Total Immersion Forums

Total Immersion Forums (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/index.php)
-   O2 in H20: Breathing Skills (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   getting out of breath, still (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1508)

robedon 06-24-2010 06:19 PM

getting out of breath, still
 
My swimming history: I've been swimming consistently for about 4 months, and have done the weekend TI class and and taken lessons at the local pool.

my condition: I'm 37, and I work out in the gym 5 days a week, run 3-5 miles 3 days a week, and swim (or try to) 3 days a week.

my Problem: The biggest problem I am having is that I get out of breath very quickly, even after one length. I recently started working with a triathlon coach and he said I'm out of breath because I don't have ample endurance. I agree, you can always be in better shape, but I have a hard time thinking with all the exercise I do that I am out of breath because of endurance.
For some reason I just can not get the hang of breathing in the water. I try to exhale while swimming, and as I cross the pool I feel like I have no air in my lungs. I can't tell if I'm not breathing in correctly or if I'm not fully breathing out or what I'm doing.

anyone have an exercise I can do to practice breathing?

I'm frustrated that I'm not swimming a greater distance without stopping from being winded.

CoachBobM 06-25-2010 04:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robedon (Post 11240)
My swimming history: I've been swimming consistently for about 4 months, and have done the weekend TI class and and taken lessons at the local pool.

my condition: I'm 37, and I work out in the gym 5 days a week, run 3-5 miles 3 days a week, and swim (or try to) 3 days a week.

my Problem: The biggest problem I am having is that I get out of breath very quickly, even after one length. I recently started working with a triathlon coach and he said I'm out of breath because I don't have ample endurance. I agree, you can always be in better shape, but I have a hard time thinking with all the exercise I do that I am out of breath because of endurance.

I agree.

Quote:

For some reason I just can not get the hang of breathing in the water. I try to exhale while swimming, and as I cross the pool I feel like I have no air in my lungs. I can't tell if I'm not breathing in correctly or if I'm not fully breathing out or what I'm doing.
What happens if you do overswitch instead of whole stroke swimming (i.e., roll to your sweet spot to breathe instead of taking a normal breath)? How far can you go before you start to feel out of breath?

madvet 06-25-2010 04:05 PM

Relaxed breathing
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by robedon (Post 11240)
I try to exhale while swimming, and as I cross the pool I feel like I have no air in my lungs. .

Breathing is the most simple thing, except it is not. Yes, you could be in better shape, but not so bad that you can't complete 1 length, otherwise you wouldn't be doing triathlons.

Mastering relaxed breathing is the key to going from 10 yards to 10,000.

The more you can match your breathing to what you would be doing at a brisk walk in the open air, the better.
1) No tension in the neck shoulders and chest.
2) No forceful exhalation or inhalation. More effort than you would be doing standing still, but like I said, about what you do at a brisk walk. People who run are used to breathing harder, but it doesn't work at the slower breathing rate you are limited to while swimming.
3) Inhale when your arms aren't actively pulling -- you can't open your chest, while your back and chest muscles are working to close your chest.

If this is not working, "listen" more closely for excess tension.

robedon 06-25-2010 07:46 PM

thanks for the tips. I have a very hard time relaxing and letting things flow naturally. I'm going to trying rolling to the sweet spot to see how that does for losing breath tonight. your help is much appreciated.

splashingpat 06-26-2010 05:44 PM

if ya can do 10 bobbing breaths...ya really GOT IT! DO N'T yA?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by madvet (Post 11259)
Breathing is the most simple thing,
except
it is not.

Yes, you could be in better shape, but not so bad
that you can't complete 1 length,
otherwise you wouldn't be doing triathlons.

Mastering relaxed breathing
is
the key to going from 10 yards to 10,000.

The more you can match your breathing to what you would be doing at a brisk walk in the open air, the better.
1) No tension in the neck shoulders and chest.
2) No forceful exhalation or inhalation. More effort than you would be doing standing still, but like I said, about what you do at a brisk walk. People who run are used to breathing harder, but it doesn't work at the slower breathing rate you are limited to while swimming.
3) Inhale when your arms aren't actively pulling -- you can't open your chest, while your back and chest muscles are working to close your chest.

If this is not working, "listen" more closely for excess tension.

