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  #11  
Old 08-12-2009
Nicodemus Nicodemus is offline
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Thanks for the suggestion. I have been doing lots of Fish, Skating & various drills to work on my left side.

There is an excellent article on here somewhere that basically says that right-handed people have less coordination on their left side (& vice versa).

One issue I have identified is that my left kick seems to have a lot less 'bite' than my right. It feels more like a twitch. Maybe that is a factor?
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  #12  
Old 08-17-2009
ynotcat ynotcat is offline
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I recently read an interesting book that discusses breathing in depth: "Body, Mind and Sport" by John Douillard. His recommendations for breathing while swimming are (page 164):

1) Exhale through the nose only. While exhaling, slightly constrict the throat to make a "Darth Vader" like sound. The only way to make this sound involves contracting the abdominal muscles, which expels the used air from your lower lungs. If you exhale through your mouth (as I used to), it is very easy to only exhale the air from the upper lungs.

2) Inhale through the mouth, consciously trying to fill the lower part of your lungs, not just the upper part.

He goes into plenty of detail on this technique. I tried using it for the first time in an open water race last week end, and it really helped. Usually, I get short of breath when pushing hard in a race. This time, I felt really good. When ever I started to feel the slightest shortness of breath or gasping, I would really concentrate on the breathing technique. In the last 500 meters of the race, I was able to pull away from the 4 person pack that I had been struggling to keep up with earlier in the swim. I finished about a minute ahead of them, and instead of being out of breath and gasping at the finish, I felt very tired and worn out, but I was breathing fairly normally.

I am excited about the new potential I now have for swimming more comfortably and potentially faster by using this breathing technique.
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  #13  
Old 08-17-2009
vincent vincent is offline
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hello! my name is vincent and live in normandie in france .
i think have found the swimming "skating" idea.Breathing for me is much difficult at the 25 m swimming pool than in open water.Why? Because i can in open water like in my trail running of 50 or 60 kms take time of my rythm of breathing .At the swimming pool the feeling of touch the wall don't let me the time to smoothly take my slow rythm.That's why i prefer swim in open water with this feeling of freedom and no limit,no goal,just swim...
i've got a ear ache since 15 days .i go to the doctor this evening .When we've got this feeling of skating in ti. we want like a drug,awlways find again and again this feeling,it's difficult to stop swim a week or more... sincerely. sorry for my poor english.
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  #14  
Old 08-17-2009
timdoyle timdoyle is offline
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ynotcat & nicodemus,

I was hoping either of you, or anyone else for that matter, might be able to help. I can breathe quite comfortably while in my sweet spot and have no problem turning my head into the water and then back out. My problem is that when I switch to freestyle I am out of breath at the end of the lane, but after I catch it I can continue for over an hour provided I stop after each length to catch my breath.

I tried slowing down, but I have found that then I can’t create an air pocket to catch a breath and in turn I have to go to my sweet spot to get a good deep breath of air. I have been exhaling out of my nose. Any suggestions?
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  #15  
Old 08-18-2009
rwilkes rwilkes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roates View Post
A really important post YES!

I had a similar experience earlier in the year, my lack of relaxed breathing skill was really holding me back from achieving any distance. After a back to basics breathing one-to-one with TI/Swimshack in the UK, I went from 4 - 8 - 12 - 20 and then 40 lengths in a two week period. And after each session I wanted to go on swimming.

A relaxed stationary breathing exercise were the key to success. This was something I had never tried, although it is on the 02in H20 dvd uts importance can't be over stressed.

Here's the drill - Take a breath, let your head go down into the water, allow air slowly to trickle out to say a count of 5, help it a little and then as you come up expel the remaining air out, the vaccum created in your lungs will bring in new clean air, repeat. Increase the the count gradually and when you trickle air out to a count of 15 you're at genius level, so Ian Smith told me!

When confident I then repeated down the pool in skating position. My breathing to the left is still better than my right but I'm now on the way to bilateral breathing with a lot more confidence.

Not for nothing is it called 'Trickle Breathing'
Nicodemus your post needs keeping in an archive for constant reference.

Roger



This sounds a great idea, as this wholes thread is - practice makes perfect as they say !

However, to me breathing is a vicious circle. To breath efficiently we must be relaxed in our stroke, but to stroke efficiently we need to breath correctly ! This is the problem i have, i feel my balance is coming on (head position) but whole stroke falls down because of my breathing, which is having a negative effect on my drills.

This whole thread of relaxed breathing is interesting for all of us who are starting out in TI (6 months)...., to me breathing is THE integral part of TI, because if i cant breath, i cant drill !

I seem to IN too much air, a big "gulp" of air. Therefore, i dont exhale enough, just cant get the correct amount of air in and exhale enough out. But, like is say, practice make perfect and thats what makes us get back in the pool after a frustrating session !!!!

Last edited by rwilkes : 08-18-2009 at 02:47 PM.
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  #16  
Old 08-18-2009
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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rwilkes,

We are coming from the same place. To progress we must relax which means we must breathe correctly and since we have trouble breathing we also have trouble being relaxed ... a viscous cycle ! However what Nicodemus suggests helped me as I tried to focus completely on his methods last time in the water. I felt very close to having grasped "breathing". Right from my very first question on this TI forum, Splashin' Pat told me to bob, and bob, and then bob some more --- so as to become comfortable in the water and learn to relax. I had thought I had a pretty good handle on this but really realized the other day that I'm not breathing out enough! When I coupled this fact with bobbing, and with Nicodemus's suggestions together with several lengths of Nod & Swim practice, the slower stroke helped me relax more and I did feel a bit more progress. His next suggestion, which was a repeat from Terry's "keep one goggle wet" will help too as the Nod & Swim drill helps promote this. And using the bottom of the lane markers as a focus point makes great sense to me -- especially when in learning, an expected reference of some kind should help too.

