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  #1  
Old 07-11-2012
cantswim cantswim is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 21
cantswim
Default Can't breathe!

Just a few days ago I was a "human swimmer," and could make it to the other end of my 20 yard pool but would feel winded and tired.

After looking into the Total Immersion method I feel I have the basic technique down. Basically I try to keep my head straight, keeping a long body, hitting the water at an angle, reaching forward, swimming on the sides - you know, all the good stuff.

Now I can make it to the other end of my pool effortlessly in a fraction of the strokes as before. Only problem, I have to hold my breath!

I try extending to breathe, turning my whole body. When I do, my mouth still doesn't get to the air.

Currently I am exhaling through my nose slowly while my face is under the water. I have an inflexible neck, so I tried turning all the way over to my back but still can't reach. I am underwater.

I feel like I'm losing my long line under the water when I try to breathe, so I will work on that some more next time I am in the pool. I will focus on extending to breathe.

But until then, anyone have any tips I can give a shot?

I feel that if I can conquer this, I can really swim far!
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2012
daveblt daveblt is offline
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Here are some possible things you may be doing:
Pushing your head down instead of letting it relax.
Breathing too late causing you to lift your head to get air
over rolling to your side causing you to sink
reaching down to far as you spear in to the water .
So look down but relax the head and neck and roll to your breath as early as possible in the stroke . Then roll just enough , don't over roll and be patient, the air will come .Don't keep the extended arm too far down as you go to roll to the air .

Dave

Last edited by daveblt : 07-11-2012 at 05:31 PM.
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  #3  
Old 07-11-2012
cantswim cantswim is offline
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I'll try. Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 07-12-2012
cantswim cantswim is offline
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No luck so far :(

But next time I'm going to try focus on shoulders. I think I may be rotating too much. When you said, "over rolling to your side causing you to sink," where you referring to the breathe stroke, or just all the strokes in general? I think I may be over rotating.

Thanks.
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  #5  
Old 07-12-2012
daveblt daveblt is offline
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Don't over roll on all strokes breathing and non breathing .You may have to roll more though on a breathing stroke but roll just enough so you can comfortably get air .

Dave

Last edited by daveblt : 07-12-2012 at 01:12 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-12-2012
tomoy tomoy is offline
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Davblt is probably onto something here. You mentioned 'swimming on the sides', but I think that principle was over-used and TI is trying to just get people's recovering shoulder out of the water.

Anyway, if it helps, imagine holding a dinner plate over the surface, turn it vertical (perpendicular to the water) and drop it. It slices straight through the surface of the water and easily sinks.

Now, hold it parallel to the surface. Drop it, and it might actually float. Then push down on an edge gradually. At some point, the plate will slice down and sink.

So moving to your body in the pool, the more you keep your body flat in the water, the better chance you have it will float. This applies to everything: stomach, hips, legs, feet.

In the breathing drill, you should be able to Skate, then rotate all the way over onto your back, lightly kicking and then take a breath.

Also, remember, your head is kind of a bowling ball. Only 3 holes relate to breathing. you don't need to lift the whole ball out of the water in order to breathe. Just rotate those holes to the top. Once you get more comfortable in the water using your new TI balance and stroke, you'll be able to breathe just rotating those holes to the side.

I understand your neck flexibility makes things harder for you, but try try try to relax. The moment you tense up and struggle to breathe, you will sink.

Best of luck, take it easy on yourself, patience will get you there.
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  #7  
Old 07-12-2012
mbruse mbruse is offline
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I assume you mean you are holding your breath completely until you reach the end of the pool then come up for a huge breath.

If that's the case try blowing bubbles from your nose steadily while under water.

When you come up for air your lungs will be empty. (that's the aim at least)


Do this drill to gain comfort with water. At the edge of the pool, with the water level at your nose, breathe for 1 second, submerge while blowing for a 3 count, come back up for 1 second of air. Repeat 15- 20 times.

This will train your face and nose to get used to a non- natural way to breathe.

Get into the habit of exhaling underwater as soon as you finish your inhale. Don't develop the habit of holding your breathe. It took me a long time to break that.

Hope that helps.
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  #8  
Old 07-12-2012
CoachToby CoachToby is offline
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Integrating comfortable breathing into your stroke takes time, so don't expect one or two corrections to suddenly solve the difficulties you are having. Try practicing the breathing position/movement in Skater position: Skate focusing on relaxing the shoulders and neck, then rotate the head so you end up looking at the side wall for a second, then rotate it back to a face down position (don't attempt to take a breath, just continue exhaling throughout the movement). Keep the movement of the head smooth - as your relaxation improves you should be able to get your upper eye clearing the surface and ultimately your mouth. If your neck feels stiff, this is probably caused by excessive tension rather than poor range of motion. Relaxation is the key - focus particular attention on the neck, shoulders and leading arm/hand.
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  #9  
Old 07-12-2012
johynr]]] johynr]]] is offline
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Toby, are you saying to do this whilst the hand is maintained in the standard spearing position?
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  #10  
Old 07-13-2012
cantswim cantswim is offline
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cantswim
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Wow, thank you all for the great responses. Really, really, really, great!

Today I was able to breathe well on my right side. I think the problem was I was pushing my head too far down while swimming. Once I adjusted the angle more looking forward a bit, I am able to breathe.

I am feeling more tired than I feel I should be (out of breathe quickly, but much later than when I used to be a "human swimmer"). I know my technique isn't perfect (just started learning), but I think my breathing may be incorrect. So I was wondering...

I understand that I am supposed to exhale while my face is under the water, at all times. Is this correct?

And another thing. By the time I go for air, should I be completely out of breathe? Like COMPLETELY? I think I read this somewhere, but wanted to confirm/see what you guys think of it.

Either way, I am going to try focus on that next time I'm in the pool.

Thanks so much!
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