Breathing Issues, drills and progression

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Tanethra
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Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Tanethra » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:11 pm

I went swimming on Sunday and tried to swim a couple of lengths freestyle in the 25 yrd pool. It didn't go great maybe I didn't prepare properly or held my breath too much than rather than blowing out but developed a horrible headache at the end of my 2 lengths and my heart was thumping away :cry:

I decided then I wasn't

1. breathing out fully whilst my face was submerged
2. mistiming my inhalation on the recovery stroke and probably trying to breath out and then in too.
3. too much kicking with the legs and over taxing my body.

So I started to do some side drills with one arm extended breathing out whist face submerged then turning to breathe. Now my intake was a long one in order to recover and catch my breath was wondering how to improve the turn around so that I'm not taking a long breath in or some progression drills like the 6-3-6

I won't say I'm unfit as I play squash regularly and just recently ran a 10k in 63mins but I ain't super fit either.

Help please as I think I can crack this.

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

Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Shenaram » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:09 pm

First of all, congratulations for taking the plunge in going swimming!

I am not a certified coach, but willing to help, if you allow me.
In your post, it seems that you are doing better when drilling on the side because you have more time to breathe (so you write at least).
In crawl, how often do you breathe? Some people breathe every 3 strokes, some even every 5 strokes. I think that breathing every two strokes (every cycles) is also ok, as long as the breathing side is switched in order to balance the left and right breathings along a length. Breathing technique in swimming is one major factor as one cannot necessarily breathe as often and as much as needed, as opposed to dry land sports. One can easily become out of breath, and eventually develop headaches as a consequence to hypo-oxygenation (or even hyper-ventilation, it seems).

I also suspect some technique flaws in your swimming, but as there is no visuals to refer to, I will restrain myself to comment on that.
In your other post, you say that your wife is a skilled swimmer who used to swim very well. She may help you in your progression, or not?

Best wishes in your effort, and please post again. Feedbacks are much appreciated!
Last edited by Shenaram on Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Tom65
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Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Tom65 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:39 pm

Tanethra wrote:
I won't say I'm unfit as I play squash regularly and just recently ran a 10k in 63mins but I ain't super fit either.

Help please as I think I can crack this.


You aint swim fit is the problem.

I swam 25s with a reducing break time between them to get some swim fitness. Might not be the quickest way to get there but you can work on your stroke/breathing each length.

Headache may be from having head to high if not from the breathing.
Forum locked, might go to TI's forum, looked at SS's facebook page, too many photos...ewww...for me.
New Forum http://swim.palstani.com/

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

Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Tanethra » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:53 am

Shenaram wrote:First of all, congratulations for taking the plunge in going swimming!

I am not a certified coach, but willing to help, if you allow me.
In your post, it seems that you are doing better when drilling on the side because you have more time to breath (so you write at least).
In crawl, how often do you breathe? Some people breathe every 3 strokes, some even every 5 strokes. I think that breathing every two strokes (every cycles) is also ok, as long as the breathing side is switched in order to balance the left and right breathings along a length. Breathing technique in swimming is one major factor as one cannot necessarily breathe as often and as much as needed, as opposed to dry land sports. One can easily become out of breath, and eventually develop headaches as a consequence to hypo-oxygenation (or even hyper-ventilation, it seems).

I also suspect some technique flaws in your swimming, but as there is no visuals to refer to, I will restrain myself to comment on that.
In your other post, you say that your wife is a skilled swimmer who used to swim very well. She may help you in your progression, or not?

Best wishes in your effort, and please post again. Feedbacks are much appreciated!


Thanks Shenaram for the response. I know its not easy to comment on my stroke with no visuals.

I was looking at breathing every 3 strokes to ensure I breathe each side. May try breathing every 2 strokes and make sure I change side on each lap. I think the problem I had was late in taking my breath as felt the arm out front was starting to pull back or at least was angled down in the water, (balance / buoyancy /rhythm issue?) whereas when I was practising the side drills my arm was out in front able to rotate on to my side and take a good breath.

