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  #1  
Old 03-30-2017
bujanglokal
 
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Default 4-2 breathing patterns

While trying to improve (among other): head position while breathing, and bilateral breathing, and due to my bad aerobic capacity, I was experimenting with alternatively breathing every 4 strokes and 2 strokes, and continue 4,2,4,2. While doing the 4 strokes it seems that my form is better (due to not having to breathe), while doing the 2 provides enough air to maintain my stamina. Occasionally I skip one step (so I might do 4,2,2,4,2,etc) but in general it works for me, better than 4,4,4 (stamina-wise) or 2,2,2 (form/speed wise).

I think for stamina purpose it's either breathing every 2 or 3 strokes is optimum for me at this moment.

Note: I only swim in swimming pool, and don't have plan to do any competitive swimming at this moment, so my objective is to have maximum of swim time in 1 hour (minimum) duration I allocate the time for swimming, and become healthier or having better stamina in the process.

Any comments for the breathing pattern?
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2017
liolio
 
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I'm not at ease with the "canon" three stroke pattern either. The issue I see (for myself in my practice) is that I tend to overwhelmingly breath on the right, my effort to breath on the left failed after a couple of stroke, without thinking I blend an odd number of stroke in and resue breathing to the right.

My stroke is not as symetrical as I would want, it is not that apparent in short sprint but on longer series it triggers unneven level of fatigue between the left and right arm. The lefft arm is my weak arm and it find itself in charge of correct whatever issue that triggers an not technically optimal breathing.
I've tried to stick to patterns such as 2-2-3 but as the effort goes up I breath every two stroke with significantly longer serie (like 4) when I feel like exhaling a lot before the next breath (for whatever reasons that broke my rythm, from fatigue, to passing on being pass in the pool, temporary loss of tempo or shape, etc).

I also tried the 2 breath in three stroke pattern advocated by Gary Hall jr (the race club) but I could not ease into it. May I should try that again at a higher level of exertion.
I notice that sometime trying to swim "relatively" effortlessly (... trying is the key word...) that it is tough to get my body muscles and breath and cardiac rythm at unisson. I wonder if that can trigger some hyper ventilation which then call for the longer exhalations (along with possible technical difficulties wth the breathing I'm currently trying to improve).
I hardly get into the cardio rythm I would have while jogging, usually I'm either more relaxed or peak higher (with matching muscles fatigue).

I'm extremely interesting by the response you will get by seasoned swimmers, I wonder if some level of under exercion could be an explanation. The picture of changing gear while driving comes to mind, technicality of breathing aside you have to be in the right gear for the engine to perform optimally.
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  #3  
Old 03-31-2017
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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WFEGb
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Hello,

three things you should put with into your pool times:

- It's never too early to get used of symmetrical breathing. If you find it too difficult with any breathing pattern, switch the sides every lap or every ten-to-twenty strokes. Put your focus more on your felt weak side. (FE: Two laps weak side then one lap strong side.)

- Don't become short of air. This will shred your stroke. Swim slower, take another pattern or stop, reset brain and breathing and restart.

- Don't think about breathing only in terms of patterns... (Do you rotate right and left equally? Is your head "weightless" aligned all the time? Do you exhale with relaxed (stupid) face? Follows your chin your shoulder? Do you turn your face down at once as you've taken a sip of air? What's the difference between strong and weak side.....)

Best regards,
Werner
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  #4  
Old 03-31-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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I was a "right breathe only" kind of swimmer for the longest time. This habit resisted every possible effort to break that I tried until, in desperation, I vowed to myself that I would henceforth breath ONLY on the left side until I am as comfortable on the left than the right.

I think this was in January of 2015. Maybe 2014. But I stuck to it for 2 months or so until I got it, without breathing on my right at all during this time.

