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  #1  
Old 04-14-2014
mjensen2k mjensen2k is offline
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mjensen2k
Default Thoughts on breaking the 25yd mental hurdle?

I'm a newbie swimmer, but am making great strides. I've been up to 1600yds in the pool, 25yds at a time. Even in a 200yd set, I popup at each end, turn and go again.

Something in me is now programmed for 25yds.

I did my first OWS this last weekend with my wet suit and I'm very pleased to say I accomplished my number one goal. Face the fear, the uncertainty, the anxiety, etc.

Positives: I enjoyed the balance and easy of motion in the wetsuit. I felt I moved well in the water when I was swimming. My breathing was comfortable and confident, rotation is coming along, but at least I can feel when I do it better than other times.

Negatives... My brain just vapor locks and I stop. Not because I'm exhausted. Not even because my breathing is all labored. My mind just STOPS and I stop swimming. I get mental. I stop, look up to where I am. Lose all momentum. Fight internally with myself for stopping. Gather myself and go again. Feeling good about things and then STOP.

It feels as though it's only like 25yds or maybe even 50m (being the longest pool I've been in). The point is that I just simply STOP.

It's clearly mental. I'm not sure if it's a sighting thing, like I feel like I'm lost. If I'm simply looking for a wall to grab or what.

Any suggestions on breaking through the mental 'wall'? Thinking of it as a 100m pool? 200m pool? :-) How to go until I really need a physical rest?

My pace is nice and easy, not hurried. I'm not sprinting by any means.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 04-15-2014
SitkaSwift SitkaSwift is offline
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Two suggestions:
Swim with a friend. Lots of peer pressure to keep swimming as long as your friend does.
When by yourself, count strokes. Increase the count between when you stop.
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  #3  
Old 04-15-2014
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello mjensen2k,

just a suggestion from the other side, fww:

Quote:
Negatives... My brain just vapor locks and I stop. Not because I'm exhausted. Not even because my breathing is all labored. My mind just STOPS and I stop swimming. I get mental. I stop, look up to where I am. Lose all momentum. Fight internally with myself for stopping. Gather myself and go again. Feeling good about things and then STOP.
How about a view at this not negative? It's a satisfying thing to swim effortless 25s, isn't it. Look forward to your next 25s, which will turn out as good or even better than the 25s before. Then go on. How many deep breaths do you need for processing this enjoyment? Five? Are you able to compress this enjoyment into four breaths?....

Go on and enjoy what your body offers you about 25s, 50s...

Best regards,
Werner
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  #4  
Old 04-15-2014
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Hi mjensen2k,

Adding to SitkaSwift and Werner's very good advice of remaining metally engaged and positive in your swim - practice and incorportate a good crisp turn at the wall. This allows you to carry the mementum into the next length, sets you up for starting a good first stroke off the wall, and provides a short physical and mental reset. Here's a good video from Terry on turns: Turn the Total Immersion Way

Happy Swimming and Turning!

Stuart
MindBodyAndSWIM
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Old 04-16-2014
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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If you've gotten in the habit of pausing after each 25y length of the pool, it can be a bit intimidating to try to cut out the pauses. I don't know of any solution other than just to do it. If you've done a non-stop length of a 50m pool, then you know that you are physically capable of doing 2 continuous lengths of a 25y pool. So just force yourself to go past the mental barrier and do it.

The good news is that once you've done 2 lengths with no pause, it becomes easier to add additional lengths. When you go from 1 length to 2 lengths, you're increasing your non-stop distance by 100%, but when you go from 2 to 3, you're only increasing it by 50%, and when you go from 3 to 4, you're only increasing it by 33%, and so on. So it gets easier and easier to keep adding more distance.


Bob
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  #6  
Old 04-16-2014
Penguin Penguin is offline
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Try to learn turns. I am sure you will find them a fun way to get away from the wall.

The learning curve on a flip turn can be pretty steep, and you will likely find yourself with a snootfull of water and/or out of breath.

An open turn, on the other hand, gives you an extra breath, a quick reverse and a good underwater pushoff that can take you out two or three body lengths.

