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Old 10-10-2009
bartp bartp is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 12
bartp
Default Horizontal sinker cannot breathe

I am a lean 6'4" man, have done TI for 5 years, am a mid/front pack swimmer, and believe I have good TI form. My one major problem is that, although swimming horizontally, i sink which makes breathing difficult. This is clear from the shark fin drill where my elbow almost disappears under water while still being horizontal. To compensate i have developed the bad habit of dropping my lead hand early and pushing it down slightly to make myself surface faster for every breath. Works great except every third stroke is inefficient. I have been working on not dropping the lead hand but the result is that I cannot get high enough out of the water to get a good breath. My head positioning is good and I am rolling to the breath (breathing with my bellybutton). Any help would be appreciated!!
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  #2  
Old 10-10-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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CoachEricDeSanto
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From your descriptions, I gather that you are using older versions of our program. Partially because of the problems you describe, we have updated our drills a bit.

First, I am assuming that you are correct when you say you are horizontal. Have you checked this with video? Also, are you sure your head remains in line with your spine as you breathe? Head lifting makes it much harder to breathe.

One of the most common problems leading to breathing difficulty is over rotating. The shark fin drill forced people up onto their side so far that the body sank. We now recover the arm much wider and rotate less. Try skating while rotating just enough to clear your top shoulder. For me this approaches 45 degrees as opposed to the 90 degrees we used to teach. That will allow your body to ride higher in the water which will bring your mouth closer to air. From there, recover with your elbow as close to the water as possible. Your hand will probably be 2 feet to the side of your body if not more, since your are so tall.

Second thing to check is the timing of the breath. Make sure you are rolling to breath exactly as your body rolls so you are returning to face down by the time your hand is just leaving the water. Anything you have out of the water will make you sink so you want to breathe while both hands are in the water as much as possible.

Finally, check the speed of your recovery. If your tempo and recovery are too slow, you will sink as your arm is out of the water. The hand should gradually accelerate from the catch through the spear so your recovery is the fastest portion of the arm cycle.
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  #3  
Old 10-11-2009
bartp bartp is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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bartp
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Coach Eric,

Thanks sooo much! I have been using an older version and did not know things had changed. I am always trying to 'stack my shoulders' and now believe i am seriously overrating. Also, I think my timing may be a little late and my recovery is quite slow...lot's to work on now :)

A couple of quick questions:
1. I have always done the zipper and tried to let my elbow lead along the side of my body (which is rotated at almost 90 degrees). Are you saying now that my arm should sweep out around 2 feet from my body instead of zippering along my side? (that would be a big change from the old TI method).

2. When you wrote 'recover with your elbow as close to the water as possible' did you actually mean 'my finger tips as close to the water as possible'? Are you saying a high elbow is wrong (that the elbow should actually recover just above the water)?

3. Do you think i should buy the new book or videos or are there only minor changes from the old TI method?

Thanks again!!!
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