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  #11  
Old 11-04-2009
terry terry is offline
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Default Why Breaststroke breathing is easier than crawl breathing

I can think of two reasons
1) Swimmers are naturally more comfortable swimming breaststroke because we do not feel ourselves "fighting against that sinking feeling." It's entirely natural for our hips to be pulled down by gravity while our chest is pushed up by buoyancy. Our hind brains interpret this sinking tendency as a threat . . . if we're trying to swim freestyle, in which we strive to remain horizontal. But in breaststroke the rising chest, sinking hips is a natural part of the rhythm of each stroke.
In the crawl -- until you master balance -- that becomes one more distraction to deal with, and breathing in crawl, as I'll note below, can take nearly all your attention.

2) To my mind, rhythmic breathing in crawl is the most difficult skill in all of swimming to master. The timing of breathing to the side, with body rotation, while managing the timing of alternate-arms stroking, is hugely challenging. After 40 years I still don't feel entirely satisfied with it.
In breaststroke, the simultaneous arm and leg movements -- and the fact that your head is moving in the same direction as the rest of you during the breath -- makes that part of it much simpler.
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  #12  
Old 11-05-2009
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CoachDave CoachDave is offline
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Default The setting?

Sometimes, a swimmer is comfortable in open water because they can't see the surroundings. Another swimmer near them, people watching, the wall- these are all things to look at and distract you. I have some people who have great form, but their stroke falls apart when they swim into deeper water because they look forward for the end or just feel like they are sinking because they still see the bottom but it's farther away. Can you answer a couple questions?
1. When did you first learn to swim?
2. Are you literally trying to take a bite of air? I'm not kidding here- a forcefull intake can result in a swallow instead of a breath
3. If you're holding your breath, do you let a little seep out, or do you hold rigidly with your stomach?

Try sitting on the steps or ladder of the pool and watch your breathing. Watch where the chest rises and where the light effort is. Take one step and continue to monitor. Keep doing this until your lip touches the surface. Do a single bob and check again. Tip on your side and check again. All the while, has the breathing stayed the same, or is it forceful in the water as you get deeper?
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  #13  
Old 11-05-2009
weinzwei weinzwei is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDave View Post
Sometimes, a swimmer is comfortable in open water because they can't see the surroundings. Another swimmer near them, people watching, the wall- these are all things to look at and distract you. I have some people who have great form, but their stroke falls apart when they swim into deeper water because they look forward for the end or just feel like they are sinking because they still see the bottom but it's farther away. Can you answer a couple questions?
1. When did you first learn to swim?
2. Are you literally trying to take a bite of air? I'm not kidding here- a forcefull intake can result in a swallow instead of a breath
3. If you're holding your breath, do you let a little seep out, or do you hold rigidly with your stomach?

Try sitting on the steps or ladder of the pool and watch your breathing. Watch where the chest rises and where the light effort is. Take one step and continue to monitor. Keep doing this until your lip touches the surface. Do a single bob and check again. Tip on your side and check again. All the while, has the breathing stayed the same, or is it forceful in the water as you get deeper?
Hi Dave, I first learned to swim when i was 4 years old. That was in the early 1970's. My mother took me to the pool quite often in addition to swimming lessons. I always struggled because i would hold my breath. I remember my mother being fustrated because swimming seemed to come natural to her and i always sunk like a rock. At about age 10 my mother had had enough and pulled me from swimming and i never swam again until about 4 years ago. I had been a duathlete and despertaly wanted to make the jump to triathlons. So i immerged my self in swimming for the last 4 years including hiring high school , collegiate and Ti instructors, etc. Additional the group i swim with all swam in college. I absoultly love swimming and swim 5 days a week. for the first year or 2 i swam about 10 hours a week thinking that the more i practiced the better i would get. It has not really turned out that way.

The TI instructors have been the most beneficial in learning to swim. They all seem to beleive that i am swallowing air. I seem to take really shallow breaths. We have tried bobing, H20 in O2 DVD drills. Both TI instructors have called me a sinker. They feel that i am swallowing air or am just not relaxed enough. They have commented my stroke is good if i do not try to add breathing. I feel and they agree that i roll and find air very easily "not an issue". My chest does sink some when i find air but my butt is riding high in the water. They have improved my stroke 100% and have brought my stroke count way down. They tell me along with my friends that swimming and breathing is know different than walking or riding a bike it should be second nature. I would agree that for me in an open water race "Tri" without a wetsuit everything is really easy. My longest distance in the water has been a little over 2 miles. "Time was slow" but i was very comfortable and could have swam farther. The latest thing that we worked on was changing the way my lips are formed when i take a breath of air. But i have not been able to see any difference yet. The one TI coach did not think it was a balance issue. The other instructor thought my balance was good enough that i should be able to swim farther than 25, 50, 100 meters in a pool without being gased or in pain. P.S i exhale through my mouth and nose. But feel that i take extremely shallow breaths. I run out of air.

Thanks for the help!!!

