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[心得] 奧運游泳馬拉松選手在能見度低的水域游泳

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兩名加拿大參加 London 2012 游泳馬拉松(10km)的選手承認在開放水域游泳的恐懼。開放水域不同於泳池,是個人在「大自然」裡游泳。在開放水域的游泳比賽,不僅是人與人的競賽,某種程度上也是人與自然的競賽。像這次奧運的游泳馬拉松,在海德公園舉行,水的能見度極差,手伸出去,都看不見自己的手。更別說見不到底,根本不知道水有多深。一般人可能是怕水太深,選手們則大都怕水太淺,怕踢到底受傷了。

另外,在開放水域游泳,除了人之外,水中還有各種不同水中生物,水面上也有一些鳥類、昆蟲或是漂流物,像是樹枝、葉子、或垃圾。看得見一般來說並不可怕,看不見的部份就著實有些心理壓力了。看得見的水母可以閃躲,知道有水母卻看不見才叫人害怕。所以在公開水域游泳除了做好準備,例如海泳時穿上衣服防曬傷、防水母蜇傷,好好享受當下游泳不要胡思亂想才是正確的態度。如果是危險的水域,最好就不要去游了,像這篇報導裡說的 Richard Weinberger 在墨西哥游泳,一邊游一邊擔心鱷魚出沒,這實在沒必要(參加)。

所以不是業餘愛好者在開放水域游泳才會覺得怕怕的,或心裡不踏實,連奧運選手都有這種心理。

報導中也提供了幾項建議:

1. 跟著領先者,不要獨自去游泳。
2. 試著跟上其他游泳者,保持在「集團」內。
3. 抬頭換氣與看目標。
4. 選定岸上標的作為游泳方向的指標。




London 2012: 
Canada's Olympic open-water swimmers confess their fear of the deep

Published on Thursday August 09, 2012 

Canadian Olympian open water swimmer Zsofia Balazs, 22, is seen in Lake Ontario following a training session at the Summerville pool.

Zsofia Balazs once saw a fish eat another fish while she swam an open-water race.

"That kind of freaked me out," she says.

Richard Weinberger spent much of a river race in Mexico wondering where the crocodiles were lurking.

Canada's two marathon swimmers at the Summer Olympics in London both admit their sport's wild environments can make them feel uneasy.

In the pool, it's man against man in a controlled setting. In open-water swimming, it's man against man and nature.

No pristine water with black lines clearly visible below for Balazs and Weinberger.

Open-water racing is in oceans, rivers, lakes and ponds, where creatures, as well as swimmers, are in competition with each other.

"Just don't look down and think about what's below you," is the advice of Balazs.

Balazs, from Toronto, and Victoria's Weinberger have raced in water so murky they couldn't see their hands in front of their faces.

While that may have kept Weinberger from witnessing any "Wild Kingdom" moments, the 22-year-old isn't sure ignorance is bliss. Sometimes imagination is worse.

"If I see anything I'll freak out, but if I don't see anything I'll freak out," Weinberger says. "It's a lose, lose situation for me."

Open-water swimming made its Olympic debut at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. It was held in a relatively sterile man-made rowing and canoe park.

The 2012 Olympic open-water events are in Hyde Park's Serpentine, a water-fowl pond in London's downtown.

The men and women's races are each 10 kilometres — six laps of a 1.66-kilometre loop.

The Serpentine holds few terrors other than swampy water and perhaps a bewildered duck or swan, but Weinberger feels squeamish about what's below nonetheless.

"It's only a couple metres deep, but I'm afraid to touch the bottom," he says. "It just freaks me out."

Marathon swimmers often can't see where they're going with their heads in the water, so they lift their heads up to grab both a breath and their bearings.

"We try to incorporate breaths up front, lift our heads up almost like a water polo player," Balazs explains. "We just don't keep our heads up. You lift up, look where you're going and put it back down.

"There's usually someone in front of you that you can follow and if they go off course, then we all go off course, so no one is really gaining anything."

Weinberger's coach Ron Jacks invokes the old Red Cross slogan "swim with a buddy" as a race strategy. If you swim by yourself, you might lose the race.

"One of the big things I say to the young kids is 'Don't swim alone,'" Jacks explains. "When there's 10 or 12 people navigating, the tendency is to be pretty straight. If there's one person navigating, you can be off.

"If you're dead tired and you've got half the race left, you'd better try to stay with that group because this is the most important time of your race right now."

In opaque water, it's difficult finding the most efficient line from start to finish, even with a boat guiding the swimmers. Going just a few metres off course adds unwanted distance to an already long swim.

"It happens all the time," Weinberger says. "That's the brilliant part of open-water swimming. Anything can happen. You have to deal with currents, waves, swells, boat waves."

Weinberger says it's helpful to look for large landmarks when he lifts his head. A skyscraper, mountain or boat dock provides a visual cue for navigation.

It also takes the swimmers' minds off any fish-on-fish drama.

"I'm actually scared of open water," Balazs confesses.



article history:
finished: Oct. 8, 2012
draft: Oct. 6, 2012

台長: frank
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