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Fear Not The Swim

  • By Chris Carmichael
  • Published Jan 21, 2013
Photo: John Segesta


Not a fan of the swim leg of triathlon? Join the club. These five easy tips and confidence-building drills may help change your mind about triathlon’s most daunting discipline. 

The open expanse of water that greets triathletes at the beginning of a race can be formidable. For runners, cyclists and casual exercisers who are interested in triathlon, the intimidation factor of the swim is often strong enough to discourage entry into the sport. But the swim doesn’t have to be so scary. Overcome your apprehension with these five tips and some confidence-boosting drills.

Embrace your novice-ness

I have to admit, I hate being a novice at anything. It’s not that I don’t like trying new activities; I just don’t enjoy that initial “floundering” stage of the learning curve. I’ve observed a similar sentiment from many of the career professionals with whom my coaches and I work: They don’t like to suck.

To be a proficient swimmer and—more importantly—to be comfortable and confident in the open water, embrace the fact you’re a novice and start working with a skills coach and join a Masters program. Initially, confidence is the goal. Once you know you can stay on top of the water for the entire distance of the swim, you’ve removed or minimized the biggest underlying fear of the swim: that you will drown.

RELATED: Avoid Swimming Anxiety In Your Next Race

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FILED UNDER: Getting Started / Swim / Training TAGS:

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