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Old 08-02-2011
sasquatch sasquatch is offline
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Default Sun Yang's breathing

For anyone who's interested there has been some discussion in a separate forum on the enviable technique shown by Sun Yang of China while he broke the world record in the 1500m pool swim during the world championships this past weekend. I noticed something different about his breathing during turns and thought I'd share it here.

Here is a video link that was posted in the other thread
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smjkw...eature=related

As was noted in the other thread, he has a very smooth, even arm stroke with stroke length that's well above average. I am similar in size to Sun Yang, but since I typically breathe every three strokes (alternating right and left) I took particular note that he breathes almost exclusively to the right on every other stroke.

There are more places to see it in the clip, but there are a few where I noticed his breathing practice in and out of the turns. At ~2:00 I thought I saw him breath on three consecutive strokes (right, left and right again) as he breaks the surface after his 950m turn. I thought it was odd, but wasn't sure I was seeing it correctly from the underwater angle. Then I noticed it again at 3:32 (1100m turn) where I could clearly see him turn his head to the left for a breath in between two breaths to the right. I know that most distance swimmers don't spend a lot of time underwater (relative to sprinters) but thought the three consecutive breaths illustrated how important it is to get the oxygen you need (especially for those of us who are a bit more interested in swimming for fitness, enjoyment or even sustainable speed vs. all-out sprinting speed).

Later in the clip ~4:20 (1200 m turn) I noticed that he followed the same breath per stroke pattern for the last three strokes prior to holding his breath through the turn, then breathing on the first three strokes after leaving the wall. I didn't go back to check for more evidence, but I would bet the "6-breath turn" is just the way he does it through the majority of the race.

Short version; for human swimmers it's more important to learn how to maintain good body position while breathing than learning how to survive while breathing less than you need to. It's good to have oxygen while swimming. Fish even need it, they just don't have to come to the surface like we mammals do to get it.

Anyone who's ever suffered through some coaches' "necessary" lung-busting hypoxic set may want to keep this video as Exhibit A in defense of breathing.
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Old 08-03-2011
vndad vndad is offline
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You are right that Sun breathes every stroke 3 times before and after his turn, so much so that it is like his signature move. He even does that in his 200m free. See this 200m final in 2011 Chinese national trials: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJI8JkXUHEE

You are also correct that Sun favors his right side when breathing. But I notice he can breathe to the left equally well if he needs to watch for the swimmer on his left. See the first few laps of his 1500m final of the 2010 Asian Games in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gV3qC...eature=related

BTW I posted some more video links to Sun Yang's swim at the 2011 worlds here: http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/...59&postcount=3

Last edited by vndad : 08-03-2011 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 08-03-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Thanks vndad

Very useful information and links.
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Old 08-03-2011
vndad vndad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
Thanks vndad

Very useful information and links.
Thanks Richard. I personally prefer watching the preliminaries since Sun was presumably swimming in even more relaxed manner, plus the benefit that the commentators were usually more subdued if I have the audio on. The swimming video in 2011 FINA worlds is superior to that in 2010 Asian Games as the FINA worlds shows much more extensive underwater footage.
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