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mpinsky
September 6th, 2013, 12:00 PM
I will be doing my first open water swim in the James River (Richmond, VA) September 22. It is a half-Iron relay and I am terrified. My pool swims are very strong and I'm the fastest out of my group, and my 1,000 yard time trial came out to be about 16 minutes at an easy pace. Half-Iron is about 2,000 yards. My practice swims in the pool range about 2,500-3,600.

If I take it easy, go slow, don't panic in the water, and conquer the mental barrier of the distance, do you think it will be doable? I think so, but my own doubt is killing me. How do you beat these mental blocks?

Thanks! :)

flystorms
September 6th, 2013, 12:36 PM
When you get to the venue, if you're allowed, you should get in teh water and get a feel for hte visibility and any landmarks that you can use for sighting/keeping yourself straight. Start out in the back or on the sides and let the crazy fast people go. Give yourself a couple of seconds. You'll loose a bit of time, but you won't get run over as quickly. Also, if you get spooked, roll over on your back for a few strokes or do some breast stroke (wiht a dolphin kick if you're surrounded by a bunch of other people so you don't kick 'em) until your fear subsides, then keep going. Just remember - relentless forward motion. No matter what you to, just keep moving forward to your goal. You'll do great!! Good luck!

rxleakem
September 7th, 2013, 01:59 PM
One of the best things to do leading up to the swim is to get some experience swimming in an OW venue (lake, ocean, etc) before the race. Based on your practice distances, the swim should be fine. Be comfortable in this different environment before going in, and try to check out the venue as well. In addition to what flystorms recommended, you can purposefully over-rotate while breathing, where you actually look straight up to the sky, as a means to help stayed relaxed during the swim.

Depending on the start, try to stay out of the fray unless you like contact, and expected to have someone cut in front of you or run over your legs - it's part of the fun of OW! Report back on your experience! :cheerleader:

mpinsky
September 11th, 2013, 09:51 PM
My PT actually forbade me from participating and I had to withdraw. He's afraid my rotator cuff isn't going to handle it very well without further strengthening. :(

But! I have my first practice on the 20th, and I will definitely report back on my experience! Who knows? I may wind up enjoying it more than in the pool and it becomes my main sport! :P

We did a practice in the pool today with a 100 yds on :10 rest stamina test, and I managed to get to 3100 with an average pace of 1:31/100 yds, so I think I'm ready when I'm fully healed! :)