Weak side breathing once and for always
Last week I had the opportunity to meet and swim with Terry which was wonderful.
He gave me a few things to work on, but number 1 was to fix my stroke assymetry by getting used to breathing both sides.
Since this is an overdue task that I have attempted previously and abandoned I decided I needed to give it all my focus until it's completed.
This is the plan
Add in an extra swim session and do 8 sessions in the next two weeks with one simple main set
16x100 breathing left,left,bilateral, left on each of the 4 lengths.
After 8 sessions I will have swum 512 lengths of offside breathing and will use that to review my progress.
Yesterday was session 1 of 8. I felt awkward and off balance but my 100m repeat times were only around 5s slower than normal
Today was session 2/8 and things were much more comfortabl and my breathing
Much easier after each repeat
At the end of the 8 sessions I'll attempt a weak side 1500 and consider it mission accomplished if I go under 29 minutes
Damn, you just reminded me that this is something I have postponed forever... I think the reason is simply that it's so frustrating to feel like a beginner again, although my times and stroke count are in the same ballpark whether I breathe left or right.
I'm currently training for my first half Ironman, and should definitely learn to breathe on my other side.
Any advice on how to make it easier? Should I simply force myself to breathe on the left every other lap?
The other swim school are hot on tri breathing. they recommend just doing it for a fortnight, at least six swims, and you'll break through. It worked for me. I had breathed right side for 60 years. My conversion was in open water. First two swims were miserable and exceeded my sodium intake, at the end of the fortnight I realised that I was doing it without thinking. I've been grateful ever since.
Good decision Andy. Isn't Terry a Great man!
I'll be focusing on more right sided breathing in future!
Sacrificing all other swim intentions for 2 weeks seems a small price to pay. You also get the same high when you start to relax with it as you did the first time on the other side too, so it's a bit cool in that respect.
Terry's a great man, but I didn't need to meet him to know that ;-
I'll do the same with tumble turns after the breathing fortnight.
Thanks for the advice. So it seems the best solution is: "just do it" :)
Starting tomorrow, I will put aside everything else to work on my left side breathing, and persevere until I can breathe comfortably.
A little something I like to do when a focus on symmetry, with attention to smooth transition in breathing both sides, is up front:
Cycling through patterns- say 50s in a 250+ yard/meter swim or 25s in shorter distances
1st - breathe every 3 strokes
2nd - breathe 2x left then 2x right
3rd - breathe 3x left then 3x right
4th - breathe left only
5th - breathe right only
Can be done as a 'ladder' returning back to breathe every 3 strokes
Obviously the options for altering such a set are many and fun. Special attention should be paid to noticing what feels right when breathing to your 'stronger' side and mimicking that feeling on the opposite side.
P.S. Andy, when you nail that tumble it's like walking in to a new store!
Thanks for the prod folks. For years I have said that I need to get as comfortable on my left side as my right side. It wasn't happening. Today I was inspired by your post Andy and did 16x100m of left side breathing in the pattern you suggested. The first couple of hundreds were rough and as I continued on they got smoother to the point where they were just about 1 sec slower than my right side breathing 25s.
The right side is still silkier but not by much. Will spend another five sessions on this.
Again thanks for the stimulus.
I may sound weird here, but bare with me. **edit** bear with me (lol, thanks Borate).
I've started designing a dryland swimming improvement concept, as you may know already (http://blog.swimtrainingday.com/en/classes/dryswim) which is followed by a pool technique session.
Every week we approach a new topic, and work on that topic only. 2 weeks ago, we worked on Breathing, bilaterally, and low profile. One of the important keys to this I've found over the years is the ability to Popeye your mouth. Mind you, it could be me (as I really do it fairly well), maybe others don't do it, but I truly find it helps a lot to have to ability to seal half of your mouth.
Now, to my big big surprise, I realized that this seems very hard to do for "most" people participating to this project. We spent quite some time in front of a mirror trying to Popeye on every side (that was our funniest session, we really looked like a bunch of monkeys). Some can do it on their good breathing side, but absolutely can not on their bad side. I think there may be a link.
This has to do the easiest ability to develop home in front of a mirror. Just ensure you're not seen.
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