Endurance Innovation 68 – Ali Meeks and Conquering Your Fear of Open Water

Endurance Innovation 68 – Ali Meeks and Conquering Your Fear of Open Water

Triathlete, coach, and new author Ali Meeks joins us for a deep dive about the psychology of comfort in the water and her new book on the subject.

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  • 2:15 meet swim and triathlon coach Ali Meeks
  • 4:30 the motivation behind Ali’s new book: Conquer Your Fear of the Triathlon Swim
  • 6:30 the fear of open water
  • 10:30 the two aspects of swimming
    • Safety
    • Choreography
  • 13:15 the ‘not seeing the bottom’ fear and the source of our own safety
  • 15:30 the ‘friends in the water’ fear
  • 17:45 the 5 circles: 1 – calm, 2 – nervous, 3 – afraid, 4 – terrified, 5 – panicked
    • Awareness of mental state is first step, always trying to come back to that first circle
    • Retain connection to the physical body through mindfulness practice
  • 20:45 the ‘non-wetsuit’ fear
  • 23:00 sinkers vs floaters
  • 28:00 the discomfort of wetsuits
  • 37:00 the role of intensity
    • Warmup is key
  • 39:00 the difference between nervousness and excitement is expectation of outcome
  • 40:30 the Conquer Your Fear Process
    • Agree not to push your limits in the water
    • Follow the process as slowly as necessary to increase comfort while staying in that first circle
    • Face in water > floating and feeling the buoyancy > propulsion added to floating > back float for safety > open water in the shallows > open water in deeper water with easy access to shallow water
    • Allow natural curiosity to drive progression
  • 47:15 the ‘other people’ factor
  • 48:45 the psychological impact of a death in the water on other swimmers
  • 53:00 self-aware risk acceptance

Learn more about Ali at Ready Set Sweat. More info on the book is here. Conquer Your Fear of the Triathlon Swim can be purchased on Amazon.

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