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Old 09.07.2013, 12:53
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Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

Hi all,

I'm helping a friend of mine get ready for an open water triathlon. He's done some pool swimming but gets quite nervous in open / deeper water. We've gone as far as we can go in the 50m Freibad and are planning to ease into the lake now.

Am looking for an area of Lake Zurich (or the lakes near Zurich like Greifensee or Katzensee etc) that have shallower parts nearer the edge. Ideally looking for a stretch that is 1-2 metres deep and maybe a few hundred metres long where we could start to swim and gently over time move a little further and further from the shore. Have taught others to swim using a similar technique in the pool and has so far worked for me

I know is a strange question but do you know of anywhere like this? Where you could swim for maybe 100-200m along the shore and be able to stand up if you had to?

Thanks
K
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Old 09.07.2013, 12:58
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

In my opinion (and own experience) looking at it from this way is wrong. Get your friend to just "be" in the open water as often as possible. Maybe swimming 25 m out from the shore then back again.

There is a stretch in and around the Badi Tiefenbrunnen which goes out quite gently - he could start there.

The objective should be to get comfortable in open water rather than find shallow bits. Accompany him in a boat in case he really has a meltdown.

It took me only about 3 or 4 half hour sessions to get rid of the random hits of panic.

There are quite a few links to triathlon sites which give excellent advice on getting used to open water swimming.

Is he wearing a wetsuit?
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Old 09.07.2013, 13:08
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

I would suggest taking the 161 or 165 from Burkliplatz, and heading towards Wollishofen, get off at Bahnof Wollishofen and head towards the lake down Bachstrasse, there is what you are after.

Though, this is popular in nice weather, although I guess most of the lake is.

I swim out from Fischer Frites campsite, which is further up, on same bus, at Stadtgrenze.

I am not sure if it is totally allowed, but on the basis I keep the camp site shop afloat, I never get questioned for coming through there for a swim.
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Old 09.07.2013, 13:09
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

Hi - appreciate the reply but without wishing to sound rude; would prefer not to get into a discussion about how to conquer a phobia on a forum. Following advice provided directly to this person by a qualified individual.

Again sorry don't mean to sound rude, but have been given a very specific plan to follow by someone who specialised in this exact topic.

Thanks for tip about Badi Tiefenbrunnen though, will check it out!

K
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Old 09.07.2013, 13:32
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

Hi JBZ - are you talking about this area here?

https://maps.google.ie/maps?q=47.346...num=1&t=h&z=18

Thanks for the pointer!
K
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Old 09.07.2013, 13:42
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

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Hi JBZ - are you talking about this area here?

https://maps.google.ie/maps?q=47.346...num=1&t=h&z=18

Thanks for the pointer!
K
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Old 09.07.2013, 15:29
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

Badewiese Naglikon (Between Horgen and Au/Wädenswil)
https://maps.google.com/?ll=47.24996...03954&t=h&z=18
Lifeguard on duty on Sat. and Sun. if weather is good.


Strandbad Richterswil
https://maps.google.com/?ll=47.20683...01977&t=h&z=19
Has a lake water pool. You can not stand there, but you will have something to hold nearby. Pool may be used for water polo on weekends.
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Old 09.07.2013, 16:03
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

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In my opinion (and own experience) looking at it from this way is wrong. Get your friend to just "be" in the open water as often as possible. Maybe swimming 25 m out from the shore then back again.

There is a stretch in and around the Badi Tiefenbrunnen which goes out quite gently - he could start there.

The objective should be to get comfortable in open water rather than find shallow bits. Accompany him in a boat in case he really has a meltdown.

It took me only about 3 or 4 half hour sessions to get rid of the random hits of panic.

There are quite a few links to triathlon sites which give excellent advice on getting used to open water swimming.

Is he wearing a wetsuit?
That's a "+1" right here on Sandgrounders advice.

If the man can swim, then he needs to deal with the depth issue..... not swim more in shallow water where he can stand.

The Zurich lake has an average depth of nearly 50m, and a max depth of 150m or so, but this shouldn't bother you..... it's not like you're going to fall.


It's pretty normal when you start to swim to feel afraid of really deep water, but on the bright side...... it's not like there is anything that will attack you from underneath and kill you (re:Oceans).
  • Just get him to tread water close to the shoreline, but facing out into the lake.
  • Slowly get him to move further out.
  • Try diving to pick up rocks, and increase the challenge further out from the shore.
  • Get him to talk to you about how he feels, what it is he is afraid of.
  • .... Swim with him, and talk to him. Keep him calm. Push his limits.
If he panics, tell him to hold his breath and 'float'. It's impossible to sink when you're floathing, and with your ears below the surface of the water it's also relaxing and should help deal with the fear.

There is only one way to deal with fear and that is to tackle it head on.

The best piece of advice I can offer (that applies to almost everything) is:
"You are only afraid of what you don't understand"*


Once you understand that you won't sink to the bottom, and there is nothing in the water to be afraid of....... you won't care about the depth.


The Wetsuit is a good idea - it will add buoyancy and offer a sense of safety

(*it's how I learned to deal with sharks. Understand them, and you're not afraid anymore)
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Old 09.07.2013, 18:06
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

Hi,
I can recommend Seebad Rüschlikon.

You can swim pretty much along the shore, but I have seriously no idea how deep it is.

