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Old 04-10-2012
swimpaired swimpaired is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 23
swimpaired
Default Is it possible a simple change increased my speed?

I'm still evaluating this but my name swimpaired is a REALLY accurate description for me. I'm the slowest swimmer you'll meet any time soon. But something happened this week. I welcome any comments on this experience.

I haven't been swimming long and started freestyle just for triathlons. Having never done it my first problem was breathing at all. I have a medical background and once you think about it - breathing (shortness of breath) isn't driven by need for oxygen in healthy people - it's driven by build up of CO2. So the concern to relax breathing in water is more in the "exhale when in the water" than in the "catch your breath while you're out of it".

I'd often get off course in open water and so this week with a race 6 weeks out I decided to "bite the bullet" and breath bilaterally so I can keep an eye on things. Adding distance to my swims is a really bad idea at my (lack of) speed.

Anyway, I've found the bilateral is easier (only a few days mind you) than I thought. The HUGE difference though (for me) is speed. My speed improved dramatically. Maybe 20 to 30% faster. All I can think is really bad rotation and balance that the breathing to the other side helped correct. Do you see this often as an easy stroke correction drill for beginners? Or is this just me?

What are the pluses and minuses of bilateral breathing vs one sided?
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