General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Second race complete fail Rss Feed  
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2013-09-29 1:05 AM

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21

, New York
Subject: Second race complete fail
Everyone remembers when they first started swimming and they couldn't complete a lap and how gassed they felt and completely exhausted their shoulders and body felt?

After a sprint this past June consisting of 500 meters and completing farther swims during training This Morning or rather Saturday morning I had to give up during the swim of the Mighty Montauk.

The swim was 750 meters and I felt energetic and ready. I walked into the water and waited the ten minutes for the race to start. Immediately I felt a little water run into the wetsuit I had rented (I remember reading this was called swimming in the wetsuit?) and started to feel a little doubtful. Nonetheless the race started and I was off. Right before the race I felt the sleeveless suit was a little too tight around my shoulders and chest.

I started to swim and I felt an immediate lack of form so I focused and realized something was off. My arms felt like they were pushing against the swimsuit as if my shoulders were being held back. My forearms and arms were tired. As I kept swimming I felt like I couldn't get a full lung of air when I turned to breathe and as I exhaled I felt like I need air before I could completely exhale. I ended up swimming to the life guard held on for a bit and swimm another 50 meters.

Again swimming with decent form but immediately like falling off a cliff I began feel the same issues and began to panic. I couldn't swim I tried to float and it was troubling. I tried to turn back to swim and I was slightly disoriented by this time. Holding on to the next lifeguard I realized I couldnt keep going. I was beginning to feel a little dizzy and when they took me to the shore I was extremely nauseous and short of breath.

Completely disappointed and let down I began to criticize my training. The week before I tapered with a brickworkout monday. Two weeks before I did an intense week of workouts with weights, interval running and swimming and the 750 meter swim that the race was (granted in the pool). Finally I realized I had given a full blood donation for the first time on Tuesday. I did a little research and I read that it could take at least a week to a full month to feel complete from the donation. In hindsight it makes sense the lack of blood cells to help circulate oxygen, the immediate fatigue, the sense of vertigo and incomplete exhales and inhales. Thanks for reading my rant but I wanted to share my horror story.


2013-09-29 3:27 AM
in reply to: Xxzerkxx

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Master
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Subject: RE: Second race complete fail
Was this your first time swimming in open water or in a wetsuit?

Sounds more like a panic issue than anything to do with giving blood recently.
2013-09-29 7:01 AM
in reply to: Xxzerkxx

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Subject: RE: Second race complete fail
That sounds scary. Hopefully the next time out will be better.
2013-09-29 7:11 AM
in reply to: 0

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Master
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Subject: RE: Second race complete fail
It sounds to me more like a panic reaction than an issue with low iron due to the blood donation. Was this your first OWS, or your first one in race conditions? First time to swim or race in that wetsuit/any wetsuit? I'm an experienced swimmer but it took some getting used to swimming in open water and to wearing a full wetsuit. (I still don't like the latter, but I've learned to put up with it.) I'm also wondering if maybe the wetsuit WAS a bit too tight for you (a sleeveless wetsuit shouldn't restrict your shoulder motion at all, and you shouldn't feel your breathing's restricted). Also, did you do any kind of warmup before the start? For a variety of reasons, people are more susceptible to panic and discomfort on the swim if they don't do a swim warmup. This would be particularly true if you were wearing a wetsuit you'd never worn before. You shouldn't be discovering during the race that water comes into the wetsuit--you needed to have discovered that and been comfortable with that well before the race warmup.

I've experienced a condition similar to what might have happened to you with the blood donation, when swimming at altitude (when you do have your normal quota of red blood cells, but they're not quite enough). It wasn't the panic you describe, or trouble breathing in or out; I just felt like I needed to breathe more often than normal (every 2 instead of every 3-4) and it upset my stroke rhythm a bit; I also had trouble backing down from my normal pace so I had to stop a couple times to do breastroke and catch my breath. All in all, it was a pretty mild issue and I was able to complete the workouts. Being a little low on your iron count shouldn't have led to the panic situation your describe.

Edited by Hot Runner 2013-09-29 7:20 AM
2013-09-29 8:02 AM
in reply to: Xxzerkxx

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21

, New York
Subject: RE: Second race complete fail
It was my second ows the first being 500 meters which I did in about 12 minutes. I did rent a wetsuit and it was the same as the last one and it definitely felt tighter. perhaps the it was compounding issues that led to the panic.
2013-09-29 8:27 AM
in reply to: #4866327

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Malvern, PA
Subject: RE: Second race complete fail
Consider it a life lesson. Lots of contributors here...

Don't donate blood within a month of a race.

Cough up $150 and buy your own wetsuit so you can eliminate that variable.

Use earplugs to decrease chance of cold water inducing vertigo.

Don't give up.


2013-09-29 9:01 AM
in reply to: datlas

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South Florida
Subject: RE: Second race complete fail
Originally posted by datlas

Consider it a life lesson. Lots of contributors here...

Don't donate blood within a month of a race.

Cough up $150 and buy your own wetsuit so you can eliminate that variable.

Use earplugs to decrease chance of cold water inducing vertigo.

Don't give up.


Good advice, especially the don't give up part.
2013-09-29 9:21 AM
in reply to: #4866397

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Houston, TX
Subject: RE: Second race complete fail
What was the water temperature? If it is cold water and you don't get your face used to the temperature you can hyperventilate.

