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Old 06-26-2010
sinker sinker is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: michigan
Posts: 78

Originally Posted by robedon View Post
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.
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".
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