Help, I can't breathe...

Help, I can't breathe...

Post by Javier Pin » Wed, 12 Jan 1994 04:08:41


I am a fairly poor swimmer but have spent some time trying to get better.
I am concentrating in many aspects of my technique (mostly freestyle),
trying to get a good body position in the water, to kick well, have a
reasonably body roll, etc....

My main problem is that my breathing sucks! When going fast (to my
standards) I breathe every time on the right stroke. I cannot properly
breathe on the left side. Also, when I do a flip turn, most of the time I
run out of air and start gasping after i finish the turn, slowing down and
screwing things up. Hence, I don't do a flip turn anymore. Also, when I do
hypoxic breathing I can rarely breathe less than once every 4 or five
strokes (when I manage to breathe on the left side).

So, I would like to get some help. Can somebody suggest some good drills?
or any other advice that could be of help?

Thanks,

Javier.

 
 
 

Help, I can't breathe...

Post by Kathy M. F » Wed, 12 Jan 1994 07:50:40

|> I am a fairly poor swimmer but have spent some time trying to get better.
|> I am concentrating in many aspects of my technique (mostly freestyle),
|> trying to get a good body position in the water, to kick well, have a
|> reasonably body roll, etc....
|>
|> My main problem is that my breathing sucks! When going fast (to my
|> standards) I breathe every time on the right stroke. I cannot properly
|> breathe on the left side. Also, when I do a flip turn, most of the time I
|> run out of air and start gasping after i finish the turn, slowing down and
|> screwing things up. Hence, I don't do a flip turn anymore. Also, when I do
|> hypoxic breathing I can rarely breathe less than once every 4 or five
|> strokes (when I manage to breathe on the left side).
|>
|> So, I would like to get some help. Can somebody suggest some good drills?
|> or any other advice that could be of help?
|>
|> Thanks,
|>
|> Javier.

Without actually watching you swim to evaluate your technique for breathing
it is difficult to suggest specific drills that might help.  However, the
following drills are good for increasing your ability to control your breathing, but first let me try to describe a good technique for breathing.

BREATHING: During normal strokes (while you are not breathing) your face should be
straight ahead and you should slowly exhale your breath while your face is in the
water. This is done so that all you have to do to breathe is turn your head and
breath in.  It takes much longer to exhale and inhale than it does to inhale only!

DRILLS:
1.   At the end of a work out do at least ten 25's (25 yards) while trying
     to hold your breath for the entire 25 yards.  It will take some time to
     master this, but each time you try you will find that you can go a little
     farther. Catch your breath between 25s. As you get better you can set a
     specific time limit (like a minute) to catch your breath between 25s.
     This will help with your breath control - especially for the
     flip turns because your body will be able to function better longer without
     dying for air.  I usually swim them slowly underwater.  This does 2 things.
     First, the slower you swim the less oxygen you use, therefore the farther
     you can swim. Second, you enhance your bodies ability to function longer
     with no air.

2.   Practice your flip turns in 25 yard sets: the 25 yards goes from the
     middle of the pool to the wall (flip turn) back to the middle of the pool.
     This will give you practice for the flip turn while also giving you
     additional practice at breathing (or not) into and out of the wall.  The
     reason the distance is short is so that you can concentrate on breathing
     properly into and out of the wall and on good flip turns without getting
     drained from so many continuous laps.

3.   Good drills for working on breathing are:
     A) 75's: 1st 25 is left arm, 2nd 25 is right arm, and 3rd 25 is both.
        This drill strengthens your stroke and gives you practice for breathing
        on a specific side.
     B) 300's: 1st 100 is breathing every 3 strokes
               2nd 100 is breathing every 5 strokes
               3rd 100 is breathing every 7 strokes
        This drill gives you practice for breath control and for breathing on
        both sides. At first it will be difficult, but with practice it will
        become easier.

Just remember to take your time and concentrate on your breathing and stroke
techniques.

Hope this helps.

Katie

 
 
 

Help, I can't breathe...

Post by DAVID MILTON CLEME » Thu, 13 Jan 1994 00:39:45


[stuff deleted about breath control while swimming..]

Quote:
>|>
>|> So, I would like to get some help. Can somebody suggest some good drills?
>|> or any other advice that could be of help?
>|>
>|> Thanks,
>|>
>|> Javier.

>Without actually watching you swim to evaluate your technique for breathing
>it is difficult to suggest specific drills that might help.  However, the
>following drills are good for increasing your ability to control your breathing, but first let me try to describe a good technique for breathing.

[more stuff deleted]

Quote:
>DRILLS:
>1.  At the end of a work out do at least ten 25's (25 yards) while trying
>    to hold your breath for the entire 25 yards.  It will take some time to
>    master this, but each time you try you will find that you can go a little
>    farther. Catch your breath between 25s. As you get better you can set a
>    specific time limit (like a minute) to catch your breath between 25s.
>    This will help with your breath control - especially for the
>    flip turns because your body will be able to function better longer without
>    dying for air.  I usually swim them slowly underwater.  This does 2 things.
>    First, the slower you swim the less oxygen you use, therefore the farther
>    you can swim. Second, you enhance your bodies ability to function longer
>    with no air.

..........

>Hope this helps.

>Katie

Hey there, I'm not a competitive swimmer, but I feel compelled to give you
some information here.  The above drill sounds good, but something is left
out.  When catching your breath, DO NOT hyperventilate!  Many less exprienced
swimmers take several very deep breaths to "enhance" their ability to hold
their breath.  This results in a reduction of carbon dioxide in the lungs
which is what gives you the urge to breathe.  It is possible to run out of
oxygen in the lungs without reaching the carbon dioxide level necessary to
feel the urge to breathe.

This causes the swimmer to pass out underwater (obviously something you
want to avoid) and is called "Shallow-Water Blackout".  I have been a
lifeguard for seven years and have had to rescue someone who swam the
length of the pool underwater, only to pass out as he touched the wall.
Don't let it happen to you.

( Apologies to all readers who already knew this, but it may save the life
of an uninformed lurker out there.)

Happy Swimming!

David Clemens


 
 
 

Help, I can't breathe...

Post by Kathy M. F » Sun, 16 Jan 1994 09:03:33

Quote:
>Hey there, I'm not a competitive swimmer, but I feel compelled to give you
>some information here.  The above drill sounds good, but something is left
>out.  When catching your breath, DO NOT hyperventilate!  Many less exprienced
>swimmers take several very deep breaths to "enhance" their ability to hold
>their breath.  This results in a reduction of carbon dioxide in the lungs
>which is what gives you the urge to breathe.  It is possible to run out of
>oxygen in the lungs without reaching the carbon dioxide level necessary to
>feel the urge to breathe.
>This causes the swimmer to pass out underwater (obviously something you
>want to avoid) and is called "Shallow-Water Blackout".  I have been a
>lifeguard for seven years and have had to rescue someone who swam the
>length of the pool underwater, only to pass out as he touched the wall.
>Don't let it happen to you.
>( Apologies to all readers who already knew this, but it may save the life
>of an uninformed lurker out there.)
>Happy Swimming!
>David Clemens


You are RIGHT!  I forgot that not everybody knows dangers.  Thanks for
posting the addition/correction. :^)

Katie