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Old 06-07-2014
rod280459 rod280459 is offline
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rod280459
Default Rolling to breath - feeling too low in water

I was wondering if anyone has a solution to a breathing issue that I am grappling with at the moment.

I suspect this is a common problem to male swimmers who may lack a little buoyacy (I am 90kg and fairly muscular but in my 50's so not bullet proof fit) I do run short of breath like many a novice, with my difficulty being able to comfortably roll to breath.

For example , when I do the nodding drill and look / roll sideways at 90 degrees I feel a long way below the water surface. When I do my normal freestyle stroke I feel like I am nearly rotated onto my back by the time my mouth clears the water to get a breath. I find the same thing when I try the sweet spot drill. Consequently the urge to lift the head to get air is enormous.

The good swimmers seem to be able to get their air by rotating sideways no more than 90 degrees - is this really true or am I mistaken ?

I am trying all the usual "fixes" namely, being patient with the lead arm (not pulling too early), using "wide tracks" , lead with elbow, relax, look straight down to bottom of pool to get the hips up - all the good TI stuff. I use a 2 beat kick.

Incidentally it is just about impossible to follow wide tracks when you rotate to the extent that I do.

I am determined not to lift my head so as a result, I swallow a lot of water when trying to get the breathing right - very frustrating.

I have heard suggestions like looking backwards a bit while breathing & trying to breath "into the trough" but my head is that low I feel like a submarine - I can't find a trough as my head is so low.

By the way, I am not spearing low and my head position is fairly neutral (ie. not pushing it down).

Interestingly this issue is not nearly as big a problem when I swim in salt water - the improved buoyancy get me closer to the air as I breathe.

My swim instructor (I have lessons from time to time) has run out of ideas - the ladies in our swimming group seem to float better and get the air much easier.

The problem is less when I increase my speed, but I can't sustain that level of effort for more than 100 meters.

I am trying to incorporate good rotation into my stroke (ie. swim on my side) - could this be causing me to sink ?

I am 5 ft 10 with SPL for 25 meter pool of 18 - 20 so pretty average in terms of efficiency, but not bad for an adult onset swimmer.

Any advice would be appreciated - I have seen others in my swim class struggle with the same problem

Thanks
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Old 06-07-2014
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Terry did some articles on breathing for Total Swim awhile back that might be worthwhile for you to read:

http://archive.totalimmersion.net/20...breathing.html

http://archive.totalimmersion.net/20...t/breathe.html

http://archive.totalimmersion.net/20...breathing.html

http://archive.totalimmersion.net/20...ruary/air.html

I'd particularly recommend looking at the pictures of Terry breathing in the first article. Notice how little of his face is actually above the water in the second picture.


Bob
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  #3  
Old 06-07-2014
rod280459 rod280459 is offline
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Thanks Bob - I'll check this out

Rod
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Old 06-08-2014
jafaremraf jafaremraf is offline
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A couple of comments.... The more you rotate the easier it is to sink. My TI instructor told me that if the body rotates in alignment then it should rotate no more than bringing your belly button up to about 5 o'clock or 7 o'clock if 6 o'clock faces the bottom of the pool (or thereabouts). Maybe also keep air in the lungs as that helps buoyancy, forcing the air out just before your mouth breaks the surface of the water.
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Old 06-08-2014
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Hi Rod,

Adding to jafaremraf's (excellent) response on correct rotation using clock positions and buoyancy. Often swimmers will empty lungs too quickly causing the body to sink. You need hold some air back without holding breath - very slow exahale. Empty lungs when rolling to breathe and quickly fill tank when nose/mouth breach surface.

Here's a video demonstrating what happens to the body exhaling too much too soon, as well as maintaining enough air in lungs for buoyancy: SwimVICE: Breathing and Buoyancy

Stuart
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Old 06-09-2014
rod280459 rod280459 is offline
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Hi Stuart & jafaremraf

I think you both have hit the nail on the head ! I am heading to the pool tonight very keen to try your suggestions. I have definitely been overrotating based on your comments & I definitely think I have been emptying lungs too quick (to try to get rid of CO2 build up).

I'll let U know how it goes.

What a great forum this is !

Rod
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