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  #1  
Old 10-23-2017
thaddeus.ward@gmail.com
 
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Default Variable Breathing Cadence

I am new to TI and swimming in general and was struggling to make the transition from drill into swimming... Breathing was the heart of the issue.

I really like staying balanced and breathing on both sides encourages this. I also really enjoy the sense of flow and acceleration that comes from uninterrupted strokes. So my preferred cadence is 3 TI strokes and then breath. I found I couldn't sustain this even if I reduced the effort in my strokes. So I started experimenting and found that 2 stroke 3 stroke combinations are very sustainable.

I can jump in and do a couple of lengths with a 3 stroke rhythm and then 'ease up' and start doing 2 strokes. I've found I can do 3 2-stroke and then a 3 stroke to switch sides pretty much non-stop for a long as I've tried it even when I am putting consistent power into my strokes.

It's all a balancing act based on how hard you are working, but mixing up the breathing cadence adds another tool to my box and also helps focus my awareness.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2017
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
Coach
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 647
CoachBobM
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There's an old adage among exercise buffs that if you wait until you feel thirsty to drink water, you're already dehydrated. I think that something equivalent to this is true when it comes to breathing.

If I'm swimming a relatively short distance (like 50m), I can be comfortable breathing on every 3rd stroke, or even every 4th stroke. But when I'm swimming longer distances, I find that this isn't adequate. I suspect that what is happening is that I'm not breathing often enough when I'm only breathing every 3rd stroke, but I can get away with it over short distances because I'm not doing it long enough to start feeling that I'm short on air. So when I'm going to be swimming a longer distance, I adopt a more frequent breathing pattern from the beginning. A favorite pattern of mine is:

stroke
stroke and breathe
stroke
stroke
stroke and breathe
stroke
stroke and breathe
stroke
stroke
stroke and breathe
stroke
stroke and breathe
etc.

What I am doing is breathing twice on the left, then twice on the right, then twice on the left, and so on. So I'm breathing more frequently while still keeping my stroke symmetric.


Bob
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  #3  
Old 12-04-2017
thaddeus.ward@gmail.com
 
Posts: n/a
Default Going with the flow....

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachBobM View Post
There's an old adage among exercise buffs that if you wait until you feel thirsty to drink water, you're already dehydrated. I think that something equivalent to this is true when it comes to breathing.

If I'm swimming a relatively short distance (like 50m), I can be comfortable breathing on every 3rd stroke, or even every 4th stroke. But when I'm swimming longer distances, I find that this isn't adequate. I suspect that what is happening is that I'm not breathing often enough when I'm only breathing every 3rd stroke, but I can get away with it over short distances because I'm not doing it long enough to start feeling that I'm short on air. So when I'm going to be swimming a longer distance, I adopt a more frequent breathing pattern from the beginning. A favorite pattern of mine is:

stroke
stroke and breathe
stroke
stroke
stroke and breathe
stroke
stroke and breathe
stroke
stroke
stroke and breathe
stroke
stroke and breathe
etc.

What I am doing is breathing twice on the left, then twice on the right, then twice on the left, and so on. So I'm breathing more frequently while still keeping my stroke symmetric.


Bob
I was off the forums for a while (but still in the pool) and have found my relationship to breathing seems to change over the course of a session. So a part of it now seems to be "as the spirit moves me" but always keeping it as a conscious decision to change my rhythm.

In general, the longer I swim, the more relaxed I seem to get and so I do breath on the 3rd beat quite comfortably, and sometimes throw in a 4 stroke pull to the end of a lap and such. Fun to be learning the awareness of it all.
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  #4  
Old 12-09-2017
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 647
CoachBobM
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Being relaxed is definitely a factor. I've found that when I'm swimming a longer distance than I'm used to swimming, I tend to need to breathe more frequently, but then as I become comfortable with swimming that distance, I don't need to breathe as often.

I suspect one factor is that adopting a more frequent breathing pattern gives me something to think about and thereby distracts me from my nervousness about swimming the longer distance. And as I become more accustomed to swimming that distance, I eventually reach the point where I no longer need the distraction. :-)


Bob
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