Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Welcome! Ask your questions and chat about swimming, technique, swimming training or Mr Smooth.
woody
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:24 pm
Location: Cheshire
Contact:

Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby woody » Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:24 am

Hi Tanethra I would suggest you google "swim zero to one mile in 6 weeks" its a program by Ruth Kazeez. It also has its own facebook group.
It works I promise.
When I started swimming in 2011 I had all the issues you had . I did lots of drills etc but just couldn't get past 100m without having to stop.
All this is documented in my old posts late 2012.
Then I was lucky enough to be offered a video session by Paul Newsome ( I am John on their you tube videos)
I had 8 weeks to go before the video Paul sent me the bambino guide to work with . But the video analysis required a 200m swim which I couldn't do without a break. It was then that I found the zero to one mile programme and as well as working with the bambino guide I swam 3 times a week working wit the zero to one mile.
Result 6 weeks later I could swim a mile no breathing issues. Basically it got me swim fit. There's no technique work involved so it didn't improve my stroke but once I could do more than 100 without being exhausted I was able to do the 200 for Paul and start work on my technique.
Earlier this year I swam 5.25 Mile End to end of a lake. Something I never imagined I would be able to do at 64 years of age with no swimming background.
Get googling and start tomorrow it's also free "swim zero to one mile in 6 weeks"
Woody
Last edited by woody on Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Everything is won or lost inside your own head.

The best time to learn to swim was a long time ago the second best time is today

woody
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:24 pm
Location: Cheshire
Contact:

Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby woody » Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:32 am

Here's that video analysis March 2013 . In the December 8 lengths was an impossible task for me. Bambino plus zero to one mile made it possible.
Woody

https://youtu.be/0gqedQU_2Wg
Everything is won or lost inside your own head.

The best time to learn to swim was a long time ago the second best time is today

The Dodo
Posts: 111
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 8:44 am

Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby The Dodo » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:21 am

Hi Woody!

woody wrote:Hi Tanethra I would suggest you google "swim zero to one mile in 6 weeks" its a program by Ruth Kazeez.
...Get googling and start tomorrow it's also free "swim zero to one mile in 6 weeks"
Woody


I tried to follow Ruth's "program" about 5 years ago - but sadly it didn't work for me. Have since discovered the reason - am convinced my lungs can't fully expand when I make an inhalation, due to them trying to expand against an already existing amount of air in my chest cavity (op room air trapped in the chest after heart surgery). It was only recently that I realized that I ran out of "puff" much sooner than others when singing (others could hold a note much longer than me!). I remembered that my "discharge" papers had the single comment "pneumothorax" - and the "penny dropped". So I ain't ever going to be able to swim far without having a "breather". So I just accept the unavoidable now, and swim each length as best as I can before having the old notorious "pit-stop" for a "breather" that I used to complain about. But that's not the main purpose of this post! :-

I thought it might be helpful to some, to discuss the difference in the ease of inhalation for different swim strokes - since I have now added yet a further stroke to my "repertoire" (front crawl- broken up into some 6 mini-sets of different kicking/breathing patterns, fly - full and 1-arm strokes, breast stroke, US Navy Seals Side Stroke - confusingly named CSS for Combat [or rather "Covert" IMO] Side Stroke, back crawl, and my old favourite English back stroke). So am now in a good position to comment on the comparative ease of inhalation of them and their sustainability maybe!). Of course, it's always easier to swim on one's back because of constant access to air - so I won't say much about the back strokes - except to point out that back crawl is all "go-go-go", whereas (like breast stroke) there are periods of inactivity for different limbs in the English back stroke (and both that and breast stroke may include that "SS naughty word glide"!)

However in general for the non-back-stroke styles, it seems to me that the nearer the mouth is to the water surface in any stroke, the easier it is to inhale by a small additional body movement.

So looking at freestyle (front crawl) first - one can fairly easily access the air for an inhalation by appropriate body roll provided there is sufficient already existing momentum forwards) rather than a static position. The only problem is the "window of opportunity" is fairly small if one wishes to keep up the rhythm of arm movement. We can't afford the luxury of prolonging the inhalation part of the cycle by slowing the arm action without it having disastrous effects on forward movement. Inhalations normally need to be brief and snappy - a quick "suck in" of air then get the head back to neutral pronto! Most of us have experimented with different breathing patterns - in an effort to find our own personal best breathing pattern for sprint or long-distance swims.

Breast stroke - In the usual "leisure" style, we are relying on the initial part of the arms sweeping down/out diagonally in order to get the mouth above the water line. IMO this curtails the time for inhalation because we want the arms to quickly achieve a catch and get into a propulsive pull, with the hands and forearms initially facing backwards. So that limits the amount of time we have for getting the mouth above the water line to suck in air (the mouth goes below the water line once we concentrate on the pull) - unless we forget about most of that propulsive pull action! It's a trade-off situation, either we go for speed or good air flow - I don't think we can have both!

Fly! - the major kick downwards done as the arms do their up-sweep to the surface "levers" the body upwards which facilitates inhalation. For that reason IMO, it is better to start the major kick downbeat a very short instant before driving the arms up to the surface from their position somewhere under the head or shoulder line, with hands close to the centre line, and elbows bent so that the hands are a bit in front of the elbows. We only have a very short "window of opportunity" for an inhalation before the recovering arms swing forwards above the surface, and their combined weight as they pass the shoulder line causes the front end of the body to plunge forwards (hopefully leaving the hands up near the surface, as Phelps does, as the downbeat of the minor kick is completed - before the arms get to the catch). Sustainability? - well we've already "aired" on the forum the "Shaw method" of fly swimming and there is a 3 part series of clips on YouTube about that - so no need for further comment!

