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  #1  
Old 04-12-2012
efdoucette efdoucette is offline
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efdoucette
Default My breathing sucks

Well, 1.5 years into self taught TI and in the pool 3 to 4 times per week over the last 5 months and my breathing still sucks. It limits me to 50 meters, have done 75 and the odd 100 but rarely.

I've focused on exhale gently, forcefully, and in between. I've tried breathing every 2 strokes, 3 strokes and 4 strokes. I've tried to temper by inhale gasping problem but to little success. I work on nodding with some success, I think.

I am concerned that I will soon lose motivation as I can't get a handle on breathing. Had a very discouraging swim today.

Does anyone have "the magic bullet"?

Eric
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  #2  
Old 04-12-2012
grandall grandall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efdoucette View Post
Well, 1.5 years into self taught TI and in the pool 3 to 4 times per week over the last 5 months and my breathing still sucks. It limits me to 50 meters, have done 75 and the odd 100 but rarely.

I've focused on exhale gently, forcefully, and in between. I've tried breathing every 2 strokes, 3 strokes and 4 strokes. I've tried to temper by inhale gasping problem but to little success. I work on nodding with some success, I think.

I am concerned that I will soon lose motivation as I can't get a handle on breathing. Had a very discouraging swim today.

Does anyone have "the magic bullet"?

Eric
Hi Eric,

Don't give up.

Breathing issues has been discussed many times in this forum perhaps reviewing some of them might offer some feedback for you.

Another thing you might consider is uploading a swim video of yourself to this forum. As there are many talented coaches/students who can analyze the video and and offer help.

Part of the learning process is working through obstacles. Keep practing the nodding drill with time and pateince your breathing will improve.

Are you having breathing issues because your not getting enough air because your not rotating enough(from the core)? Are your head /spine in alignment when you rotate to breath. For now try doing repeats of 25 or 50 rather than increasing the distance in one set.

keep at it!.. I been swimming for a 1.5 as well I love working/learning through problems (must be the engineer in me).
Enjoy the process and have fun!
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What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
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  #3  
Old 04-13-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efdoucette View Post
Well, 1.5 years into self taught TI and in the pool 3 to 4 times per week over the last 5 months and my breathing still sucks. It limits me to 50 meters, have done 75 and the odd 100 but rarely.

I've focused on exhale gently, forcefully, and in between. I've tried breathing every 2 strokes, 3 strokes and 4 strokes. I've tried to temper by inhale gasping problem but to little success. I work on nodding with some success, I think.

I am concerned that I will soon lose motivation as I can't get a handle on breathing. Had a very discouraging swim today.

Does anyone have "the magic bullet"?

Eric
Just one thought, it is possible to breathe out slowly or hard whilst retaining tension in the chest, and both will cause you to tire.

think of your lungs as a dinghy that a kid has put a small slit in with a knife, the air comes out because the aperture is open, the only thing you control is how 'big' the hole is. Don't breath out, allow air to escape. (maybe a bit like trying to encourage a small fire to get bigger, if you blow on the fire it goes out but if you supply it with a gentle stream it develops)

A flute player can breathe quite slowly to make a soft sound but it isn't relaxed there is a lot of pressure control, with swimming it is different you need to lose the tension.

Also once the chest is very relaxed it is easier to empty the lungs almost instantaneously as you rotate to breath.

Its hard because the difference between right and wrong is very subtle. let your focus be your muscle tension

hope it comes soon
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  #4  
Old 04-13-2012
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Location: Rio, Wisconsin
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westyswoods
Default Struggling

I to this day have difficulty catching air on my left side.

My one suggestion for you is get a swimmers snorkel. It will give you several benefits. The first being you can just enjoy the swim and work on good streamline and balance, which I doubt is happening if you are so struggling with breaths.

Secondly swim and enjoy without the sense of starving and struggling. Do not consider it a crutch. Use it as a learning tool, swim snorkels provide tremendous benefits for refining the stroke.

It also sounds as if you are doing self analysis. Have you ever had a coach observe. If not try it or post a video if you have not done so.

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
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  #5  
Old 04-13-2012
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Mike from NS
Default giving up -- not an option

Eric,

Some people may catch onto breathing patterns quickly, and others may not. I'm in the later group. Maybe you are as well? Magic bullet is called patience.

