Well it has happened.... I've finally have returned to the pool.... my last visit was in October when I was faced with a pool closure and a month later a closure for maintenance. And then ski season soon began as did the cold season ....
Anyway after 5 month's absence, today was to be a short re-acclimation of sorts with little successes expected. It seems that some swimming ability has actually stuck or has become ingrained as today turned out to be a worthy day with modest progress.
However ... consider this .... One of my problems in breathing is not completely exhaling. This has been stressed several times here as an all important skill. I don't think I'm alone with this problem. To gain somewhat of a "feeling" as to what being completely exhaled may feel like, I tried using my basic snorkel for ONLY inhaling and exhaling through the nose. I found that it took some stronger focus to do this than expected because after some nose exhaling I usually will blow out some air through the tube. However after a while if felt quite natural to ONLY inhale through the tube and exhale ONLY through the nose. Exhaling until I had no more air to breath out. As Pat has pointed out several times, the snorkel is "mouth breathing". When I put the snorkel away I did find I was more completely exhaling than before my little "drill". I'll be doing this again as I do feel it helped. Give it a try if you feel you are not completely breathing out .... it may help a bit with the "feeling" of what being completely exhaled feels like. And, if you use a snorkel, this way you won't have a build up of exhaled stale and oxygen deprived air in the tube for the next inhale - especially if you use it the way I did.
Any thoughts ??
Thanks for pointing that one out. I've always wondered what the purpose of snorkels was whenever I would see some people swim some laps with them. I myself had the same problem like yours, of holding my breath in and not exhaling enough, and this would eventually get me tired much sooner than I should be.
My comment on the snorkels though, specially for the newbie swimmer trying to improve his stroke - with the snorkel on, one would be unable to practice the proper head turn for rhythmic breathing.
In my case, I addressed it by using the same TI approach in imprinting a particular skill/movement in a stroke - by using breathing as a focal point for a particular set in my workout (eg, 500m swim, focus only on breathing). Eventually, my breathing became instinctive, while still being able to practice the full stroke :)
If it helps -- then it might be good.
Thanks for your comments Noy.
I guess no one else has a comment on this. An individual thing I guess.
I agree with you. A basic snorkel ( the ones to the side - like the one I use - rather than the Finis - up over the forehead) certainly impede proper stroke and roll due to sucking in the water with too far a roll. We can do that without the tube !!
My efforts with the snorkel usage are to learn to relax and feel the glide along with some stroke timing. Sometimes I rest my arms behind my back and just flutter down the lane. Developing the feeling of complete exhalation by using the snorkel has helped; if I want to completely exhale through the nose alone. The little "drill" I described helped to develop breathing discipline to some degree. Without the snorkel I usually bubble from both nose and mouth but by doing as I described it basically built some breathing control --- valuable or not .. not sure. However as I said it has helped me learn the feeling of complete exhalation. This will aid the inhale by providing space and also lengthen the time to becoming "winded" due to lack of oxygen. The oboe players sometimes tend to get a similar winded feeling by "backing up" their air when not breathing properly. The tiny double reed makes blowing the instrument a bit difficult when learning to play it.
I have just skimmed this thread and don't know where it might have been discussed before but I have used a snorkel in the past just to increase my aerobic capacity to work harder in the pool. I think it works great. I'm getting ready for an open water swim so I'm not using it now. I also just swim on my back to accomplish the same thing but give my shoulders a break.
I think, like most tools, they have their place when used "properly" which, in this case, may simply be determined by what your goals are.
i thnk sometimes BUT I LOVE IT WHEN MY STUDENTS CAN
Yes always on learning and conquering this new environments
with the help of those participants that can say it much better than I can!
so I always find nose clips a burden when others have learned to use 'em!
so who decides how ya swim?
I love to hear my students!
r u one of 'em?
Pat was my first teacher!
You were the first to answer my first question when I found this forum ... so that makes me one of your students in some regards I suppose. I try to follow most of your advice. A funny thing ... I only realized recently the benefits of completely exhaling and; with the snorkel "drill" what it should feel like. Your first reply was about bobbing and completely exhaling. Some things just take time!
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