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  #31  
Old 08-31-2010
flppr flppr is offline
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Originally Posted by Mike from NS View Post
Didn't I read or hear recently something where Terry equated the "bite" of air to the same or similar amount of air as when you're singing and grab some air between musical phrases of the song?
that sounds more accurate. i think beginners tend to over-inhale rather than under. i know i did.
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  #32  
Old 09-01-2010
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Originally Posted by flppr View Post
i think beginners tend to over-inhale rather than under. i know i did.
I still do too. Beginners for sure and others as well ...over everything. Over-rotate, over kick, over analyse and over inhale for sure. Just the learning curve! I tried in a more focused manner, recently, humming for the exhale. The little bit of time I did this, really worked well for me. I think we over inhale because of a lacking confidence which will give way to more confidence with more & more practice and exposure to the watery environment.

Our local outdoor pool closed Sunday for the season but due to the present heat wave we have now they have reopened for a few days. Probably close again for the weekend when we welcome Hurricane Earl to N.S. Tomorrow I hope to try biting some air!!
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  #33  
Old 09-01-2010
flppr flppr is offline
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Originally Posted by Mike from NS View Post
I still do too. Beginners for sure and others as well ...over everything. Over-rotate, over kick, over analyse and over inhale for sure. Just the learning curve!
hehe, i can certainly relate, brother. it is a looooong curve, isn't it?

Quote:
Our local outdoor pool closed Sunday for the season but due to the present heat wave we have now they have reopened for a few days. Probably close again for the weekend when we welcome Hurricane Earl to N.S. Tomorrow I hope to try biting some air!!
get as many of those bites in while you can!
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  #34  
Old 09-01-2010
warrenjk warrenjk is offline
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Default Just got over the same problem as Robedon

I've been swimming 6 months now, and only in the last month or so have I got completely over the shortness of breath issue. I think it was as much mental as anything, anyway I am now far more relaxed in the water, breathing every 2nd or 3rd stroke as I feel inclined. For me, using a pullbuoy made it a whole lot easier, as it prevents the "I'm about to sink" feeling I had when I started. I suspect I was taking in too much air to start with, thinking I was running short, but I now breathe a whole lot less per breath than when I started off.

Whatever, it is worth persevering, as I am now (finally) really enjoying my swimming.
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  #35  
Old 09-01-2010
flppr flppr is offline
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Originally Posted by robedon View Post
this morning I tried doing the skating drill with my left arm extended and breathing to my right. I was wearing Aquasphere fins while doing this, but I did several lengths without getting winded. for some reason when I tried doing it to breathe to the right, my face was under water every time I went to get air.

the point I'm trying to make, is when i swim whole stroke, I get winded in a lap or 2, and when I was only skating I didn't.

When I swim whole stroke, I just don't feel like I get the right air exchange. half way across a 25m pool, I'm out of breath.

maybe I need to do only the skating drill the next few swims to see if it will help me learn how to exchange my air properly.
when reviewing terry's video last night, i noticed how much he rotates his body when he rolls to air during whole stroke. its a lot. he really shifts all his weight, even his head, onto his skate side.

if you can get enough air in skate but not whole stroke, maybe you're not rotating enough in whole stroke?

also look at where your recovery arm is when you are inhaling. if your arm is already above your head, its too late. the weight of your arm will push your head down into the water.

ps: post a video so we can see what's going on.

Last edited by flppr : 09-01-2010 at 08:43 AM.
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  #36  
Old 09-01-2010
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robedon View Post
... I know the video says take a bite of air. I've had a hard time figuring out exactly what a bite of air is. does anyone have a good comparison to how much to breathe in?
I think it is best to put your focus on the exhale, not on the inhale. After a good exhale your system will inhale on it's own, and it will take the amount of air it needs.

When you put too much focus on the inhale you may start to hyperventilate, which means the carbon-dioxide level or pressure in your system gets too low. That ends in cramps in arms, jaw muscels etc and is actually quite painful. You can help people who are hyperventilating by having them breathe out into a plastic bag and then breath in that air from the plastic bag, which has a higher carbon-dioxide and a lower oxygen level.
Over-stuffing your system with oxygen does not help, on the contrary.
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  #37  
Old 09-10-2010
robedon robedon is offline
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Default may have had a breakthrough

swam this morning and completed 18 laps, and only stopped once for just a few seconds and then back to it. usually, I've been doing 100 yds and then stopping for 30 seconds, then doing 100 yds again. I cheated a little, I wore my fins, but didn't kick, just used them to float my body right. The key was I slowed down. toward the end, I found myself speeding back up to the pace I've been trying to do. I can't believe how hard it is for me to go slow. I'm not sure that my actual speed of forward motion slows down that much, but my arm movement is much slower.
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  #38  
Old 08-31-2011
lemur lemur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madvet View Post
Breathing is the most simple thing, except it is not. Yes, you could be in better shape, but not so bad that you can't complete 1 length, otherwise you wouldn't be doing triathlons.