Yes my wife could give me some pointers but with minding our young one whilst we take turns doing lengths is unable to see much though she did say it was "less splashy and a bit more controlled"

Probably keep at the side drills for now but wondering for progression in how long to remain on my side before returning to do 3 strokes? Or are there other drills to try as I think its the way to go for now and help build so base stamina at least.

Thanks again

Tanethra
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Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Tanethra » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:58 am

Tom65 wrote:
Tanethra wrote:
I won't say I'm unfit as I play squash regularly and just recently ran a 10k in 63mins but I ain't super fit either.

Help please as I think I can crack this.


You aint swim fit is the problem.

I swam 25s with a reducing break time between them to get some swim fitness. Might not be the quickest way to get there but you can work on your stroke/breathing each length.

Headache may be from having head to high if not from the breathing.


Hi Tom thanks for the response.

Yep definitely not swim fit that's for sure. Swimming 25's with reducing breaks is a sensible way to go I'll give that a go and try and see how long I need to rest between lengths.

Never thought my head position would give me a headache like that! Something to police next time I'm in the pool.

Cheers

Shenaram
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Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Shenaram » Wed Oct 05, 2016 1:31 pm

Tanethra wrote:Yes my wife could give me some pointers but with minding our young one whilst we take turns doing lengths is unable to see much though she did say it was "less splashy and a bit more controlled"

Was she meaning you or your child? :D


Tanethra wrote:I was looking at breathing every 3 strokes to ensure I breathe each side. May try breathing every 2 strokes and make sure I change side on each lap. I think the problem I had was late in taking my breath as felt the arm out front was starting to pull back or at least was angled down in the water, (balance / buoyancy /rhythm issue?) whereas when I was practising the side drills my arm was out in front able to rotate on to my side and take a good breath.

I was actually meaning breathing every 2 strokes for a few cycles, then swap to the other side and breathe again every 2 strokes for a few cycles, then back to the initial side within the same length (switching multiple times each length). Of course, changing each lap might not hurt either, I guess.
Yes, someone correct me if I am wrong, breathing in is done (more or less) at the end of the push phase, when the body rolls on the side. The face goes back in the water while the arm is recovering.

Sorry for speculating, but from your explanation, I suspect a sinking leg problem. Have you tried to swim with a pull-buoy between your legs, just to check?


Tanethra wrote:Probably keep at the side drills for now but wondering for progression in how long to remain on my side before returning to do 3 strokes? Or are there other drills to try as I think its the way to go for now and help build so base stamina at least.

I unfortunately repeat myself, but in my non-expert opinion, breathing every 3 strokes is not a must. To me, breathing every 2 strokes is also ok, provided that the breathing side is swapped regularly to favor symmetry. Some world-class swimmers even breathe every stroke (for a few strokes, then every 2 strokes). Among the most famous, Sun Yang, but there are others too (see Rio Olympics).

Some may disagree or propose others drills. I may propose a one arm drill: it is practically the same as the side drill. The leading arm stays constantly straight in front, while the other arm catches, pulls, pushes and recovers as in normal crawl swimming. Care the body roll and body posture. Change arm every length or so. It may or may not be easier to keep a streamlined body position and breathe well (logically every cycle). Stay on the side if out of breath.
After some sessions, stroking arm is changed at half length. Then again, after some session, stroking arm is changed 2 times within the same length, then 3 times, progressively reducing down to normal crawl.

I hope it will help you and that your child willsoon be swimming with you.
Please keep posting!

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

Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Tanethra » Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:12 am

Shenaram wrote:
Tanethra wrote:Yes my wife could give me some pointers but with minding our young one whilst we take turns doing lengths is unable to see much though she did say it was "less splashy and a bit more controlled"

Was she meaning you or your child? :D


That made me guffaw in the office! She meant me, our 3 year old is fairly well behaved ;)


Shenaram wrote:I was actually meaning breathing every 2 strokes for a few cycles, then swap to the other side and breathe again every 2 strokes for a few cycles, then back to the initial side within the same length (switching multiple times each length). Of course, changing each lap might not hurt either, I guess.
Yes, someone correct me if I am wrong, breathing in is done (more or less) at the end of the push phase, when the body rolls on the side. The face goes back in the water while the arm is recovering.