If you first tri was at a temperature of 76 and this one was at 68-70 or so, I'd bet that this is the reason
2013-09-29 10:29 AM
in reply to: chris00nj

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21

, New York
Subject: RE: Second race complete fail
Yea my first race was mid June and this one was definitely colder.
2013-09-29 10:55 AM
in reply to: chris00nj


4

Subject: RE: Second race complete fail
This happens to a lot of people from what I've found. Same thing with me, both first and second tri. For me it was learning to deal with race factors that differ greatly from training. Some things that worked for me, and led to a very satisfying 3rd traithlon swim:

Fill your wetsuit with water. It helps to reposition it to most comfortable position
A good slow warmup for at least 10 minutes, close to start time (if possible)
Placing myself in an open area for the start
Really focusing on relaxing prior to the start
Walking into the water, not running
Starting off slow, get into a rhythm
If breathing issues arise, slow everything down
Focus on full exhale. If you just focus on the inhale, you won't get the CO2 out of your system, which can lead to hyperventilation.
If needed, breast stroke or back stroke

Keep it up!
2013-09-29 11:40 AM
in reply to: Xxzerkxx

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Subject: RE: Second race complete fail
I remember my first race 5 years ago. I had purchased a wetsuit and was wearing it in the water for the first time. I remember starting to swim and thinking something was very wrong. I was extremely winded after the first 200 yards and was breathing much harder than I had in practice. I ended up having a better swim time than I expected, most likely due to the positive effect of the wetsuit.

This year I have a coach and she suggested that I wear my wetsuit in the pool before my first race. I felt kind of silly, but went ahead and did it. I was surprised by how fast I could go wearing the wetsuit without that much effort. I changed my strategy in my race, by [attempting] to take it easy and not push quite as hard. I ended up about 1 minute slower than on the same course the year before, but was much less winded.

Since you were renting a wetsuit, the above would not have been an option for you, but if you've gotten the bug, maybe it's time to purchase a wetsuit.


2013-09-29 11:43 AM
in reply to: nbndtrain

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Subject: RE: Second race complete fail
Common issue.

Another piece of advice:

Have a panic swim back up plan. Mine was always breast stroke. I always found it way easier when I used to panic.

Now I know I have it easily available if I ever panic.

Another thing I used to do before swim was take deep breaths in my swim suite and felt it easily expand, reminding me it's not constricting.

And with some Jedi mind tricks - no more panic!
2013-09-29 1:01 PM
in reply to: #4866417

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Subject: RE: Second race complete fail
All I can say is keep trying/triing. I did the oly today at Montauk and after years of racing this was the first time I didn't have to stop and do the breast stroke. The water was cold today too. Get your own wetsuit - a sleeveless one. I had a sleeved wetsuit and would always breast stroke so it didn't matter. Now that I know how to swim I immediately felt the extra weight on my arms and shoulders. I bought a new wetsuit this summer and it has made all the difference. Coupled with a summer of multiple OWS days has made all the difference.
Before today I would HAVE to stop freestyle swimming every 50 strokes or so not be wise I was tired or out of breath but because I just felt I HAD to.

It gets better. Don't give up.
2013-09-29 1:38 PM
in reply to: djmtrier

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Subject: RE: Second race complete fail
It's not a fail. You learned a lot out there. Apply what you learned and you'll be better next time.

And thanks for sharing because it might help somebody else.
2013-09-29 4:01 PM
in reply to: djmtrier

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Subject: RE: Second race complete fail
My second to last Sprint Triathlon of the season was on a cold and rainy day. The water temperature was in the low 60s and the air temp was around 48 F. My body reacted very poorly to the cold temperatures. Swim was below par and I froze on the bike and had a horrible time!! Never really warmed up until the second mile of the run. I'm fairly slender with around 8-10 % body fat and the cold temps REALLY have a negative effect.

My last Triathlon of the season was a week later and I had learned my lesson. For the swim, I wore two caps and I also wore ear plugs to keep the cold water out of my inner ear. The swim went MUCH better! I also took the time in transition to put on a long sleeve wind blocking cycle jersey. Lost some time in transition but it was well worth it. More comfortable bike segment with faster times.

Lesson to myself: only sign up for races that are held during the warmer months of the year, you'll have lots more fun!
2013-09-29 4:31 PM
in reply to: Macguyverguy

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21

, New York
Subject: RE: Second race complete fail
Thanks for the responses and suggestions everyone. Definitely not stopping the sport just another road block to conquer. I'll be much more prepared for the next race. I definitely posted for both my psychological relief and to aid others.


2013-09-29 9:20 PM
in reply to: 0

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Georgetown, KY
Subject: RE: Second race complete fail
I did my first race ever in a rented wetsuit. I had never raced open water before, and never worn a wetsuit before, I have swam a lot in oceans and lakes, but never a river, and my tri was in a river. lol. The water temp was about 65* and I soon discovered the water gets in the top of the wet suit too... lol. As the current was pushing me back before the start, I started to get light headed and paniky. I knew I was kind of panicing, so i took several deep breaths, but I really didn't calm down until I was about 500m into the swim. The last 1000m were with the current, and the pack of people had thinned out some. My breaths finally quit shaking and I got into a groove.

I wasnt nervous about the swim at all before the race, but that new environment put some panic in me. lol. I think next year will be better! I've done a couple more tris, and that one has been my favorite in spite of the swim!

Edited by Bradleykd 2013-09-29 9:20 PM
2013-09-30 9:59 PM
in reply to: Xxzerkxx

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Subject: RE: Second race complete fail
Two thoughts.
1) Was it the exact same wetsuit or just the same model? Someone in my training group always gets the same exact suit from a local shop (they're numbered) which might help eliminate slight differences in fit.

2) Did you take the time to make sure everything was pulled up properly? I did the classic n00b move this year for my first wetsuit swim (after years of wearing scuba wetsuits) I didn't pull the legs and body of the wetsuit up enough. I've never swam in a sleeveless wetsuit, but i would imagine it would still make some difference. The constriction and tightness definitely made me feel panicky/clastraphobic and I wound up taking it off before going back in for the rest of my swim.
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