IT'S GREAT TO VERBALIZE THE ANSWER
AIN'T IT?
splash'n'pat!

sinker 06-26-2010 07:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robedon (Post 11240)
My swimming history: I've been swimming consistently for about 4 months, and have done the weekend TI class and and taken lessons at the local pool.

my condition: I'm 37, and I work out in the gym 5 days a week, run 3-5 miles 3 days a week, and swim (or try to) 3 days a week.

my Problem: The biggest problem I am having is that I get out of breath very quickly, even after one length. I recently started working with a triathlon coach and he said I'm out of breath because I don't have ample endurance. I agree, you can always be in better shape, but I have a hard time thinking with all the exercise I do that I am out of breath because of endurance.
For some reason I just can not get the hang of breathing in the water. I try to exhale while swimming, and as I cross the pool I feel like I have no air in my lungs. I can't tell if I'm not breathing in correctly or if I'm not fully breathing out or what I'm doing.

anyone have an exercise I can do to practice breathing?

I'm frustrated that I'm not swimming a greater distance without stopping from being winded.

Robedon,
Because of the same breathing problem, I used a swimmer's snorkel to develop enough of the other TI skills necessary to finally put the lie to my username.
For what it's worth, here is the two pronged process that cured the dreaded breathless curse for me.
1. I had a theory that a buildup of carbon dioxide was my main problem. I noticed that I was holding my breath for a second or two after taking a breath, before slowly letting it out until the next stroke. My uneducated theory was that when closing off my airway to "hold" my breath, I was "pounding" some carbon dioxide into my lungs (think of closing your airway's valve). I then reasoned that the solution should be to be blowing air out seamlessly from the moment of inhalation. The goal was to see bubbles rising the nanosecond my head hit the water after a breath. This curative process was aided by ---------------

2. A post by Nicodemis. The basics are simple. I started from the wall with a slow superman glide, and then simply bob up every 4 or 5 seconds for a quick "bite" of air, using a crude breaststroke or whatever it takes, keeping it simple. The key here is to NEVER hold your breath. A quick bite of air, then into the water with your head, blowing bubbles at a pace that will get all air out just in time for the next bite of air. I did this at the slow pace of about 10 minutes for a 50 yard lap. I was amazed at how easy this was. I did one of these slow laps at the start of each of the next 2 or 3 swims. The first freestyle test I took slowly with enough rotation to easily get to air, and I arrived at the other wall with no breathlesness at all. Problem solved !!

It is wonderful to practice other TI skills free of the snorkel, knowing that I will always have access to air and utilize it properly.

PS---It definitely ain't your conditioning. I am a 66 year old former couch potato with 25 more pounds to lose. The BMI chart says that I just graduated from the "obese" category to merely "fat".

robedon 06-28-2010 08:07 PM

thanks for the tips. it is definitely giving me some stuff to work on. this is great.

robedon 06-29-2010 11:51 AM

This morning I tried a couple of different things and now I think I'm not getting proper air when I inhale. I held onto the wall and had my face in the water and didn't get out of breath, but after a minute was short of breath. I bubbled out the whole time.

So now I need to figure out how to draw a breath in. this would make sense since I often feel like I don't have any air to bubble out when I'm swimming. Breathing should be such a natural thing, so I'm sure it is hard to explain how everyone breathes in.

Anyone have some additional tips to offer?

thanks

splashingpat 06-29-2010 02:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robedon (Post 11319)
This morning I tried a couple of different things and now I think I'm not getting proper air when I inhale. I held onto the wall and had my face in the water and didn't get out of breath, but after a minute was short of breath. I bubbled out the whole time.

So now I need to figure out how to draw a breath in. this would make sense since I often feel like I don't have any air to bubble out when I'm swimming. Breathing should be such a natural thing, so I'm sure it is hard to explain how everyone breathes in.

Anyone have some additional tips to offer?

thanks

IT'S REALLY PRETTY SIMPLE TO BREATH IN!
YOU BLOW OR BUBBLE OUT(thru nose/&or mouth)
THEN IT TAKES ABOUT ANOTHER SECOND...i take the second underwater so when I come up my mouth is ready to grab the air!
TO CHANGE TO THE INHALE A CUP OF AIR THRU YOUR MOUTH?

REVIEW THE HAPPY LAPS VIDEO!
MANY DO THE EXERCISE ANYWAY
AT THE COMPUTER, DRIVING IN THE CAR, AND EVEN
AT THE POOL!

there are many other post are breathing out and inhaling in!
absorb 'em all
& you will be ready to go!

it's best to have someone BOB AND BREATH WITH YA....
BECAUSE YOU COULD BE DOING SOMETHING WE ARE NOT DOING!

robedon 07-01-2010 12:05 PM

inhaling too hard
 
in the pool this morning, I realized that maybe I have been breathing in too much. could that be the case?

splashingpat 07-01-2010 02:26 PM

REALizing is a great thing!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by robedon (Post 11358)
in the pool this morning,
I realized that maybe I have been breathing in too much.
could that be the case?



