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  #21  
Old 11-19-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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Originally Posted by whoiscathy View Post
At the first lesson, I was told "you have the best SG I've seen". Sure enough I can stay in a SG seemingly "forever" and if I'm given just a little momentum I can easily float to halfway into the pool (25m pool) or even longer.

But I didn't tell my coach one thing: I was holding my breath... I didn't actually know I was supposed to exhale... ;)
OK, the balance (even if breath-holding) is impressive. But what happened to water in the nose while breath-holding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoiscathy View Post
Then I read somewhere (I think on SwimSmooth) that you have to exhale constantly when the face is in the water and then I started to do just that. One week later I was told my SG was worse and that I was sinking more. I was like, huh, I've been practicing it :O Haha! :))

Then I Googled more and put it together. I realized it was a decent idea to exhale (doctors recommend it, as I read it) but probably not at that rate as I was doing it. Then I attempted to regulate how much, only to figure out I seem to have little to no control over that (so far).
OK this is the crux of the problem for you:

zero nasal exhalation -- unknown effect on water up nose. But obviously unsustainable in terms of breathing.

too fast nasal exhalation -- apparently beneficial effect on keeping water out of nose, but too rapid lung emptying, problem with buoyancy.

So the search is some method to find the right rate in between those two extremes.

I have some insight into the process as an advanced beginner, because until I realized that achieving a long slow controlled nasal relaxation gave me the best relaxation sensation, I struggled with a perception of shortness of breath. I still have some residual shortness of breath that puzzles me (how much is psychological, how much is physiological, I can't figure out) but whatever the real cause, I find I can minimize this wonderfully when I get the long slow constant nasal trickle exhalation just right to time with the next breath inhalation.

I have still some difficulty doing this right -- obviously not as much as you have at the moment, but difficult enough that I have had to try to figure out what is going on inside me.

When one holds one's breath, the nasal-pharyngeal "valve" is held closed, and also the mouth is closed, so air is trapped within the lung and throat (trachea, aeropharynnx). Often, the swimmer will also consciously or unconsciously tense the chest and diaphragmatic muscles, thereby increasing the pressure of trapped lung air. This is not hard to do, as the naso-pharyngeal valve air-seal is very good, as is the mouth's sealing capacity, so you may be unaware you are doing this. The significance is that the creation of this pressure, and the effort needed to hold it back expends and wastes precious energy, and will add to one's shortness of breath.

To allow air to leak out slowly through the nose you have to back off the control pressure you are exerting at this naso-pharyngeal valve so air starts to leak out at the right rate. If you are exerting excess air pressure within the lung, the moment of air leak will be achieved at a higher naso-pharyngeal valve pressure level than necessary, and controlling this slow stream to be slow AND CONSTANT will be harder to do, especially if the chest and diaphragm pressure is not constant but rather yo-yos around.

So the trick is to totally relax the respiratory (chest and diaphragm) muscles, and then to open the naso-pharyngeal valve completely, so that the slow trickle is achieved by a completely passive process, i.e. by the natural elasticity of the expanded lungs and stretched muscles holding them, not exerting any active muscular force. I find this the most difficult process to regulate, and I think part of the method is to control the respiratory muscles somewhat so they don't let go so rapidly. I think I'm pretty good at being aware when my naso-pharyngeal valve is unwittingly slightly closed and I am using this method to regulate my exhalation -- it still happens when I get distracted or tense, and I have to carefully initiate relaxation again.

Oh, by the way, I think I get water up my nose, no matter what. Not a lot, but some; I usually don't notice, because I'm concentrating so hard on getting the breathing right and not getting short of breath which I find very unpleasant.

Edit: P.S. I neglected to mention that there is another valve mechanism lower down in the throat -- the larynx/glottis/voice box which can be completely closed as when we hold our breath with a grunt, or partly opened to allow a small stream of air blown through under pressure. But ideally the laryngeal mechanism is also completely opened to allow a slow trickle of air exiting the lungs under low pressure.

Last edited by sclim : 11-22-2017 at 08:09 PM.
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  #22  
Old 11-20-2017
whoiscathy
 
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Originally Posted by sclim View Post
OK, the balance (even if breath-holding) is impressive. But what happened to water in the nose while breath-holding?
...
When one holds one's breath, (...) tense the chest and diaphragmatic muscles, thereby increasing the pressure of trapped lung air. (...) The effort needed to hold it back expends and wastes precious energy (...).
When I hold my breath, I get water in the nasal cavity but "passively", as in, water fills up any cavity available, but I don't feel it goes "into my brain" so it doesn't hurt. When I then stand up, gravity takes care of it so it doesn't bug me anymore. Vs when I don't hold my breath, just can't ehale at a steady and rather fast rate, it seems to actively flow into me, like there's a pressure difference and there's nothing I can do.

