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Old 03-07-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,680
Default Breathing every 4 6 and 8 strokes

Old school coaches used to recommend these sets often referred to as 'lung busters' to help develop a tolerance to oxygen deficiency. We also discussed it a bit last year when I called them hypoxic sets and Suzanne bit my head off. :)

Having tried them again lately I believe these sets are amazing for an intermediate swimmer like myself (I know Ian Mac does similar at the end of a lot of sessions) but the benefits are totally different and nothing to do with oxygen deprivation.

typical set 20 x 25 off 30-60s according to your comfort level/fitness.

1. The aim is to learn breath management, not oxygen starvation tolerance. Its amazing how quickly even 8 strokes can feel relatively comfortable when you allow bubbles to leak out slowly like a fish oxygen pump rather than pushing them out.

I am also thinking it is the steadiness of the exhale (until the empty before breath) that keeps you relaxed and stops you becoming breathless but someone can confirm that for me.

2. It imprints better balanced rotation and relaxed head spine alignment since a higher percentage of your strokes are face down.

3. To get through the 4,6 or 8 strokes without gasping you have to utilize a relaxed smooth stroke.

I thought I was totally plodding as I focused on relaxing and breathing until I looked at the watch and my lap times were around 22 seconds, much faster than my average swim pace.

My aim next week will be to complete an 800 breathing every 4 with a 32 x 25 off 30s approach
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