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  #1  
Old 10-29-2010
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Default Maximum SR for Bilateral Swimming?

I am totally committed to bilateral breathing (every 3) to maintain symmetry.

I come from a slow STROKE RATE (SR=1.6) which means that my BREATHING RATE = 1Breath every 4.8sec.

I tend to run out of breath after 75m/100m and I am forced to switch to breathing on 1 side (ie 1 Breath every 3.2sec).

What shall I do?
a. Push myself to do interval training to learn to breath every 4.8sec (Stamina approach)
b. Increase my SR (stroke rate) so that I breathe more frequently?

What do you think is the slowest possible SR for Bilateral breathing in a relaxed MILE ?

Thanks. ALEX
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2010
naj naj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex-SG View Post
I am totally committed to bilateral breathing (every 3) to maintain symmetry.

I come from a slow STROKE RATE (SR=1.6) which means that my BREATHING RATE = 1Breath every 4.8sec.

I tend to run out of breath after 75m/100m and I am forced to switch to breathing on 1 side (ie 1 Breath every 3.2sec).

What shall I do?
a. Push myself to do interval training to learn to breath every 4.8sec (Stamina approach)
b. Increase my SR (stroke rate) so that I breathe more frequently?

What do you think is the slowest possible SR for Bilateral breathing in a relaxed MILE ?

Thanks. ALEX
Alex, you pose a great question and although I am unable to give you a definitive answer, I believe the stroke rate would be different according to the swimmer. I too am devoted to bi-lateral breathing, but my rate is a bit faster than yours. Why? I'm not clear on that. Maybe Terry, Coach Dave, or others can offer up some timely advice on this one.
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  #3  
Old 10-30-2010
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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I can't claim any expertise in this matter but I think the fact that very, very few top male distance swimmers, if any, use the classic bilateral breathing technique indicates that it is not suitable for high-level competition. Some women do swim with bilateral breathing, however, so possibly it's just a male preference with no scientific basis.

If you have difficulty getting enough oxygen with bilateral breathing and a slow stroke rate perhaps the best solution is to alternate a certain number of strokes on each side, say four breaths left and then four breaths right and so on, or breathe to the right going one way and then to the left coming back. This should take care of the oxygen demand and the desire to have a balanced stroke. If I ever develop an easy right side breathing pattern I may try this.
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Old 10-30-2010
ewa.swimmer ewa.swimmer is offline
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Bilateral breathing doesn't have to mean breathing every 3rd stroke. You need to be able to breathe comfortably on both sides. You can swim one length breathing left then one length breathing right
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Old 10-31-2010
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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NAJ: RICHARD: EWA.SWIMMER: Thanks for your answers.

Indeed one of the options is to swim on 1 side for say 20m and then switch to the other side for the next 20m. However my goal is to have a relaxed bilateral swim where I breathe every 3.

I understand the challenge here is BREATHING rate.
--- If you swim very slowly you do not take air in often enough...
--- If you accelerate your stroke rate you may breathe more frequenty BUT your energy consumption will also go up

I wonder what is the OPTIMAL Stroke Rate range which allows to have a relaxed bilateral swim.

Thanks. ALEX
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2010
naj naj is offline
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Default Here's a thought

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex-SG View Post
NAJ: RICHARD: EWA.SWIMMER: Thanks for your answers.

Indeed one of the options is to swim on 1 side for say 20m and then switch to the other side for the next 20m. However my goal is to have a relaxed bilateral swim where I breathe every 3.

I understand the challenge here is BREATHING rate.
--- If you swim very slowly you do not take air in often enough...
--- If you accelerate your stroke rate you may breathe more frequenty BUT your energy consumption will also go up

I wonder what is the OPTIMAL Stroke Rate range which allows to have a relaxed bilateral swim.

Thanks. ALEX
Alex,

I may have come up with something, at least for my own understanding. When I breath bilaterally I try to stay as relaxed as possible on my second stroke. I know that the third one will give me plenty of time too get that breath because the surface is right there. When I speed up the cycle I still try and maintain that relaxed feel and go two breaths on one side and two breaths on the other. I adapted this breathing cycle when I saw an ow simmer from the UK in the Beijing Woman's 10K.

Best of luck and thanks for posting this question!
Naji
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  #7  
Old 10-31-2010
borate borate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex-SG View Post

I wonder what is the Stroke Rate range which allows to have a relaxed bilateral swim.
Since purposely instituting the every-three bilateral pattern many years ago to correct uneven symmetry I have experienced no optimal SR.
When I swim very slowly my breathing is about as relaxed as when on a leisurely walk. As stroke rate ramps up to jog pace I am slightly winded but maintaining rhythm.

Conditioning is likely the key. As you progress, so will your ability to breathe more comfortably at higher stroke rates.

Last edited by borate : 11-01-2010 at 03:11 AM.
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  #8  
Old 11-01-2010
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex-SG View Post

I wonder what is the OPTIMAL Stroke Rate range which allows to have a relaxed bilateral swim.

Thanks. ALEX
I can't answer your question. What I CAN say however is that as you continue in yoru practice of efficient freestyle swimming, your oxgyen consumption will go down for the same stroke rate.

after a summer of doing nothing but breathing focused drills and swims, I returned home and had a moment of "nirvana" where I literally felt like I could breath underwater. I had, for a brief moment perfectly matched my oxygen use, intake and breathing patter so that it felt effortless.

I now belive that this is the optimum combination of stroke rate & effort. But it was unmeasured...all I know is that I achieved it once, and I seek it out often as I practice.
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  #9  
Old 11-01-2010
quad09 quad09 is offline
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Alex we both seem to be in the same delimma. 1.6 sr in my opinion is very, very slow. This gets me 25 meters in 30 second(if that). I have focused very hard on proper breathing bilaterally and in particular to exhalation. My goal is to up SR to approx. 1.2, breath bilaterally more frequently, increase stamina and drop my time between 20 and 25 seconds per 25 meters. I believe our lack of air stems from taking so long between breaths and we can't overcome the co2 buildup. For drill work 1.6 is probably fine but for lap swimming it's too slow.
Good luck & i'll let you know how my end goes.
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  #10  
Old 11-01-2010
madvet madvet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
.... I had, for a brief moment perfectly matched my oxygen use, intake and breathing pattern so that it felt effortless.

I now belive that this is the optimum combination of stroke rate & effort....
Exactly. This is what it comes down to. Anyone having difficulty "running out of air" needs to focus on this -- NOT on fitness level.

Breathing correctly SHOULD feel like this.
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