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  #1  
Old 10-19-2009
woodbldr woodbldr is offline
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woodbldr
Default Beginning swimmer and breathing

Hello all,

A brief history about myself, I am 45 and began swimming 4 months ago as part of a triathlon class. I have good fitness overall, I am able to comfortably complete 7 mile runs and 35 mile bike rides. However, I had no prior swimming experience before my tri class. In fact the first pool lesson was the first time I had been in a pool in 40 years. I am still learning TI techniques but have been having issues with breathing. I do not have any trouble when I do drills, only when I begin to put everything together. I watched the breathing lessons in the Easy Freestyle video and I read the recent thread by Nicodemus. I employed some of the techniques mentioned in both, even taking my time to stroke and exhale to keep from being rushed, but I still run out of breath after a lap. I also seem to get out of rhythm when I breathe on the second stroke. I have better rhythm when I breathe on the third or fourth stroke, but then I run out of air more quickly. I have made some progress, I have gotten to the point of taking only one breath on the second stroke instead of needing two or three breaths. My questions are if this is "normal" for a beginning swimmer, or am I expecting too much too soon? Would the O2 in H2O video provide any insight that the Easy Freestyle video doesn't in terms of breathing? Thanks in advance for any advice.

Danny
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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It's normal. Breathing on land just happens. Breathing in water is a technique. It will take a little time to develop good technique.
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2009
deepsinker deepsinker is offline
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deepsinker
Default Similar Problem to woodbldr

My problems are very similar. Once I go for the a (especially the second) breath, I lose all focus and struggle. In addition, I have a difficult time regaining my breath and experience extreme bloating. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm allergic to chlorine or some other chemical in the water. I am a very good athlete and am indeed frustrated with my lack of progress when I see so many others "get it". Any thoughts?
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  #4  
Old 10-19-2009
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Mike from NS
Default easy does it ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepsinker View Post
My problems are very similar. Once I go for the a (especially the second) breath, I lose all focus and struggle. In addition, I have a difficult time regaining my breath and experience extreme bloating. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm allergic to chlorine or some other chemical in the water. I am a very good athlete and am indeed frustrated with my lack of progress when I see so many others "get it". Any thoughts?
Some things come more easily to some people than to others. Look at Naj in the Open Water thread. She started swimming a year ago and now is loving the cold open waters and looking at great distances. Others, myself especially, take a lot longer. I'd like to suggest that we may try too hard, expect greater results too soon and refuse to or can't relax -- as all who have mastered swimming to some degree tell us to. We just have to take things really slowly and get used to what happens as the results of our various "learning" movements. Thus the value of the drills. Balance and breathing seem to go hand in hand. When we learn to control our balance the breathing becomes more easily grasped... but it takes some of us longer than others. Be patient and keep Gloria Gaynor's song in your mind ..."I will survive". Positive thinking !! Nicodemus's suggestions gave me a solid push to a higher plateau than I was before reading his words. And when we learn to balance and find the breathing easier we will relax more and then the fun factor increases. And don't forget or sell short the benefits of deep Yoga breaths.

Mike
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  #5  
Old 02-27-2010
naj naj is offline
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Default Naj has a sex change operation...hey wait a minute!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from NS View Post
Some things come more easily to some people than to others. Look at Naj in the Open Water thread. She started swimming a year ago and now is loving the cold open waters and looking at great distances.

Mike
Thanks for the compliment Mike but I'm actually a guy :) But your right, breathing takes time, Danny. Remember water is 800 times more dense than air and like Shuumai said there is a rhythm to breathing in water that we take for granted on land. One thing that may help you is to expel all the Co2 out of your lungs prior to taking the next breath. It might seem strange to do so, but it will help with not getting out of breath for the second one. IT takes a bit of getting use to but your getting good advice from folks on this thread. And like my buddy Mike said, I learned to swim when I was 43 and like you I am now 45. The cool thing about open water swimming is that many who have accomplished great things in open water learned as adults!

