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Old 05-02-2010
gogglesnoseplugs gogglesnoseplugs is offline
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Default Keeping one goggle "wet"

I am now back in the pool on a minimal level, as I am trying to readjust after health issues, and I am trying to work on my breathing in context instead of in a bowl. I heard from several folks that one of the most efficient things in freestyle breathing is to keep one goggle "wet" instead of rotating the head too much. Does this only work when you can create the wake trough from enough speed? I am taking in water from time to time, which has been stopping to regain composure. Am I too eager to acquire a skill at this point? I want to find an efficient way of breathing so I can be relaxed enough to not stop every lap to rest.

Michael
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  #2  
Old 05-03-2010
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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Speed definitely helps by creating a better bow wave. At slower speeds, another common problem that makes breathing harder is over rotating. Remember to roll just off the stomach. You can play with your body position by floating in superman, then rolling very slowly to one side. You will feel how you drop lower in the water as you roll. So, find the point where your top arm is just clearing the water. It will probably be flatter than you think. Breathing from that position will be easier.

By the way, a great way to say "one goggle wet" is to close the top eye. You will only see water if you get it right. It is much easier to do if you always breath to one side when practicing this.
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  #3  
Old 05-03-2010
atreides atreides is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogglesnoseplugs View Post
I am now back in the pool on a minimal level, as I am trying to readjust after health issues, and I am trying to work on my breathing in context instead of in a bowl. I heard from several folks that one of the most efficient things in freestyle breathing is to keep one goggle "wet" instead of rotating the head too much. Does this only work when you can create the wake trough from enough speed? I am taking in water from time to time, which has been stopping to regain composure. Am I too eager to acquire a skill at this point? I want to find an efficient way of breathing so I can be relaxed enough to not stop every lap to rest.

Michael
I would propose an indirect approach to getting where you want to get. There are a set of drills that promote balance and in particular body position in the water. I think one of the coaches said that they were part of the older TI school but I have found them immensely helpful. The first is just a sweetspot drill where you start out on your back and then rotate to your sweetpot on one side by showing one arm and then rotate to the other sweetpsot by showing the other arm. You do this with your arms on the side.
Even though you are technically on your back, when you show one arm one goggle is in the water. In other words your body is learning how to maintain balance on its side and you see how you can rotate to air but not have to move your head much. There are a few more drills involving skating and single and triple switches.

I do these drills in fins but whats interesting is that feet feel lighter when I take them off to do whole stroke. Recently I swam a length adjacent to another swimmer that was kind of floundering. When I finished, she said to me "please don't tell me that you did that on one breath" . Well anyone that has read these blogs knows my well documented 'breathing" issues. So the fact that she didn't see my head moving every other stroke to get air is a tribute to the balance that I have gained doing those drills. So once you master the "roll like a log" drill, your body will rotate as a unit which makes it lot easier and certain that you get air when you rotate. If you are interested in the drill I will send you the link.
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Old 05-04-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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What really helped me get the breathing right was to forget about rolling or what my eyes were doing, or anything else, and focus solely on reaching fully during spearing. That gives me the roll I need and automatically brings the mouth to air without the need to over-rotate. It also lends a very unhurried feeling. I never feel I have to snatch a breath.
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  #5  
Old 05-05-2010
gogglesnoseplugs gogglesnoseplugs is offline
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Default Another significant issue

