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Old 04-27-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,499

Originally Posted by Penguin View Post
Something that made a noticeable difference for me:

Don't forget to exhale. This should be one of your foci. You can't suck in a lungful of fresh air if you are still half full of stale air.

Start your exhale, at the very latest, when your body begins the last rock from left to right before you inhale on the right.

Better yet exhale with the exertion of each arm stroke or, continuously, as soon as your face re-enters the water.
I, too had multiple issues hindering me, and getting me short of breath, but luckily, unknown to me, the greatest one was just involuntary tension in my chest -- I had actually sorted out the worst of my other problems before that. So just 1 or 2 weeks before my first Half Ironman last year I got the hint on this forum site to start exhaling through my nose as soon as I put my face back down in the water after taking (each) breath. The trick is to to relax your chest and your larynx (throat) to do a long slow continuous exhalation, trying not to speed up or slow down the smooth trickle of air coming out your nostrils, and to time it just right so that when it comes to your next breath you just have to blow out a slight extra bit of air to empty your lungs at the moment that you turn for air.

Maybe a bit of practice standing in the shallow end bent over with your face rotating in and out of the water might help.

It sounds more complicated than it really is to do it. The relaxing effect of opening your throat and listening for the "bubble-bubble" sound coming out of your nose and keeping that sound level as even as possible (and maybe looking at the size of the stream of bubbles) worked right away to relax my chest and throat muscles, and stopped my shortness of breath, almost like magic. Even if I forgot, and got distracted, and got short of breath again, all I had to do was to focus on slow, even nasal exhalation, and within 1 or 2 breathing cycles I was relaxed again. Just in time to be ok for the race!
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Old 03-10-2017
Posts: n/a

Originally Posted by madvet View Post
For now, just breathe to your right.

Lack of fitness? Hey I am pretty unfit, I weigh at least 30 pounds more than I should. But I can swim 10,000 yards at a 20 minute per 1,000 yard pace.

How? Relaxed stroke. Tension will eat your breathing reservoir in a heartbeat. Well, several heartbeats. But, it will get you. Where is at least half of that excess tension? In your breathing. Relax with your breathing and that relaxation will flow over into your stroke. Relax the muscles which you are not using. Don't hold excess tension in trying to extend your bodyline, relax while lengthening.
I know this is a very old thread, but I just wanted to thank John (madvet) ^ and all the others here for the helpful and inspiring tips as they've helped me tremendously in breaking through a major progress barrier that I was struggling with for nearly a year. Details of that are in my post here if you don't mind reading through my whole story:

Thanks again, and swim safe!

- Firas
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Old 03-11-2017
efdoucette efdoucette is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 157

Originally Posted by anmol77 View Post
I felt like it was more lack of endurance as my arms and shoulders began to tire out, is my stokre that inefficienct???????
I'm not one to give much advice but I have worked through this same discomfort in the past. When your shoulders and arms start to get tired you are either working them too hard or being too tense. Focus on relaxing those muscles, release the tension, slow down, continue to get good breaths, keep going ... relaxed.
Good luck
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