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tstick14 02-06-2011 09:30 PM

water up nose
Brief background: when I grew up, I wore noseplugs and was encouraged to by my parents. So that set me up to never really "learn" how to swim without them. Fast forward 20 years I have now begun to train for triathlons and began the Freestyle Made Easy program.

I've only been at it for two weeks, so yes I need to practice but here's my problem. While exhaling through my nose as I rotate to get air 90% of time I have a small amount of water up in my sinuses that I end up having to swallow so I can take my breath.

I've tried humming, which works while I'm swimming but doesn't seem to exhale enough force when I rotate to keep water out. If I don't hum I exhale way too quickly through the nose and find myself needing air sooner with the same issue of water in the back of my throat.

I'd like to also note that when I practice just placing my face in the water and rotating I don't have this problem, it seems to be only when moving. I'm tempted to just get noseplugs so I can focus on the drills, then worry about getting this breathing issue fixed later.

Suggestions on things to focus on or try while breathing and exhaling much appreciated.

GH 02-06-2011 10:00 PM

I have a similar sort of problem, mine being that my sinuses are very sensitive to chlorinated water and really over react to a long session in the pool. I have tried swimming with my nose completely sealed with a nose clip, but found that it lead to breathlessness.

My solution has been to wear a nose clip, but position it such that I can still breath out through my nose. This seems to reduce the ingress of water and stop my problem.

daveblt 02-07-2011 01:10 AM

You really don't need nose clips , the problem is not that hard to solve.The problem is that you are not exhaling out the entire time that your face is submerged and that you may be trying to inhale a split second before you really should . You have to exhale the entire time your face is in the water and until the time that your face just clears the surface . If you make a mistake of trying to inhale when your face has not cleared the surface then water will get sucked back into your nose .I'd be willing to bet it's not the amount of air you are forcing out of your nose , because the amount does not need to be much in order to keep out the water , it's the timing of your breaths.


CoachKris 02-09-2011 02:00 PM

you either dont breath out or you aint doing it long enough

Simple solution popeye breathing first working on breathing out into the water progress into drills and full stroke if it still doesn't work ask someone to have a quick look from underwater to check if you actually do breath out as some people do believe they breath out even if they dont ;) if you do but water still gets into the nose try to do it a bit longer then instinct suggests



russrisher 06-09-2011 07:44 PM

Same Problem
I'm running into the same problem. I'm brand new to swimming and TI. I was never a great swimmer growing up and swam mostly with my head above water.

When I breathe in, water running off my face goes into my nostrils and to the back of my throat. I'm nearly certain that my nose is completely cleared the water, but I will check next time I'm there.

My question is (assuming that it is water that's running off my face):

Is this just something I'm going to have to learn to deal with? It's a small amount of water, just enough to make me uncomfortable.


Am I doing it wrong?

tstick14 06-10-2011 01:33 AM


since posting this thread I have completely moved to the point of never having water up my nose. I found it mostly had to do with trying to breathe too soon, or not exhaling all the way to air. Keep at it, as you spend more time in the water it gets better.

RobM77 06-10-2011 02:51 PM

Firstly, congratulations to the thread starter for managing to swim at all. I had a similar background and up until a year ago choked terribly even holding my breath stationary under the water! My TI coach gave me a series of exercises to work on the problem, and after a month I was able to stay submerged holding my breath without choking, then after another week of practise I could swim under water holding my breath. This then gave me confidence to swim underwater normally and control my breathing. We think I was probably inhaling through my nose subconciously when under the water. I'm absolutely fine now and have no issue with water inhalation, and I even manage to breath with one eye below the surface and one above, to maintain my streamlining.

In answer to the question though, I agree with everyone else, it's a matter of timing. Bear in mind that even when your nose is clear of the water when you turn to take a breath, they'll be a tangible split second where you still need to breath out to clear the water that gets dragged up by your face due to surface tension. This is something I'm conciously aware of. If you breath properly though there's plenty of time before the next pull and rotation to get air.

In answer to the moving/stationary question, this is perfectly normal and you will have to try harder to stop water going up your nose when you're moving.

Hope that helps.

libor 04-26-2016 09:38 AM

Other technique
If someone is still having this issue. Perhaps looking at it from a biological angle might work. Try saying the letter "T" and you will see that it is quite hard for the water to enter your nose during that time. Simple trick :). You can find more details here:

Sarthisingh16 04-27-2016 12:54 PM

water up nose
but i am not able to in the water for more then 30 to 40 seconds.

novaswimmer 04-28-2016 11:53 PM

Same problem with me two years ago. After much practice with timing, and balance training, and practice, practice, practice, I think I have pretty much overcome it.

Yes, I was getting water in nose, sinuses, and having serious reaction to chlorine for 24 hours after each swim.

Now, that reaction is pretty much non-existent as I continue to practice relaxed continuous exhalation under water. It just takes time and focus. I also usually do a very short, quick exhale just as my nose clears the water, to clear my nose prior to inhale -- sort of like a whale blows upon surfacing.

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