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Old 03-11-2010
FrankJ FrankJ is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: london
Posts: 56
Default Timing of breathing and kicking


I recently had a lesson with a triathlon coach, who was very good, but there are 2 things that I am not too sure about. As I see a lot of good advice being given on this forum, I would like to have your opinion.

First, he told me to forget about doing the 2bk, and just stick to a light flutter kick. He said it makes the stroke less ‘jerky’ and mechanical. He also added that finding someone with an effective 2bk, well connected to the stroke, is exceedingly rare, even among professional athletes and that in reality, what in underwater footage from Olympics appears to be a 2bk, actually includes a small extra kick, making it a 4bk. He cited Laurie Manadou as an example, but when I viewed her underwater videos, I didn’t see that (not that I want to use elite athletes as an example, I just wanted to double-check).

Second, he told me to breathe every 2 strokes. Again, he said that all good athletes in long distance swimming breathe like this, and that breathing every three will almost invariably leave me with an oxygen debt. I always breathed every third stroke.

I see the value in his advice, but when I tried it I found: 1) a flutter kick even if light, tires me more. 2) I find it less effective than a 2bk to aid in rotation; 3) when I swim with a 2bk, imbalances in my stroke become more evident, which helps me to correct my form.

More importantly, I realized that I like breathing every third stroke and using 2bk because it made my swimming quieter. I also want to make my stroke more minimalistic, trimming out of my form what is extra, that is, do not add extra 2 kicks if I don’t have to; don’t add an extra breath if I don’t have to.

In the end, I will swim the way I like and that I find more satisfactory, but I would still like to make sure I do things right. Any advice and opinions that you guys might be able to provide will be much appreciated. In particular, what you feel about these ideas that breathing every 3 strokes and doing 2bk is actually bad practice...

Thank you,


Last edited by FrankJ : 03-11-2010 at 10:47 PM.
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