Swim Anxiety, Building Confidence, and Silencing Critics

Swim Anxiety, Building Confidence, and Silencing Critics

I used to be the poster-child for swim anxiety.  Every time I got out of the water in a race, I felt like my chest would explode.  Then I’d spend the first 5 miles of the bike getting back to normal.

This went on for a few years, then I discovered the power of frequency.

Before Ironman Louisville I spent nearly 3 weeks swimming every day.  Not terribly long, but usually 1500 or so.

Two things happened:
– I got very comfortable and relaxed in the water
– I got faster

I’m a firm believer the latter is deeply connected to the former, and I think this holds true for all three disciplines in triathlon.

The more you do it, the more comfortable you are.

I swam a 1:06 that day in Louisville, by far my fastest Ironman swim.  The main thing I remember was how patient I was in the water.  I wasn’t trying to “race” but stay in my box and relax.

Frequent swimming gave me the confidence I needed to get out of the water fresh.  I still remember the feeling I had running to my bike after that swim. I had a genuine bounce to my step.

Now, what happened after that swim on a scorching hot summer day in Louisville is a different story, but that had more to do with neglecting the bike and run in training.  Hence the eternal dilemma of triathlon and why it’s so difficult to build confidence in all three sports.

On our latest podcast we take a deeper dive into swim and cycling anxiety, building overall triathlon confidence and silencing the critics who can seem threatened by your growth.

We appreciate all the email to CrushingIron@gmail.com and the great reviews on iTunes.  Thanks for listening.

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2015 VIDEO – Race Day Highlights

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2015 VIDEO – Race Day Highlights

Here’s the official Crushing Iron Video for Ironman Louisville 2015.  Please share with friends, family, and training groups.  Also, if you know any Race Directors who may want a professional video, let them know I’m available for hire at very reasonable rates.  Make sure to follow Crushing Iron on Facebook and subscribe to the Crushing Iron YouTube Channel so you’ll get all the race videos, training tips, and unique perspectives on triathlon.  Previous videos from Ironman Louisville, Chattanooga, and Wisconsin are listed below this video.  Hope you enjoy and keep Crushing Iron!  







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Ironman Louisville Run Highlights (Video)

Ironman Louisville Run Highlights (Video)

Here’s some pretty cool shots from the run course at Ironman Louisville 2015.  We’re working on one that combines all three and should have that up soon.  Please follow Crushing Iron on Facebook (or by email on this site) to get much more from Ironman Louisville.  (And Chattanooga, which we still have to finish as well).  Not to mention an onslaught of general talk about Ironman.  Also, if you like what you see, please share with friends, groups, etc.  Thanks for reading Crushing Iron.

The “Voice of Ironman”

Someone once told me, “Everywhere you go, there you are.”  Lately it’s been, “Everywhere I go, there HE is.”

Over the last 5 weeks I’ve driven to Louisville, Wisconsin, and Chattanooga for Ironman.  Once to compete, twice to spectate, and within minutes of arriving to these wonderful cities, a powerful voice of inspiration floods my ears.

As of Ironman Chattanooga 2014, Mike Reilly has announced 138 IRONMAN races and if you haven’t seen one, you have no idea how impressive that is.  His voice rings in the air from 6 am until midnight and the pitch never waivers.

I didn’t make it to the Swim Start in Chattanooga, but Mike was there, pumping everyone up and calming nerves at the same time.  When you nervously await the start, as an athlete or a spectator, his voice is omnipresent and the words always seem to be right.

I had a brief meeting with Mike at Louisville pre-race as I was noodling around near the sound board.  I was about to walk into a furnace and Mike knew it.  He likely knows more about IRONMAN than most.  On this day I was trying to impart my strategy when Mike politely stopped me and simply said, “Take it easy out there and try to have fun.”

He was right, of course, but I didn’t listen.  I went after the run like a dog in heat and it ate me alive.

Yesterday, he stood high above the crowd in Chattanooga as the last swimmer battled to get out of the water.  He did everything in his power to help her get home.

It was one of those moments that stops you in your tracks.  She was alone in the water, battling demons while hundreds watched her labor to reach shore.

“Keep going, we’re all here waiting for you!”  “Doggy paddle if you have to, you can do it!,” said Reilly with a combination of compassion and the tenacity of a father.

His day started before sunrise and he was still going as I watched the live stream from my hotel room until 12:15 am.  His energy and passion for what he loves was just as enjoyable to watch as the finisher.  He danced, joked, shouted encouragement, and dished high fives as the last runners crossed the finish line.

At 12:16 the lights went out and Mike Reilly was gone from my sight, but his voice was ringing in my core.  “You are an Ironman!”

People always ask me why I write about Ironman and travel around to races and I think the simple answer is, I love it.  I love to surround myself with optimistic people who stop at nothing to push their limits, and Mike Reilly has certainly been a great representation of that lifestyle.

Here is Mike Reilly from this morning after handing my new buddy, Dave Richter his award and Kona slot.