The secret i thnk
is getting a cup of air each time....
but Bob Whiskersdoes have an article of carbon dioxide build-up!
BUT
i BELIEVE
you will get to the bottom of this!

let us know
what you are learning!
maybe work on backstroke and tell us how that is?

westyswoods 07-01-2010 09:07 PM

The simple answer is yes, if you are not exhaling properly you get a build up of CO2 or what is often referred to as stacked effect. The exhalation is as important if not more so than inhalation, the key is to find that balance where it feels natural and you just basically forget about it. This takes time and patience with a lot of drills focusing on various aspects of relaxed breathing.

Be well and Swim Silent
Westy

splashingpat 07-02-2010 01:44 AM

I seen guys come up to get AIR and didN'T
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by westyswoods (Post 11362)
The simple answer is yes,
if you are not exhaling properly you get a build up of CO2 or
what is often referred to as stacked effect.
The exhalation is as important if not more so than inhalation,
the key is to find that balance where it feels natural and you just basically forget about it. This takes time and patience with a lot of drills focusing on various aspects of relaxed breathing. ]]


Be well
and Swim Silent
Westy

being a lifeguard
and instructor
I can't tell without seeing YA!

so these swimming guys
make it look SO EASY,
Do n't they?

robedon 07-21-2010 12:58 PM

skating breathing drill
 
this morning I tried doing the skating drill with my left arm extended and breathing to my right. I was wearing Aquasphere fins while doing this, but I did several lengths without getting winded. for some reason when I tried doing it to breathe to the right, my face was under water every time I went to get air.

the point I'm trying to make, is when i swim whole stroke, I get winded in a lap or 2, and when I was only skating I didn't.

When I swim whole stroke, I just don't feel like I get the right air exchange. half way across a 25m pool, I'm out of breath.

maybe I need to do only the skating drill the next few swims to see if it will help me learn how to exchange my air properly.

daveblt 07-22-2010 02:01 AM

One thing you did not mention is how often you breathe . Are you breathing every third stroke or every other ? If your breathing every third try every other and see what happens . Also in skating you are probably trying to get your balance when you roll up to breathe and inhaling with the face out of the water for a longer time and than in whole stroke so the problem is not as bad.I have been doing TI for quite a long time and have run into the same problem of not enough breath and I think one problem may be trying to take too few breaths .I'm doing 11 strokes in 25 yard pool .When I breath every other stroke instead of every third the problem is not as bad but is still there to some extent yet just before a swim I can run a mile with no problem. So I am going to try to breathe just every other stroke switching sides each lap and see what happens ( even though I'm stubborn and want to breath every third ) and try increasing the count to 12 or 13 strokes and there lies another problem , 12 feels good but anymore than that ,13 or 14 feels like I'm really churning my arms too fast and then my stroke feels like it's an off day.

Dave

ames 07-22-2010 12:20 PM

Robedon,

I am working on the same issue. My goal is to be able to swim a mile freestyle, or however long I feel like swimming. I have been stuck at a plateau for some time, where I am winded after only a lap or two, but it is getting better.

I have been practicing TI for about 9 months, before which I couldn't swim a lick. I am also 37, not in bad shape but I don't work out much, certainly not as much as you. It is not endurance keeping us from swimming long distances. I have seen several people at the pool who look very out of shape and even some who have grossly inefficient strokes but who are able to keep swimming for a long time without a break. I think it is all about getting into a breathing rhythm that is sustainable for you. Here is what has helped me so far:

I learned to swim a slow, relaxed TI breaststroke, mostly by watching videos from TI-swim Japan. I hardly use my arms at all, so it is very low-energy and easy. It is much easier to breathe in breaststroke--you don't have your head to the side and the water closing in on your nose and mouth. And you can vary your rhythm as you need more or less air without throwing off your stroke. It has given me confidence to swim in deep water and comfort to swim long distances... I have swum a mile doing b.s. and could probably go longer with it.

