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  #71  
Old 09-15-2017
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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New Apple Series 3 watch announced this week. Tracks all activities, swim, bike, run, hike, walk, sleep. No hr belt required. It will also track if you have any issues with heart, arrhythmia, aFib, and other abnormal activity that could develop into something more serious. And you can download dozens of apps that present and track activities and not limited to the software of the watch manufacturer. I suspect Garmin, Polar, Fitbit and others are quite nervous since any of these devices pale in comparison to the Apple 3 watch.

Select the link for details: ‎https://www.apple.com/apple-watch-series-3/

Stu
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  #72  
Old 09-17-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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Originally Posted by CoachBobM View Post
Are you only breathing every 4th stroke, or are you alternating between left side and right side breathing? I'd get out of breath if I only breathed every 4th stroke.


Bob
No, in that particular breathing pattern I'm breathing only every 4th stroke, as it turns out on my left side. I seem to be doing ok at first with a very relaxed stroke, and a controlled relaxed slow exhalation trickle through my nose. But at the end of the length or maybe 2 lengths I'm a little out of breath. I understood that it is good to try 1 in 4 breathing as it gives good practice and incentive for relaxed stroke mechanics.
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  #73  
Old 09-17-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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To explain further, I am trying to figure out why I am short of breath. It seems I am exerting only very lightly, and I tolerate much higher intensity of exertion in other contexts eg, while running, when I am actually panting and fatigued for half an hour or more at sustained high output. However, at mild shortness of breath swimming I find it distressing enough that I have to stop at least briefly to regroup. I think an accurate heart rate reading would give me some insight as to what's going on.

Is it purely exertional, with a low tolerance for the mild increase in respiratory requirement?

Or is it exertional with an added component of insufficient respiratory exchange for that mild exertional increase, or an intolerance of that mildly insufficient ventilatory response?

I suspect it has a lot to do with a panic type intolerance of even very mild increases in respiratory requirement, which in theory ought to be fulfilled easily by the breathing techniques I have learned. But I am quite confident of breathing to the right. Although I have devoted a lot of time to practicing breathing to the left, and and it seems that my technique is smooth, efficient and solid to the left, if I have to breathe to the left when I am even mildly out of breath, I find it overwhelming. Not so much so if I "allow" myself to breathe exclusively to the right.

Perhaps it is related to persistent lack of confidence breathing to left, (in spite of technically correctly performed left side breathing movements) which requires even more sustained left side only practice to acquire confidence.

Last edited by sclim : 09-17-2017 at 10:10 PM.
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  #74  
Old 09-18-2017
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post
No, in that particular breathing pattern I'm breathing only every 4th stroke, as it turns out on my left side. I seem to be doing ok at first with a very relaxed stroke, and a controlled relaxed slow exhalation trickle through my nose. But at the end of the length or maybe 2 lengths I'm a little out of breath. I understood that it is good to try 1 in 4 breathing as it gives good practice and incentive for relaxed stroke mechanics.
There's an old adage about hydration which says that if you wait until you feel thirsty to take a drink, you're already dehydrated. In my experience, something similar is true for breathing. I can get away with breathing every 3rd stroke when I'm swimming relatively short distances (i.e., 50m or 100m). But if I'm swimming longer distances, I need to breathe more frequently (e.g., alternate breathing once every 2 strokes and once every 3 strokes). And if I wait until I feel short on air to switch to this pattern from every 3rd stroke breathing, I never really fell comfortable. But if I force myself to breathe more frequently from the outset, this doesn't happen.


Bob
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  #75  
Old 09-21-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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Finally got my Finis Aqua-Pulse in the mail. It was the real deal, marked down from Can$299 to $50!!!

I guess it is considered low-tech now. But there's nothing else out there that tells you in real time what your heart rate is while swimming!

I test drove it today. It gave me the confidence to push myself a little. I did repeats of 100m with TT set at 1.35 sec. I was getting 22.5 or so SPL initially, deteriorating to about 24 SPL by the 4th 25m of each 100m repeat. With 2-3 beats glide and a lazy turnaround of 2 beats that makes a 100m time of 2:30. While that might seem slow to most of you, by the end I was reaching 135 HR, and actually 140 by the 10th repeat (30 sec rests, during which my HR comes down to 112 or so).

For me, on the one hand this is better than 1 year ago when my SPL at the end of each repeat would balloon to over 25, so my stroke consistency is better, yet, I think I am still struggling to swim efficiently, or else my HR should have levelled off around 120, 125.

But, regarding fitness and tolerance, I can run for hours with a HR of 140; yet at that same HR my perception in water is that I am short of breath to the degree that I should stop, or swim slower.