I can hold my breath for a surprisingly long time, I haven't actually timed how long but probably (likely?) I could do a lap on one breath, but I don't think that's my goal.

Holding air does affect my SG I'm sure, even though it doesn't visibly destroy it: my coach noticed I was a bit tense, as he said, in my neck. The neck area I could relax but not the chest and upper back, at least not completely. So that's where I apparently tense up which makes sense. And that consumes energy, yes.

Quote:

(...) you have to back off the control pressure you are exerting at this naso-pharyngeal valve so air starts to leak out at the right rate. (...) The trick is to totally relax the respiratory (chest and diaphragm) muscles, and then to open the naso-pharyngeal valve completely, so that the slow trickle is achieved by a completely passive process, i.e. by the natural elasticity of the expanded lungs and stretched muscles holding them, not exerting any active muscular force.
I'll try this today. Thanks for the input!

I can see I'll try lots of things today :)
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  #23  
Old 11-20-2017
daveblt daveblt is offline
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The answer to your problem is really very simple .It has NOTHING to do with your head position or balance in the water .It is because of an INCORRECT BREATHING RHYTHM. Take a small relaxed inhale through your nose and mouth and then quickly close your mouth and hold that inhale then briefly go under water for a couple seconds ,(DO NOT INHALE UNDER WATER ) ,then come back up for air but as you are coming up slowly release that air through your nose and mouth until you reach the surface and your face CLEARS to the air but not a split second before . In other words you have to breathe out THROUGH to the surface .If you make the mistake of not breathing through to the surface and make the mistake of unintentionally inhaling before your nose and mouth clears the surface then you will inhale water .Then do it again .This is the rhythm you need when you swim. After you get used to doing this you will find that you don't even have to THINK about breathing because it will happen naturally.Also don't tense up when you breathe, relaxed air in and out .It will also make your stroke feel smoother.

Dave

Last edited by daveblt : 11-20-2017 at 10:30 PM.
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  #24  
Old 11-20-2017
borate borate is offline
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Exhale slowly and naturally through nose and mouth, prior to the recovering hand's exit. No need to force.

When the body is maximally rotated and the hand is just leaving the water, take a quick breath. Don't lift the head. Make a 'Popeye mouth' - head turned slightly rearward - to avoid water intake.

This CG can be helpful.
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  #25  
Old 11-21-2017
whoiscathy
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borate View Post
Exhale slowly and naturally through nose and mouth, prior to the recovering hand's exit. (...)

This CG can be helpful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveblt View Post
(...) It is because of an INCORRECT BREATHING RHYTHM. Take a small relaxed inhale through your nose and mouth and then quickly close your mouth and hold that inhale then briefly go under water for a couple seconds ,(DO NOT INHALE UNDER WATER ) ,then come back up for air but as you are coming up slowly release that air through your nose and mouth until you reach the surface and your face CLEARS to the air but not a split second before. In other words you have to breathe out THROUGH to the surface .If you make the mistake of not breathing through to the surface and make the mistake of unintentionally inhaling before your nose and mouth clears the surface then you will inhale water .Then do it again .This is the rhythm you need when you swim. After you get used to doing this you will find that you don't even have to THINK about breathing because it will happen naturally.Also don't tense up when you breathe, relaxed air in and out .It will also make your stroke feel smoother.

Dave
Dave and borate - no, what you described is not my problem (at the moment). I get all things you say and sure they are relevant (and they're kind of self-explanatory and I'd never argue with those points) but they don't target the issue I described. I have a more fundamental, underlying problem I need to solve before even thinking about rhythm and armstrokes and stuff. At the momment, I can only use the red parts in your replies.

I copy the problem here one more time:

"If you are one of the unlucky individuals, the issue at hand is that you are not able to plug your nasal passage and thus the difference in pressure outside in the water and inside your body is forcing the water to go up your nose (there is really nothing to stop it). Furthermore, when you then manage to get your head out of the water (ehhh.. I don't like it but leave it here) and try to take a breath, you do not isolate mouth breaths from your nose breaths properly, so you do end up taking a breath with both the nose and mouth at the same time which causes even more discomfort since your nose is already partially filled with water. "

(...) If you get water in your nose while under water, it is better you blow bubbles through your mouth while you swim as you cannot control the air through your nose. If you blow through your nose, all air goes out very quickly, but with your mouth, you can release only as much air as you need.

