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  #1  
Old 01-04-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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andyinnorway
Default Hypoxic Sets - Hidden benefits of..

I've read different opinions on Hypoxic sets so have left them alone until now.

I think lung-wise they can help a senior club or elite swimmer, but its not the aerobic benefits that appeal to me as a TI learner. I find there are 3 good benefits of doing some zero breath lengths.

8x25 0-2 breathes per length.

1. Taking away the need to breathe lets you train a symmetrical stroke left and right, Imprint that feeling on your brain and then try not to surrender it when you do breathe. Take visual snap shots of how the floor looks on each side and how much of your arm you can see on spear.

2. If you want to survive a whole length without breathing you must relax all over, again try to repeat this relaxed feeling with breathing. This helps me control my breathing and develop easy stroking.

3. Finally it demonstrates to you if your breathing is effecting your streamline, count your SPL on a normal length and then SPL on a hypoxic length, if the Hypoxic is lower then you know your breathing is breaking down your streamline.

If a whole length is too much initially, then breathe once or twice along route.
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  #2  
Old 01-04-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Default Controlled Frequency Breathing

WARNING: RANT AHEAD!

I know you are not posting about hypoxic drills in the manner that I am about to rant about below...but please please, please do not call what you are doing a hypoxic drill. First of all, it's not hypoxic, second of all, I do not thing that by your description you are doing them as they have been traditionally done in swimming.

Some of the benefits you mentioned of experimenting with breathing frequency are valid, but please don't use the term hypoxic breathing...it's one of the worst swimming oxymorons out there, and the "practice" of hypoxic breathing is subject to abuse by misguided triathletes & coaches & potential dangerous & life threatening.

THANK GOD the swimming communitiy is very, very slowly moving away from the term "Hypoxic" and admitting to what they actually are "Controlled frequency breathing".

They are not hypoxic drills. You get hypercarbic before you get hypoxic. They do not simulate altitude training. They do not improve your aerobic nor anaerobic capacity. You can pass out while you are doing them, and if you are in the water, you can die.

Controlled frequency practice only increases your tolerance for a buildup of acidic blood. If you are holding your breath or delaying a breath to the point where you consciously have to overcome your brain screaming "IT"S TIME TO BREATH" then you are putting yourself in danger. Please don't do it. People have died doing this. Please don't recommend that others do it. Please don't post sets suggesting to people that they deliberately and consciously limit the number of breaths they take.

This is entirely different than experimenting with different breathing patterns and adjusting your effort so that you dont NEED to take abreath every 2, 3 or 4 strokes or whatever.

When I'm warming up, I can swim 25s on 1 breath...not because I'm holding my breath but because I'm not working hard, not demanding much O2 and not building up much CO2.

These sets are abused in practice when coach has swimmers do prescribed frequency in combination with challenging intervals.

Note that an all out sprint for an elite is an anaerobic effort...there is almost no aerobic metabolism occurring for a 25 or 50m sprint at elite paces. So these sets might be appropriately used by this category under the guidance of a coach who is watching each individual on deck for every second they are swimming.

They are not for recreational or age group competitive swimmers or triathletes.

It's clear I feel strongly about this, possibly more strongly than other coaches because of my experience and knowledge as a physician. Oxygen is good. Air goes in and out, Blood goes round and round. And all is well.

Here is an article by Terry, over a decade old, but with similar thoughts and more practicality, less rant, then what I have just written about.
http://www.alexandriamasters.com/articles/hypoxic.htm
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Last edited by CoachSuzanne : 01-04-2012 at 04:43 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-04-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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FOr a more practical suggestion for you, I might suggest that you either use

a) a snorkel...all the non-breathing practice you want for stroke symmetry
b) rather than "CFB" repeats, do repeats of hte nodding drill. Might as well get some improvement in your breathing rather than just reinforcing that your breathing needs work.
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Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #4  
Old 01-04-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Snorkels not allowed in our pool, on the basis that if children see the adults using them, then they would all use them and drown (that's what the guard told me).

Rant accepted, but its only the definition of the term that is incorrect, lets call it swimming a length on minimum comfortable breaths (0-2) to aid with symmetry recognition and learning to super relax your body when swimming.

I just took hypoxic from the Ian Mac sets, doesn't mean I know what it means :)

People die in car accidents everyday and from drinking alchohol but most of us accept the responsibility of driving carefully and avoiding excessive consumption. The same sense can be applied to swimming with controlled breathing.

Please find a suitable word for it.
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  #5  
Old 01-04-2012
terry terry is offline
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Default Hypoxic Swimming - the noxious notion that refuses to die

Andy
We understand you intended your post innocently -- and I think you do make some useful points about possible benefits of lower-frequency breathing. Unfortunately, as it's most commonly practice (and I think I wrote in that very old article Suzanne linked to that it's actually 'anoxic' not 'hypoxic') it is misused and misunderstood with breathtaking and dismaying frequency. It's the noxious notion that simply refuses to die.

I did some volunteer coaching with local age group team here in New Paltz last week. When I walked on deck the kids were doing some set breathing every 3, 5, 7 and 9 strokes. An absolute and utter waste of time. Worse yet "Time Spent Not Learning." (a new favorite phrase crafted by Suzanne).

Why were they wasting time this way? Because everyone else does!
A classic example of training designed around the idea that 'if it causes discomfort it must be good for you.'

As I said on my final post on another thread, mainstream swimming is Bizarro World.
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  #6  
Old 01-04-2012
dshen dshen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
Andy
"Time Spent Not Learning." (a new favorite phrase crafted by Suzanne).
CoachSuzanne FTW!
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  #7  
Old 01-04-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dshen View Post
CoachSuzanne FTW!
:) Makes my day.
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #8  
Old 01-04-2012
dshen dshen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
:) Makes my day.
we need an updating list of CoachSuzanne-isms...
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