Back in February, I triggered more intense BPPV by doing a quick roll (not a flip) while swimming. I didn’t have symptoms right away, but the next day I felt nauseous all day, and the day after that I was so off kilter that I had to stay home from work. So until recently, I’ve been staying away from swimming.

Normally, at this time of year I would be training for a triathlon. It’s clear I won’t be racing at the start of the season this year, so I am eyeing some sprints in September. Thankfully, my Training Buddy and I got into the pool last December and swam together most weeks through the end of February. I’m glad we started swim training that early. I am ahead of the game for now!

After skipping March entirely, I tried swimming twice in April, figuring I could do the breaststroke and kicking drills without triggering the vertigo.  Honestly, knowing I could get disoriented in the water was a little concerning. I made sure Training Buddy was fully informed of my condition, and we shared a lane with me against the wall. I told her that if anything seemed the least bit odd about me or my swimming, she should call the life guard. My plan for limited head movement worked — I completed a short workout without any symptoms.

At my second workout, I decided to attempt crawl stroke. I discovered that I got vertigo when I turned my head to the left but not when I breathed to the  right, so I did a few lengths breathing to one side and called it a night. I don’t trust the vertigo to not appear on the current “safe” side while I’m in the pool, so I don’t think I’ll be doing that again. It seems too risky.

Breaststroke is not ideal in a triathlon, but still, I am wondering if I can use breaststroke if I stick to the edge of the pack. Something to think about. My race training has been turned on its head!

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