The hybrid CSS stroke (sorry you bods that are more familiar with the SS test!) seems to be a part freestyle (flutter kicking as the arms are into their UW recovery and the 2 arm pulls are initiated going right back to the thighs) - then either a breast stroke or scissor kick at the end of the 2 arm strokes (in order to cancel the-pushing drag as the arms recover UW). The kick at the end of the arm strokes causes the body to roll back onto the tum (when flutter kicking is re-started). what interested me was that the first arm stroke helps turn the body onto the side, and inhalation can commence approx half-way through that - and even continue into the first part of the second arm stroke (which is started after the first arm reaches the thigh). So in my estimation - of all the "on-the-tum" strokes, this one enables one to get a really good inhalation. As a "bonus", because the stroke has different actions at different stages (giving a rest to different parts of the body) - IMO it is economical of energy outlay and hence very sustainable! If you don't know anything about this stroke, the following clip tells you all that is needed! : -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lUHudMN1TU

(which I recently included in a post to "Swimmingly" on his "Breast stroke arm propulsion?" topic)

Bye / Don
Last edited by The Dodo on Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:10 am, edited 13 times in total.

Tanethra
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Tanethra » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:25 am

Shenaram wrote:Progression is motivating. Keeping going!


Yes it is especially when you see improvements

Shenaram wrote:Anecdotal example, but exemplary, I think: my wife started learning front crawl, a few months ago. She can swim way more than 100 m continuously if she wants to. She nevertheless struggle to breathe properly (smoothly) because she still tries to breathe from the front, which ruins her nice horizontal body position at every breath. In the end, her body makes a coiling movement, which slows her down and consumes more energy (oxygen).

I suggested her to perform a simple exercise. I think that it is better now. At least, she says that she better understand how it should feel when breathing properly.


Yes I could swim back stroke quite easily a lot further but just conscious in a small pool that I don't want to bang into anyone and ruin their session. Not 100% sure if swimming the back stroke would actually work the same muscles as the front crawl? Can't harm it I suppose anyway as its all conditioning work.

Just curious about the exercise you suggested to your wife, is it the side drills?

Cheers

Tanethra
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Tanethra » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:46 am

woody wrote:Here's that video analysis March 2013 . In the December 8 lengths was an impossible task for me. Bambino plus zero to one mile made it possible.
Woody

https://youtu.be/0gqedQU_2Wg


Thanks for sharing your experience Woody. Good to hear you overcame the problems you had, interesting video analysis too by Paul. I'm working on the Bambino correction program and doing the drills such as the side kicking without flippers is demanding on the breathing but I enjoy it for some perverse reason!

I've had a look at the Ruth Kazez program and its very similar to the BG swim fit cards I found online. Like you say getting the distance in even if its not perfect is still conditioning you to swim further and further.

woody
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:24 pm
Location: Cheshire
Contact:

Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby woody » Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:01 pm

Hi Tanethra
I don't know anything about the British Gas programme but the best thing about Ruth's is the facebook group - There is always someone on there at the same point as you and lots of help offered by those who have finished the program.
woody
Everything is won or lost inside your own head.

The best time to learn to swim was a long time ago the second best time is today

Shenaram
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Shenaram » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:57 pm

Tanethra wrote:Just curious about the exercise you suggested to your wife, is it the side drills?


Well, not exactly. I had previously suggested that she does some one arm drills (one arm leading, the other along the thigh, and kicking), but she could not go the next step of crawling with one arm only (not to mention both arms). It seemed that breathing impeded on the body balance. It is strange because she can do the "kebab" drill, some call it "rotisserie" (kicking with both hands on the thighs, while rotating along the spine axis, i.e. alternative kicking on the back, then on the side, then on the belly, then on the other side, then again on the back) one full length with quite a nice horizontal body position.

Shenaram
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Shenaram » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:08 pm

She lifts the head up to breathe, more or less like she does in breaststroke. Her breaststroke is by the way technically quite nice, with a streamlined stroke, and horizontal body position when kicking. Even with some undulation in the stroke.

Those who thinks that I compliment her here are not completely wrong... but mostly not right.

When I ask her why she wants to lift the head, she replies that she needs to breathe that way. She has associated breathing with lifting the head up.

Shenaram
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Shenaram » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:36 pm

I almost forgot the drill!
I would like to emphasise that it is a suggestion that I made to her, and may not work for other people. I just felt that it might help her. Other people may disagree with it.

I suggested her to use the gutter on the side walls to help her feel comfortable breathing on the side. I asked her to position herself in the same way as the one arm drill (one arm leading, say the left, and the other holding onto the gutter, while the feet holding/resting on the gutter as well) in a horizontal position, left shoulder down, right shoulder in the air. She had to turn the head on the side to breathe. I still had to correct her position as it was still tilted backwards and her leading arm was too high (almost in the air), but overall she felt that she was fine in that position. From this position, I ask her to check the position of her leading arm her hips, her feet against the tiles on the wall (check the body horizontality using the tiles), which she could do stresslessly as she was holding onto the gutter.

Once she felt comfortable, I ask her to release her hand and maintain that horizontal position (this is actually simply floating). Instinctively, she started to kick and there she was doing the one arm drill. We did the same procedure on the other side as well.

It did not entirely correct her breathing technique, but she said that she is more confident she will be able to transpose it to front crawl soon. She will probably re-do this time to time to better feel what it means to be horizontal and breathe on the side. She understood that the head must NOT be completely out of the water to breathe, just the mouth is sufficient.
One does not have to be completely on side, but it is easier for a first time, I think.

That was my suggestion. It may or may not help other learners in the beginning of their learning curve.


NOTE: in swimming pools in our area, the gutter is IN the pool, such as anything floating in water may get drained away over and through the gutter.


Return to “Talk Swimming!”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 3 guests