Plus, it is a Gratisbad, which means even for a very short swim to get the person used to it (I have no idea how often you need to train...) it is "worth" getting into the water.
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Old 09.07.2013, 18:07
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

Just thought of something else...
Do you know that at Badi Enge they have "lanes" in the lake, of course not 50m long, but maybe the "bands" that float on the water help the person as a "mental support" to get used to the lake swimming?
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Old 09.07.2013, 18:11
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

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Hi all,

I'm helping a friend of mine get ready for an open water triathlon. He's done some pool swimming but gets quite nervous in open / deeper water. We've gone as far as we can go in the 50m Freibad and are planning to ease into the lake now.

Am looking for an area of Lake Zurich (or the lakes near Zurich like Greifensee or Katzensee etc) that have shallower parts nearer the edge. Ideally looking for a stretch that is 1-2 metres deep and maybe a few hundred metres long where we could start to swim and gently over time move a little further and further from the shore. Have taught others to swim using a similar technique in the pool and has so far worked for me

I know is a strange question but do you know of anywhere like this? Where you could swim for maybe 100-200m along the shore and be able to stand up if you had to?

Thanks
K
Katzensee is quite shallow (and therefore warm right now!) and also a little murky, which could be helpful if part of the fear is not being able to see things.
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Old 12.07.2013, 08:59
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

Ok, let me share my experience. I am not unlike the the friend of the OP - i.e. comfortable in the pool but somewhat fearsom of the open water. Last time I tried to swim open water I made a right mess out of it, probably due to a combination of cold water, fear, poor technique etc.

Given that I am getting into TRI and are doing longer races, it is just something I have to overcome. So decided to face the fears head on yesterday. Went to the lake. Water was pretty choppy I thought, but nice tempature - did not wear my wetsuit. And I just went for a swim. I kept swimming between the bathing platform and the markers - so was aways between 50 and 100m from relative saftety. And it worked. Now I will just keep going again and again.
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Old 12.07.2013, 12:46
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

If he's training for an open water triathlon he was as well start getting over his fear rather than keep lokoing for water 1m deep!
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Old 12.07.2013, 22:06
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

Actually, I would have thought a triathlon with everyone splashing, kicking and struggling to get ahead not the ideal way to get used to lake swimming.

Most people I have known who have disliked swimming in the lake, disliked not being able to see the bottom, irrespective of how deep the water was. And swimming near the shore of the lake sometimes means weeds which you feel on your legs - and a lot of folk don't like that either. It's frequently quite difficult to work out what the real problem is - as the swimmer often doesn't know themselves. I used to be 'short of breath' when swimming, when I couldn't see well. I bought swimming goggles with 'corrected lenses' and it solved the problem instantly. And when I think how many people have told me that they cannot swim crawl as their lungs are too small...

Maybe with this guy it is really a case of the depth but I wouldn't bank on it. Tell him to TRY to sink; it's a lot harder than it looks. The old English 'safe breathing position' is useful too as it's easy to achieve if everything goes pear-shaped. Good luck anyway.
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Old 12.07.2013, 22:23
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

Having spent a few sunday afternoons lately paddling about in our new canoe, I can highly recommend the Greifensee just north of the bus stop at Uster.
If you need public transport it is very easy (take the train to Uster and then the 817 bus to 'Uster, See').
If you then walk north (with the sea on your left) there are then lots and lots of grassy areas with little beaches. If you get to the little metal bridge over the river and then backtrack a little you can enter the water with ease and then swim to the right around the rushes (for quiet and shallow) or to the left (for shallow and loads of places to stop and get out should the need arise).

I hope this helps your friend and if you see a bloke in a blue canoe with a Border Collie then wave and say hi!
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Old 13.07.2013, 08:13
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

Hi K,

Have you tried Türlersee?

A beautiful small lake in the Affoltern region with a walking track all the way round, you can camp there as well.

all the best,
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Old 13.07.2013, 17:21
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

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Hi K,
Have you tried Türlersee?
Türlersee is great. From the 'beach' it's a little more the 200 meters to the other side. If i remember correctly, it's no more than 5m on this stretch. Majority of the swim is less than 3m.
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Old 14.07.2013, 17:38
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

I know this doesn't help with the original question in any way, but as searches on here turn up threads on the same or similar subjects later - another point regarding advancing from pool swimming to lake-swimming for a triathlon:

Make sure that the person, when swimming in a pool, always does tumble-turns. Not that you actually do them in the lake of course, but doing them ensures that you cannot 'cheat' and make things easy for yourself by hanging onto the end of the pool to take a breath at the end of each length. However short the pause and however little you breathe in, it isn't the same as non-stop swimming. Often it is just the feeling - I can't stop even if I want to/need to - which is the stumbling block to distance swimming in open water.
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Old 15.07.2013, 09:31
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

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I know this doesn't help with the original question in any way, but as searches on here turn up threads on the same or similar subjects later - another point regarding advancing from pool swimming to lake-swimming for a triathlon:

Make sure that the person, when swimming in a pool, always does tumble-turns. Not that you actually do them in the lake of course, but doing them ensures that you cannot 'cheat' and make things easy for yourself by hanging onto the end of the pool to take a breath at the end of each length. However short the pause and however little you breathe in, it isn't the same as non-stop swimming. Often it is just the feeling - I can't stop even if I want to/need to - which is the stumbling block to distance swimming in open water.
Thats very good advice. Doing tumble turn has another added benefit. It replicates the difficulty in swimming straight in open water..... ...or maybe thats just me as when I do tumble turns I end up in all sorts of dircetions..
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Old 15.07.2013, 20:53
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Re: Shallow places to lake swim - Lake Zurich or near Zurich?

What a difference a few days make. OW swim today. 1650m non stop (basically three full loops round the yellow markers at Richterswil strandbad)

Really happy!
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