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  #21  
Old 12-06-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Breath when you need air, not every 3. That may be every 3 depending on your effort, but it may also be every 2 or every 4. Let your pattern be dictated by your effort.
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  #22  
Old 12-07-2011
hippo hippo is offline
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Hello Arunks, I struggled with the same problem. I could swim with good technique (according to my coach) and consistently hit 14 to 16 spl for a 25m pool.
I was always out of breath though.
We narrowed it down to my focus on reducing the spl causing me to use too much power in my pull.

My coach suggested I relax... really... relax.
Forget SPL
Forget time
Forget trying to move forwards !!
Just try and stay as relaxed as possible with the stroke.
Breathe whenever needed.
just move through the mechanics of the stroke with as close to zero tension as possible.
Well, I did 100m with absolutely no effort at all,wa not even slightly out of breath!
The I added in a little focus ont eh wrist/ forearm to improve the catch.
The next time I swam I did 1500m in 35 mins. Just focused on being relaxed.

I promptly got sick and had 3 weeks ot of the pool. Went back on Monday and did 3000m in 1 hr (500m, 2x400m, 3x300m, 4x200m).

Try it and see if it helps you.
Hippo
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  #23  
Old 12-07-2011
arunks arunks is offline
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Default Relaxation in swimming

Thank you Hippo for the advice.As you say relaxation is the key, have not got it yet.I feel like the stroke runs away and I don't get the time to relax myself(@ TT rate of 1.35-1.45).At slower tempos my rythm goes totally awry.Was watching Sun Yang's video and wonder how he is so relaxed when swimming at such a fast pace.
Also I can dive in the deeper ends but cant stay under water for more than a few seconds. In fact I feel a bit panicky trying to touch the bottom of the pool at the deeper ends(@10ft).Need to improve on the relaxed feel.
I am also experimenting on many breathing patterns like taking breath every 2 strokes or breathing in sequence of 2-3-2...It seems to get a little better but still not great.
Any suggestions on relaxation aspect in swimming is appreciated.Thanks.

Last edited by arunks : 12-07-2011 at 12:25 PM.
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  #24  
Old 12-08-2011
hippo hippo is offline
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Arunks,
The biggest thing for me was to stop using the TT completely.
Forget all about the time, and just move nice and slowly- no tension- through the stroke.
Don't count strokes or time or breaths. Just breathe whenever you need no, nice and slow
It will feel weird, like you aren't moving at all. Really try and feel your whole body being supported by the water, not using muscle power at all.
It will show up any flaws in buoyancy!

If you can swim nice and slowly, breathing whenever, just focusing on the shape of the stroke it might help.
Once you can do this, you can start looking at the feel of the water and propulsion, then think about SR and the TT.

How about trying just floating face down to feel the relaxation - remembering to breathe! When you are relaxed like this, add in the stroke, keeping relaxed...

I'm sorry I can't help too much, I am a qualified diving instructor so being relaxed in, around and under water is quite normal for me...

Hippo
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  #25  
Old 12-08-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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This little guy probalby has the relaxation in water thing down better than any of us...try to emulate him in your next swim.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=brdE5fdtS4I
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #26  
Old 12-08-2011
arunks arunks is offline
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@hippo I too am getting used to the TT.Sometimes I feel working without the TT is better to focus on technique without any thought on beat timing…I am improving on my breathing, this too is helping me in relaxing. Thanks for the suggestions.
@Suzanne Nice one :) I agree with you 'We do have a lot to learn from them' .
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  #27  
Old 12-08-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
This little guy probalby has the relaxation in water thing down better than any of us...try to emulate him in your next swim.
A clear advantage to have a long nose :-)

I bet he enjoys the rub so much that he even accepts the bath ... even soapy water in the eyes ... just amazing ... :-)))
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  #28  
Old 12-08-2011
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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http://www.swimsmooth.com/exhalation_adv.html

A good page from an Englishman in Australia.

At the end of the article he recommends a sink down exercise and suggests that the exhalation rate we need to swim relaxed freestyle is the same as that required to perform the sink downs?

Is this good advice? I have worked hard on breathing out constantly when I swim but I do not push it out fast enough to 'sink' But I wonder if this is why I am breathing hard after 300-400 metres but have very quick recovery.

I have big lungs from singing training (I think last time I was tested I pushed out 6,5litres). And that leads to my second question. Men and women have different sized lungs, how does this effect our respective breathing in swimming. Should men be exhaling 25% faster, do more men struggle with good breathing than women/children?
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  #29  
Old 12-08-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Andy,

I agree that you should constantly exhale while swimming - and while not inhaling ;-) - but I cannot follow some parts of the logic in that article.
BTW I tried to do that sinking exercise a while ago and I simply do not sink to the bottom of the pool, no matter what I do.

