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  #21  
Old 05-15-2012
happa54 happa54 is offline
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Same here Eric....

Me: 57 yrs old too

Always running out of breath after 2-3 laps in a 25mm pool.

I've been TI self taught for the last 8 months.

Frustrating, but I refuse to give up...I'm enjoying my new TI swim technique but I have to be patient.

I dissect all the information that's relevant to my misunderstanding of the techniques to becoming a good TI swimmer.

Kurt
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  #22  
Old 05-15-2012
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Kurt,

My breathing sucks so badly that I'd double for a vacuum cleaner.....

However three items that have helped me..... 1) the post by Nicodemus about two years ago ...."100 meters to 1 mile..." (on the breathing thread) or something very similar to that. All about becoming comfortable and improving timing through bobbing. ..... 2) Suzanne or perhaps Andy mentioned turning the head for the breath a fraction of a second before the spearing hand hits the water. We know when we are going to take a breath so we learn to anticipate the timing and prepare for the breath ~ When I can get this right I'm wide open for a breath at the right time. It works so well sometimes that I almost become giddy with the simplicity of this. Otherwise I'm too late and "suck" water. Too late being at the time your hand hits the water a fraction of the second later...... 3) the swim and nod drill is invaluable to developing a non-lifting head breath timing.

Probably what helps most is lots of positive patient practice ....

Mike
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  #23  
Old 05-15-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Breathing was hard for the first 200 swims and then just got better without realising it. I think its one of those things that clicks with patience and experience but everyone gets there (who perseveres)
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  #24  
Old 05-16-2012
samruhi samruhi is offline
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Default progressing with breathing

I totally understand, as I am still going through this process of breathing comfortably the TI way. I have read all the wonderful posts from all the knowlegable people on these forums. This is an old thread but the advice in it is awesome and still current.

I admit to the fact that when it came to the breathing section on the Dvd Perpetual motion I totally skipped the whole section and that was at my peril. So I have dedicated most of my time recently to getting the technique right. There are a couple of things that I have found that I do automatically without thinking and sometimes even when I am concentrating on not doing it it still happens. I have to start new circuits to drum it out of me. The first one is looking ahead instead of down. Its natural to want to see where you are going but this will point the laser out of the pool and over the the wall at the end of the pool instead of at it. So I have to go back to the basics do a superman glide keep my head relaxed which should have you looking down with the neck stress free and practice moving just my eyes forward to look ahead and not my whole head. Sounds so easy but for me its having to re-train my brain away from what it wants to do naturally. If your head is engaged when you breathe you are gonna get a sore neck.

The other point I find my brain doing naturally is using the oposite arm as purchase to raise your head for a breath. Your arm drops, your head lifts you lose the laser beam, your stroke becomes in-efficient and you just know it isn't right. It got to the point where I filmed myself from above the water and it looked at full speed that everything was aligned but my arm was still dropping. Slowing down the video it became obvious that I was still using my opostite arm as purchase to help lift my head. If I just leave my spearing arm out and roll to breathe I find myself sinking as I take a breath and my momentum is gone. My remedy for this has been to watch some of Terrys drills he was presenting at a seminar I think from easy freestyle where he takes a breath as the recovery arm\elbow is exiting the water, a bite of air is taken, and the head returns back in the water as the arm passes the head and enters the water. My leading arm remains in position when I practice this and takes a catch as my recovery arm enters the water and at my leisure. Perhaps my breath is taken at the peak of momentum generated by propulsion of hip drive allowing my spearing arm to remain on its co-ordinates. I notice a lot more power now in the catch perhaps more than my non breathing side. I am breathing every stroke to one side at the moment and am doing 14-15 SPL Was 17-19 sometimes more and with a sore neck. Again taking a breath so early seems a little un natural and it still needs to be smoothed out a little but it seems to help me and it differs from advice from the previous user.
When is the best time to take a breath or is this an individual preference.
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  #25  
Old 05-16-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
Breathing was hard for the first 200 swims and then just got better without realising it. I think its one of those things that clicks with patience and experience but everyone gets there (who perseveres)
I didn't mean in that post that I ignored breathing, more that whatever I did to try to improve it only worked partially, but experience patience and time worked the best.

I still worked hard at getting it gradually better though and its still a work in progress.

Lately I try to think as the turning to breath as the stress free relaxed part of the stroke cycle and keep in mind Suzanne's nodding head lying gently on a pillow advice as the arm is extended out. I then get into a stroke - relax cycle when breathing every second stroke.
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  #26  
Old 05-16-2012
Donal F Donal F is offline
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I'm the same age as efdoucette. After swimming my entire life, and competitively now and then, I only began feeling truly comfortable with my breathing in the last two years. In the past I could run or train myself into such good aerobic shape that I could endure my bad breathing habits, but I've been dealing with plantar over the past six years. But even now when I'm in fairly ordinary aerobic shape, I feel generally safe and relaxed in the water at any distance.