Then, to transfer that feeling of ease to freestyle... I did a couple laps of b.s. and timed myself and counted strokes to find out what breathing rate was comfortable. It was 13 strokes in 39 sec. or 3 sec. between breaths. So I set my Tempo Trainer to 1.5 to swim freestyle and breathe every other stroke. This actually felt a bit fast to me. As my balance has improved I realized my stroke rate has been going down and I needed to pick up the pace in order to get air as often as I would like.

This was not the magic bullet but has helped in getting me to my goal. Now I am able to swim 1 lap freestyle followed by 1 lap b.s. and am able to keep going that way. Yesterday I was amazed at how good I felt doing that and actually lost count of laps, I think it was 16. I expect to get more and more comfortable and eventually do 2 laps free, 1 lap b.s., then 3 laps free, 1 lap b.s., and so on until I have weaned myself off the breast. ha

Hope this helps.
ames

BASEtraining 07-22-2010 03:28 PM

Find your breathing rate
 
Hi,

I am not sure if this is your issue or not but it could be....I worked with a triathlete recently that was breathing out too much air right after taking a breath and then she pretty much had to hold her breath until the next cycle. This was causing her to be out of breath and hyperventilating after only a short while. Others I have seen have held their breath until right before their breathing cycle and it cause similar issues. Here is an exercise you can do to help.

Take a breath and push off into superman glide. Slowly bubble out your breath until you begin to sink (this will be a fairly distinct moment...the moment when you become more dense than water with little to no air in your lungs). This point will be different for each person based on your body fat percentage or basically your body's density and such. Do this as many times as it takes to get a good feel for the percentage of your breath that you need to blow out to begin to sink (i.e. do you start to sink when you have released 75% of that full breath or 90%?). When you have a good feel for the percentage, begin practicing releasing that amount or little less thant that amount between each breathing cycle in your regular swim stroke. This will make your breathing more consistent, may keep you from feeling out of breath, and will keep you from sinking due to lack of air in the lungs.

I hope this helps.

Ryan
B.A.S.E. Training

atreides 07-22-2010 06:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robedon (Post 11784)
this morning I tried doing the skating drill with my left arm extended and breathing to my right. I was wearing Aquasphere fins while doing this, but I did several lengths without getting winded. for some reason when I tried doing it to breathe to the right, my face was under water every time I went to get air.

the point I'm trying to make, is when i swim whole stroke, I get winded in a lap or 2, and when I was only skating I didn't.

When I swim whole stroke, I just don't feel like I get the right air exchange. half way across a 25m pool, I'm out of breath.

maybe I need to do only the skating drill the next few swims to see if it will help me learn how to exchange my air properly.

As a championship member of the one lap club, I feel especially qualified to chime in here. Although I haven't overcome the problem, I think I 'm am closing in on its solution. Here are some factors for your consideration:

1. The number one enemy of swimming endurance, I believe, is the inability to relax properly. In my case I carry a lot of tension in my upper body. There are lots of reasons why I tighten up. I can start out relaxed but will tighten up if I miss a breath or feel as though my hips or dropping. You got to learn to relax in order to have good endurance.

2. Most of the time I work too hard. I have been putting in a more compact recovery based on Terry's new DVD. Just this morning I was swimming a lap when I noticed that if I would catch and hold (go vertical with my forearm but slow down with any pulling motion) then kick and rotate at the same time my arms still moved like I was pulling but I really wasn't "pulling". For me this is difficult to execute because I'm so use to moving my arms backwards as I excute a stroke cycle. But if I learn to execute this move consistently and properly the energy reduction will be significant.

3. I used to think my breathing was the cause of all my ills. I no longer think this because I really don't think about breathing that much. I exhale through my nose and breathe in through my mouth. I rarely miss a breath and I'n no longer suffereing the acute respiratory stress that I experienced when I first started. Most of the time I just get tired. I'm going to go back to what I said about tightness. When you're tight you fatigue easily and as you fatigue you get tighter. Think about it. If you could be assured that you stay perfectly horizontal while you swam, then your only jobs would be to breathe every now and then and paddle yourself (think of yourself as a canoe). But if your canoe starts sinking in the back what's the first thing you do. You try to right yourself. Bale water. Paddle faster. Fatigue sets in very rapidly under those conditions.

So if I were you, I would determine if my breathing problems are acute or not. I call acute the kind of distress that that causes you to swim as hard as you can after an impulse kicks off as you are swimming. That's oxygen debt and the impulse is probably CO2 related. As many have said, you will need to work on exhaling properly. But if you are just getting tired, you need to eliminate the energy wasters. Body tension. Overstroking. When you think about it, if you take most of the work out of the arms and transfer it to your core then how much energy are you really using? It's really more about timing and rhythmn. But I'm right there with you. Get Terry's Self Coached video and
start eliminating those energy losses.

qneill 07-22-2010 08:01 PM

+1 @atreides comments about fatigue factors.

