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  #1  
Old 06-15-2009
scrummaster scrummaster is offline
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Default Breathe when I feel like it?

Hello there:

I've found that I'm still inconsistent with my breathing. Sometimes I'll breath every 4th stroke but I find that I am 'gassed' pretty quickly if I try to stay with this cadence.

So, I've been going to breathing every 4th stroke but then revert to every other stroke when I start to feel like I'm running out of air. Then I might go back to every 4th stroke or try bilateral breathing on every third stroke.

Question: Is it 'OK' to breathe when I feel like it? Or..is this a cardinal sin in freestyle?

Frank
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  #2  
Old 06-15-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrummaster View Post
Hello there:

I've found that I'm still inconsistent with my breathing. Sometimes I'll breath every 4th stroke but I find that I am 'gassed' pretty quickly if I try to stay with this cadence.

So, I've been going to breathing every 4th stroke but then revert to every other stroke when I start to feel like I'm running out of air. Then I might go back to every 4th stroke or try bilateral breathing on every third stroke.

Question: Is it 'OK' to breathe when I feel like it? Or..is this a cardinal sin in freestyle?

Frank
When you are on land, you breathe when you need to, right? I would think that having that ability in the water would be ideal. Like when using a snorkel or respirator. As far as what's proper, there have been discussion about it during which the concept of varying the breathing was suggested. You could create any pattern you would like to get the amount of air you want. That's partly why it's called "freestyle." (Of course, backstroke offers the ultimate in breathing flexibility.)

Bilateral breathing offers symmetry. Breathing every four strokes offers better streamlining. Breathing every two strokes provides a lot of air and it could even add to the power of your stroke in the case of loping. If you mix it up, maybe you could get the benefits of each.
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  #3  
Old 06-15-2009
scrummaster scrummaster is offline
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Thanks for the validation. I've come to the conclusion that that's the way I have to do it. As I get more comfortable (I'm still something of a beginner) I can standardize it.

I've somehow gotten it into my mind that I MUST do it just like my coach wants me to do it. She sure gets an irritated look on her face when I start varying my breathing. To her point, it 'messes up' my form. Maybe it's time to concentrate less on 'looking good' and enjoying my swims.
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Old 06-15-2009
atreides atreides is offline
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I, like you, have come to the same conclusion. I can do every 4 for a couple of cycles and then I go every two until I finish the lap. My problem is that when I go every two I'm not totally clearing my lungs and I have to that little "puh" before I breathe. It doesn't cause me any problems in getting enough O2 but it's annoying because I remember my instructor telling me it was wrong to do that. I've tried "blowing it out" before I breathe but that's even more obstrusive then the "puh". So for now, I will stick to the pattern I've established. I'm more worried about getting my technique correct enough to do some real distance comfortably.

One thing that I have found is that when I trying to minimize SPL I "want" to go every four and somehow that gets my mind off of whatever discomfort I feel when I do that for a full 25 meter lap. I think every third stroke would be ideal for me so when I get good enough I'll put in bilateral breathing and hopefully that will be that.
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  #5  
Old 06-15-2009
scrummaster scrummaster is offline
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My SPL does goes up with my breathing every other stroke as well. With 4 strokes/breathe it's lower by a couple of strokes. But that may get better with practice -- not sure.

BTW, I saw Michael Phelps in the pool the other day (he swims where I do) and he breathes every other stroke :-). Of course he's so long that he does 25 m in about 7-8 strokes. And he's VERY relaxed in the water, and quite a SLOW swimmer when he wants to be.
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Old 06-16-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrummaster View Post
BTW, I saw Michael Phelps in the pool the other day (he swims where I do) and he breathes every other stroke :-). Of course he's so long that he does 25 m in about 7-8 strokes. And he's VERY relaxed in the water, and quite a SLOW swimmer when he wants to be.
Wow, that's cool. I guess the regulars don't bother Phelps much, do they? Maybe am outsider like me would be all freaked out being in the same pool. heh

So, you mean Phelps breathes every right arm stroke? Seven to eight crawl strokes per 25m? That's insane.
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Old 06-16-2009
scrummaster scrummaster is offline
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Originally Posted by shuumai View Post
Wow, that's cool. I guess the regulars don't bother Phelps much, do they? Maybe am outsider like me would be all freaked out being in the same pool. heh

So, you mean Phelps breathes every right arm stroke? Seven to eight crawl strokes per 25m? That's insane.
That's what I counted when I was watching him. Nice, high elbows, very relaxed and gliding. He's a pretty regular guy. He talks to you if you talk to him. Although last time he was there he had a bodyguard with him. Another swimmer - a former Navy Seal, I'm told.
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  #8  
Old 06-16-2009
daveblt daveblt is offline
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I think breathing every third stroke is more common than every four. Plus breathing every third let's you breathe to the opposite side as well. I feel that in TI swimming breathing every third is sort of stretching it a little let alone every four.


Dave
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  #9  
Old 06-16-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrummaster View Post
That's what I counted when I was watching him. Nice, high elbows, very relaxed and gliding. He's a pretty regular guy. He talks to you if you talk to him. Although last time he was there he had a bodyguard with him. Another swimmer - a former Navy Seal, I'm told.
Hmm, I wonder why.

Has Phelps been working on a straight-arm recovery? I saw him use it a couple times in a video. But I guess we shouldn't be spying on the man. heh
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  #10  
Old 06-22-2009
ikarus47 ikarus47 is offline
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Default 7-8 strokes for 25 m

is pretty wild!
I am semi- pleased when I am swimming at 16/ 25m...
Andreas
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