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2011-02-01 5:54 PM

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Subject: swimming advice
Today I tried slowing down my stroke to see if I could REALLY focus on my technique.  I've been trying to bi-lateral breath so I've been working on breathing to the right.  When I do, I push my left arm down to try and "support" my breath.  if I don't I end up with a mouth full of water...

So my question is, are there any drills to help with my left/right balance or should I just continue to try bi-lateral breathing until I get it? 


2011-02-01 6:14 PM
in reply to: #3334103

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Subject: RE: swimming advice
I'm just getting started in swimming too, but there is a great web site that can help you with this kind of stuff. Check out swimsmooth.com They have a whole section on bilateral breathing.

Keys for me:
1) be sure you are getting a good body rotation
2) rotate your head to the side to breathe; don't lift your head up
3) I wait to inhale just long enough so I can feel the water get off my face (then you know you're going to get air not water)

Also be sure you're exhaling underwater, so you don't waste time exhaling when you're supposed to be inhaling.

It is harder to breathe bilaterally when you have a slower stroke rate - b/c it's making you go longer without breathing. Sometimes I will go unilateral when I feel I am getting short of air, then switch back to bilateral when I've "recovered."

You will hear strong swimmers say they can go 5 or 8 or half a million strokes without breathing. Some people advocate practicing this as a separate drill. The most I can ever do is getting back to unilateral (ie, skipping the third, and breathing on the fourth). I can't do this very long, either - maybe 2/3 the length of the pool.

If something I've said here is bad teaching, I'm sure someone more experienced will correct me Cool

Edited by alath 2011-02-01 6:19 PM
2011-02-01 11:11 PM
in reply to: #3334103

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Coach
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Subject: RE: swimming advice
Here is a thread with some breathing advice that some have found helpful:

The Swim Breathing Thread - How to Make it Feel Effortless
http://beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp?tid...

Have a read and maybe try one or two things in there in your next swim.
2011-02-01 11:48 PM
in reply to: #3334103


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Subject: RE: swimming advice
Another great drill for beginner breathing is to always look at the same side of the pool.  Thiss way you breath on one side going down, and the other coming back.  After you are really comfortable breathing on both sides, then you can incorporate the side to side.
2011-02-02 1:29 PM
in reply to: #3334103

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Bob
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Subject: RE: swimming advice

Bilateral breathing is not necessary and is no faster than breathing on one side. It is good to know how to breathe on both sides (although I have never needed to breathe on my right) and practicing breathing to one side of the pool as stated above is a good way to learn this.

2011-02-02 1:35 PM
in reply to: #3334103

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Subject: RE: swimming advice
If you slow your stroke down TOO much, you won't be able to work on form. Try to do form drills at a steady pace.


2011-02-02 1:50 PM
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Subject: RE: swimming advice
rstocks3 - 2011-02-02 2:29 PM

Bilateral breathing is not necessary and is no faster than breathing on one side.



Bob,

Are you sure about this?  I've always been told that every breath slows you down a bit.  Isn't that why sprinters will go the whole length without breathing?
2011-02-02 2:55 PM
in reply to: #3335612

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Bob
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Subject: RE: swimming advice
Patrick E - 2011-02-02 2:50 PM
rstocks3 - 2011-02-02 2:29 PM

Bilateral breathing is not necessary and is no faster than breathing on one side.



Bob,

Are you sure about this?  I've always been told that every breath slows you down a bit.  Isn't that why sprinters will go the whole length without breathing?


You are correct that sprinters will go 50m or more without taking a breath. In anything over 100 yds oxygen becomes a necessity. Most top swimmers breathe every stroke and most top triathletes do the same. I am not saying that some very fast swimmers don't use bilateral breathing.

I like to use the analogy of holding your breath when you run. Nobody recommends holding your breath when you run so why would you want to hold your breath when you swim?

2011-02-02 3:03 PM
in reply to: #3334103

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Subject: RE: swimming advice
Seems like you are trying to accomplish 2 things.   One is to slow down your stroke and focus on your technique.  The other is to learn to breath to the right.

Do them separately.

For learning to breath to the right, I suggest doing one-armed drills.  You will extend your left arm in front and leave it there.  You will swim only using your right arm.  Do a few hundred of this drill each time you swim, probably during your warmup.  For some reason it's easier to breath to your non-dominant side when doing one-arm swimming.  After a while you should find it closer to natural to breath to the right when you put the whole stroke together.
2011-02-02 7:22 PM
in reply to: #3335741


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Subject: RE: swimming advice
Bilateral helps even out the stroke, this way your not over or under rotating on one side and putting more stress on either shoulder.



 
2011-02-03 10:00 AM
in reply to: #3334103

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Subject: RE: swimming advice
I recently (past couple of weeks) started breathing bilaterally.  Mainly for the benefits of evening out my stroke, plus it can be useful in open water.  Without seeing you swim, I'd guess you're not rotating enough to get to air on your right.  Don't push down with your left hand, just stick it.  If your mouth isn't at air turn more. Took me a few weeks (I'm a slow learner) until I wasn't sucking down water. Good luck.


2011-02-03 10:14 AM
in reply to: #3335562

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Subject: RE: swimming advice
rstocks3 - 2011-02-02 2:29 PM

Bilateral breathing is not necessary and is no faster than breathing on one side. It is good to know how to breathe on both sides (although I have never needed to breathe on my right) and practicing breathing to one side of the pool as stated above is a good way to learn this.


It is also good for open water swims when you don't know which side the bouys are going to be on
2011-02-03 10:20 AM
in reply to: #3334576

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Subject: RE: swimming advice

AdventureBear - 2011-02-02 12:11 AM Here is a thread with some breathing advice that some have found helpful: The Swim Breathing Thread - How to Make it Feel Effortless http://beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp?tid... Have a read and maybe try one or two things in there in your next swim.

 

x2!!

 

As a beginner swimmer, this thread was INCREDIBLY helpful to me!  I've only used the techniques on one side (since I'm  REALLY a beginner right now), but I'm sure if I tried on both sides, I could get bi-lateral breathing down

2011-02-03 1:36 PM
in reply to: #3335583

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Subject: RE: swimming advice
ratherbeswimming - 2011-02-02 12:35 PM

If you slow your stroke down TOO much, you won't be able to work on form. Try to do form drills at a steady pace.


What trouble do you have working on drills at a slower pace? The fact that you do may suggested other fundamental form issues that you could improve upon. I'm not trying to be critical...just wondering what happens when you slow down?
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