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PhilleusPhogg




Joined: 11 May 2015
Posts: 233

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear it wasn't a great first race. But echoing others, this happens, and I'm sure if you keep persisting with it, you'll gradually get better!

As a MOP swimming, I also hate biff, and I tend to start wide on the 'inside'. I.e. if it's a straight line swim and you need to be left of the first turn bouy, I found that swimming on a line say 10m to the right for the first leg gives you loads of space.

Just cut back in left quite close to the buoy and you just have to suffer 30s of contact as you go around the buoy then, you repeat the same tactic on the next buoy.

I used to start wide on the 'outside' and found then that you always have a way more trouble cutting across from the outside to get around the first buoy (unless you swim a really wide line!). I tend to find that if I can get into a nice rhythm in the first 200-300, the rest of the swim is OK.
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blindcider




Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 213

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My worst OW swim experience was in the London Tri in 2014 in the docks by the excel centre. My third Open Water swim race

About halfway through the swim I get an absolute excruciating cramp in both of my calf's. It was so painful that I couldn't straighten my legs after making the instinctive mistake of bending them as the cramps struck.

I thrashed around until the rescue boat got to me and between the dinghy and a canoe they managed to get a stretch on my muscles to relieve the pressure. I chose to continue from this point but it was painful to kick with causing spasms and also painful to not kick due to the water over my feet also causing pain.

I managed to finally get into some sort of progress by holding my legs in a half way through the breast stroke frog kick position. Bloody canoeist staying just away kept asking me if I wanted to quit "Of course I want to quit, I'm in agony, I'm only halfway through this flipping swim and I have 40k on the bike followed by 10k of running! on the other hand I've spent 500 on entry, travel and hotels so there is no way in hell I am quitting and putting up with the Mrs telling me off."

To make matters worse as I pass the next turn buoy the next wave arrives and I get swam over by several hundred people moving much quicker than me despite my best floundering attempt to get out of the way.

I somehow managed to finish the race, surprisingly the running wasn't too bad until the last 2ks, the bike was proper agony and I couldn't get down on the aerobars without causing the spasms to return.

I did get a post race massage where three of the poor trainees spent ages trying to massage out some of the knots with this giant bloke writhing around on the bed.

To top it all off, I then had to drive from East London to Bristol because my wife had tripped over and mashed her ankle ligaments up.

I still think forcing people to wear wetsuits in the hot temps of that day was very unwise and I believe that is what caused my cramps as those are the only conditions I have ever replicated anything similar since.
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SwimsLikeAWalrus




Joined: 30 Apr 2007
Posts: 1475

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I d heard all of the stay at the side, stay at the back crap. And all that gets you is a kick in the face/ chest from a breast stroker or the crap MAMIL front crawlers. Being in the right place is almost easier as you go along with people at the same pace as you, but this is easier said than done. Worst time was stood on the front row at Bassenthwaite in Wave 2 having a wee, the horn went, and I got the mother of kicks in the chest. I was winded and got hit by just about everyone.
I really hate breast strokers. Best swim I've ever had was at Helvellyn, the year TC forgot his helmet.
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SGreg




Joined: 30 Jun 2010
Posts: 844
Location: High Peak

PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SwimsLikeAWalrus wrote:
I d heard all of the stay at the side, stay at the back crap. And all that gets you is a kick in the face/ chest from a breast stroker or the crap MAMIL front crawlers.



You will note I said NEAR the side. not at the side.

As you said being off to the side puts you out with other non swimmers and out the flow, its often better to be more in the fray getting dragged along. BUT while panic attacks are a possibility it really pays to have an escape route.

When the panic starts rising the thought of being surrounded by a million flailing arms and angry kicking feet accelerates the panic making things a lot worse. Knowing a few strokes to the side and you are out of the melee can help getting your thoughts back under control and worst case give you some space to head into to relax.

The thought of being trapped in the mass can be enough to trigger panic in me.
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PhilleusPhogg




Joined: 11 May 2015
Posts: 233

PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SwimsLikeAWalrus wrote:
I d heard all of the stay at the side, stay at the back crap. And all that gets you is a kick in the face/ chest from a breast stroker or the crap MAMIL front crawlers.


Disagree. It depends on the course, race and how fast you're going.

As I said above, I always start on the inside (i.e. the edge of the bunch) near to the front, and immediately head a bit more 'inside' into clear water. I'm usually out in top 1/2 or 1/3 in smaller races but still prone to the odd panic attack so certainly way ahead of any breastrokers and generally enjoy minimal contact. If the worst does happen, I can stop, slow down, breast stroke a little without getting swum over until I settle into the race. Might not work for everyone but I've used it at 4 different courses (over multiple races) to good effect.
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Adamfrommk




Joined: 11 Aug 2009
Posts: 161
Location: Milton Keynes

PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This might be useful:
http://www.greenlightpt.co.uk/blog/dealing-with-open-water-panics-during-racing

Smile
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SwimsLikeAWalrus




Joined: 30 Apr 2007
Posts: 1475

PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGreg wrote:
SwimsLikeAWalrus wrote:
I d heard all of the stay at the side, stay at the back crap. And all that gets you is a kick in the face/ chest from a breast stroker or the crap MAMIL front crawlers.



