TI has brought about many changes to my freestyle swimming over several years, but none so dramatic as my recent discovery of diaphragmatic breathing. The change from thoracic breathing wasn't easy but, wow, what a difference!! I have been aware of the Buteyko Technique for some time and practice it when relaxing at home, getting my breathe rate down to 4 per minute. But I never thought to try it when swimming.
What I hadn't realised was that 7 times more oxygen enters the bloodstream per minute when belly breathing. That's right! 42 ml/minute compared with 6 ml/minute when upper chest breathing. Phenomenal! My swimming has taken a mega leap forward. More speed, more relaxed, small inhales, long, slow exhales.
Why hasn't this come to light before?