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  #11  
Old 12-01-2009
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadSwim View Post
I assume that you mean 2 seconds for each hand entry. If correct, the first modification is to increase your stroke rate.

Begin at 1.5 sec per stroke and work toward 1.3 seconds per stroke. See if balance is easier.

RadSwim
Thanks RADSwim. Yes you are right, I mean 1 hand entry every 2sec which indeed is very slow. Probably too slow to keep balanced especially for people with long legs.

Not sure If I can begin at SR=1.5sec though (my technique may be affected) but agree with you to start with a much lower Stroke Rate.

What do you think is a normal SR range to SWIM a MILE (1,650m)?
Not for a champion but a regular guy who swims 1 MILE in [32-35min]?
Thanks.

Last edited by Alex-SG : 12-02-2009 at 01:35 PM.
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  #12  
Old 12-02-2009
rachapkis rachapkis is offline
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I've been enjoying this thread too, as it captures a lot of what I've been experiencing over the past several months. To try to break through the 100 meter wall, I've been trying a base endurance day (in which I attempt to push my limits) twice a week, and a technique day (in which I do only drills) twice a week. This is a new venture, so I can't tell yet whether it's working or not.

Richard
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  #13  
Old 12-02-2009
terry terry is offline
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I have to say again, the most thoughtful and examined discussion of swimming, anywhere in the world, takes place on this forum. What I'm proudest of is the quality of contributions by "laymen" who are replacing conventional wisdom with what they learn from direct experience while practicing "problem-solving in the pool."
There's not much I need to add, but here are a few thoughts.
1. A stroke rate of 2 sec/stroke is highly likely to lead to energy waste because (a) it's impossible to maintain momentum for that period, meaning you'll have to expend more energy to "restart" or overcome inertia on every stroke; and (b) breathing every 4 to 6 seconds is less than would be typical in a completely rested state, so it will lead to oxygen debt during even moderate activity. I've found that a good range for swimmers who are developing basic efficiency is 1.3 to 1.5 sec per stroke. Monitor SPL as you swim, being watchful for any big jumps in SPL. If you can hold SPL reasonably constant as you incrementally increase tempo from 1.5 to 1.48, 1.46, etc, through 1.40, but see a larger increase in SPL at, say 1.35, then your brain and nervous system are not yet "tuned" for tempos at and above (lower numbers) 1.35.
2. If your comfort and ease degrade noticeably on the 3rd or 4th lap of a 100 yd/m swim, the most common causes I've seen are an excess of tension and/or a buildup of CO2. The most common cause of the former is poor balance. The cause of the latter - which also contributes to tension -- is not exhaling fully or emphatically enough.
3. Improvements in all aspects of swimming - skill, stamina and speed -- will come most quickly by training the bran and nervous system . . . which has been the focus of nearly every blog I've written lately. Every swim training set I ever do is designed as a problem-solving exercise. I'm always trying to find that fine line where small but noticeable errors occur in my stroke. Fixing the errors leads naturally to increases in "sustainability" (my preferred term for stamina) or pace-holding ability (my preferred phrase for speed.) Some sets are designed to test the former. Some to test the latter. I always seek improvement in very small increments.
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  #14  
Old 12-05-2009
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Thank you to all for the great feedback.
This thread is indeed very informative. Will keep you updated on the progress. ALEX
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  #15  
Old 12-05-2009
atreides atreides is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex-SG View Post
Thank you to all for the great feedback.
This thread is indeed very informative. Will keep you updated on the progress. ALEX
I have the good fortune to be a part time College professor. At break, I was discussing my travails in swimming. One of my students said that he was a Dive master and had had the same problem. He suggested that I perform the following drill. Take as deep a breath as I can. Then breathe out and take successively 5 deep breaths and exhales. Then submerge as long as I could. He said that this action would "stretch" your diaphragmn thus training you to take in more oxygen on a breath. Holding your breath simply allows your breathing apparatus to stay in the expanded state longer. Has anyone had any success with this? I going to try it because nothing else seems to work. He says that I should seem some improvement in a week but I giving it at least two weeks. Could it be this simple?
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  #16  
Old 12-07-2009
HandsHeal HandsHeal is offline
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Default Emphatic BlowHole Capability

Sometimes, an entire concept hinges on a single word from a Coach. Listen. Our Coach T used the word ‘Emphatically.’ …Exhale Emphatically. “…Fully and Emphatically”, he said.

In ‘Zen and the Art of Archery’ the author fails to find relaxation in his tense bow-drawn stance until he perfected his coach’s breathing technique.

Ask a mountain climber about their breathing technique and they might well tell you, “Smell the Roses, Blow out the Candle” (In through the nose, out through the mouth).

Gosh, have you ever listened to a Dolphin exhale? Emphatically! It makes a Misty Rainbow (beautiful, like ouR PaT).

I posed the question some years ago, “Is it out the nose or out the mouth?” “Both!” and “Forcefully!” was the answer given. “Emphatically” is a good word too. Now, my exhalations are scary sounding – like a Lion’s roar under the water. Give that a try.