Anyway, my first efforts were 1 left breath then crash and burn for many many attempts. Then I managed to get 2 left breaths in a row before failing. Then I got a series of 3 successful left breaths in a row. It felt awful and terrible. I thought I was drowning -- I felt out of breath, gasping and gulping and getting mouthfuls of water, and my body felt awkward and unwieldy. It took forever before I got even 5-6 left strokes in a row, and I felt very insecure and out of breath. But once I got past 8 or 9, I progressed rapidly to doing the whole length breathing on the left before collapsing at the other end in relief. But I realized that was the only way to do it, and I must not breathe on my right until I had broken the habit.

Funny thing was that, starting from scratch I was able to build my left breathing technique from the ground up according to all the advice I got from TI teaching absolute non-swimmers how to breathe. So I did not have any bad habits that I had developed on the left to break or to unlearn. Consequently, my left breathing is technically more correct now than my right -- it is smoother and I don't bob up for air like I do on my right, although I have since learned to reduce the bob, once I compared it to my ("good") left side. But I never got as comfortable on my left as on my right. I'm pretty good on my left, but in moments of sheer panic I still instinctively go to my right, albeit with not so great technique.

Maybe it's time now for another session of breathe only on the left again for me.
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  #5  
Old 03-31-2017
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Sclim,

you're not alone with that kind of experience. Strange to me, when going to swim whole laps with weak-side-breathing, was, the weak side shared a whole SPL... (Think Stuart found that by several of his students too.)

Best regards,
Werner
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  #6  
Old 03-31-2017
ti97
 
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I agree with the previous posts....it was a huge struggle and took time for me to become accustomed with bilateral breathing.

In my thinking, you should get air when you need it but it should be comfortable to get it on either side and as frequently as necessary.

I think breathing is most rooted into the swimming pyramid (BSP - Balance, Streamline, Propulsion) within the 'Balance' plane. If you lift your head, twist your torso, splay your legs, then Balance is disrupted and breathing become a struggle.

As to sclim, I would like a dose of his determination to be able to bull through some of the things he has done.

Keep at it, you will get to the 'ah ha' moment.
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  #7  
Old 03-31-2017
ti97
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
Hello,


- Don't become short of air. This will shred your stroke. Swim slower, take another pattern or stop, reset brain and breathing and restart.



Best regards,
Werner
Another pearl here from Werner......practice success, don't practice failure....slow it down and get it right
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  #8  
Old 03-31-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ti97 View Post
As to sclim, I would like a dose of his determination to be able to bull through some of the things he has done.

Keep at it, you will get to the 'ah ha' moment.
Not determination. Merely desperation -- I had tried everything else including trying to increase left sided breathing incrementally into my habitual right sided breathing, but it just didn't work. As long as I had a right sided breathing "escape" available, I took it. Left side only was the only possible way.

The lack of left sided ease was killing my attempts to learn to swim with bilateral breathing.

If you want/need something bad enough you'll grab it.
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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BTW, I use the 1 breath in 3 strokes pattern as a lazy man's way of counting strokes. No matter how hard I try, I always lose track of the counting of strokes, especially when I am focussing hard on a difficult technical stroke focus point.

I have become so dialled in to the automatic breathing on strokes R3,L6,R9,L12,R15,L18... that even if I suddenly lose my concentration (seems to happen a lot), I know for sure that I haven't missed or added a breath in the 1 in 3 breathing sequence.

So when I pass a landmark point on the pool deck that I know should correspond to my 18th stroke if I am stroking well, it will always occur during a left sided breath. (The possible alternatives would be the 12th stroke which would have occurred so long before that that I would know it wasn't that one, or likewise stroke number 24, which I now would never actually make, because I have already reached the end of the lap).

That is why I am so reluctant to train using any different breathing pattern, although I see the huge benefits of doing so, if I could only do this conveniently.

Does anyone else have such problems keeping count?

Last edited by sclim : 03-31-2017 at 09:18 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-31-2017
ti97
 
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for counting lengths someone suggested using letters of the alphabet vice counting numbers
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