Originally Posted by glider
Hello dear swimmers
I started TI last year - before I did not really swim a decent freestyle. My goal is "eternal gliding". TI was kind of a revelation to me. Of course there is still so much space for improvement, but meanwhile I have made quite some progress and I'm able to swim a pool length in a more or less decent way (and in the green zone of Terry's SPL chart at a tempo of about 1:20 to 1:30 with the tempo trainer). However, when I'm getting to the end of the pool, I have an unpleasant feeling of breathlessness, and therefore usually I wait half a minute or even longer before I embark on the next length. If, rarely, I can bring myself to do 2 lengths in a row, I kind of get a feeling of near-drowning by the end of the 2nd length.
When trying to analyze the reason(s) of my breathlessness, I'm not very successful. I am obviously thinking about a) technical flaws, such as too much drag due to insufficient balance, but I do not believe that this is the main cause, as I'm observing lots of other swimmers who seem to "work" more than I do (at least that's what it looks like for me) but who swim length after length. I also think of b) psychological issues (such as fear of lack of air or, don't laugh at me now, fear of water in general), or of c) an unknown factor. Physically I am in quite a good general condition by the way, and I am also able to do open turns (and even isolated flip turns), so it's not that.
- Who has experienced a similar thing?
- What is your advice for me?
Who has experienced similar things? When you have time, read thru the number of forums that have dealt with this problem. Before TI I swam many mindless laps in the all inclusive needs of piling on the distance. The cost was sore shoulders and the need for weekly massages to relieve the soreness. Then I received a fantastic birthday present from my son-in-law--Terry's book on TI. While it wasn't a magic bullet, it did open my eyes to a new and better way to swim well.
Coach David Shen opened my eyes when he told me that he thought that I was simply not getting enough air. Years of sitting at a desk and hunching over a computer compromised my breathing--I was only filling the top part of my lungs. He suggested some breathing exercises, which seemed to help me.
Another suggestion that was posted in a blog by Mat Hudson was that when you feel tired, try nasal breathing. This also was a very aha moment for me. Worked like magic.
Assuming you have read the breathing thread, maybe your problem is just psychological? That was also some of my problem too.
Then trying to complete 2 lengths without hugging and puffing, I discovered that I was exhaling so hard that I could hardly see ahead because of all the bubbles I was creating. Maybe you are putting too much effort in the first length and have little to give when it comes to the second length.
The other problem was that when I was using the TT, I sort of panicked trying to hear the beat and to time it with the hand entry. Decided to do without the TT and just try to swim as relaxed as possible. I am now using the TT and it seems to be working out.
These are only a few of the problems that I discovered, but progress is slow. Keep at it and hope others give you suggestions.