I have been swimming since I was 5 but quite inefficiently due to poor form. After getting into triathlons, I turned to TI to swim faster, and I am a 100% convert. I found though that I had to "back into" the form and effeciency gains - first I had to sense what was happening and then break the bad habits.

Anyway - Have you tried swimming with a bouy (between the legs)? This might give you some feedback about 1) what the torso is doing and 2) ease some of your tension due to fears of sinking. It may give you some confidence as well allowing you to swim longer and get your breathing rhythm.

energeticspace 07-22-2010 09:07 PM

Try a few Yoga Breaths
 
I think I read this on one of Terry's posts but I'm not a yoga fan so I wasn't too open to give it a try. At a Freestyle Workshop that I just attended, the coach had us try the yoga breaths before we launched ourselves in the water and I was so surprised how much it relaxed me. My breathing was much improved by that simple exercise. I believe the deep breaths helped to relax all the muscles that are fighting for survival because somewhere in my head I think I'm not going to make it and my muscles tense up. Hope that helps.

robedon 07-23-2010 03:32 PM

thanks for more tips
 
BASE, thanks for the drill to help. I may be exhaling too fast, as sometimes I feel like have no air immediately after I breathe. I just can't tell if I am not getting enough breath or releasing what I get too fast.

I am happy to hear from the people that are overcoming this problem. I've been swimming very consistently and feel I'm improving, but I'm not where I want to be. I really want to be able to swim a mile, or more.

phenixrising 07-24-2010 12:29 AM

I'm barely ahead of you, but I finally got it!
 
I'm 47, run/ride all the time, great cardio shape. I am just getting my swim down. I can't offer much, but I was just where you are about 2 weeks ago. I knew it couldn't be my fitness, but I ran out of air quickly also. I could only swim about 100 yards. Here are a few keys that I finally figured out accidentally and now I can suddenly swim 1000 yards, lol. I don't know which of these may help the most, but they all were a factor in my unlocking "the key". First, I slowed WAY down. I swam at a ridiculously slow pace and relaxed. I quit thinking about form for the time being, and relaxed. As I turned to breathe I looked at stuff just out of the pool and thought about it, not swimming. Also, I just breathe every stroke to the right (I can learn left side later) and I still blow out easy the whole time under water, but mainly I focus on blowing out harder right before I inhale. After practice, now it feels rhythmic and natural like when I'm running. I honestly quit trying to swim with perfect form, and now that I can keep swimming, I am working on my form. If you are holding stale air in your lungs, it's not doing you any good. If you feel like you need to get all of it out, practice getting it out fairly often by taking a huge gulp of air (rolling over a little more and look skyward). The whole deal is like a sprinter trying to run a mile at 100 meter pace. Just slow down to a steady crawl. Speed we can get later. Hope this helps. I'm not very good, but I know exactly where you are!

Mike from NS 07-24-2010 06:27 PM

similar ....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by phenixrising (Post 11849)
First, I slowed WAY down. I swam at a ridiculously slow pace and relaxed. I quit thinking about form for the time being, and relaxed.

Like phenixrising says, I'm trying to relax by going slowly (not that I had any great speed in the first place) and by doing this I was more relaxed; and it followed that the trickle breathing was much more attainable. Today I also spent some time with the "Nicodemus bob" technique for a number of pool lengths.

I also feel that I am trying to breath too deeply. In doing that I find there is a pause after I get all the air I can, thinking that a pause may give me even more air. This is a habit which when I can break, I then find things move more smoothly and breathing is more natural as in the "Nicodemus bob" drill. Breathe as if not in the water. Breathe naturally. This was my focus today ~ and it helped.

robedon 07-26-2010 01:36 PM

slowing down
 
do you not find it hard to slow down? I feel like I can do it for a few strokes, and then I start to sink.

atreides 07-26-2010 06:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robedon (Post 11889)
do you not find it hard to slow down? I feel like I can do it for a few strokes, and then I start to sink.

Here's the thing. There is the feeling of sinking and actually doing it. Until recently, I always felt like my backside was sinking if I didn't maintain a certain speed. Maintaining the speed and keeping myself straight like a board was what I thought I needed to swim correctly. Well that introduced tension which cause me to fatigue very rapidly. Also I was swimming very rapidly ( I estimate .9 or 1.0 temp). No wonder I was getting out of breath.

