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  #1  
Old 06-26-2012
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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haschu33
Default Breaking the 'wall'-barrier

I think I never did more than 3 laps continuously, which adds to 150 m in the 50m pool. I usually feel like needing a break. I worked a lot with different breathing patterns lately. Like warming up with some breaststroke where I breathe every second stroke, doing a combination of nodding drill and continuous freestyle (breathing to one side and two strokes later turn the head to the same side without breathing and then breathe the next time to the same side and so on), and breathing every third stroke on alternate sides, and my regular breathing every second stroke to the same side. No pattern feels really good, but no pattern (not even the slowest - breathing every 4th to the same side) feels really bad either.
So today after a couple of breaststroke laps I wanted to do 200m = 4 laps freestyle for warmup but miscounted and did 5 laps. Then I decided to keep going up to 10 laps and ended up doing 15 laps continuously. First time ever in my freestyle career to swim longer than a couple of hundreds!

I noticed the following:
- I could have gone longer
- It took about 10 laps until my breathing relaxed (I was breathing to one side switching sides every lap)
- I was swimming quite slow (without TT but probably a little slower than 1.3) and started with an SPL of 47 which got up to more than 50 in the next laps and than slowly went down to 45 and remained there for the rest of the laps
- I didn't feel more exhausted after those 15 laps than doing 1 or 2 laps only.

Getting closer to one of my freestyle overall goals - swimming 1500m continuously in less than 30 min.


Hang on in there...
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  #2  
Old 06-26-2012
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Congratulations Haschu33!

That's good work surely. What makes me jealous is your various stroke patterns. Sounds you may vary it from two strokes up tp six between breathes without influence to your possible laps count.

Did you drill it in a special way?

Reagards,
Werner
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  #3  
Old 06-27-2012
Ferbor Ferbor is offline
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Congratulations for your achivement!!! how long did it take you?
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  #4  
Old 06-27-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
- It took about 10 laps until my breathing relaxed (I was breathing to one side switching sides every lap)

Hang on in there...
I think this is important, getting through this a few times is a key learning point for perpetual swimming. There is always an easing after a couple of hundred metres.

Once you have done this a number of times you are mentally so sure that you will get through that stage it starts to not happen.

Well done on yesterday
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  #5  
Old 06-27-2012
azamy azamy is offline
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Quote:
Once you have done this a number of times you are mentally so sure that you will get through that stage it starts to not happen.
That's very true, I have experienced this and I think that's the key for normal breathing in long swims, once you gain momentum then I think you can reach the goal.
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  #6  
Old 06-27-2012
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Thanks for the congrats!
Ok, several points,

Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
... Sounds you may vary it from two strokes up tp six between breathes without influence to your possible laps count.

Did you drill it in a special way?
...
My wife has an old but marvelous book on Yoga and in the beginning it talks a lot about the Yoga breathing. It says that for people who have difficulties learning the Yoga style of breathing it can be helpful to swim. Swim breaststroke and breathe every second stroke only.
The second thing is a strong point that Natalie Coughlin makes in some FAQ she gives at h2o audio advocating alternating the breathing since it is a lot better for the swim rhythm.

I used that to play around with breathing patterns since my breathing pattern of every second stroke to the same side (and then change in the next lap) is ok but doesn't feel good. I tried those longer patterns. They only work when I don't swim too hard and I cannot start the exhale immediately after the inbreath. When I do that I have to breathe earlier. So to breathe at every 3rd stroke or later I would blow very little to no bubbles during the first couple of strokes after the breath and then release the outbreath on the last one or two strokes before the next breath. I didn't try a pattern of breathing at every 5th stroke, but I'll try that.
My observations are: My breaststroke breathing pattern (while breathing on every stroke) is somewhere in between the every 2nd and every third stroke breathing in freestyle, but feels best. In freestyle breathing every 2nd stroke gives always enough air but it gives me a rushed feeling also. Plus there are only few non-breathing strokes. Breathing every third stroke works ok but getting water instead of air is more dramatic and then I have to breathe again on the same side. For focusing on timing and rhythm of the stroke this alternating pattern is a lot better.
The every fourth stroke breathing I am using for a nodding drill in between those two breathes. So I would just turn the head to a 90 degree position as if I want to breathe but don't take a breath. I just check the head position, check the image from the one eye under water or the image from the other eye above the water (both at the same time doesn't work). I find this very helpful for honing the breathing technique.
But I usually never do more than 2 or 3 laps (long course) continuously when I do this.
I am clearly aiming for the every 3rd stroke alternating breathing pattern as the general pattern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferbor View Post
... how long did it take you?
I didn't check the watch but since it took me 45 strokes or more at a slow stroke rate the time for one 50 must have been more than a minute so the overall time probably was something like 16 to 17 minutes for the 750m. But it felt a lot shorter, like I was swimming for 5 minutes only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
I think this is important, getting through this a few times is a key learning point for perpetual swimming. There is always an easing after a couple of hundred metres.

Once you have done this a number of times you are mentally so sure that you will get through that stage it starts to not happen.

Well done on yesterday
Andy (and azamy), this is a very valuable remark.
I remember when I was running (which I never really liked since I found it utterly boring) my breathing would relax after some time, I think after 5 to ten minutes. The breathing did that on it's own, I didn't force it or did it, and from one breath to the next. The pattern would get longer, longer than breathing in an idle state when not running, deep, but only slightly deeper as when idling away and very relaxed. The breathing would stay like that unless I speeded up or started to run uphill. Since during a freestyle swim you cannot change the breathing pattern gradually I only felt that relaxation of the breathing happening in the 10th lap. I was a bit waiting for it because I thought when having this relaxed, long range breathing it doesn't really matter whether you swim 1000m or 2k or whatever. But I also noticed that my arms got tired after a while. So there is more to long distance swimming than just the correct breathing. But without a good working breathing nothing is possible.

Thanks for your remarks!
And yes, I am very happy about this, it took me 2 and a half years of constant focus and patiently 'hanging on in there' to get to this point. I might be quite slow in my learning curve but I think I am also quite thorough which seems to pay off in the long run.

Last edited by haschu33 : 06-27-2012 at 08:42 AM.
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