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Swimming Question

Old 08-11-06, 07:56 AM
  #1  
brsboarder
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Swimming Question

I have just started swimming training for a sprint triathlon at the end of the month. The bike and run I am fine with and my goal is just to finish. I used to be a very good swimmer when I was younger, and can do a half mile now at a slow/moderate pace comfortably. I was wondering when to breath. I have always been a one side breather. If I am sprinting if would be 4 strokes breath 4 strokes breath, otherwise, 2 strokes breath 2 strokes breath. I am wondering if this is going to be a long term problem if I keep this, or should I force myself to breath every 3/5 strokes, therefore alternating breathing sides. My neck does cramp at the end of a race, but currently, I find it very difficult to change sides.
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Old 08-11-06, 08:59 AM
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for a sprint you shouldn't have much problem breathing every stroke (ie every right or left side depending on preference). Alternate side breathing is helpfull when you end up looking into the sun. If you can breath on the other side comfortably then you make it easier on yourself. Bilateral breathing also helps point out stroke inconsitencies and is a good habit to get in. All that said....do what you feel comfortable with as the race doesn't start until you're out of the water. good luck
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Old 08-11-06, 09:58 AM
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Being able to breath on both sides is helpful for open water swimming in a pack. Depending on which direction waves or chop is coming from, where the sun is, and who's kicking you in the face, there may be one side that works a lot better than the other, so being able to do either side is good
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Old 08-11-06, 10:06 AM
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Bilateral breathing is a really good thing and it's worth working on now. If you get nervous or out of synch during the race you can always revert to unilateral.

I try to get into a nice rhythm, breathing on each side every other stroke, and then porpoise up (pop up and take a look straight ahead) about every 10th stroke to keep on course.
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Old 08-11-06, 10:55 AM
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Breathe on both sides, helps keep you moving in a straight line.
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Old 08-11-06, 11:43 AM
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I am a decent swimmer - not a former college swimmer or anything, but I finish pretty well.

I breathe on one side most all of the time - I rarely switch to bilateral breathing. When swimming at "race pace" I breath everytime I turn to that side. When I am swimming at a decent effort I need to breathe. Waiting to every third or fourth stroke would really slow me down.
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Old 08-11-06, 03:36 PM
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I breathe on one side most all of the time - I rarely switch to bilateral breathing. When swimming at "race pace" I breath everytime I turn to that side. When I am swimming at a decent effort I need to breathe. Waiting to every third or fourth stroke would really slow me down.
Ditto from me.
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Old 08-11-06, 03:36 PM
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At this point I would say the biggest benefit of breathing to both sides for you would be to keep your strokes balanaced. A big problem a lot of people have is that they only breath to one side and then they fail to fully rotate on both sides. I would rec. breathing everything 3 strokes, but at the same time, if you are gasping for air, it's not going to ruin the swim if you breath every 2. But focus on your form and make sure you are fully rotating at all times, regardless of your breathing pattern.
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Old 08-11-06, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Jaybird
Ditto from me.
Ditto from me, too!

Breathing every stroke, and always to the right, is just part of my stroke. I have tried to breathe on the left, but I always get a mouth full.

Luckily, all my ocean swims have been on the Atlantic, north to south, so breathing on the right was great!
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Old 08-14-06, 06:51 PM
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when i am in a race i try to breath as little as possible because it slows me down. Being able to breath on both sids is very helpful and is a good habit to get in
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Old 08-14-06, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by AtlAllez
when i am in a race i try to breath as little as possible because it slows me down. Being able to breath on both sids is very helpful and is a good habit to get in
I absolutely agree with that statement. I am just an old dog that has trouble with this new trick!
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