Look at some you tubes. Get someone to teach you. Order the "Turn the TI Way" CD.
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  #7  
Old 04-27-2014
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjensen2k View Post

Negatives... My brain just vapor locks and I stop. Not because I'm exhausted. Not even because my breathing is all labored. My mind just STOPS and I stop swimming. I get mental. I stop, look up to where I am. Lose all momentum. Fight internally with myself for stopping. Gather myself and go again. Feeling good about things and then STOP.

It feels as though it's only like 25yds or maybe even 50m (being the longest pool I've been in). The point is that I just simply STOP.

It's clearly mental. I'm not sure if it's a sighting thing, like I feel like I'm lost. If I'm simply looking for a wall to grab or what.
I'd call this beginner's vertigo. It's a vertigo, in that it's not rational. Not that you feel dizzy or anything, but you just feel like stopping and take a moment. You should quickly overcome this, don't worry. 1) slowing down and 2) focusing on breathing (especially breathing out) seem like 2 natural things to do to fight this vertigo. Every time you start a new lap, start it much slower than you finished the previous one.
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Old 05-10-2014
sojomojo sojomojo is offline
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Thumbs up Start a new lap much slower than you finished the previous one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
I'd call this beginner's vertigo. It's a vertigo, in that it's not rational. Not that you feel dizzy or anything, but you just feel like stopping and take a moment. You should quickly overcome this, don't worry. 1) slowing down and 2) focusing on breathing (especially breathing out) seem like 2 natural things to do to fight this vertigo. Every time you start a new lap, start it much slower than you finished the previous one.
Charles Couturier -

If the pool was 50 yards or 100 yards long, I could swim those lengths without any problems; but turning at 25 yards interrupted my rhythm and pace. After reading your response last week, I took your advice to heart when I finally realized that I was pushing off the wall hard (open turn); and my strokes / kicks off the wall were high before I settled down to my normally rhythm and pace.

When I felt as if I had to stop at the wall, I turned and did a Superman glide with a light flutter kick. This forced me to slow down off the wall, relax, regain my balance, and exhale out underwater before proceeding with my whole strokes. At the pool today, I was able to consistently overcome the 25-yard barrier.

Thanks for the advice!!!!
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  #9  
Old 07-18-2014
mjensen2k mjensen2k is offline
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mjensen2k
Default Holy cow - I abandoned my own thread!!

I came back to the TI Forums to give a Thank You and while searching for my user name, I realized that I never came back to this thread. DOH.

As a jump-up-and-down, yes I did it and so can you, post:

Since writing this post in what April?? I've competed in successively longer OWS competitions. Both stand alone swims as well as part of triathlons. They went from 750m to 1500M to half Ironman to a FULL Ironman on June 29th.

I offer this from a progression:

First 750m OWS: I distinctly remember feeling comfortable at the start, swimming about 200m before popping up. I was proud of that. I made the first two turns ok, then lost my sighting and was all over the course. Goggles off, cap, what have you. I started to chat with the safety personnel and slowly inched my way around the course.

Subsequent 750 and 1500m swims got better. Not quick, but slow and steady. No panic moments, no 'must stop now' mental breaks. I was comfortable with my stroke and simply kept doing it. I learned my sighting and kept better lines through the water.

My first Olympic distance was slowish, but I happily finished comfortably and went on to an easy bike and run.

My half ironman was right on with the exact same pace as my Olympic and I came out of the water without having 'broken stride' once. 55 minutes of easy freestyle without stopping once. Not fast, but easy and efficient.

My full Ironman just a few weeks ago was absolutely (dare I say) easy. I didn't have a single stop for the first 1800m when a swimmer cut across my path. I stopped a second time at 2800m when I needed to find the entrance to a canal. The last 1000m was relaxed and easy.

I'm absolutely thrilled! 1:52 is not a fast IM swim, I understand that, but considering I was stuck at 25m in April? I'm absolutely THRILLED!

Yes, if I can do it. You can do it!

Thank you everyone!
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