Imagination and Visualisation

Boy how powerful is the mind !

I’d been thinking about, and visualising getting into really cold water without my wet suit and by the end of my Croatia trip I had got my head around it all and was raring to go.  The previous year even in my wet suit (admittedly sleeveless) I didn’t manage a two hour swim due to feeling too cold even in the middle of the summer.

The water was 11/12 degrees it was bitterly cold, but I dived in, swam breathlessly for a few minutes, then relaxed – I was enjoying the sensation on my body.

I thought I would just be swimming to the Spire or the Bandstand (9-12 minutes) but I just kept going.  It was what I was expecting it, it was what I needed and ‘wanted’ to do.

Three years ago without realising it I had used imagination and visualisation to good effect when preparing for my first trip to Hawaii for the Ironman.  Up until then I had found the heat unbearable,  overheating terribly running my first 10k run at the end of a triathlon in Weymouth on an overcast day.

I like to know what I am getting myself into so I had immersed myself in hours of videos of the Ironman in Hawaii and imagined myself running in the searing heat along the Queen K highway.   I  arrived early allowing myself over a week to acclimatise, but I didn’t need it at all.  I was out running in the midday sun in Kona, Hawaii and loving it right from day one.

It wasn’t until I met sports psychologist Dr Karen Howells, at a South West Masters Development Day Swim, that I realised it had been scientifically proven to work.

It  had now worked yet again to tell myself,  and prepare myself, for the cold water.

But I did come out rather blue and was quickly home to a hot bath to unthaw those frozen feet !