___________
Anyway, I got some tips before and I'm making some progress.

I'm trying to learn to regulate what most people do automatically but I may not be able to do it -- to regulate something as simple as the bolded parts in your responses, which doesn't come naturally to some small percentage of us. Still, yesterday I was down to minimal amount of water "swallowed" through my nose and I hope to solve it soon. The comment that helped most so far was sclim's long explanation, but I read every response and try to use everything I can.
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  #26  
Old 11-21-2017
whoiscathy
 
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Default Why can't I edit my posts?

"Momment".... LOL

I have no edit button under my posts.
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  #27  
Old 11-21-2017
whoiscathy
 
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Due to extremely lucky circumstances right now, until the end of this year, I'm able to go to the pool as much as I wish, even every day, and I take advantage of that. No days can be too cold to stop me. My patience and ego are the only limits, the latter being the biggest hindrance (I look like a dork in the pool).

My hope with this thread was really to find people representing that small fraction that also have, or had the same "regulation problem". Statistically speaking, I talked to about 30 total (in my pool) and so far no one could relate, only through intellectual understanding, like I described what's going on and they "understood" but none of them ever experienced it themselves. Oh well.
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  #28  
Old 11-21-2017
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Hi Cathy,

One of the greatest hindrances of youth is caring about what others think of us. With age comes confidence or at least the giving up on caring what others may think. Real confidence comes if in youth (like you) you give up caring what others may think. So ... be confident and give up caring what others many think. With this I think you will find, it will bring great degrees of freedom and to your swimming it may bring more of a relaxed state. If you think you look like a dork, so be it, but if someone else thinks so ... let that be their problem. You are there to learn and enjoy the journey. If others claim to have never had breathing issues like your, then they are liars or at the very least have terrible memories. Let's be kind and say their memories are poor.

So if you go swimming every day, why not just try something different each day. Nothing huge, just different. Try some of your regular "drills" or whatever your do but with something different added. But I think continuing bobbing and humming may help too.

A real pity that Splash'in Pat, of St Louis, isn't here these days to offer some suggestions for you; as I'm sure she could give you lots of great and helpful ideas. She was a lot of help to me when I found TI and was learning to swim.
Chime in Pat if your are lurking there....

Mike
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  #29  
Old 11-21-2017
whoiscathy
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from NS View Post
Hi Cathy,

One of the greatest hindrances of youth is caring about what others think of us. With age comes confidence or at least the giving up on caring what others may think. Real confidence comes if in youth (like you) you give up caring what others may think. So ... be confident and give up caring what others many think. With this I think you will find, it will bring great degrees of freedom and to your swimming it may bring more of a relaxed state. If you think you look like a dork, so be it, but if someone else thinks so ... let that be their problem. You are there to learn and enjoy the journey. If others claim to have never had breathing issues like your, then they are liars or at the very least have terrible memories. Let's be kind and say their memories are poor.
Awwww, Mike, thank you. Today was a turning point - on two accounts. First, I actually stopped caring today what I looked like, just like you said. And second, I barely swallowed any water! I was doing fine today. In fact, I was so fine that I told my awesome coach that even if I don't gain any more control over my water intake :P, I could live with this amount in my stomach every time.

I'm not entirely sure what I did! I did multiple things since last Wednesday, and even more things since I opened this thread. First marked improvement was yesterday, and today it improved only further. Now I wish I could tell what exactly I did that solved my problem. Haha!

I'm not at "proper" breathing yet; namely, I'm at SG+strokes, skate+strokes, and slot-to-skate, so, I may experience breathing problems again once we get to the breathing drills, but for now I'm enjoying the progress!

Today, for the first time I finally believed I'd be swimming this year. Feelin' pumped!
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  #30  
Old 11-21-2017
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Congrats Cathy ! This is the kind of news we all want to hear from each other.

Days like you had today is what keeps us going back. When patient positive practice works we just want to tell the world of our success. Here we listen to this glee because we all have been there at some point and understand how great you feel. One day my wife said I was breathing in my bow wave. WOW ... I had a bow wave. Thought I was lucky to just have a bow ripple. And she thought I was breathing in it ! Double wow! Well ... that was one day at least ! Felt pretty good about that day.

I think what you did today, even without realizing it, was to relax just a bit more.

May all future days in the pool bring you as much happiness as today has.

Keep it going ...
Mike
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