Mastering relaxed breathing is the key to going from 10 yards to 10,000.

The more you can match your breathing to what you would be doing at a brisk walk in the open air, the better.
1) No tension in the neck shoulders and chest.
2) No forceful exhalation or inhalation. More effort than you would be doing standing still, but like I said, about what you do at a brisk walk. People who run are used to breathing harder, but it doesn't work at the slower breathing rate you are limited to while swimming.
3) Inhale when your arms aren't actively pulling -- you can't open your chest, while your back and chest muscles are working to close your chest.

If this is not working, "listen" more closely for excess tension.
I love this post. Your #3 suggestion changed everything for me. This is the exact reason why I'd been prowling the different boards for hours a night over the last few weeks.

My daily swims were nightmares. I live here in San Diego and would, each day, head to Mission Bay and try to practice this and that...things I'd read the night before, etc. Always the results were the same; 50 - 75 yards and I'd be out of breath. I was really starting to wonder if I'd ever get it.

I'm a fit guy. I run (sub 3 hour marathon 2 years ago), work out in the gym, and generally lead a pretty active lifestyle. Swimming, though, was killing me. I'd look on in wonder and amazement at folks of all description who could swim for 30+ minutes, gliding along happy as can be.

...and then I read suggestion #3...

In my next swim I really paid attention to how I was breathing. I noticed that as soon as started my catch (or even a little before...when my spear arm was just slightly less than extended), I also started to breath. It was like I was trying to take a breath at just the same time that all my chest, arm, and back muscles were under maximum tension. Why I never saw this before is beyond me.

I now find myself waiting until hand is about at my shoulder and then I just follow the recovering arm back to take a breath. It works. I can't believe it. I swim easily now. Everything seems to have fallen into place. I don't have to try and take a huge inhale, I don't have to think about exhaling. I'm not forcing anything. I seem to take in just what I need and the exhalation is without thinking.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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  #39  
Old 08-31-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
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Hi there. You may have seen my thread on a similar problem. Could you describe this #3 in more detail? Are you breathing earlier or later? I tend to breath as my recovering arm leaves the water, and finish breathing as it reaches the trigger point when I start to pull.

I had exactly the same problem in that I couldn't swim more than 25-50 metres withiout becoming exhausted, yet can run sub 7 minute miles, cycle pretty fast for long periods etc. I had also had extensive coaching in TI and had got my stroke to a pretty good standard, but still no improvement in exhaustion. My solution was a number of little things, but in hindsight it seems to have boiled down to improving my breathing technique to lengthen the inhalation part (by starting earlier), which has allowed me to get away with the less frequent breaths that slower swimming gives you, and then of course benefit from the lack of exertion of slow swimming. I've dropped my pace from 25 second 25 metre lengths to 33 second lengths, and can now swim 800 metres without stopping. The level of physical exertion is similar to an extremely slow jog (6mph) a leisurely cycle (13mph) or a pilates class, which feels very odd to me, as I'm using to running at more like 9mph, cycling at 20mph and doing flat out circuit training.

Provided this is normal for swimming to be the odd one out of all my sport, I guess I've solved my problem!
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  #40  
Old 08-31-2011
lemur lemur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobM77 View Post
Hi there. You may have seen my thread on a similar problem. Could you describe this #3 in more detail? Are you breathing earlier or later? I tend to breath as my recovering arm leaves the water, and finish breathing as it reaches the trigger point when I start to pull.

I had exactly the same problem in that I couldn't swim more than 25-50 metres withiout becoming exhausted, yet can run sub 7 minute miles, cycle pretty fast for long periods etc. I had also had extensive coaching in TI and had got my stroke to a pretty good standard, but still no improvement in exhaustion. My solution was a number of little things, but in hindsight it seems to have boiled down to improving my breathing technique to lengthen the inhalation part (by starting earlier), which has allowed me to get away with the less frequent breaths that slower swimming gives you, and then of course benefit from the lack of exertion of slow swimming. I've dropped my pace from 25 second 25 metre lengths to 33 second lengths, and can now swim 800 metres without stopping. The level of physical exertion is similar to an extremely slow jog (6mph) a leisurely cycle (13mph) or a pilates class, which feels very odd to me, as I'm using to running at more like 9mph, cycling at 20mph and doing flat out circuit training.

Provided this is normal for swimming to be the odd one out of all my sport, I guess I've solved my problem!
Rob,

Great to hear you seem to have found a solution to the problem. What I do now is breathe later and longer. Previously, I started my breath at the start of the catch and ended it just about the time my hand passed my shoulder. I now START my breath at the time my hand passes my shoulder and finish it just prior to my recovering arm entering the water.

Last edited by lemur : 08-31-2011 at 02:13 PM.
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