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Overcoming Anxiety When the Gun Goes Off

Posted by davescott on Nov 6, 2007 4:51:00 PM

A couple of reader Q & A's:


Q: Hello Dave,

I'd like to improve my swimming technique. I want to learn to swim faster. Also, every time I am in a triathlon and the gun goes off for the swim I panic. Can you help me or recommend a good training program?


Thank you,



A: Guillermo, your question regarding improving efficiency is multi-faceted. Let's address your "panicky" feeling at the start of the race. First, focus on your breathing during the first 200 meters of the event. Exaggerating the roll of your breathing side, focusing on the sky and not the other athletes or buoys has a "calming" effect. Take slow, deliberate breaths. This will set the stage for your swim.


Regarding a training program, I need to know your fitness level, number of training days per week and activities, times for 1,500 meter pool and open water swim--then I can address some of your training needs. Send me another email!


Q: Dear Dave,

I live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and have just gotten interested in doing triathlons. I'm curious if you could point me to a good training group or contact person in my area or in Atlanta? I would like to be part of a group with some of these shared interests and goals, especially as I get more serious.


Thanks so much,



A: Lisa, There is a master directory of triathlon clubs that USA Triathlon has on their website. Additionally, the local Masters swim programs and running clubs in your area would be a great resource to connect with triathlon training groups. Additionally, Triathlete magazine, Inside Tri and Competitor Magazine all have listings of local clubs.


Good luck training and racing!



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