Sorry for speculating, but from your explanation, I suspect a sinking leg problem. Have you tried to swim with a pull-buoy between your legs, just to check?


I'll have to borrow one or pick one up and check.


Tanethra wrote:Probably keep at the side drills for now but wondering for progression in how long to remain on my side before returning to do 3 strokes? Or are there other drills to try as I think its the way to go for now and help build so base stamina at least.

Shenaram wrote:I unfortunately repeat myself, but in my non-expert opinion, breathing every 3 strokes is not a must. To me, breathing every 2 strokes is also ok, provided that the breathing side is swapped regularly to favor symmetry. Some world-class swimmers even breathe every stroke (for a few strokes, then every 2 strokes). Among the most famous, Sun Yang, but there are others too (see Rio Olympics).

Some may disagree or propose others drills. I may propose a one arm drill: it is practically the same as the side drill. The leading arm stays constantly straight in front, while the other arm catches, pulls, pushes and recovers as in normal crawl swimming. Care the body roll and body posture. Change arm every length or so. It may or may not be easier to keep a streamlined body position and breathe well (logically every cycle). Stay on the side if out of breath.
After some sessions, stroking arm is changed at half length. Then again, after some session, stroking arm is changed 2 times within the same length, then 3 times, progressively reducing down to normal crawl.

I hope it will help you and that your child will soon be swimming with you.
Please keep posting!


I don't mind the speculating it gives me something to work on and a new drill to try.

Many thanks.

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

Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Tanethra » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:46 pm

Decided to pick up the Swim Smooth Bambino stroke correction guide as I seems to me that's were I am atm with the breathing and rhythm problems that are hampering my progress.

I'll shall work through these drills and sessions and see where I am in a month or two.

Shenaram
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Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Shenaram » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:11 pm

Courageous decision. Hope that you will improve as you expect.
Warning: swimming can be addictive!

Keep going and posting!

Tanethra
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Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Tanethra » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:53 am

Shenaram wrote:Courageous decision. Hope that you will improve as you expect.
Warning: swimming can be addictive!

Keep going and posting!


I'm certainly no Arnie but i wouldn't say I'm overly anxious in the water either :D but after watching a few bamino's strokes on the web site I can see where my faults lie esp with losing the supporting arm on turning to breathe.

Went yesterday and tried to put theory into practice and still not quite got the hang of it yet, (had to stop due to ingesting water, yuk!), but hey I've not swam properly....ever! I'm guessing its aking to riding a bike so expect sessions of being all over the place and then it will click (hopefully).

So going to keep concentrating on technique for now and I'm sure endurance will come in time.

I wouldn't mind swimming being addictive it be a nice break from running esp with winter coming.

Shenaram
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Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Shenaram » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:35 pm

Tanethra wrote:Went yesterday and tried to put theory into practice and still not quite got the hang of it yet, (had to stop due to ingesting water, yuk!), but hey I've not swam properly....ever! I'm guessing its aking to riding a bike so expect sessions of being all over the place and then it will click (hopefully).

Already started? It is no longer courage, rather boldness!


Tanethra wrote:So going to keep concentrating on technique for now and I'm sure endurance will come in time.

Keep going!
It may take some time to control body balance. I am sure that it will come.
My opinion on this: it is easier to breathe when the body is horizontal.The more the legs sink, the more the mouth gets under water.

Hope that you will soon be able to swim with your wife. Relatives sometimes like to mind others' children too.
Keep training, posting and please let us enjoy your progress report!

Tanethra
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Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Tanethra » Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:07 am

Shenaram wrote:Already started? It is no longer courage, rather boldness!


