View Full Version : Breathing Techniques

March 11th, 2009, 07:59 AM
Iím a former Masters All-American and Top-10 swimmer just getting back into swimming after a 9-year layoff. Iíve been back in the pool for 2 weeks but Iíve apparently forgotten how to breathe properly. I take a breath and when Iím ready to come up for another breath, I quickly expel all the air I still have from the last breath I took and then take in more air with another breath. I feel as though I am carrying a large supply of air in me, yet I feel that I need to come up for a breath.

Being a life-long sprinter, Iíve never been good at conserving energy. But I know that holding all this air is slowing me downóI feel out of control when I quickly release all the air and take in more. Does anyone have any good breathing exercises or techniques I could try out? Iíve tried bilateral breathing, just holding my breath for several strokes, and slowly releasing the air, but nothing seems to be helping. Please chime in if you have any advice.

March 11th, 2009, 01:17 PM
Kirk, when I started last October after 17 years off I had some issues too. Pretty much everything with respect to technique came back to me after a month or so and I was then able to focus on cardio and sprints without thinking about these things. I found that most things were new to me again and I had the opportunity to shed bad habits and start better ones to replace them. Sort of like spring cleaning. So my advice would be that I think you'll figure it out soon on your own based on your ample past experience.

More specific and less useful would be my breathing pattern, or my impression of it: when I'm not winded from the workout yet, I start to exhale about halfway between breaths so that I'm out of air when I start to turn my head so I just have to inhale and go. You don't just do this with bilateral breathing. If I'm winded I'm always either inhaling or exhaling, but I'm never exhaling to the side. So in this scenario I'm beginning my exhale immediately when my face is back in the water. I hope this helps.