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“I JUST GET SO NERVOUS; MY BREATHING GOES INTO OVERDRIVE AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO”

Sport psychology consultant Helen Davis outlines some strategies to tackle anxiety when racing

SPORT PSYCHOLOGY

You have just started a race and it’s chaos. Flailing limbs inadvertently hit you, arms are pounding on top of you and you are unable to get into a rhythm. You turn to breathe and get a face full of water and a whack on the head. Your wetsuit suddenly feels tight and your heart is thumping. This kind of experience can be unpleasant, yet common in open water swimming SPORT PSYCHOLOGY events and even experienced swimmers can find themselves grinding to a panic-stricken halt, unable to pinpoint the cause of their anxiety.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

A growing number of endurance athletes are swimming for good rather than glory. Perhaps the most prominent of these is Lewis Pugh, UN Patron of the Oceans. We were privileged to join him on a leg of his Long Swim of the length of the English Channel, which he is undertaking to raise awareness of the plastic in our oceans. Elsewhere in the magazine we bust some more technique myths, visit the Galapagos Islands and the Peak District, test the latest outdoor gear for swimming adventures and meet the writers of best-selling book The Salt Path.