Yogi gurus teach the art of breathing – Pranayama. My advanced swim breathing lessons came from a most esoteric coach – ‘breathing is everything’ was a concept he taught. “Breathing is Everything, Core Power is Everything Else”, he said to me. So, for core strength development, we (DO NOT DO THIS ALONE!) climbed high into Florida Live Oak trees (he said Orangutans have a most tremendous core strength). For diaphragm strength (ABSOLUTELY Do NOT do this Alone!) we breathed through a 6 ft long specially constructed snorkel. It takes awhile to work your way down to 6 ft – calculate the PSI on your chest! But, at that depth you can quickly learn what FULL and FORCEFULL (Emphatic ;) exhalation means. As well, you will also learn what muscles come to play for FULL and QUICK inhalation – which will serve you well when your blow hole surfaces behind the bow-wave of your crawl stroke.

And yes, PaT, TI swimmers do have tremendous blowhole capability. Whether or not they actualize it is a Kaizen matter.


Happy Strokes,
HandsHeal

Last edited by HandsHeal : 12-07-2009 at 09:02 PM.
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  #17  
Old 12-08-2009
Ken B Ken B is offline
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Default Emphatic

Thanks HandsHeal. It's amazing how often I find timely advice in this forum. I've been trying to incorporate Terry's advice and I've had a couple of uncomfortable swims because I've obviously been breath holding. Thanks to your EMPHATIC timely reminder I've just had a delightful swim in my estuary. The tide was racing in and wind was 20 knots so it was rough but no problem at all though I observed again how much easier it is to swim into the chop than with it. Down wind the waves catch up and flood your breathing space. The lesson I needed reminding about is that if you are having trouble breathing in it is usually because you are not breathing out properly.
Thanks again

Ken
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  #18  
Old 05-19-2010
cmperkins cmperkins is offline
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Default Wow! This is the thread I was going to start!

Just returned from a swim and was going to post a question about breathing and stroke rates. Came to this thread via a more recent one on bilateral breathing!

I have a low SR - 1.7s - and, after 30 years of breathing on the right, and now four months of TI practice, am trying to perfect bilateral breathing.

I just can't do it every three strokes for more than 100m. A coach suggested speeding up my recovery as a way to increase SR with significantly increasing effort, but I just can't seem to speed up recovery on its own - the whole stroke gets faster and I get fatigued.

The only solution that works for me is to breath every two strokes on the same side (right side one way and left side coming back down the pool). Doing this I can go for 800-1000m, but I think it's making my rotation lop sided and I'd like to go every three strokes to balance my stroke out.

Having just read the posts about exhaling emphatically, I'm going to try that next time because I don't think I do expel all the CO2 (but I also thought you didn't want to empty your lungs completely as your buoyancy would go?)

I don't think it's a stamina problem (I'm running a half-marathon this weekend) and I don't think it's diaphragm strength as I've been using a Power Breathe diaphragm trainer for several weeks in preparation for a triathlon (which has made a big difference in my breathing technique for all three disciplines).

Can anyone report back on how successful more emphatic exhaling is on establishing the right rhythm?

Or does anyone have any additional tips on how to transition from breathing every two strokes to every three?

Thanks!

Chris.
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  #19  
Old 05-19-2010
terry terry is offline
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Default One of the all-time most useful threads

Chris
Thanks for bringing this useful examination of many common breathing issues back into Latest Forum Topics so that latecomers might see it, and so I could be reminded of it.
One of the better lessons that can be drawn from this is the initial response by Eddiewouldgo. Notice how empirical and "organic" his suggestions were. In other words, if you're experiencing a difficulty, try to work your way back to the element and deconstruct them a bit, play with them, and see what sort of information that provides.

I practice bilateral breathing nearly 100% of the time. When I swimming in a relaxed manner I can breathe every 3 strokes, with relatively little sense of accumulating "oxygen debt." But only up to a few hundred yards in the pool. I attribute that to
1) age-related decline in oxygen-transport capacity and
2) the cumulative effect of fllp turns, during each of which - based on the 5 Tempo Trainer beeps each turn takes - I have to hold breath for 5 to 6 seconds if my tempo is between 1.0 and 1.2.

I've concluded that #2 is the more significant reason because in open water I can swim both far longer and far faster while breathing every 3 strokes.

Consequently I've decided that an inability to go long breathing every 3 doesn't signal any imsufficiency that needs to be addressed. If I need more air, I just adjust my breathing frequency to duration or intensity.
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  #20  
Old 05-20-2010
cmperkins cmperkins is offline
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Default Thanks, Terry!

It's reassuring to hear from a number of sources that I should do what's right for me. Right now, training for triathlon distances, breathing every two is fine, feels comfortable and leaves me in great shape at the end of the swim.

A little work on efficiency and I'm sure I can get down to a SR of 1.5 and breathing every three, but I'm not going to get hung up about it. What's more important is to get a breathing rhythm that's right for the swim and the swimmer.

Sounds like I really should get a TT, though!

Thanks, everyone. Great advice.
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