Jon
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  #14  
Old 11-05-2009
atreides atreides is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weinzwei View Post
I would agree that for me in an open water race "Tri" without a wetsuit everything is really easy. My longest distance in the water has been a little over 2 miles. "Time was slow" but i was very comfortable and could have swam farther. The latest thing that we worked on was changing the way my lips are formed when i take a breath of air. But i have not been able to see any difference yet. The one TI coach did not think it was a balance issue. The other instructor thought my balance was good enough that i should be able to swim farther than 25, 50, 100 meters in a pool without being gased or in pain. P.S i exhale through my mouth and nose. But feel that i take extremely shallow breaths. I run out of air.

Thanks for the help!!!

Jon
I both heartened and dismayed by your post. I too have similar breathing issues that seem to impede my distance in a pool. I guess I'm a little puzzled at how you managed two miles in open water but have problems in a pool. I have speculated that I could go a lot further if that wall wasn't there to stop me.

My issues may not really be issues. When I first started, I definitely had breathing problems. As I have said before, I was practically hyperventillating at the end of a 25 meter lap. I have incorporated the two beat kick, vastly improved my balance, and worked on my head movement when breathing. I definitely am one goggle in when I breathe and I no longer have to exhale (out of the water) before I take a breath. I recently incorporated a better stroke technique by recovering directly over the top as opposed to out to the side. All of these things save me energy and so a lap is a lot more comfortable. Recently I began to consciously relax my arms on the pull and this seems to have helpled. I was carrying a lot of tension in them attempting to make the perfect catch and maintain correct EVF technique. But I still want to stop at the end of 25 meters. I can do 50 meters but I really want to stop after that.

A couple things that I have started to do. When I do a gymn work out, I will practice stroking and breathing while laying on a weight bench. Surprisingly this isn't as easy as it sounds. The pressure the bench puts on your diaphragm creates enough "stress" that I can only manage a couple of minutes. One day I did this while standing and watching myself in a mirror. I built a heart rate which leads me to think that maybe there is something else going on here. I'm over 50 but run about 25 miles a week. While I can admit to being miserable while running, I rarely have to quit. Maybe I have to train my respiratory system to react the same way as it does when I run. Because arm movement is more a supporting process when you run, my (maybe yours) respiratory reflexes aren't used to supplying more resources to your arms than your legs.

Just this morning I told a trainer that when I do a swim workout, I really get tired in the core afterwards. She responded that core muscles were stabilizers not propulsion muscles and what I was attempting to do with them was akin to using a wrench to drive a nail. But lately I have been a lot more relaxed and maybe at tomorrows workout I'll try a few more 50's. I'm going to relax more and maybe something will click. I think I'm definitely breathing a whole lot better. But I just don't have the same feeling as I do when I run. That I can make myself go on no matter how tired I think I am. Good luck to you.
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  #15  
Old 11-05-2009
elk-tamer elk-tamer is offline
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Quote:
She responded that core muscles were stabilizers not propulsion muscles and what I was attempting to do with them was akin to using a wrench to drive a nail.
I hope you gave her a big: "Oh no you didnt!"
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  #16  
Old 11-06-2009
atreides atreides is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splashingpat View Post
I'm NOT a runner....or a writer..or a doctor,
but I love being a belly dancer...and somewhat of a retired swimmer!

but I can see INSITES in these posts
just as the rest of you guys!

thanks for your posts with experience of land & water skills
and once we relax....everything is easier....

but the real key is to be able to RELAX
ain't It?

if ever you want to chat or confirm
I'm one of those few that have their settings to allow it!

no fancy words, but I love to listen,
and agree or DIS agree!

Pat
Pat,

I appreciate the good words. I don't worry about the distance as much for now. I'm just glad to be swimming even if it is 25 or 50 meters. I know I can go further but I don't want to revisit the bad old days of panting uncontrollably or swallowing half the water in the pool. My first couple of laps are usually wonderful. As I tire, it seems as though my technique suffers. Relaxation is the key. Or maybe its like running. I'm suffering (generally, every now then there are those euphoric 10 minutes but those are few and far between) but I know I can get through it. And nothing beats the feeling of completing 6 miles and having burned 1200 calories. You know you've worked and ostensibly your body is better off because of it. Maybe I need to push myself a little. I just don't want to develop bad habits chasing a goal that really doesn't mean that much in the short term. Like TL says, "The only reason to swim long distances is to imprint good technique" (or something like that). BTW, I couldn't figure out how to turn on the private message settings. Maybe you can enlighten me on that also. Thanks again.
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  #17  
Old 11-10-2009
elk-tamer elk-tamer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splashingpat View Post
Why is it people don't dance?
JUDGING THE INDIVIDUAL AND HOW GOOD THEY ARE?

so don't judge yourself so harshly?
it should be FUN, FREELY and nonjudgemental....but it ain't! is it?
Dance like no one is watching, love like you've never been hurt, swim like ... ?
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  #18  
Old 11-10-2009
splashingpat splashingpat is offline
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splashingpat
Default Breath like your never breathed before!

Quote:
Originally Posted by elk-tamer View Post
Dance like no one is watching,
love like you've never been hurt, swim like ... ?
. . . . . .YOU ARE THE FISH!

now relax, swim & breath like they do!

Last edited by splashingpat : 12-02-2009 at 01:48 PM.
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  #19  
Old 02-27-2010
garybarg garybarg is offline
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Dave -

What do you mean by breatholding? Time between inhale and exhale?

Thx,
Gary
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