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  #1  
Old 03-17-2011
Zoner Zoner is offline
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Zoner
Default Forceful Exhalation

I'm hoping all the swimmers who have no issues with breathing can help me out. First off, I've only begun swimming 9 weeks ago. I'm progressing pretty well I think and actually look pretty good in the water I'm told until I hit oxygen debt. I read all the threads and watch all the video and ask all the other swimmers I see at the pool. I get dozens of different opinions on correct breathing technique. Since we all have different lung capacity, it would seem pretty obvious that some can exhale slowly for more seconds. I'm set on learning bilateral breathing, even though I haven't gotten the one side breathing down. Using 2 strokes I still have way too much oxygen and my inhale becomes increasingly more shallow to the point I'm wiped out after two lengths. I assume CO2 buildup. And breathing on the 3rd stroke still finds me with oxygen...but mostly just a big mess. I've tried 4 but then not enough. So....

1. Does it make sense to forcefully exhale as you're rotating to air if need be? Meaning slow, continuous exhale at first but then blowing out whats left quickly at the end?
2. Do you have to time it just perfectly to have all air out just as you hit the surface of the water? Or can it be all out just prior or just after?
3. Is exhaling through the nose slowly and then blowing out your mouth forcefully at the end an option that works?

I've tried many different combinations but the frustration leads me to try yet another one. I just find I'm either holding my breath at times or still have too much O2 not expelled. I may be wrong in my thoughts but I really think getting a few laps of breathing correctly will easily lead to dozens. If fitness isn't the issue, breathing has to be the only thing holding me and many others back. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2011
dzhou01 dzhou01 is offline
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I started swimming around the same time as you did. What I do is to exhale more forcefully as I surface (This is what Terry said in his perpetual swim in 10 lessons DVD). However, the problem is if I then inhale deeply, I often inhale water as well as air. If I inhale shallowly, I don't get enough air. I found if I exhale too early, I am out of breath before reaching surface, however if I wait too long to exhale, I still have a lot of air in lung so I can't inhale very much. So what is the right timing of exhale?
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Old 03-17-2011
borate borate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoner View Post
I get dozens of different opinions on correct breathing technique.

1. Does it make sense to forcefully exhale as you're rotating to air if need be? Meaning slow, continuous exhale at first but then blowing out whats left quickly at the end?
2. Do you have to time it just perfectly to have all air out just as you hit the surface of the water? Or can it be all out just prior or just after?
3. Is exhaling through the nose slowly and then blowing out your mouth forcefully at the end an option that works?
Well, here's another opinion.^ Breathe naturally.

I take in a fairly quick breath as recovery begins - no gasping - then immediately begin to breathe out slowly and steadily from both mouth and nose until the next breath. There is no intent to expel all air.

If I feel short of air I grab an additional breath or two until I am comfortable returning to my alternating pattern - one breath every other stroke.
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2011
Zoner Zoner is offline
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Thanks Borate. I've been trying to exhale naturally (smoothly) since day 1, but maybe just my inexperience is keeping from doing so. Theres many times I'm shy of 50M and already struggling. When I stop at the end of the pool, its like I just finished sprinting the last straight away of a 5K! When I slow way down and cross the pool with a low SPL, its easier for me. I'm thinking its a combo of things, timing and so forth....the fitness isn't the problem. Certainly not in 50M. I just watched a TI DVD O2 in H2O and I perceive Terry exhaling in different ways. Its hard to see any bubbles at times so I'm not sure. Just don't know what to practice. I don't mind the hours as long as its what I should be doing. Maybe theres no right answer...just keep plugging away????
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  #5  
Old 03-18-2011
ShawnR ShawnR is offline
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I too am relatively new and have been told in the past that I need to make my breathing more rythmic. I think that since you are so new to swimming, you have a lot going on in your mind and sometimes to breath "naturally" as Borate suggests gets forgotten. (it does for me) I have also been told to fully exhale underwater so that when your face breaks the surface, your lungs are ready for a full load of fresh air. This "timing" (I believe whatever works for you, slow and easy or forcefully) will come with practice. Remember, you are learning many new skills right now and no doubt your body is wanting a lot of air so I would not be in a hurry to get into bilateral breathing till you are more comfortable in the water. It will come in time. If things are going well, and you are settling in to a groove, then go for bilateral breathing but do not let it stress you out. Work on it when you are relaxed in the swim. Perhaps the coaches here would have a better idea, but I would think give yourself a small goal like 4 comfortable lengths of single sided breathing before worrying about bilateral breathing and then make say half a length of it your first goal, or alternate bilateral with one sided till you feel comfortable. I do believe though that as you are breathing on one side, do not always use the same side. Do a length on the left, then a length on the right so that when you do start working on bilateral, you are comfortable either side.
So, I guess I am agreeing with Borate, except that I have been told to try to exhale fully so that you are ready for a full load of fresh air. Makes sense to me.