So I have 2 conclusions: one is that I am still relatively inefficient, although slowly improving. I need to do more swimming both at HR 140 intensity and also at HR 120 intensity to work on micro efficiency, i.e. going faster while putting out the same low intensity. Two, I should work on getting more comfortable in the water at HR of 140 -- the shortness of breath is largely psychological and to do with not being comfortable in getting air in a relaxed movement. This merely needs more practice.

I'll also play with Coach Bob's suggestion and try some 2 stroke breathing, mixing up both left and right, rather than just on my comfortable right side.
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  #76  
Old 09-21-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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To elaborate a little, when I get to HR of 140, I feel panicky, and distracted. I notice I am more reluctant to breathe on my "uncomfortable" side of old, even though when I am fresh it seems like breathing on the left side is as easy, slick (i.e. done technically correctly as far as I can see) and non-scary as on the right.

When I get panicky, I tend to go only on the right, tend to over-rotate, i.e. lunge high for "guaranteed" air, and revert to old habits of 3 years ago, most noticeable being the left lead hand does not spear forward and hold there, but tends to paddle downwards as I am breathing, likely unconsciously as a result of water fear, ensuing that the face lift at time of breathing is higher out of the water than is efficient. This of course would drastically shorten the stroke.

I likely do not hold the trunk core as firmly as ideally, so as to micro-direct all the trunk whipping forces as elegantly as possible, but instead I bend and flail in an uncontrolled fashion. It's hard to report accurately, as my attention seems to be directed elsewhere, and self-awareness and introspection seems to be non-existent under those conditions. Accurate self observation at these times would be very valuable, and I'll try to work on that.
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  #77  
Old 09-22-2017
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Hi sclim,

Excellent job becoming aware of certain movements creeping in when breathing, i.e. lifting head, over-rotating and drawing on low side arm for stability. These are all "terrestrial" movements that sneak in when becomes difficult to breathe. It's these added movements that make breathing more difficult, timing is thrown off, drag increase exponentially and swimmers find more water than air. When difficulty or panic creeps in, stop and practice the timing only. Try to reduce/remove the added movements that make the breath feel rushed and uncomfortable, as well as create imbalance.

Here's a demo practicing the breath timing, aka "swim nod" that removes the breathing component to get (back to being) comfortable with timing, feeling fluid and not rushed. Select this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBuJwTPdM_w

The breath should never feel rushed, long or delayed.

Stu
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  #78  
Old 09-22-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
Hi sclim,

Excellent job becoming aware of certain movements creeping in when breathing, i.e. lifting head, over-rotating and drawing on low side arm for stability. These are all "terrestrial" movements that sneak in when becomes difficult to breathe. It's these added movements that make breathing more difficult, timing is thrown off, drag increase exponentially and swimmers find more water than air. When difficulty or panic creeps in, stop and practice the timing only. Try to reduce/remove the added movements that make the breath feel rushed and uncomfortable, as well as create imbalance.

Here's a demo practicing the breath timing, aka "swim nod" that removes the breathing component to get (back to being) comfortable with timing, feeling fluid and not rushed. Select this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBuJwTPdM_w

The breath should never feel rushed, long or delayed.

Stu
Thanks for the feedback. It fits in with the "Don't Practice Struggle" Principle.

But at some point I have to get so good at breathing that I can maintain my stroke proficiency (i.e. good form) when I am at higher levels of exertion, the same as my good form (I think, I hope) when I am not stressed. How do I get there? At some point do I not have to push the exertion higher and higher until form breaks down, and then go back and do more practice at that breaking down point?

I think I just answered my own question. Back up the tape a bit and try and shoot for the exertional point that form is threatening to break down (without actually breaking down), and try to maintain the pace where form is difficult to maintain but is still maintainable. It may be "difficult" in that I really have to concentrate, and maybe for now I can't keep it perfect for long before I have to stop and re-group, but as far as I can tell while fully examining every aspect of the full stroke cycle and timing, it is technically as correct as it is when I am rested.

Is that a reasonable strategy?

Last edited by sclim : 09-22-2017 at 01:24 AM.
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  #79  
Old 09-22-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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Hey I watched the video with Mandy and the one immediately following with you annotating Joel's form which I've actually seen before, and I realize now that I'm actually not paying sufficient attention on each stroke, not just the breathing strokes, on keeping the lead hand out in front, until the other entering hand has really come up the lead hand quite a ways (depending on how much you want to practice catchup) and getting the trunk rotation at least started without using that lead hand to help you rotate. I once got pretty good at that, even though it was with a slower tempo. I'm sure I can add that focus it back in again.
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  #80  
Old 09-22-2017
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Sclim,

Mat wrote some very good blogs about exactly what (I think) you're (and you're not alone with that) dealing with. Having a look into might be of some interest...

Best regards,
Werner

Last edited by WFEGb : 09-22-2017 at 07:31 AM.
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