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Old 09-17-2011
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Default Does Good Balance automatically mean Good Breathing?

I do not want to over-simplify the breathing problem, but can we say that good balance automatically means good breathing?

If you feel supported by the water and you are relaxed, then it is just about inhaling and exhaling correctly... isn't it?

On the other hand if you are unbalanced you get tensed, out of position and the drag would ultimately get you out of breath.

Thought provoking question I guess.... ALEX
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Old 09-20-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
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Definitely not, no, but it certainly helps.

Firstly, look at swimmers with good balance but poor breathing: I got to the point six months ago where my stroke was pretty good, and apparently my coach has a student of several years who looks almost Shinji like when he swims. However, 6 months ago I couldn't swim more than 50 metres without being exhausted and this guy apparently still can't.

Secondly, look at swimmers with poor balance but excellent breathing: Look at the guys down at your local pool who splash more than a drowning elephant and are totally out of balance but who can do 800 metres without stopping - I'm sure we've all seen them!

Good balance means two things: 1) your drag is lower (smaller front area) so swimming at a given speed takes less effort and therefore less oxygen. 2) you tend to be less tense and therefore more efficient in your use of oxygen. Both of these things mean that good balance will help any swimmer, but being able to breath well is a much bigger issue than that and good balance can only help you so much.

Last edited by RobM77 : 09-20-2011 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 09-20-2011
The Parrot The Parrot is offline
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Rob, I certainly agree that balance is not necessarily the key factor but because balance is directly related to efficiency I believe it is critically important. Perhaps even more so when one is older because we simply don't have the power to 'compensate' for a weaker technique that strength can mask - for a while! I think my balance (in swimming at least!) is acceptable but even so I can only admire and envy your sprint speed. But at nearly 71 I can probably swim more than 5 miles at my 'cruising' speed of under 40 minute miles and whilst my shoulders and wrists will eventually tire, I won't be out of breath. But, mostly because of my whiplash injury from cycle racing many years ago, I breath only to one side. But as I breath every two I get plenty of oxygen in quite shallow, relaxed breaths.

Of course, if I try to be more competitive, I am breathing very hard but never gasping. My arms and shoulders would give up first.

Some time ago you invited me to join you and your TI instructor at your Basingstoke pool. I would very much enjoy that but I cannot email you. Are you better than me at enabling private messages or shall I ask for help?

Martin T.
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Old 09-20-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
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Hi Parrot. Yes, obviously each person is an individual and so will be being held back by different things. However, what is universally true for everyone is that swimming is not all about technique, it's also about fitness, and I think that's often forgotten. You could have the best balance in the world (or any other element of technique) and still struggle for breath because you were not fit for swimming.

I'm more than happy to meet up for a swim, yes. I'm quite busy at the moment and off on holiday on Friday, but I'll be in touch to suggest a time. My TI coach is in a different county, and just does 1-1 lessons in an endless pool, but I'm happy to put you in touch if you'd like a lesson or two.

Last edited by RobM77 : 09-20-2011 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 09-20-2011
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobM77 View Post
However, what is universally true for everyone is that swimming is not all about technique, it's also about fitness, and I think that's often forgotten. You could have the best balance in the world (or any other element of technique) and still struggle for breath because you were not fit for swimming.
I doubt that this is often forgotten. In my experience, most people, when they tire and get out of breath, instinctively respond by assuming that they need to become more fit. Triathletes are a major exception to this, because they know that they can run and bike for miles without getting out of breath, and that they therefore must be fit. So they respond, instead, with puzzlement.


Bob
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Old 09-26-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachBobM View Post
... So they respond, instead, with puzzlement.


Bob
haha, this made me chuckle.
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Old 09-26-2011
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Since I do not yet have good balance I probably cannot answer this question that well...

But assuming you were belly down on a surf board, just paddling with your hands and perfectly supported by the water... would breathing still be an issue?

I agree with those Triathletes who claim that when swimming fast you need to be fit to keep on going. It's like running a 10Km in 40min...

But if your balance is perfect and you just have a leisure swim (similar to walking) I have a hard time imagining breathing would be difficult to sort out....

ALEX
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Old 09-27-2011
JC_Yang JC_Yang is offline
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Just my 2 cents.
We should make the definition of good breathing a bit more detail, otherwise the discussion is less than necessary.

1st, for a long distance swimming and sustainable style, we can conclude from our daily observation that breathing seems to be loosely relate to balance. But we haven't take their speed, their fitness into account.
Me, a self-confident model of perfect balance, still encounter breathing exhaust problem from time to time.
The key is for any distance of swimming, breathing is a rhythm technique, much like butterfly. A man has good breathing rhythm can make his stroke sustainable for as long as he like, suppose he's got the fitness for his awful stroke continue for several pool session. We read so much of this from our nake-eye observation.
A good/perfect balance guy do have advantages, those you all knows, and the most important to breathing is he can breath freely. free as free to do it without breaking the balance, in anytime he wants to. But this doesn't necessarily lead to a good breath rhythm. So he should practice and learn his own breathing rhythm. Some people might have their breathing rhythm come by nature, but I don't, and I haven't set my goal on seamless breathing rhythm yet, so I come all the way be satisfied with my not so good breathing at the moment. I'm conceived that good rhythm of breathing is what my goals to be a really fatigue free swimmer finally, rather than strengthen my fitness.

Last edited by JC_Yang : 09-27-2011 at 05:08 AM.
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Old 10-04-2011
rbs24h rbs24h is offline
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[quote=CoachBobM;22218] and that they therefore must be fit. So they respond, instead, with puzzlement.


I chuckled at this too because that is how I responded.. I was baffled. I knew I was fit but could not swim 100m without stopping. Fortunately, the "I know I'm fit, it must be something else" "puzzlement" led me to TI.
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Old 10-05-2011
Zoner Zoner is offline
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I couldn't get to the middle of the pool 9 months ago, so take my opinions as just an offering. After getting more comfortable in the water I slowly worked my way up to getting across the pool...a whole 25 meters after a couple weeks! I was happy...but completely exhausted. I heard the same comments about I wasn't swim fit enough. I thought, this can't be the reason. I can sustain an average of 260+ watts of power over a one hour bike TT! No way! You know what? I was right. It took two things to make me believe breathing was a matter of finding the key...not about fitness. Others may disagree....doesn't matter.

First thing that happened was as I was cranking out a 10K treadmill run, a guy jumped on the next treadmill. He couldn't have been on more than 5 minutes at maybe a 12 minute pace before his gasping for air finally shut him down. The very next day I was in the pool and here comes the same fella. What a surprise when he jumped in and proceeded to swim lap after lap after lap! I talked to him afterwards for a few minutes and he admitted he gets winded walking around, yet in the pool no issue. Two things I noticed....good balance (high hips and legs) and good breathing (head low in the water looking straight down).

The second thing was the first time I used a pull buoy. It helped get my hips up just a bit more. I actually felt like a swimmer within days. With this usage, I found the breathing to be easier and easier until one day I wasn't even thinking about it. No concern about how I'm going to get a breath. Now I try different things just to experiement. I've learned better balance for sure and still need to work on it further. But forget the fitness part and absolutely know its getting all the air out and no holding your breath. Exhale as soon as your face hits the water and get it all out before it rotates to air. You'll get it. About a month ago I swam 86 laps which was my 1.2 mile goal. Now I have to convert that into open water and I'll be ready for a 70.3 tri. I'm convinced we all can conquer our inadequencies given enough practice. I was in the pool 5 days a week. Put in the time and you'll get it.
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