I have been working on balancing exercises, and something very frustrating is happening; and I know once I get my balance figured out, this issue might go away. To put it in context, when I am face down and swimming, I have to think as if I am "swimming downhill" to keep my head down and my legs up. If I do not do this, then my legs sink. So in turn, during my balancing exercises and I am face up on my back, if I want to keep my feet up, I have to keep my head lower in the water. I am running into the problem of either leaning back to the point my face barely breaks the surface or is just under the surface; and I end up with water up my nose. In order to avoid this, I end up dropping my feet, and my balance goes out of whack and I lose focus on the balancing exercises; and then I just run into that same wall of not getting enough air when I go to swim.
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Old 05-05-2010
flppr flppr is offline
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i discovered this one by accident one day while swimming with a bright sun in my face: i closed my eyes when turning to breathe, and i was able to feel my mouth clear the water. it gave me much more immediate sensory information about the position of my mouth in relation to the water than using my eyes.
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Old 05-05-2010
atreides atreides is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogglesnoseplugs View Post
I have been working on balancing exercises, and something very frustrating is happening; and I know once I get my balance figured out, this issue might go away. To put it in context, when I am face down and swimming, I have to think as if I am "swimming downhill" to keep my head down and my legs up. If I do not do this, then my legs sink. So in turn, during my balancing exercises and I am face up on my back, if I want to keep my feet up, I have to keep my head lower in the water. I am running into the problem of either leaning back to the point my face barely breaks the surface or is just under the surface; and I end up with water up my nose. In order to avoid this, I end up dropping my feet, and my balance goes out of whack and I lose focus on the balancing exercises; and then I just run into that same wall of not getting enough air when I go to swim.
You are probably suffering from the same problem that I was. Either from improper technique or physiological limitations, your kick won't sustain balance. I was frustrated likewise until I reintroduced myself to my fins. I thought I was cheating using them until I realized that balance is balance. In other words if your lying horizontally on your side (your sweetspot) then your body is learning how it feels to in that position. Your core is adusting. Besides, I never do whole stroke in them because I never want to be reliant on them to swim. And right now I swim better with them off than on.

When I'm drilling I only move my legs enough to get down the lane. And I do the drills precisely the way they ("are you hiding your head?", "show one shoulder and then the other".) When you tuck your head and arch your back to get better balance when you're doing the sweetspot drill, the same exact motions help your verical balance when you are on your stomach. Sweetspot is actually (in my humble opinion) teaching you to "press the buoy". Gets some fins and a nose clips ( I use them on the roll like a log drill) and you're on your way.
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  #8  
Old 05-05-2010
gogglesnoseplugs gogglesnoseplugs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atreides View Post
Gets some fins and a nose clips ( I use them on the roll like a log drill) and you're on your way.
I am not fond of a nose clip, but maybe that is a temporary aid. Can you send me a link to the log roll? Is it just text or also a video? Either way, I wwould like to check it out.
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  #9  
Old 05-05-2010
atreides atreides is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogglesnoseplugs View Post
I am not fond of a nose clip, but maybe that is a temporary aid. Can you send me a link to the log roll? Is it just text or also a video? Either way, I wwould like to check it out.
Here you go. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcZ1cTHRG7I
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  #10  
Old 05-28-2010
dobarton dobarton is offline
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Default I am VERY late to this thread, but...

I have some of the same balance issues you're describing. I've posted about them before. Over the last two weeks, I've found a way that is not easy, but helps A LOT! The biggest issue appears to be that I am not as long as I can be.
I used to believe that if I arched my back, I was getting taller/longer and my balance would be better and my legs higher, but, in truth, all I was doing was pushing my head under water to get my legs up. Now, my thought is all about "stretch," and trying NOT to arch. By stretching, and making myself long, both my abs AND back muscles are activated creating a more solid "log." Thus, when I approach balance exercises, especially if I wish to roll, my head is more likely to stay above water with my legs still high.
Another way to think stretch is to imagine your legs moving away from your midsection, pointing to one wall of the pool and your shoulders/head moving away from your midsection toward the other end of the pool. If you're "arching" instead of "stretching," both your legs and your head are reaching for the bottom of the pool (if you are on your back) instead of reaching for the ends of the pool.
I hope I explained that clearly. It is a very difficult thing for me to accomplish in practice, but when I drill, especially balance drills, it makes all the difference between finishing the drill well, versus inhaling water up my nose!
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