and swim in the sea. Now keep going!”. Facing up to fatigue and fear of swimming in open water. Look at these statistics: Two-thirds of Americans are afraid of deep, open bodies of water and 46% are afraid of the deep end of a pool. Having the confidence, bravery and commitment to be able to get into the cold water when the climate is at its most miserable is a brilliant thing to be able to do. Eleutherophobia is a fear of freedom. Ease your way into stressful situations by simulating the problem first. And once this Covid crisis is over, hope to again! Could it be down to childhood experiences – memories of old films such as Piranha, Jaws and Open Water? The bonus here is that open water swimming is an excellent full body workout that will help you boost your While you’re not going to be dragged under by a water kelpie or tangled up in demonic seaweed, factors such as cold water, inclement weather, poor visibility, other water users, etc, all bring their own hazards. There are a lot of ways to alleviate these fears. In fact, I’d say it was normal. Treat open-water swimming like a technical sport where mistakes could have very real consequences, says Hamel. There are ways to overcome these fears and feel more empowered and confident in open water. That it’s a (relatively) safe yet scary sport! Also … Focus on the good things. Neuroscience holds the clues to why open water swimming scares many of us. Of course, swimming with an experienced and qualified open water swim coach is one of the best ways to address many of these issues, while also minimising the real risk! You have six brains in a fight. It presents with the same symptoms of general anxiety, and can be extremely dangerous to experience while swimming because panic can be crippling. A specific phobia is an intense fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. It takes constant work and endless patience. Then someone grabs your shoulder. After your normal wash (perhaps with temperature slightly lower than usual), turn your shower thermostat to cold and enjoy! 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