Well two things have helped me. Terry's new video explains the weight shift and the compact recovery so that I understand what to do. The neat thing about it is that he explains how to recover and almost guarantee a good catch. A good catch and proper weight shift means more foreward propulsion with less energy used. This means I can slow my stroke cycle down but still generate enough momentum so I that I don't think I'm sinking. Plus since I'm not stroking at 100 mph, I can work on the relaxation thing.

Secondly, I proved to myself that I wasn't sinking or at least I was falling out of horizontal balance. Try a superman glide. Near the end you start sinking backside first. Now do the same glide and kick ever so lightly. If you have your head and arms in the proper position, you'll run out of air before you sink. Now try it and do a two beat kick the way you would if your were swimming. You still don't sink in the back. If you're like me and you have been doing balance drills for months, you probably have pretty good balance.

Now being balanced and not sinking a little bit are two different things. You may sink a little bit the slower you go but so long has you are horizontal all you have done as "sinked into support". You may need to rotate little more to breathe but it should be nothing major. Once you have convinced yourself that nothing bad is happening because you have slowed down. you can relax even more. Now its a "patience game". Because you have slowed down, it's going to take you longer to get to the other. There's going to be this urge to speed it up. That's where I've got to my work. May you too.

robedon 08-26-2010 08:19 PM

breaths too deep
 
swimming this moring I may have finally figured out that I have been breathing in too much air. I know the video says take a bite of air. I've had a hard time figuring out exactly what a bite of air is. does anyone have a good comparison to how much to breathe in?

borate 08-26-2010 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robedon (Post 12736)
swimming this moring I may have finally figured out that I have been breathing in too much air. I know the video says take a bite of air. I've had a hard time figuring out exactly what a bite of air is. does anyone have a good comparison to how much to breathe in?

Back in the early 80s, I realized that my one-sided, head-lifting stroke might improve if I learned to bi-breathe every third stroke.
I did, and it did - but it took me months to get into the rhythm.

At slow pacing, I don't pay much mind to it now, and concur with Mike (above): "Breathe as if not in the water. Breathe naturally."

If you feel deprived of air, you might switch to breathing every stroke for a while.
Or breathe to one side only for a lap or two, until you are again comfortable with one alternating breath every three strokes.

flppr 08-28-2010 03:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robedon (Post 12736)
swimming this moring I may have finally figured out that I have been breathing in too much air. I know the video says take a bite of air. I've had a hard time figuring out exactly what a bite of air is. does anyone have a good comparison to how much to breathe in?

my interpretation of a bite if air is the amount you would inhale in a normal breath at rest.

panamsh 08-28-2010 05:29 PM

You have gotten wonderful tips. Be patient. Try them all. Try mine also.
Buy the Easy Freestyle: 21st Century Techniques for Beginners to Advanced Swimmers DVD. Play and study the drills three times before trying any of them. Practice one drill per day.
Before swimming I do forty slow bubbles to begin. I say bubble, bubble, and breathe, bubble, bubble,and breathe several times. I am to-tally relaxed while I am doing this drill. Try to move very slowly, very relaxed. Let the water support your head. When you do your first lap and you are still tired, do thirty bubbles, and so on.
I am 82 years old. I swim very slowly, using the ti method. I do a good many 100yds. without being out of breath. When this happens I do my back stroke drills, and then return to my crawl or underwater switch. Focos on relaxing, a good body position, extend that lead arm to help with balancing, and replay the DVD drills in your head while swimming. Try to memorize them. Swimming is fun. Enjoy!
Silvia

Mike from NS 08-31-2010 11:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flppr (Post 12766)
my interpretation of a bite if air is the amount you would inhale in a normal breath at rest.

Didn't I read or hear recently something where Terry equated the "bite" of air to the same or similar amount of air as when you're singing and grab some air between musical phrases of the song?

flppr 08-31-2010 11:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike from NS (Post 12842)
Didn't I read or hear recently something where Terry equated the "bite" of air to the same or similar amount of air as when you're singing and grab some air between musical phrases of the song?

that sounds more accurate. i think beginners tend to over-inhale rather than under. i know i did.

Mike from NS 09-01-2010 12:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flppr (Post 12843)
i think beginners tend to over-inhale rather than under. i know i did.