Regarding the argumentation. They state the following under 'why is it important to exhale constantly?' :
2) When you are holding your breath you can feel that you need to breathe. The sensation you are feeling is not the lack of oxygen, it's the build up of CO2. By holding your breath you are keeping the CO2 in your blood stream and lungs - this makes you feel desperate for air.

Sounds convincing. Nevertheless. It is true that the feeling of need for air usually gets triggered by a build up of CO2 and not a lack of oxygen. But that's only half of the truth. When you get into an oxygen emergency state (through heavy workout e.g.) that overrules the low-CO2-level trigger and the body reacts with an increased breathing rate because of a lack of oxygen. The point is that usually the breathing out of CO2 and the breathing in of O2 is in balance. That is why the two systems of breath regulation - CO2 level triggered and oxygen level triggered - function quite well together, usually one of the two triggers a breath when necessary. The danger is though that through over-intensive exhalation you get into a hyperventilation state. That gets rid of a lot of CO2 but the oxygen level des not increase in the same way, it cannot basically. The low CO2 level is an unhealthy state, a certain level of CO2 is required by the body functions and the body tries to regulate that through a deferred breathing reflex (=apnoe). That helps in increasing the CO2 level but makes the O2 level sink. While swimming that may make you feel dizzy and even faint before the system reacts on the oxygen-deficiency with increased breathing. Being unconscious in water is not much fun as we all know or can imagine.
Secondly, as long as the CO2 level in the lung is lower than the CO2 level in the blood stream (which in fact is carbonic acid so it is acid level triggered) the CO2 from the blood will diffuse into the air in the lungs. Which means that strictly speaking to say that holding your breath keeps the CO2 in your blood and lungs is true but not the point here. As long as the CO2 level in the lung is lower than the one in the blood you don't have any physical problem. So technically speaking you can take a deep breath and swim quite a number of strokes without breathing and without feeling desperate for air. Even without taking a particularly deep breath you can easily swim a number of strokes without breathing and without feeling desperate. Of course this might not be a very useful thing in swimming but that requires a different argumentation. This one given here does not prove a point for constant exhale.

Also this one:
3) Having lungs full of air is bad for your body position - your chest is too buoyant. Since your body acts like a see saw around your centre, this causes your legs to sink in the water, creating extra drag.
I don't think this is necessarily true. If you have a good balance the air in the lungs helps you to remain buoyant and keep a good position in the water. So the exact opposite could be true.

In short I think it is good to exhale constantly while swimming to let the inhale happen on its own and keep the whole pattern natural. As natural as t is possible with the unnatural breathing pattern you are forced to in freestyle.
I think I have an aversion against this kind of over-simplified argumentation which purpose is not to find a point but only to prove that your concept is true. Sometimes less is more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
...
A good page from an Englishman in Australia.
For the very strong dwelling in concepts, the claim of owning the absolute truth about swimming and those reasons given above about the over-developed but unconvincing argumentation I developed an aversion against that website.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
...
Is this good advice? I have worked hard on breathing out constantly when I swim but I do not push it out fast enough to 'sink' But I wonder if this is why I am breathing hard after 300-400 metres but have very quick recovery.
...
Should men be exhaling 25% faster, do more men struggle with good breathing than women/children?
I don't think men struggle more since the size of the lungs is according to the needs of that particular body. I don't think it is a good idea to force the exhale and to try to always empty the lungs. The body BTW tries to maintain a CO2 level of 6% in the lungs which is a lot higher than the 0.03% CO2 level of the surrounding atmosphere. Strong exhale will not help and a lowered CO2 level is dangerous in the water.

This is all my googled amateur opinion so don't take it for the truth itself.
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  #30  
Old 12-08-2011
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Nice detailed post all the same.

I agree with your sentiments about the ss guys but they are looking at swimming everyday, are personally obsessed with it, and work with swimmers at every level, so whilst I think their priority may be to make money from coaching and selling swimming tools, I do not discount their thinking, (but your point about their approach and sometimes stubborness to consider alternatives is valid).

Getting back on track with exhaling, I have read other posts that say to exhale strongly when going for air but this seems counter intuitive, since accelerating the exhale at the start feels more relaxing, like sighing or taking a breath test at the police station.

I also wonder if there should be two accents on the exhale to match the timing of the two spearing arms? If I can sort out my breathing and recovery then I should get nearer my 24 minute mile target time, just got to find a way off the plateau (joyfully).
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