One thing that seemed to work for me in getting rid of all my air, was to continually bubble from the mouth and then "snort" out the last air from the nose just before the inhale through the mouth. But maybe I should keep that to myself! However, as it falls into place and breathing begins to work in a more solid fashion, the methods will be refined as the learning continues. Just as in skiing, once we learn to stop with confidence, then we learn to go faster and to ski more daringly - since we know we can stop ! A confidence thing!! Same thing here.

Mike

Last edited by Mike from NS : 08-18-2009 at 08:35 PM.
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  #17  
Old 08-29-2009
JohanWJoubert JohanWJoubert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwilkes View Post
...However, to me breathing is a vicious circle. To breath efficiently we must be relaxed in our stroke, but to stroke efficiently we need to breath correctly ! This is the problem i have, i feel my balance is coming on (head position) but whole stroke falls down because of my breathing, which is having a negative effect on my drills.

This whole thread of relaxed breathing is interesting for all of us who are starting out in TI (6 months)...., to me breathing is THE integral part of TI, because if i cant breath, i cant drill !...
My experience with TI has unfortunately gone somewhat pear-shaped since I started (3 months). I was reading the book (or so I thought); doing the drills (or die trying). The balance drills were quite fine, but I was SO exhausted from skating and switches: when I rolled back to my sweet spot my head was still under water, and I usually end up 'falling apart' like someone else mentioned in a post, not getting breath, and swallowing water. I spent so much energy on trying to stay alive and get air along with all the water, that there was no energy to concentrate on what's going wrong with my technique that's CAUSING the 'struggle'. The stationary breathing exercises mentioned on some of the forum posts didn't work for me, because it was when I was moving where the trouble began.

I am set to get it right and swim fish-like eventually. I know we shouldn't 'practice struggling', but putting in more of those dreadful chlorine-sniffing-water-swallowing hours just didn't make sense. And then came the breakthrough for me (and I really hope for others battling to focus on their technique during drills, and establishing breathing muscle memory, too)... "Just as we encourage students to master [balance and sweet spot] without fins, we also encourage them to feel free to use fins to increase their ease in [later drills]..."

I thought being stubborn and keep drilling 'struggle' without fins will improve the technique quicker. Well, it made it much worse! I got myself a pair of short fins recently; I still do basic balance drills without them, but use the them for all other drills.

For the FIRST time I experienced what fish-like swimming might be like one day. I now actually get to practice breathing since I have energy to focus on my technique during drills. I'm not kicking-to-stay-alive-because-my-life-REALLY-depends-on-it anymore. I now know that I must exercise rolling more needle-like, for one. But previously I didn't have energy to concentrate and realize where areas for improvement are.

This is by no means 'new' advice. I just thought it is worth confirming that it works (for me)!
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  #18  
Old 08-29-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohanWJoubert View Post
I thought being stubborn and keep drilling 'struggle' without fins will improve the technique quicker. Well, it made it much worse! I got myself a pair of short fins recently; I still do basic balance drills without them, but use the them for all other drills.

For the FIRST time I experienced what fish-like swimming might be like one day. I now actually get to practice breathing since I have energy to focus on my technique during drills. I'm not kicking-to-stay-alive-because-my-life-REALLY-depends-on-it anymore. I now know that I must exercise rolling more needle-like, for one. But previously I didn't have energy to concentrate and realize where areas for improvement are.

This is by no means 'new' advice. I just thought it is worth confirming that it works (for me)!
Good for you!

Yeah, I noticed that putting fins on a 10 year old helped to by-pass the struggling-to-learn-how-to-kick phase. It also provided a preview of what's possible. It's also fun. Very encouraging experiences.

As the old advice goes, just don't become dependent on the fins.
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  #19  
Old 08-30-2009
RadSwim RadSwim is offline
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Some would say that I was fin dependent -- but I never saw regular fin use as problem. I have always worn fins for kicking drills, and never plan to give them up. I can skate across the pool without them, but I get more from the drills with fins on kicking gently.

I wore fins for the better part of 2 years when I started TI freestyle swimming as a 40-something adult. When I started, I needed them to power my stroke. I stopped wearing them when I had developed enough core muscle strength to power my stroke without fins.

Fins are a great tool -- don't avoid them for fear of creating dependency. If you are frustated and struggling, try fins -- keep using them until you have grown beyond them.

RadSwim
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  #20  
Old 08-30-2009
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadSwim View Post
Fins are a great tool -- don't avoid them for fear of creating dependency. If you are frustated and struggling, try fins -- keep using them until you have grown beyond them.
RadSwim
I agree with your comments RadSwim. Without using fins I would not have progressed as I have. I'm afraid, however, I have the dreaded "fin dependency" and I'm working to cure that. At least the last 10 minutes of each swim is spent without fins ... and several times during a swim as well. I can feel the dependency lessening. A different balance with and without the fins must be learned.
Mike

Last edited by Mike from NS : 08-31-2009 at 02:09 AM.
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