I still do too. Beginners for sure and others as well ...over everything. Over-rotate, over kick, over analyse and over inhale for sure. Just the learning curve! I tried in a more focused manner, recently, humming for the exhale. The little bit of time I did this, really worked well for me. I think we over inhale because of a lacking confidence which will give way to more confidence with more & more practice and exposure to the watery environment.

Our local outdoor pool closed Sunday for the season but due to the present heat wave we have now they have reopened for a few days. Probably close again for the weekend when we welcome Hurricane Earl to N.S. Tomorrow I hope to try biting some air!!

flppr 09-01-2010 05:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike from NS (Post 12844)
I still do too. Beginners for sure and others as well ...over everything. Over-rotate, over kick, over analyse and over inhale for sure. Just the learning curve!

hehe, i can certainly relate, brother. it is a looooong curve, isn't it?

Quote:

Our local outdoor pool closed Sunday for the season but due to the present heat wave we have now they have reopened for a few days. Probably close again for the weekend when we welcome Hurricane Earl to N.S. Tomorrow I hope to try biting some air!!
get as many of those bites in while you can!

warrenjk 09-01-2010 06:13 AM

Just got over the same problem as Robedon
 
I've been swimming 6 months now, and only in the last month or so have I got completely over the shortness of breath issue. I think it was as much mental as anything, anyway I am now far more relaxed in the water, breathing every 2nd or 3rd stroke as I feel inclined. For me, using a pullbuoy made it a whole lot easier, as it prevents the "I'm about to sink" feeling I had when I started. I suspect I was taking in too much air to start with, thinking I was running short, but I now breathe a whole lot less per breath than when I started off.

Whatever, it is worth persevering, as I am now (finally) really enjoying my swimming.

flppr 09-01-2010 08:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robedon (Post 11784)
this morning I tried doing the skating drill with my left arm extended and breathing to my right. I was wearing Aquasphere fins while doing this, but I did several lengths without getting winded. for some reason when I tried doing it to breathe to the right, my face was under water every time I went to get air.

the point I'm trying to make, is when i swim whole stroke, I get winded in a lap or 2, and when I was only skating I didn't.

When I swim whole stroke, I just don't feel like I get the right air exchange. half way across a 25m pool, I'm out of breath.

maybe I need to do only the skating drill the next few swims to see if it will help me learn how to exchange my air properly.

when reviewing terry's video last night, i noticed how much he rotates his body when he rolls to air during whole stroke. its a lot. he really shifts all his weight, even his head, onto his skate side.

if you can get enough air in skate but not whole stroke, maybe you're not rotating enough in whole stroke?

also look at where your recovery arm is when you are inhaling. if your arm is already above your head, its too late. the weight of your arm will push your head down into the water.

ps: post a video so we can see what's going on.

haschu33 09-01-2010 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robedon (Post 12736)
... I know the video says take a bite of air. I've had a hard time figuring out exactly what a bite of air is. does anyone have a good comparison to how much to breathe in?

I think it is best to put your focus on the exhale, not on the inhale. After a good exhale your system will inhale on it's own, and it will take the amount of air it needs.

When you put too much focus on the inhale you may start to hyperventilate, which means the carbon-dioxide level or pressure in your system gets too low. That ends in cramps in arms, jaw muscels etc and is actually quite painful. You can help people who are hyperventilating by having them breathe out into a plastic bag and then breath in that air from the plastic bag, which has a higher carbon-dioxide and a lower oxygen level.
Over-stuffing your system with oxygen does not help, on the contrary.

robedon 09-10-2010 02:53 PM

may have had a breakthrough
 
swam this morning and completed 18 laps, and only stopped once for just a few seconds and then back to it. usually, I've been doing 100 yds and then stopping for 30 seconds, then doing 100 yds again. I cheated a little, I wore my fins, but didn't kick, just used them to float my body right. The key was I slowed down. toward the end, I found myself speeding back up to the pace I've been trying to do. I can't believe how hard it is for me to go slow. I'm not sure that my actual speed of forward motion slows down that much, but my arm movement is much slower.

lemur 08-31-2011 03:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by madvet (Post 11259)
Breathing is the most simple thing, except it is not. Yes, you could be in better shape, but not so bad that you can't complete 1 length, otherwise you wouldn't be doing triathlons.

Mastering relaxed breathing is the key to going from 10 yards to 10,000.