Its a new challenge and I want to do this and I'm enjoying it :D

Shenaram wrote:Keep going!
It may take some time to control body balance. I am sure that it will come.
My opinion on this: it is easier to breathe when the body is horizontal.The more the legs sink, the more the mouth gets under water.


Its certainly is a lot easier ;) . Just a matter of practice now and doing the drills till the good habits become ingrained

Many thanks

Tanethra
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Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Tanethra » Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:52 am

Had a good session on Sunday working to the "Boosting the Bambino session A" even though my breathing technique isn't totally corrected, (I'm looking at the stars on my breathe stroke rather than doing the sneaky popeye), swimming was a lot easier.

Whilst I've yet to reach the zen like tranquillity as I'm thinking about what I'm doing still with the mantra "breathe - bubble - bubble - breathe" I think continuing with these drills will get me there not even thinking what the legs are doing either. Just need to control my breathing out underwater as I'm probably blowing too much out from my mouth. Any suggestions like humming to force some air out of my nose as I don't really push any out that way and I think that where water does get in sometimes.

My arms definitely feel the workout from yesterday, a nice ache if you know what i mean.

My kick board and pull-buoy have arrived today so be able to employ these next time.

Shenaram
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Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Shenaram » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:06 pm

Congratulations!
You will be competing with the Olympians soon... hopefully!!!
I have respect for your determination. Learning swimming may be quite ungrateful, especially in the beginning and by self-teaching. I hope that you make progress quickly.
How many laps can you swim without rest, so far?
What does your wife say about your swimming style? "Less splashy and a bit more controlled", may be?
This is one of the ungrateful sides of swimming: the better half not acknowledging your progress...


Tanethra wrote:Any suggestions like humming to force some air out of my nose as I don't really push any out that way and I think that where water does get in sometimes.

Some people blow air from the nose, some from the mouth, and some from both, it seems.
I do not feel that water in my nose disturbs me, but others may feel differently. It is also possible that there is some bobbing, which leads water to flow back into the nose, or not. or is it while backstrocking?



Tanethra wrote:My arms definitely feel the workout from yesterday, a nice ache if you know what i mean.
My kick board and pull-buoy have arrived today so be able to employ these next time.

Aha! The new toys are there.
Sometimes, little kids want to exchange their plastic duck and arm floaties with adults' kick boards and pull-buoys. I think this the number two issue with swim accessories. The number one being acting impatiently like a child while waiting for them to arrive.
There is a number three, but I will let other members to elaborate on it.

Keep going and posting!

Tanethra
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Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Tanethra » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:32 pm

Shenaram wrote:Congratulations!
You will be competing with the Olympians soon... hopefully!!!
I have respect for your determination. Learning swimming may be quite ungrateful, especially in the beginning and by self-teaching. I hope that you make progress quickly.
How many laps can you swim without rest, so far?
What does your wife say about your swimming style? "Less splashy and a bit more controlled", may be?
This is one of the ungrateful sides of swimming: the better half not acknowledging your progress...


My wife said it was looking a lot more controlled and smoother. She blitzed out 30 lengths yesterday whilst I was looking after the young 'un and getting him to paddle to the pool side, then she took over whilst I did my set.

2 lengths I managed before needing a break! So the British Olympic Committee can stand down for now! A perennial problem is that I'm not great at pacing myself, even at running. I know the zone I should be in, (around 125 - 145) but decided to stop take a breather of about 20 sec on the pool clock and do another length of drills, (not great a turning yet but that can wait for now). I did come across some British Gas Swimfit training cards to give me some direction on improving stamina, starting from 400m to 1400m in 20 'sessions'. I post a link on the forum and I've downloaded all the pdf's as well.

Guessing is a case of improving stroke and getting swim fit will come if I don't cheat myself with the rest intervals.


Tanethra wrote:Any suggestions like humming to force some air out of my nose as I don't really push any out that way and I think that where water does get in sometimes.

Shenaram wrote:Some people blow air from the nose, some from the mouth, and some from both, it seems.
I do not feel that water in my nose disturbs me, but others may feel differently. It is also possible that there is some bobbing, which leads water to flow back into the nose, or not. or is it while backstrocking?


