BikeGal does North Bondi
North Bondi Classic, Sunday, February 8
Bilgola Ocean Swims, Sunday, February 8
Chris Ivin was at North Bondi...
For someone who freaks out at surf, yesterday's North Bondi Classic could not have been better conditions. Tiny surf (read non existent), blue skies and sunshine made for a great race day. So I was also able to put some of my previous newbie swimmer tips into practice. Hope you also got some value out of the tips?
Get in the water BEFORE the start of the race and warm up – This worked really well. Got in the water, which was beautiful, and did what Mr oceanswims suggested and did a short, relaxed swim with a few bursts of energy.
Hang back at the start - and (maybe) pick your side - I like to breathe on the left and so I started on the far right which was perfect for me to keep an eye on the pack. I also didn't race in with all the strong swimmers at the start. So I started swimming with a bit of space around me, although the swim to the first buoy was all a bit mad. And then past there, things seemed to smooth out and everyone found their own space and pace.
Slow it - Past the first buoy and that rising panic I get in deep water started to surface! So I immediately refocused on my stroke and breathing. And took Aquagirl's advice and slowed it down.
At some point between the second and third buoy I felt like I was flying along? Not sure if there was some current or what was happening, but felt good to be movin.
Can Tooers exit the ocean at North Bondi - BikeGal is doing the fancy hop behind.
Break it down - Breaking down the race into sections was the best advice for me. I could just think about getting to the next buoy and not worrying about the whole race.
Accept the fear - As silly as it sounds, if you are scared, just accepting it is good. Once you've accepted it, you can just move on and get back to focusing on the swimming!
Backstroke, breaststroke, whatevs - For me, I didn't need to do any other stroke to remain calm yesterday. Although some people were still breaststroking around the buoys and I almost lost my goggles thanks to a kick in the head. Not cool.
Get some swimming buddies - I swam yesterday with Can Too – and if you are a newbie swimmer, you couldn't ask for a better bunch of swimming friends! Plus you raise money for cancer research in the process of learning to ocean swim, so you are winning on both fronts.
John, Paul, George and Ringo – what on earth do the Beatles have to do with ocean swimming? I picked up another late piece of advice, which was to sing to myself while swimming to remain calm. This worked a treat! Find a song that you know well (i.e. know all the words) and sing it in your head. I chose Yesterday by The Beatles and was happy as a clam while swimming along.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed the North Bondi Classic as much as I did. I managed to get out of the water and run to the finish line and then trip on the finishing mat and went sprawling across the sand! Such a graceful end to a good day.
Happy swimming, and hope to see you in the ocean, or even on a bike ;)
BikeGal.com is, as her name suggests, an avid cyclist who has recently taken up ocean swimming. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter (@BikeGalcom) or check out her website if you want to start cycling.
Can Too are usually there in numbers.
Meanwhile, Glistening Dave was at Bilgola...
For reults of the weekend's swims... Click here
What do you think about swim this weekend? Tell us here, and we'll have a discussion... Click here