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-   -   Gasping (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/showthread.php?t=9584)

efdoucette 04-13-2018 11:54 PM

Gasping
 
Hoping someone can offer some advice.

Swimming freestyle, after 100 - 150 meters I get the urge to stop and I know why ... poor breathing technique. As I exhale and mouth breaks water I then seem to over inhale. I'm sure relaxing is the answer but hard to master. I would like to breath normally and I am close but just can't seem to get into a relaxing rhythm of exhale / inhale. Are there methods to improve or should I just learn to push through it?

Thanks in advance

WFEGb 04-14-2018 12:58 AM

Hello Eric,

Quote:

Swimming freestyle, after 100 - 150 meters I get the urge to stop and I know why ... poor breathing technique.
Breathing technique in swimming is not a single technique to get a breath. It's more a technique where you're swimming (balanced and streamlined) with ability to breath as well...

Quote:

As I exhale and mouth breaks water I then seem to over inhale. I'm sure relaxing is the answer but hard to master.
The problem you call over inhale, mostly is a problem of being so tensed all around, that you didn't exhale enough, and so there's not enough room for fresh air...

Quote:

I would like to breath normally and I am close but just can't seem to get into a relaxing rhythm of exhale / inhale. Are there methods to improve or should I just learn to push through it?
Hmm... what is "normally breath" in swimming for you? Rhythm and (necessary!) relaxation are more determinated by your balance, streamline and stroke-movement. Holding that relaxation while breathing for a good breath is more a matter of timing from inhale and exhale connected to your stroke. Inhale as early as possible (as Terry said: You can't breath too early) and only(!) as long as necessary...

And yes, in the beginning it might be worth some experiments to push just through for some strokes or stop just before running out of breath to go on as fast as possible, but have in mind: Running out of breath will ruin your stroke. So hold these tests in a small range.

Best regards,
Werner

CoachBobM 04-14-2018 06:32 AM

How often are you breathing? Every 2nd stroke? Every 3rd stroke? Less often?


Bob

efdoucette 04-14-2018 12:58 PM

Hello Werner and coach Bob, thanks for your comments.

I breath every 2nd stroke, left side. I try to exhale continuously through the stroke with a final push to empty as I surface, and I follow my shoulder so I do get an early breath, such that my head is in a down position before I spear. This feels good and i do get a good length per stroke. That's how it "feels" to me anyway.

I'm not worried about getting air, it's always there left side (am working on bilateral also) but I do think I have tension.

I think I need to:
1. focus on discovering where tension is creeping in, and
2. pushing through the discomfort.

Any other points to consider?

WFEGb 04-15-2018 12:55 AM

Hello Eric,

just to get a better awareness to what happens when breathing... How about trying some lengths (with rests) breathing exclusively on your right side? Whatch at the Details... And which details feel really better with the next lap breathing left? Are them really better or do they feel better as being used to? Are there differences of felt tension anywhere? (It's just from Terry, as he wrote about his first ten minutes as coach; his swimmers swam much more symmetrical when breathing on their "bad side"...)

Best regards,
Werner

novaswimmer 05-03-2018 11:39 PM

Boy, for me at first, breathing was all about proper technique to be able reach air. This meant working on a horizontal position in water, proper rotation angle of body and further rotation of neck to reach air, etc. Also, the timing of the breath in relation to the recovery arm. I have to breathe BEFORE my arm passes my head. An 'early' breath, I guess some say. Too late a breath, and my mouth is already sinking underwater.

Once I pretty much achieved that on both sides, I was able to relax a bit knowing that air would be there. It took me about two years to get to that point!

The next big thing for me was air regulation. Conquering this is what helped my longevity....say swimming a mile vs. 10 laps. Air regulation entailed adjusting and coordinating my speed, exertion level, inhale volume, and exhale volume, with my frequency of breathing to sustain my oxygen expenditure. If I tore down the lane from the get-go, it wouldn't take me too long before I was huffing and puffing and had to stop.

Now I start out really slowly. If I can go 6 to 8 laps without feeling that panicky out-of-air feeling, then I know I'm achieving a good balance of exertion to oxygen intake. So I push ahead at the same tempo or maybe just a tad harder/faster. Of course with lots of practice and time, the body becomes more efficient at the stroke and there is less oxygen usage too. We learn how to 'turn off' and relax certain muscles that are not used and activate the ones that propel us. And swimming muscles become toned which also helps (becoming 'swim fit').

There's a LOT to breathing! For some it comes more naturally. For others, it's a longer process.

I don't know if that makes any sense.

efdoucette 05-04-2018 03:29 PM

Novaswimmer, this makes perfect sense, totally relatable, well said.

I think I'm at that "air regulation" discovery stage, just need to find it, and I will.

I am now in my mid 60s and sometimes wonder if I just no longer have the lung capacity, but your words make me believe I can do it. Thank you for your time.

Eric

novaswimmer 05-15-2018 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by efdoucette (Post 65354)
Novaswimmer, this makes perfect sense, totally relatable, well said.

I think I'm at that "air regulation" discovery stage, just need to find it, and I will.

I am now in my mid 60s and sometimes wonder if I just no longer have the lung capacity, but your words make me believe I can do it. Thank you for your time.

Eric

I'm in my 60s too. I started learning to swim freestyle in earnest in my mid-50s, so we're not all that different.

It was important for me to learn to exhale slowly, and continuously throughout the whole time underwater. This helped with relaxation.

If you are still gasping as you come up for air, maybe you are not breathing frequently enough? I can sometimes start out breathing every 3rd stroke, but eventually have to settle into breathing every other stroke. This may be because I just still have a lot of drag, or a small lung capacity, or am exerting too much -- or all three. Then, I'll slow down the stroke to decrease my oxygen consumption if I need to.


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