As I was about to sign off, I thought of something. How do you do with a pull buoy? I know that TI does not use them but if you were to use one, would you be able to complete more lengths before becoming winded? If so, then it might suggest your technique is simply winding you and you need to back up a bit and work on the drills and skills a bit more before worrying about complete lengths? TI coaches, feel free to correct me.

It is nice to ask different people but I found it best to find one coach you can take a series of lessons from. Ask other swimmers for a recommendation or someone who has worked with newer swimmers, ideally, adult learners or join a masters group. If you can not find a TI coach, then find a swimming coach, show him/her the TI program and ask if they can help you. I think the concepts are the same and if they accept that TI is the method you want, they should be able to transfer their coaching skills to help you out a bit. Breathing is breathing and bilateral is bilateral.


Good luck.
Signed,
Another new swimmer..;-)

Last edited by ShawnR : 03-18-2011 at 02:46 AM. Reason: clarification
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2011
tab tab is offline
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tab
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I think "just plugging away" is my approach at this time.

I'm in my mid 40's and remember crying while at swim lessons at the age of 8, in a cold lake with the wind blowing and cloudy. I never learned to swim, and have had a couple near drowning experiences. About a year ago, I joined my family for swim lessons with my daughters swim coach, not TI buy the way. I clung to the edge of the pool to get started. Breathing was the hardest part. I tried a nose plug the second day, only using it for a few minutes. Water still found its way into my nose. Even today, after familiarizing myself with the water for almost a year, I can still be pestered with water in my nose, I avoid flip turns for this reason. While attempting the fish drill and others, I can still feel it trickling in. Some days it is not so much an issue while others it is. On the whole it truly feels like I am slowly progressing, that is a good thing. I am not in a rush, no tri events planed nor do I wish to swim in a real competitive arena.

Finding a breathing pattern is begging to settle in, still far from what I wish it to be. But I know it is within my grasp, I have seen personal improvement and am confident with my progress. Before my first attempts at TI I remember approaching the wall and viewing the black T on the floor of the pool, only a short way to the wall, every thing would fall apart, I would almost choke, and be very relieved when I reached the wall. The big ugly black T, it was a killer. Then along came TI via U-tube. The short clips have yielded much, soon I will seek a DVD, times are tight money wise. Once enlightened, I found myself nearly running into the wall. I am not really swimming, more drilling, breathing has become easier as I feel more comfort in the water. I think TI took my focus off the struggle to swim and turned a switch on which allowed me to focus on the mechanics of swimming, feeling the water, on my hands, arm, feet, which body parts are in the water and which are out, how close I am to the surface, what the reflection of the surface looks like(clean goggles help with this one). Breathing is still a chore but it took second place as I changed my focus. I still know what it feels like to be pressed for air but it is much easier if it is not the main focus.

Not sure this is of much help. I'm by no means an expert at swimming let alone giving advice on how to breath, just a little reflection from a new swimmer and what seems to have helped me.
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  #7  
Old 03-18-2011
Zoner Zoner is offline
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Zoner
Default Agree

In my day to day life, I'm incredibly patient, but not with swimming I guess. Much of what everyone has suggested in the thread holds true for me. Since I'm kind of one of those guys that'll plow through until I get it right I think working on one length breathing to the left and then one length breathing to the right will keep me focused on the goal of bilateral. Thats a good compromise. I'm heading to the pool later today so I'll try to stay on task, breathing on every two arm entries and stay as smooth as I can. But from my experience, I'll need to glide a bit more so I have more time to exhale. I felt pretty good with my 14 SPL after I did it, but I don't see that being as big a plus as I thought. My legs do drop a bit in the water I'm told so perhaps I am using too much energy because of drag but its hard for me to accept that after only two lengths that would cause me that much exhaustion. Thanks everyone. Keep the comments coming!
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