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Old 08-23-2011
gar3181 gar3181 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 15
Default Breathing issues after turning at wall

This forum is great! I really enjoy the great discussions; everyone has been so helpful!

I'm very new to swimming. Signed up for a triathlon held earlier this summer, and a month or so beforehand I figured I should learn how to swim. Needless to say, the swim portion was not my strength. Luckily it was a short swim. I can run and bike all day, but in the pool, I would be out of breath after 25m. I thought to myself, "what is wrong with me?" So I did my research, bought a few of Terry's books and DVDs and learned the TI way of swimming. After putting my time working through the drills, I tried out my new stroke and was amazed. My pre-TI SPL was between 27-28 strokes per 25m. No good. My first lap with my new stroke came in at 17 strokes per the same 25m. I've continued to refine my skills with drill work and consistently log between 15-17 strokes per 25m. I feel fish-like and love it.

However, I still struggle with my breathing. I breath to one side every 4 strokes comfortably. As I begin, I get a good push off the wall, superman until I surface and get in 4 strokes before taking a breath. As I approach the wall I feel very comfortable, nice and relaxed, effortlessly cutting through the water. Feel like I could go forever, but there's a hard wall there so I can't. I touch the wall, get a breath of air, go under and push off again, just like I did to start my lap. But this time the comfort is gone. Once I surface after the push off, I can't get in 4 strokes before getting a breath. Even if I take a breath after surfacing, I can't seem to get that comfortable rhythm again and my form feels rushed, very uncomfortable breathing, etc. My stroke suffers and I usually record 18 or 19 strokes per length.

I feel comfortable breathing underwater. Breath out through my nose and in through my mouth. Rotate my body to get the air instead of lifting my head. May over-rotate at times to get to the air but I'm still working on that. I'm just struggling to figure out what the issue is with the wall-turn that messes me up. I feel so good before, yet feel so bad after such a simple touch of a wall.

Anyone else struggle with something similar? Thanks for any input.
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Old 08-26-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Near Basingstoke, England.
Posts: 137

I find that I get the same problem. I've always just put it down to a break in rhythm (like when you sip a drink or blow your nose running or cycling), and also the huge energy requirement of your big leg muscles for the push off, which up until then have just been trailing behind with very mild kicking. To get round this problem I normally breathe as soon as I surface, or if I'm having a breathless swim I push off lightly and surface sooner to grab that first breath.

I'm looking forward to my first swim in open water soon to see if getting rid of the walls helps my breathing!
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