Eliminating Nose Clip
Following my questions a couple of weeks ago, I have been working on swimming without the nose clip.
I reviewed the video carefully and practised the drills leading up to whole stroke swimming. With the holidays I have been able to go more regularly which has been great for practising.
I have been swimming much more slowly and stopping after each length to recover and reflect on what I have just done. This has kept me unrushed and relaxed. It also eliminates that feeling of breathlessness.
Breast-stroke is much easier without the nose clip, I find. So I start each swimming session with 2 to 4 laps of breast-stroke to focus on exhaling through my nose and keeping my mouth open underwater.
I had been swimming freestyle breathing on every third stroke. Without the nose clip I have gone back to breathing on every second stroke, alternating sides on alternate laps. This has highlighted differencesin breathing on each side (chocolate and vanilla) that I did not notice breathing every third breath. It is now a drill in its own right for me, trying to isolate and eliminate those differences.
I can now swim again on every third breath, but my focus is to become relaxed again integrating the breathing.
One focus point I have found useful in trying not to roll too far on a breathing stroke: I try to look just over the edge of the water with one eye as I come up. It's fun to look just at water level and puts my head at the correct position.
I hope this is helpful. Any further comments are welcome.
You've done really well! I know a few people who still use nose clips, possibly because of allergies to pool chemicals, but I think it is more relaxing to swim without. Plus, if you ever swim in sea water, it's one way to keep that horrible taste out of your mouth (mostly).
My T.I. swim coach has just written a book called Effortless Exercise, and breathing through the nose is one of the things he emphasizes. Apparently there's a nerve running through the nose (vagus nerve?) which affects your heartbeat. He writes that babies breath through their mouths only when they are stressed out enough to start crying, so bypassing that nerve by breathing only through your mouth tells your heart/body that you are in a stressful state. Obviously you can't really inhale nasally when swimming, but breathing out through your nose would still stimulate that nerve.
I tried breathing only through my nose yesterday morning in a spin class and although it was hard to do, I was amazed at how fresh and energetic I felt all day afterwards, despite having my heart rate around 130 for most of it (I'm 50). From 131 to 140, I had to start exhaling through my mouth, from about 141 up mouth breathing only had to come in (just one of the intervals, fortunately) Normally that class makes me feel tired and drained for the rest of the day. I can't wait to try this with running.
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