|> 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?
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!
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
Just remember to take your time and concentrate on your breathing and stroke
Hope this helps.