Mmm maybe I'll just have to experiment with that one.

Tanethra wrote:My arms definitely feel the workout from yesterday, a nice ache if you know what i mean.
My kick board and pull-buoy have arrived today so be able to employ these next time.

Shenaram wrote:Aha! The new toys are there.
Sometimes, little kids want to exchange their plastic duck and arm floaties with adults' kick boards and pull-buoys. I think this the number two issue with swim accessories. The number one being acting impatiently like a child while waiting for them to arrive.
There is a number three, but I will let other members to elaborate on it.

Keep going and posting!


I guess with the kick board is that the young 'un can use it in time or we get him a noodle. Interested to know what number 3 is. Is it "all the gear and no idea"?

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Tom65
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Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Tom65 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:45 pm

With the value of hindsight I wouldn't buy any toy's.

I'd use a snorkel once or twice to see how limited my swimming is due to breathing, then get on with laps resting as much as I need between.

Hate kickboards, just kick on side one arm forward other back, swap each lap.

P.S...I'm carrying bugger all fat so don't think I'm a floater.

You just have to keep propelling and find your balance. Your balance, not everybody else's impossible ideal.
Forum locked, might go to TI's forum, looked at SS's facebook page, too many photos...ewww...for me.
New Forum http://swim.palstani.com/

Tanethra
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Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Tanethra » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:21 am

Tom65 wrote:With the value of hindsight I wouldn't buy any toy's.

I'd use a snorkel once or twice to see how limited my swimming is due to breathing, then get on with laps resting as much as I need between.

Hate kickboards, just kick on side one arm forward other back, swap each lap.

P.S...I'm carrying bugger all fat so don't think I'm a floater.

You just have to keep propelling and find your balance. Your balance, not everybody else's impossible ideal.


You're probably right re the toys and just get on with the side drills as these are key to cracking the breathing, I think once this has been over come then the rest of the stroke will be easier to improve. I just need to make sure I don't lift my head out of the water or turn my head too much to breathe as I did notice I was "looking at the stars on occasions during the side kick drill.

My balance in the water is reasonably good and I think its a case of getting swim fit by doing more lengths with shorter rest intervals in the session.

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Tom65
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Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Tom65 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:33 am

Tanethra wrote:
Tom65 wrote: I just need to make sure I don't lift my head out of the water or turn my head too much to breathe as I did notice I was "looking at the stars on occasions during the side kick drill.


To stop lifting my head I find I almost have to force the top of my head down as I rotate, the natural tendency is for it to lift.

I concentrate on looking under the lane rope with my submerged eye rather than letting the focus shift to what the eye out of the water sees.
Forum locked, might go to TI's forum, looked at SS's facebook page, too many photos...ewww...for me.
New Forum http://swim.palstani.com/

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

Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Tanethra » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:23 am

Went swimming yesterday and I do think the drills are starting to work their magic. Definitely felt more relaxed with my face in the water and blowing a steady stream of bubbles by humming seemed to work better for me.

Still work in progress on turning the head to breathe as I do swallow a bit of water from time to time and my swim fitness needs to improve a great deal too as my heart rate races a bit and that tends to throw me out off "being in control" of my breathing. I don't think I can swim any slower as I timed myself doing 100yrds in just over 2mins and then needing a rest. Probably stick to those British Gas Swim Fit cards and work my way through them whilst incorporating the drills.

Shenaram
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Re: Breathing Issues, drills and progression

Postby Shenaram » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:46 pm

Progression is motivating. Keeping going!

I think that everyone would agree that proper breathing is one big factor in swimming well. Many learners cannot breathe properly, not only because they are fighting to get their mouth out of the water, but also because they feel stress, they believe that they will choke and drown if they do not breath at the exact moment they want to, water leaking in the mouth make them awkward, they fear bumping into others, among others. Many psychological issues.

Apart from this, I think that horizontality is really key for breathing.

Anecdotal example, but examplary, 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.

Keep posting and swimming!


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