Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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bburn plO.dder    pirate
16/10/2012 at 09:56

Sneaked another half hour swim before work this morning. Basically concentrating on breathing (always good!!).

I still have a tendency to hold my breath if I don't think about it, so I spent the whole time talking to myself under the water -  bubble, bubble breathe, bubble, bubble breathe, over and over again

Blisters    pirate
19/10/2012 at 23:53

Good technique BB. I recall that Mr Smooth taks about humming out through the nasal passages, (or was it the PADI diver course). All the same, it's about exhaling slowly and continually. 2nd stroke breathing can be achieved just like running breathing, but 3rd stroke is more about exhaling for longer NOT about holding the breath for longer. Why? Because that's how you retain CO2 in the system, and that's inefficient.

30/10/2012 at 10:51

Blisters - interesting comment about retained CO2 I'm finding that when breathing bilaterally (every 3rd stroke) I experience the equivalent sensation to anaerobic exercise (running 400m) in the legs and have to fight the urge to thrash about - more than my natural "style" - is this a symptom of excess CO2? 

 I do find that, even thou I'm trying to exhale all through the stroke, I tend to do a huge blow out and inhale at every turn (25m) - any suggestions ?

None of the foregoing effects have been present when I breathed every second stroke.

30/10/2012 at 16:04

ironman - Having recently switched to bilateral breathing I am experiencing similar issues. I have been constantly assessing my breathing and I have noticed that I am  holding my breath underwater and not fully exhaling. As a consequence, when it is time to take a breath I expel most of the air at the very last second as I turn to breathe and then end up snatching a breath. Clearly, the further I try to swim the worse it gets, the more breathless I become, panick sets in and the stroke goes to pot leaving me breathless at the end of 50mts. The result is the lungs and aerobic system become full of retained CO2 which feels similar to having completed anaerobic efforts.    

I experienced  similar problems when I started to swim when only breathing to one side. Once I had got the timing and breathing right I was able to swim without any of the aforementioned issues, That is why I know if I continue to practice and stick at the technique it will eventually come good.     

The key would appear to be getting the timing of the exhalation in tune with the stroke, so when you take a breath all the waste products have been discharged leaving your system ready to receive another breath.

That's my assessment for what it's worth. Good luck. 

Dustboy    pirate
30/10/2012 at 21:21

Hum out through your nose. It really does work. So as soon as your face goes back in, start humming out. I find it best when the hum lasts 3 strokes, which is handy coz that makes for bilateral breathing.

Try pyramid humming, so 50M breathing every 3rd, then 5th, then 7th strokes, see what suits you best, also helps you to learn "your hum". Every 7 strokes is a feckin' long hum but it doen't half teach you to be efficient.

All IMO blah blah blah

Blisters    pirate
30/10/2012 at 22:58

Yeah, I'm still learning how to breathe. My default is the runner's style (in/hold/out) which is quite plainly inefficient, but it's got me this far. I've been confined to using a short hotel pool (14m) for a couple of days, so have been focussing solely on breathing, especially to the weak side.

I'm finding that the leading arm is necessary to hold the head up, and the other arm needs to be delivering quite a power stroke. The bigger the better, because that forward propulsion enables the leading hand to act like a bow plane. When I tried swimming slowly but breathing to the weak side I could only snatch gulps of air/water mix.

More practice, more practice, more practice.

Blisters    pirate
03/11/2012 at 00:17

Got another mile tabbed out.

Some lengths were alternate breathing and they even seemed to be resembling control. I admit here, thet they were far from being controlled, but timing wise, it felt a bit that way. So that's 3 lengths out of 64. Progress.

04/11/2012 at 20:20

Apart from putting in many hours at the pool training my muscles and nervous system to perfect incorrect technique; I have been reading from a variety of different sources to try to improve all aspects of my stoke. I stumbled across a copy of TI in Waterstones, which I picked up, what a revelation. After reading the salient points on Friday, I headed down to the pool on Satrurday to put what I had read into practice.

After around half an hour I reduced my strokes per length from around 28 - 30 down to 22!!!!! I couldn't believe it. Still loads of work to do, as I could not consistantly achieve 22 over a protracted period, as I need to further practice the technique, however, the results are very encouraging.  

