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"
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