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Beginner Triathlon

How to get over fear of salt water?!?!

asked over 5 years ago | Report

I grew up swimming in lakes, and I recently moved to south Florida to find that the triathlons are mostly ocean swims (fittingly). I have nothing against the ocean, but the last time I tried to swim in it, I ended up gagging half the time from just getting salt water in my mouth and having to spit it out... I don't even want to know what would happen if I swallowed some. Any advice for "getting over it"?!?! Do I need to gargle salt water daily or something? My first south Florida triathlon is coming up (June 21st), so I need serious help... fast!!!

3 answers

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  • You're eventually going to swallow some. Seriously, you're just going to have to deal with it the best you can. Doing open water swims regularly will help. I would be in there at least once a week, even twice a week with your race coming up in less than a month.

    Make sure to breath out under water and, if you can, breath to the opposite side of the waves. You may even want to lift your head a little bit higher out of the water to breath compared to what you're used to in the lakes just to help clear the water line, although you will give up some speed while doing this.

    Good Luck and let us know how it goes in June.

    added June 10th: Thought of something else that may help. I noticed today during our open water swim that I do the very last bit of my exhale right as I'm turning my head to breath. This helps blow out any water that is in or around my mouth so I can get a nice clean breath. (kind of creates a split second bubble that allows you to breath in without water dripping or splashing into your mouth)

    answered over 5 years ago |edited about 5 years ago |Report

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  • Do you swim with your mouth closed? I don't and that's a problem when I get into the ocean. :p

    So, I've been practicing in pools which have some salt water in them (half salt, half chlorine and so on.)

    Good luck!

    answered over 5 years ago |Report

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  • I'm always more concearned with sea life than the salt water. Nothing is going to happen to you from swallowing a little bit of salt water, besides a nasty taste in your mouth that will go away as soon as you eat something. You'll be fine, good luck!

    answered over 5 years ago |Report

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