By the way I am still persevering with the bilateral breathing, I figure that I might as well try to get it right from the start, despite the discomfort.   

Pratice, practice and more practice, oh and I forgot to mention more practice. 

Blisters    pirate
04/11/2012 at 23:59

Pyramid session tonight.
25-50-75-100-75-50-25 (3 sets)
Alternating steady with fast, so the 25 and 75s were steady, the 50s and 100s were fast. As much as I could I aimed to be stylish on the steady bits, and coach was pleased to see that I was anaerobic after the fast bits.

I may not be the slowest in the pool now. A new member has arrived, and will be faster than me once his technique is sorted, but in the meantime there's a bit of an interesting contrast. When he thrashes a length then he's faster, but he get's "tired out" faster. I was also surprised tonight that I actually caught up with a Lane 4 regular. She was presumably doing a steady length more steady than I was! Even so, it was a first for me.

05/11/2012 at 13:35

Thanks everyone - looks as if I am not alone in poisoning my CV system when in the pool !!!! (wonder what else I can do for - what I like to call - "fun")

05/11/2012 at 13:43

Kavanagh - as someone who dips in and out of this forum I am at a loss to follow the example you set in your entry yesterday as I havn't a clue what "TI" stands for 

Bionic Ironwolf    pirate
05/11/2012 at 17:32

TI - Total Immersion, a swimming style invented by Terry Laughlin and known as "fishlike swimming". Some people benefit enormously by learning it. I'm one of those who found it made me swim much slower. You can take courses in it but they are not cheap. However, if it helps, why not? Wild Will is someone who really improved using TI technique.

Edited: 05/11/2012 at 17:35
Bionic Ironwolf    pirate
06/11/2012 at 09:35

Pre-brekkie 2000m swim this morning.

06/11/2012 at 23:03

I found the TI book helpful when I first began 'proper' swimming but I don't think anything has been as helpful as consistently swimming two or three times a week with a fantastic knowledgable coach.

I 'm going for swim analysis now too.

One thing which did help me (recently) was a Ti Talk discussion on about plunging arms and I knew exactly what it was talking about as I clearly did it.  At that point I finally understood the high elbow thing.  Addressing it has had a massive positive impact on my stroke!

Blisters    pirate
06/11/2012 at 23:18

I'm still doing low elbows on my LHS. As I breathe to my right I'm rotating more to that side. I'm conciously having to rotate left as I reach forward with my right hand, so that my left can get the elbow up.

This is one of the reasons why I'm trying to get alternate breathing. Give me another month.

Bionic Ironwolf    pirate
08/11/2012 at 07:44

Blisters - two technique drills that help with this. 1. Fingertips - swim trailing your fingertips through the water instead of lifting your hands out. 2. Armpits - touch your fingers to your armpit before putting your arm forward. Both drills help to get your elbows up.

Rafiki    pirate
08/11/2012 at 15:30

Hi, another swimming brick after some advice!

When I breathe to my right I am aware that during the pull part of my stroke I not only drop my left elbow too soon, but also drag my left arm across the centre of my body, which is obviously not ideal! Don't have the problem with my right arm when I breathe to the left.

Anyone got any suggestion on corrective techniques/drills I could try?


08/11/2012 at 16:16

Rafiki - I know this isn't helpful, but I do the same when breathing to my left. To correct this, I have been trying to glide more and only start my pull phase when the arm on the rerturn stroke is in line with my elbow on the lead arm, which at this stage is still straight. This also helps with balance and encourages streamlining therebye reducing drag. I find that if I consciously practice this technique it definitely works and eliminates the problem. I hope this makes sense. 

With regards to crossing, maybe you are over rotating causing your left arm to cross centre.       

Good luck.


Blisters    pirate
08/11/2012 at 21:28

Rafiki, coach has had us all repeatedly swimming along the black line. Reaching out long to the far pool wall, and making sure that we snap the elbow for the pull. The critical bit about the black line is to focus on making sure that your left arm stayed to the left of it and vice versa.

Bionic, I recall those drills, a similar one was shoulder tap. We were advised to be careful with the finger trail one as it was important that the fingers remained straight, and didn't promote a bent wrist.

Rafiki    pirate
08/11/2012 at 21:31

Cheers Stephen and Blisters - I shall try both of those!!

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