Thank you to you both. Now to get my speed "shark" back on
Thank you Swimshark for starting this thread! It is anxiety that kept me away from Zones. And I'm bummed because I'd really rather be there watching everyone swim and swimming too! When I was younger I can remember only one time being anxious the rest of the time it was all for the love of swimming that I raced. I swam in Lexington last month and was so anxious before and bummed after that I couldn't bring myself to sign up for zones though I really wanted to go. So after reading though this thread yet again and hearing how good you feel I am going to try to enter as many local meets as I can this summer to get over this craziness.
BTW I swim with Cy T/Th in the lanes next to you that is if you swim early and on my own MWF. Oh my son Thom use to swim with you.
Have a great swim today!
I can tell you from my experience that your strategy for meets works! Repetition cures anxiety for me. It worked with public speaking and it worked when I was a USMS newbie. To take it a step further, I spent all of 2012 swimming a variety of new events and pushing the envelope by signing up for the hardest/ longest events all in one meet, as well as relays. Yes, it hurt my breaststroke times not swimming just the three breaststroke events at each meet, but it built confidence knowing I could tackle 200m fly, 400m IM, and, last weekend, the 1650. I also tackled swimming long distance fly to prove to myself I could race 200m fly, even if it isn't fast. Every time I get up on the blocks for 200 fly, I tell myself, "If you can swim 2,000 yards fly, you can swim 200 fly. Just relax and swim with your best technique..."
Now, I rarely have the kind of anxiety I used to have at meets. And, I have a lot of fun!
Good luck this summer!
Elaine, way to go girl!! Keep it up.
Thank you for your insight Elaine! I have read many of your posts over the last year or so and am encouraged by your many accomplishments. I am thinking of the 200 fly and 400 IM but definately not 2,000 yds of fly...that's just crazy. Now I just need to find meets for the summer.
Thanks 'swim! You made my day!! Funny you should mention that swimming 2,000 yds of fly is "just crazy", because I am wearing my Butternuts shirt right now. Anyway, I am glad my posts have encouraged you! I agree with swimshark, go for the 400 IM. And, go for 200 fly, too!
Congratulations! I'm glad you're learning to relax. I can't remember if gou're on a team. if you are, practicing races, even short ones, might give you some more positive experiences before your next meet. I also try listening to calming music, if you have an iPod. I get really anxious before long races, though I like doing them the best.
I happen to be a shrink in my other life. The breathing advice you got was good advice. Anxious folks tend to hold their breaths which increases anxiety. The exhale matters the most. One good way to exhale is to stand and lower your torso and head, exhale fully, then slowly lift up, head last. I hope that made sense. The other thing is to just move around, walk, stretch a little. Sitting still can increase anxiety for folks like you and me.
Did not read the whole thread but what also could work for you is (perhaps temporariliy) lower your goals. The symptoms you describe in your openingpst often come from a to high standard in goals which you can not meet.
Also be sure your timegoals are aligned with your taskgoals in training.
I suffer from anxiety disorder, so meets are always hard for me. BUT I'm always SO Happy when I've completed them! My husband really put it in perspective for me. He asked me, "what's the worst that's going to happen? So, you're times are going to be slower. Big deal. Go out there and have fun!" I have a great team! We always say that we do the meets, so we can go to dinner afterwards. That team attitude has helped me tremendously! Good luck! I truly know how hard it is.
Moody, I love that attitude. I finally caught on to that this last meet and didn't get as upset after each race. Made it a much more enjoyable time.
After having swam 2 meets in my Masters career I have come to the conclusion I tighten way up during the races (sprints) and it kills me. An example is the week before State last weekend I felt great in the water, fast, smooth and no wasted effort... Now come to the meet I swim my 50 fr... and yes I dropped almost 1.5 secs off but I felt so tight and like I was working against my body. The same happened in the back... dropped 1.7 but still felt tight. By the time I got to the 100 IM I almost drowned on the FR portion as I was so tense and unable to engage my legs/shoulders.
What annoys me is I can understand my first meet in 26-7 years in March having nerves... but not a month and half later... probably just being to hard on myself... but it does suck to get tense and feel everything go to the crapper.