I recently started to relax my breathing in freestyle (see my post here for details -http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/...read.php?t=669
Now that I can breathe calmly (!), I am working on improving my position during the breath. I noticed I have a habit of rolling too far, so I want to imprint myself with a 'sneaky breath' position instead.
In the 'O2 in H2O' DVD, Terry advises to keep one goggle wet. But I was finding this hard to judge. Then I figured out why. I was mentally picturing a view of myself 'from the outside' rather than using internal reference points. Sorry if that sounds wierd. What I mean is that I could see what Terry looked like
in the DVD - but I didn't know what he could see or feel. I needed to define my own reference points.
I realised that when I roll to breathe I catch a momentary glimpse of the ceiling. So I thought about what I should
be looking at. If one goggle is under water, then you must be able to see something under water. Likewise if the other goggle is above, then you must be able to see something above the surface. But I quickly discovered that my brain could not cope with trying to focus above and below at the same time. So I decided that below the surface was more important (since my goal is to roll the minimum necessary)
So now just before I breathe, I pause for a moment gliding calmly along and I look
at the underside of the lane divider sliding past me. Reference Point 1.
Then I want to make sure I am not reaching up for air. So I check my head alignment is straight. To do this I am thinking about resting my "ear on the pillow". Reference Point 2.
I am also doing other standard "system checks" of course - eg patient lead hand & where are my legs? All this takes a fraction of a second, but it feels so peaceful to be gliding along just noticing these details. This also gives me time to exhale properly as I..... turn my head a fraction more and..... breathe in nice and easy.
The amazing thing is that the sneaky breath feels like I have all the time in the world, whereas my excessive rolling felt more rushed. I guess relaxation is the key.
I hope these ideas are useful to other people too.