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Thread: Swimming anxiety

  1. #21
    Green Mountain Boy rxleakem's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming anxiety

    Quote Originally Posted by swimshark View Post
    Progress!! I swam the 1000 today in our Zones meet. I stayed relaxed as much as I could before my event. I have to say my time was way, way off, way off. But I didn't panic, I didn't have anxiety before the race. So now I feel better about that and I'll work on getting my speed back. Tomorrow and Sunday are longer days but they should be more fun as well.
    "The times, they are a changing "
    Rock on, SS!
    ..<))><

  2. #22
    Very Active Member swimshark's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming anxiety

    Thank you to you both. Now to get my speed "shark" back on

  3. #23
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    Re: Swimming anxiety

    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!

  4. #24
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming anxiety

    Quote Originally Posted by lv2swim View Post
    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!
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  5. #25
    Very Active Member swimshark's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming anxiety

    Quote Originally Posted by lv2swim View Post
    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'm so glad this post inspired you!! That alone makes the anxiety all worth it. I can't wait to see you get back in the water and compete again. My swims this weekend weren't great by any stretch but they were anxiety-free and that was an accomplishment. In fact, I can say that this was the most fun I've had at a meet in a long time because I made it about fun and not my times. I hear Cy is trying for a LC meet this Aug. I hope it happens and we can swim together. I will be at the pool tomorrow so I'll see you bright and early (but sore and slow ater this weekend!)

    Elaine, way to go girl!! Keep it up.

  6. #26
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    Re: Swimming anxiety

    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.

  7. #27
    Very Active Member swimshark's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming anxiety

    Quote Originally Posted by lv2swim View Post
    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.
    400 IM!! Do it

  8. #28
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming anxiety

    Quote Originally Posted by lv2swim View Post
    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!
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  9. #29
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    Re: Swimming anxiety

    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.
    Regards, Debra

  10. #30
    Very Active Member swimshark's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming anxiety

    Quote Originally Posted by greenjeans11 View Post
    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.
    Regards, Debra
    Thanks Debra. I did, before some races this last meet, do some deep breathing which seemed to help. And I can picture the breathing you are talking about as well. I do swim on a team but it's an age group team so my coach is not at masters meets. There are times when I really wish he were there to help me. He seems to calm me a lot and help me get ready (he has made it to 1 of my meets in 4 years). He and I talked about finding the middle ground of not being too anxious and not being too calm, like I was before the 1000. It's a work in progress with a positive end in sight

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    Re: Swimming anxiety

    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.

  12. #32
    Very Active Member swimshark's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming anxiety

    Quote Originally Posted by Why Not View Post
    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.
    Excellent point. I have recently learned to be okay with not hitting a personal best every time I dive in. Upon that realization, I had a lot more fun at the last meet.

  13. #33
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    Re: Swimming anxiety

    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.

  14. #34
    Very Active Member swimshark's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming anxiety

    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.

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    Re: Swimming anxiety

    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.

  16. #36
    Very Active Member moodyrichardson's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming anxiety

    I get anxious, before every meet. Come and see me at Nationals this weekend. It will be anxiety on parade!! I have to laugh. It keeps me sane!

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