Keep Swimming!
Naji
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2009
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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The beauty of this forum is you find out you are not alone. I urge you to read the posts I have put up over the last couple of months in reference to breathing. I am 63 have always been physically active with a good aerobic capacity running and biking. Step back two years and take a TI workshop Jan of 07. First is was a great experience then came the realization that I needed to completely reprogram my swimming. Balance what is that? It takes time, patience, practice and commitment. Those moments when I get it (Bingo) moments, this is what I want and have worked for. It is often most difficult for accomplished athletes to watch others and become frustrated because they don't get it. The bloated feeling that you experience may very well be the result of the need to get rid of the air, we have a tendency to breathe deeply and not exhale when struggling. You may want to try some breathing bobs focusing on the exhalation. Good luck, stick with it and you are by no means alone.

Westy
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  #7  
Old 11-10-2009
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Splashungpat

Ain't it great to be a part of a group of imperfect people just trying to improve. I have done a great deal of teaching blue collar skills through my life finding great joy in watching others find knowledge and skills. I had some of the most fantastic mentors from teenager through military and fire service, a lifetime of wonderfull people sharing without expecting some tangible reward. I was shown how to always learn something from others learning, through their struggles and success.

Thats what is great about this forum. I had to take a step back on the whole breathing issue and do not consider it a failure but progress. With the help of many I will get it but also feel so strongly that only those who are comfortable in their own sking can share struggles.

Don't know if any of this makes sense, hope so, and what is the Belly Dance stuff been following post and wonder? Is it a passion or reference to something else.

Have a great day

Westy
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  #8  
Old 02-27-2010
garybarg garybarg is offline
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garybarg
Default Breathing, what else

This forum has been so helpful to me. I thank all of you for your comments - lots of useful tips, lots of reinforcement for me to see others having the same issues.

For me, a few notables:
1. I stopped giving myself time limits to learn a particular skill. Now, I try to just let it come. I've been working this for over a year now and am just getting to feel comfortable with the breathing.
2. Try mixing it up a little, have fun - do somersaults, walk on my hands, always trying to leave the pool with something that is totally fun.
3. Using whatever tools i need to for help. The most important thing for me is to feel comfortable and relaxed in the water. I'm very lean, so I am a sinker - so, I wear a sleeveless neopene vest, very light wt, but it took my mind off being a sinker. Guess what, I have gotten to the point of good balance now and do not need the vest any more. Also, vest keeps me from getting cold and cold/swimming not a good combo, at least for me. Cannot relax if cold
4. I practice breathing on land, just walking around. At a minimum, it makes me more mindful of how I breathe. I take a quick bite, then exhale for 4, 6, or 8 paces, try to be mindful of how I am working the breathing and of any discomfort. One thing I have discovered that the mere fact of a bite of breath, vs the long inhale I do normally, creates some discomfort. Interesting fact for me, not quite sure what to do with it, but I think getting used to it is the big thing.
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2010
piyavat piyavat is offline
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piyavat
Default Breathing

My problem is the bloated stomach! When I started from the wall, I could relax and swim (visualized to be effortless) with breathing every 4 strokes until I got to about 22 yards. There I struggled B/C I did not have enough air and choked. Breathing air in through my mouth brought a lot of gas into the stomach. When I rested at the walll, I had to burb to empty out the gas. Then started the next lap.

I did not ask my great TI instructor, Master Kevin, this question months ago in a workshop b/c I just thought about this problem yesterday. Kevin knows I'm fit as I still give Muay Thai training to people in this small town 15-20 hours a week. Oh, well, when I do that the breathing flow is in reverse, in by nose and out by mouth. So, no problem. Thanks for your help! Piyavat Napatalung
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  #10  
Old 11-06-2010
quad09 quad09 is offline
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quad09
Default Lat & Shoulder Development

Woodbldr over time you have developed great legs and aerobic capacity while running and cycling. However, your shoulders and lats have kind of been sitting on the sideline in a supportive role. An efficeint pull puts great demand on these two muscle groups and could be contributing to your struggle. My opinion is that no matter how effective your aerobic capacity might be, if you don't have a matching muscle development you're going to come up short. Proper breathing technique (or artistry) is crucial and must be developed as well!!!

Best of luck:)

PS/ When you go to a tri event Naj is very is to spot, she's the only one swimming topless!!! Sorry i couldn't pass it up.

Last edited by quad09 : 11-06-2010 at 03:58 PM.
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