What has worked somewhat for me is practice and more practice with a lot of patience thrown into the mix. However something worked today better than I expected. I read a note from Andy or maybe from Suzanne recently that indicated a likely reason why my breathing sucks too. So basic a thing it is almost embarrassing to mention. Timing ! Simple fact .... turn the head towards the breath side just before your spearing hand enters the water. This way you are ready for the air when the time is right. If your hand enters the water and then you start to turn for air, you will breathe water .... you have missed the time to breathe. One other item that Suzanne suggested, and has helped me, is to not try for a huge lung full of air. Just breath for the exertion level you're using. Sitting at your desk your breathing is shallow -- because that's all you need. If you imagine that you need to breathe more and take in huge amounts of air, I think you will soon find this is not necessary and discomfort will take over. Her comment was basically; " breathe what you need - no more" I think she added: take small breaths and maybe take them often until you find what works for you. Terry's "bites of air".

Don't forget - it is the frustrating days that make the good days become the great days!

Do you swim at the Canada Games Centre Pool in Halifax? Maybe I'll meet you there one day.
Mike
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  #6  
Old 04-13-2012
efdoucette efdoucette is offline
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efdoucette
Default

Thanks George, Andy, Westy and Mike for your suggestions and support.

I probably won't give up, at 57 I'm finally able to swim some lengths more comfortable than I have ever been able to do, it's cool.

Andy, I think you hit the nail on the head for me. Your suggestion that I have tension in my chest / lungs makes so much sense. I'm sure with the focus I've been giving to the inhale / exhale that I bring tension on, I feel a relief just to acknowledge it.

Mike, I try to breath in small amounts, know that I should but still I gasp. I think with releasing tension as Andy says, the smaller (right size) breaths will come. And isn't timing just everything. I swim in Milford as I live in Oakfield. I haven't been to the new pool, thinking it was a little pricey, but maybe we should do a swim together sometime.

Thanks again everyone,
Eric
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  #7  
Old 04-13-2012
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Eric,

The new pool is pricey ~ but a very reasonable cost of $3.00 applies to Friday morning: 8 - 10 am, and 8 - 10pm on Tuesday and Thursday. (These evening swims are often a zoo!) Otherwise the facility cost is $11.50. Not bad by some standards, I suppose, as long as you have time for the holistic approach. But you have one of the best open water venues in NS practically at your doorstep ~ in Grand Lake. No ?

Mike
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  #8  
Old 04-13-2012
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hallo Eric,

for encouraging you: Look through the threads, many, many of us had and still have the same or similar problems. You are not alone!!!

My newbie's recommendation: Have a strong look on RonM77's last year Freestyle-thread "Getting out of breath" (It became "my" thread, because when coming to his end I managed my first continues 1500s...)

In my view the biggest dilemma: If you found YOUR "magic bullet" (and you will definetly find it!) you'll be very happy... and can't tell anyone else precise about HIS "magic bullit"....

Best regards,
Werner
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  #9  
Old 04-13-2012
efdoucette efdoucette is offline
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efdoucette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from NS View Post
Eric,

The new pool is pricey ~ but a very reasonable cost of $3.00 applies to Friday morning: 8 - 10 am, and 8 - 10pm on Tuesday and Thursday. (These evening swims are often a zoo!) Otherwise the facility cost is $11.50. Not bad by some standards, I suppose, as long as you have time for the holistic approach. But you have one of the best open water venues in NS practically at your doorstep ~ in Grand Lake. No ?

Mike
Grand Lake yes but Grand Lake cold. I'm hoping to try Chocolate Lake this summer. At your pool, how busy is the Friday morning session?
Thanks
Eric
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  #10  
Old 04-13-2012
efdoucette efdoucette is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 157
efdoucette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
Hallo Eric,

for encouraging you: Look through the threads, many, many of us had and still have the same or similar problems. You are not alone!!!

My newbie's recommendation: Have a strong look on RonM77's last year Freestyle-thread "Getting out of breath" (It became "my" thread, because when coming to his end I managed my first continues 1500s...)

In my view the biggest dilemma: If you found YOUR "magic bullet" (and you will definetly find it!) you'll be very happy... and can't tell anyone else precise about HIS "magic bullit"....

Best regards,
Werner
Thanks Werner, I will go back and read that thread, I'm sure I did at the time it was posted. I know that many people have the same struggle, The other day I got super frustrated after trying so many things. I think mostly I need to relax, maybe I'm trying too hard.
Eric
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