You will note I said NEAR the side. not at the side.

As you said being off to the side puts you out with other non swimmers and out the flow, its often better to be more in the fray getting dragged along. BUT while panic attacks are a possibility it really pays to have an escape route.

When the panic starts rising the thought of being surrounded by a million flailing arms and angry kicking feet accelerates the panic making things a lot worse. Knowing a few strokes to the side and you are out of the melee can help getting your thoughts back under control and worst case give you some space to head into to relax.

The thought of being trapped in the mass can be enough to trigger panic in me.


Yes all very true Smile
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SwimsLikeAWalrus




Joined: 30 Apr 2007
Posts: 1475

PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PhilleusPhogg wrote:
SwimsLikeAWalrus wrote:
I d heard all of the stay at the side, stay at the back crap. And all that gets you is a kick in the face/ chest from a breast stroker or the crap MAMIL front crawlers.


Disagree. It depends on the course, race and how fast you're going.

As I said above, I always start on the inside (i.e. the edge of the bunch) near to the front, and immediately head a bit more 'inside' into clear water. I'm usually out in top 1/2 or 1/3 in smaller races but still prone to the odd panic attack so certainly way ahead of any breastrokers and generally enjoy minimal contact. If the worst does happen, I can stop, slow down, breast stroke a little without getting swum over until I settle into the race. Might not work for everyone but I've used it at 4 different courses (over multiple races) to good effect.


We all do what works for us!
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SwimsLikeAWalrus




Joined: 30 Apr 2007
Posts: 1475

PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do a lot of people get panic then?

I'm not saying I like the biff at all, I don't, and I do take steps to extricate myself from it but once we're off, we're off. I tend to focus on finding clear water and that is the only thing on my mind.

I do prefer a rough swim too. I think it separates people out more quickly Smile . I think I prefer the sea too.
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Homer




Joined: 17 Oct 2012
Posts: 235
Location: Surrey

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done a few OW triathlons of various distances, but last year I did my first full distance - Outlaw. Always had some swim biff and I remember last year at Cotswolds 113, swimming along in a huge lake, not crowded but one guy insisted on swimming as close to me as possible and at one stage I thought he might have broken my toe he hit me that hard. After telling him to 's0d off politely', he soon got the message. Outlaw swim was an entirely different level and I'm already very anxious about it again this year. Last year I tried to stay to the side, but everyone was trying to find clear water, and I only found some clear water in the last third. Over 1000 people all starting at the same time, I knew it would be tough, and unfortunately I don't think you can practice for it. At the start I had worked myself up into a bit of a panic and almost thought about getting out after 5 minutes. I had a stiff talk to myself, told myself to MTFU, calm down and see how I felt in another 10 minutes. Afterall it was going to be a long day ahead, it would be crazy to get out after 5 minutes ffs.
Very nervous about it this year, but I've done it once so I know I can do it again. Will just have to suck it up. Generally if there are waves I cope much, much better but not sure if I'll ever be 'comfortable' when the gun goes off. I ususally start to settle after about 15 minutes once the scrum has dispersed a bit.
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Tin Pot




Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 2219
Location: Bromley

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SwimsLikeAWalrus wrote:

I really hate breast strokers.


I was out in the 34min wave on sunday and kept bumping into breast strokers, who when switched to front crawl when I tried to pass them. Is this the swim equivalent of run/walk strategy over 1900m?

Annoying ~#*$.
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stenard




Joined: 04 Sep 2013
Posts: 1280

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SwimsLikeAWalrus wrote:

I really hate breast strokers.

I agree. It's the thing that "scares" me most. I'm now towards the front-middle of most swims, but you still get the odd person who, when getting held up, will suddenly switch to a couple of strokes of breaststroke. It's bloody dangerous.

Yes, I accept people might prefer to swim that way and that's fine if they are doing it persistently as you can keep wide of them, but if you're coming by someone's hip and they suddenly switch, if they catch you in the wrong place with the kick it could legitimately be fatal. I don't understand why people can't just do slow front crawl if needed for a few strokes, especially if they're front-middle, to allow themselves some space if needed?
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Gus




Joined: 07 Sep 2007
Posts: 2258
Location: Freezing my nads off in Aberdoom

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to be a "2/3 to 3/4 of the way down the field" swimmer. I've always started far off to one side and usually wait for the main field to go (this is HIM and IM distance). A few seconds doesn't make that much difference overall to my position and does ensure a much more comfortable swim. Yes I tend to catch up and overtake a few people but this works out better as the number is far fewer than would otherwise swim over the top of me if I started in a more aggressive position. I'd always recommend to lower-field people to do this, it really starts your day off well.

Last time on the Norseman I ended up swimming with someone, side-by-side for well over an hour, matching our strokes absolutely exactly. It was a bit surreal spending that much time staring at each other's goggled face every other breath, and it maybe would've been more sensible to have shared drafting over such a distance... but somehow it was a really great experience, a shared period of time giving each other mutual psychological support - we only stopped once, together, to navigate and exchange a few words. We split up near the finish and I never saw him again. Not quite sure why that's relevant to anything but it's just always been one of my favourite memories I've had of triathlon.
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