My TI training actually revealed some of my bad breathing habits to me, because with longer strokes you have fewer chances to breathe each length. TI wasn't addressing breathing then the way they do now, but a local coach taught me to "blow bubbles," and while that sounds easy, it has taken years to actually make exhaling automatic and productive. I found that I was holding on to air even though I knew better. I wrote about that last year:

"When I used to swim longer than 250 yards, a voice inside me used to start inventing reasons to stop at the next wall. There were plausible reasons, "Your goggles are fogging/leaking," and very persistent ones, "You really need to stop, Now!" I'd argue back, "Look, I did 1000 two days ago - there's no reason I can't do it again." Sometimes I won - I built up to 3000 yards while training for a triathlon - and sometimes my lungs won - I would suddenly decide there was no room for a flip turn and stop. A few years ago the voice stopped, but I have to be vigilant about exhaling."

I'm not sure if there was a clear technical change that I made, or if I simply needed time to overcome years of nagging fears about breathing.
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  #27  
Old 05-16-2012
CoachBillG CoachBillG is offline
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Hi Eric,

Try to look at the breathing part or freestyle from a different aspect now. After many months of focusing and analysing on how you are exhaling, I think you have that down pretty good. The problem might be the timing of your roll.

Break down you technique and the timing of what your body is doing.

First, analysis your recovery arm entering the water (piercing the water) and use that slight momentum to help you to roll to breath. As the recovery arm enters the water there is a certain amount of rotation that happens whether you are aware of it or not. Use that momentum to your advantage and time it to your roll into breath. TI actually has a drill for this where you are in Skate position and you take a stroke with your lead arm and roll to the side to breathe.

Drill: you are in Skate position on your LEFT side with your LEFT arm as your lead arm. Take a stroke with the LEFT arm and as it enters / pierces the water, roll into breath to your RIGHT side. Work on your timing of the arm entering as you roll.

Second, analysis your catch or anchoring arm as you swim past it. This too rotates your body. Analysis the catch and where that arm is in relation to when your body goes past it when you go to roll to breathe. Most new swimmers go to breathe when their catch arm and hand is already going past their hip which is a little too late to roll as it makes rolling more difficult. TI has a drill fro this too.

Drill: you are in Skate position on your RIGHT side with your RIGHT arm as your lead arm. Take a stroke with your RIGHT arm and as you anchor it and make your catch / pull, take a breath to your RIGHT side. Work on the timing of when you need to roll with the catch.

Third, try to time the recovery arm entering and the catch arm anchoring and put it together.

Just a note....especially with the second drill...because you will basically be swimming with one arm (literally) when you work on your swimming with both arms, the breathing will feel much easier. The reason is because by swimming with one arm, your timing, coordination and feel become better and when you add the other arm back into the equation it feels like you have a longer time to get your air :-)

Fourth, coordinated your 2 best kick into your technique as the kick also helps in your rotation to breathe. If you breath to the RIGHT, focus on the RIGHT kick (downward motion) to help you breathe.

I hope this helps you.

Best,
Bill
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  #28  
Old 05-16-2012
CoachBillG CoachBillG is offline
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BTW...all the tips were geared for you to breathe to the right side. You can do the same thing to the left, you just have to reverse the process :-)
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  #29  
Old 05-21-2012
rolferdon rolferdon is offline
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rolferdon
Default It Worked

I have been following many threads since beginning my TI way of swimming last Feb. when I took a TI weekend workshop. What began as a goal to just swim more easily had actually become almost a monkey on my back.
I was having a lot of difficulty putting any distance behind me without having to take a rest break after a 50 or 100 yarder. I thought it was a fitness thing (physically) which it probably was initially. When I found this thread it clicked, if I can jog or bike for an hour why can't I swim for longer than a few minutes.

Thanks to all who have contributed (hence my two cents worth). Today I got the monkey off my back, swam my first 500yd freestyle without a break.

I found that I was not exhaling enough (had to actually blow out thru my mouth to reduce that need to breath feeling). Seemed that this led to a more relaxed sense in my upper thorax, especially my neck (even with letting the water support it burned into my brain).

The other component to this was the mental preparedness I had before the swim which was the of lacking mental fitness. Meaning I was GOING to swim the 500 yd either entirely freestyle OR by allowing myself to bob (breaststroke) for a length or two if I needed. Seems that this combo of options only helped me further RELAX.

If the bones do what the muscles tell them and the muscles do what the nerves tell them then using our heads make just that much more sense!

Thanks again to all who have shared.
Some people say I have the attention span of a ..... OH look a squirrel!!!
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  #30  
Old 05-21-2012
efdoucette efdoucette is offline
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Congrats rolferdon,

I believe your right, a lot of it is mind over matter.

Since I swam the 500M I've had some difficulty repeating it, on those days I think my brain just isn't pushing, same attention span problem. So where was I ... oh yeah, mind over matter. On the difficult days I do 25 or 50's focusing on comfort and balance.

As someone posted here, we should be able to power through that feeling of stopping at 25, 50, 100 etc., just get on with it. Although, the breathing techniques (great ones posted in this thread) are a must foundation.

I no longer see swimming as a struggle and once again look forward to going to the pool.

Eric
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