One of the biggest challenges for triathletes is overcoming their fears of open water or lake swimming. It is sometimes their weakest link of the three sports. Add in to the mix the fact that the water is DEEP and so DARK that you cannot even see your hand in front of your face. That is enough to rattle even the buffest of triathletes.
It is for this reason that I keep telling athletes to train in lakes whenever possible. After just one summer of regular lake swimming, I found that my comfort level in the open water had increased tremendously. I never knew just how comfortable I had become until my two lake swims this past week.
Both evenings we arrived for our 6 PM swim greeted by winds gusting up to 25 mph. Looking out over the lake, there were actual white caps on the surface. I expected to feel nervous – but instead I felt a thrill of excitement at the prospect of battling these waves. As we headed out, the waves truly were brutal. Some hit so hard that you thought a small boat had rammed into you. If you timed your stroke poorly, you turned your head to suck in air – only to suck in a mouthful of water as the wave crashed into you. Technique went out the window – it was more like a flailing of arms as you rode up and down each wave. And yet, I never felt frightened. I just felt a sense of strength and power as I did battle with Mother Nature. About halfway out, I began to relax and ride with the waves. It was a glorious sense of accomplishment for me. It was also a pivotal moment for me – for I realized that my moments of panic in the lake swims were truly behind me now. I had taken on the open swims and I had emerged victorious.
You can find a wide variety of triathlon accessories at either Bicycle Garage Indy location. And for tips to help you reach your triathlon goals, join us for the next Bicycle Garage Indy Tri Night, Tuesday, July 19, 5:30 PM at Bicycle Garage Indy North. The event is free, however registration is required.