The more you can match your breathing to what you would be doing at a brisk walk in the open air, the better.
1) No tension in the neck shoulders and chest.
2) No forceful exhalation or inhalation. More effort than you would be doing standing still, but like I said, about what you do at a brisk walk. People who run are used to breathing harder, but it doesn't work at the slower breathing rate you are limited to while swimming.
3) Inhale when your arms aren't actively pulling -- you can't open your chest, while your back and chest muscles are working to close your chest.

If this is not working, "listen" more closely for excess tension.

I love this post. Your #3 suggestion changed everything for me. This is the exact reason why I'd been prowling the different boards for hours a night over the last few weeks.

My daily swims were nightmares. I live here in San Diego and would, each day, head to Mission Bay and try to practice this and that...things I'd read the night before, etc. Always the results were the same; 50 - 75 yards and I'd be out of breath. I was really starting to wonder if I'd ever get it.

I'm a fit guy. I run (sub 3 hour marathon 2 years ago), work out in the gym, and generally lead a pretty active lifestyle. Swimming, though, was killing me. I'd look on in wonder and amazement at folks of all description who could swim for 30+ minutes, gliding along happy as can be.

...and then I read suggestion #3...

In my next swim I really paid attention to how I was breathing. I noticed that as soon as started my catch (or even a little before...when my spear arm was just slightly less than extended), I also started to breath. It was like I was trying to take a breath at just the same time that all my chest, arm, and back muscles were under maximum tension. Why I never saw this before is beyond me.

I now find myself waiting until hand is about at my shoulder and then I just follow the recovering arm back to take a breath. It works. I can't believe it. I swim easily now. Everything seems to have fallen into place. I don't have to try and take a huge inhale, I don't have to think about exhaling. I'm not forcing anything. I seem to take in just what I need and the exhalation is without thinking.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

RobM77 08-31-2011 09:33 AM

Hi there. You may have seen my thread on a similar problem. Could you describe this #3 in more detail? Are you breathing earlier or later? I tend to breath as my recovering arm leaves the water, and finish breathing as it reaches the trigger point when I start to pull.

I had exactly the same problem in that I couldn't swim more than 25-50 metres withiout becoming exhausted, yet can run sub 7 minute miles, cycle pretty fast for long periods etc. I had also had extensive coaching in TI and had got my stroke to a pretty good standard, but still no improvement in exhaustion. My solution was a number of little things, but in hindsight it seems to have boiled down to improving my breathing technique to lengthen the inhalation part (by starting earlier), which has allowed me to get away with the less frequent breaths that slower swimming gives you, and then of course benefit from the lack of exertion of slow swimming. I've dropped my pace from 25 second 25 metre lengths to 33 second lengths, and can now swim 800 metres without stopping. The level of physical exertion is similar to an extremely slow jog (6mph) a leisurely cycle (13mph) or a pilates class, which feels very odd to me, as I'm using to running at more like 9mph, cycling at 20mph and doing flat out circuit training.

Provided this is normal for swimming to be the odd one out of all my sport, I guess I've solved my problem!

lemur 08-31-2011 02:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobM77 (Post 21783)
Hi there. You may have seen my thread on a similar problem. Could you describe this #3 in more detail? Are you breathing earlier or later? I tend to breath as my recovering arm leaves the water, and finish breathing as it reaches the trigger point when I start to pull.

I had exactly the same problem in that I couldn't swim more than 25-50 metres withiout becoming exhausted, yet can run sub 7 minute miles, cycle pretty fast for long periods etc. I had also had extensive coaching in TI and had got my stroke to a pretty good standard, but still no improvement in exhaustion. My solution was a number of little things, but in hindsight it seems to have boiled down to improving my breathing technique to lengthen the inhalation part (by starting earlier), which has allowed me to get away with the less frequent breaths that slower swimming gives you, and then of course benefit from the lack of exertion of slow swimming. I've dropped my pace from 25 second 25 metre lengths to 33 second lengths, and can now swim 800 metres without stopping. The level of physical exertion is similar to an extremely slow jog (6mph) a leisurely cycle (13mph) or a pilates class, which feels very odd to me, as I'm using to running at more like 9mph, cycling at 20mph and doing flat out circuit training.

Provided this is normal for swimming to be the odd one out of all my sport, I guess I've solved my problem!

Rob,

Great to hear you seem to have found a solution to the problem. What I do now is breathe later and longer. Previously, I started my breath at the start of the catch and ended it just about the time my hand passed my shoulder. I now START my breath at the time my hand passes my shoulder and finish it just prior to my recovering arm entering the water.


All times are GMT. The time now is 08:03 AM.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.