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Old 03-23-2011
swimpaired swimpaired is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 23
Default Endurance and air

When I first tried to do freestyle I was lucky to go 25 meters. From what I read on the tri forums this is "normal". Keep at it and someday you'll go further when everything "clicks" they say. That was before I found TI and in some funny way they were right. I was trying to think back and understand why.

In the class this weekend we discussed breathing and being aerobic. It occurs to me that frightened beginners hit anaerobic fast. If they do breathe often they've put their bodies into high drag positions and are fighting to breathe. They don't relax. In viewing films at the class it seems we all come up with our own unique method to do a repetitive stroke, good form or bad, that gets us to that ability to relax. Probably because we've done it so many times we know we'll survive the breathe attempt without gulping water. This might be the "click".

When I swam yesterday I focused on the change in my bodies "feel" with different rates of breathing at different distances. The beginners cheat is of course, don't breathe. Breathing challenges balance and introduces numerous opportunities to increase drag and to reduce efficiency. Like a straight arm with no catch pushing us up or holding us up for the breath.

I'd be curious to see if working on comfortable breathing would help the frustrated beginner get some distance to their swim. It was obvious to me yesterday breathing every other stroke took me to a more aerobic place. I'd been doing every fourth and knew that was too long to wait. But hey, I'm a beginner, we do things like that. Just knowing the breath is coming helps the beginner relax too but staying more aerobic made the distances much easier.

In a lot of the drills the emphasis was on alignment and timing. Breathing didn't get much attention given all we had to cover. And many drills were done without trying to breathe or with a "sweetspot" turn that wouldn't come into play when actually swimming.

Just some thoughts that came to mind. As runners we focus a lot on staying aerobic and in a low zone. It's interesting to look at distance swimming with the same concepts in mind.

Your thoughts?
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Old 03-23-2011
Thatchman Thatchman is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 13

I think you may find that there is a natural progression in the learning steps.

I battled with my breathing for a long time and it only started getting easier once balance, drag etc started to improve.

3 sleeps to my weekend workshop then will let you know if similar problems experienced.

I guess it would be helpful for any real novice to just try to get themselves comfortable with their head under water first. Although it is stated that you should be able to do 50m to attend.
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