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  #1  
Old 12-19-2012
Stevew46 Stevew46 is offline
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Stevew46
Default Crawl breathing, every 2,3 or 4 strokes?

Hi all, since starting to learn TI just over a year ago, my breathing has gone from every 2 strokes (past 30 yrs) to every 4 strokes, and I can keep this up over 2-3 miles ( not tried to go any further) this improvement occurred almost straight away and not at the expense of slowing down, but have only speeded up a little bit and have been told if I was to breath every 3 strokes and become more symmetrical Id speed up! Thing is I can't breath to the Left and no matter what I do, I just can't do it! Occasionally I do get air but it messes up my stroke so much it actually slows me down. So can anyone explain what the possible reasons are for not been able to breath on both sides? Incidentally I'm not able to skate on the right side either - go backwards!!!! And, for long distance swimming, are there actually any benefits, from a speed point of view, to breathing every 3 strokes as opposed to every 4?

Thanks,

Steve (UK)

Last edited by Stevew46 : 12-19-2012 at 11:09 PM. Reason: Spelling.
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  #2  
Old 12-20-2012
Ken B Ken B is offline
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Default Breathing left

Steve, I was you, but considerably older and set in my ways. The school which shall not be named are keen on bi breathing and recommend being stubborn about the transition. For a fortnight just forget about style points or comfort, just do it. They say 6 swims will do it. I had some miserable ow swims but it worked for me and I've thanked them ever since. Breathing every 3 seems perfect for me, no rushing the exhalation to snatch a breath and a failed rough water breath is easily corrected.
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  #3  
Old 12-20-2012
Stevew46 Stevew46 is offline
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Thanks Ken, in all honesty, like many things, I give up trying once I convince myself "I'm never going to get it" ( Note to myself: don't pass it on to my children!!!) Sometime soon I will go to the pool and practice nothing else, might have to be widths in the shallow end though!
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2012
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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I have found that breathing every five or seven or even nine is good way of practising 'wrong' side breathing because it gives you plenty of time to prepare yourself. I can't say I've mastered it yet though, although it's a lot easier than it used to be. perhaps devoting an entire week to it would be a good idea.

Obviously breathing every nine requires slow swimming concentrating on the exhale rather than the inhale - or alternatively sprinting, but that probably isn't a good idea when you are trying to learn a new skill.
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2012
gramps.61 gramps.61 is offline
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gramps.61
Default Running out of air

How do you manage to breathe only every 5, 7 or 9 strokes without running out of air? I can manage the stroking required for bilateral breathing but find that after 50 metres I am short of breath and feeling uncomfortable.
Gramps.61
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  #6  
Old 12-29-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gramps.61 View Post
How do you manage to breathe only every 5, 7 or 9 strokes without running out of air? I can manage the stroking required for bilateral breathing but find that after 50 metres I am short of breath and feeling uncomfortable.
Gramps.61
Gramps, if you are 61 years old as your username suggests I wouldn't try this or worry about it. Total lung capacity gradually diminishes as we get older and this is fairly noticable in swimmign when I work wiht folks in their 60s. They can go 2, 3 or sometimes 4 breaths, but any longer apart gets stressful.

For learning left side breathing, I'd suggest reading through my "swim breathing thread" (just do a search for "The Swim Breathing Thread" here or even on google).

Have fun.
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Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2012
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Hi Gramps and Suzanne,

Far be it from me to suggest to anyone that they do something that would be stressful to their lungs, but you might be interested in the results of a little experiment I performed yesterday at the pool.

I am now aged 77 and have been swimming regularly (almost daily) since discovering TI and, through TI, masters swimming. I can't run worth a dam (a small coin current in the old Raj) and probably couldn't manage 100m at a decent clip, and puff like a grampus even walking up a moderate incline, but I can swim 1500m albeit slowly and could no doubt swim further if I had to. Next year I may test this idea by entering an open water swim.

My normal breathing pattern is left side only, every two strokes, but recently in an attempt to learn to breathe on the wrong side I have been experimenting with different patterns, such as the five, seven and nine patterns I mentioned above. I find five, seven and nine easier than every three, because they give me time to prepare. I focus on the arm on the wrong breathing side and when it is time to breathe, try to time the breath with the body roll and pull, if I may use that forbidden word. In between I focus on keeping a still, centralized head and relaxed neck and breathing out steadily, which I think is important. Holding the breath should be avoided, I think, although there are some authorities who recommend it. Swimming short repeats (of 25 meters) I find that there is no discomfort up to nine strokes and beyond. Yesterday I thought I would push the limits a bit and first tried every eleven, which was not difficult and then tried longer stretches such as :

Push off, take first breath at breakout, take eleven strokes and breathe on same side (left). Take another eleven strokes, breathe on right side and then take as many strokes as needed to get to the wall (maybe two or three). You will notice that this means I am taking maybe twenty-three strokes or more for a 25-meter length, but the object of the exercise is not to minimize SPL).

As the session continued I found I could quite easily take fifteen strokes before breathing and am inclined to think that with practice I could extend it even further. When the pool opens in the New Year I'll continue this experiment to see if it improves my 50-meter swimming, which I will not dignify with the word sprinting. At the top level, sprinters take at most three breaths and probably fewer in a 50 meter race.

I would normally use my regular breathing pattern for a 50, but perhaps I may try breathing less often in the New Year to see if it improves my time. The experts say that any movement of the head off the centre line slows you down a tiny bit. Of course the experts may be wrong, but it seems unlikely.
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