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That Guy
August 18th, 2009, 11:31 PM
I've always tried to breathe every other stroke in fly, but watching the elites at Worlds breathe every stroke made me want to try it out. So recently I experimented with breathing every stroke in fly. Findings after a couple workouts where I averaged about 600 total yards of full-stroke fly:

Breathing every stroke has a negative impact on my body position
I can help that by kicking harder
The additional oxygen that I get from all the extra breathing helps fuel the harder kicking, but it seems like I'm working harder overall (higher perceived pulse rate at the end of each swim, but I didn't actually measure it)
Stroke counts and times are about the same
So I think I've found a useful drill to make me kick harder, but I doubt I'll be trying this in a race anytime soon. Has anyone else (who hasn't always swum fly this way) messed around with breathing every stroke in fly? What were your findings?

Syd
August 19th, 2009, 01:03 AM
I have tried, but it messes up my rhythm. My hips tend to drop and I tire quickly. I think it is in part due to the fact that I have a very weak kick. But now that you have suggested that it could be a good way to improve the kick, I think I will be doing it more in the future.

humanpunchingbag
August 19th, 2009, 01:08 AM
You know I come from the other end of the spectrum: I cannot for the life of me figure out how to do the butterfly without breathing every stroke. Keeping my head down seems to limit my body action and truncate my entire stroke. Add the breath and I am able to undulate my entire body and bring into play the muscles of my torso. I actually marvel at the guys that are able to keep their heads down for even one stroke; if I tried that I can guarantee you I would flood a lung by the third stroke.

My brother was a nationally ranked flyer (in Canada, in the seventies), he helped teach me and as a result I actually was always told I had a very nice fly technically. I never actually tried in the stroke and thus never managed to do much of anything in competition. I now am quite satisfied if I complete 50 meters of butterfly non-stop without flooding my lungs.

SolarEnergy
August 19th, 2009, 08:57 AM
So I think I've found a useful drill to make me kick harder I have to disagree here. I hope in the end that you'll see it as a drill to improve your ability to breathe without negative impact on body position, because that's the way butterfly should be swam.

I switched from every other to every stroke several years back. Then, few years after, like another member have suggested earlier in the thread, I found it difficult to leave the head in the water while recovering the arms. Now I can use any breathing pattern (and matter of fact I do, you wouldn't see me performing a 50m breathing every stroke, that's a nonsense to me).

Simple tip. Try to look for where you're going to breathe before actually breathing. I mean take a look at where your head is going to break the surface. We may call this technique: look-then-breathe

Another (not as simple) tip. Try to master this *balance during breathing* drill here, just by looking at it I am sure you'll understand its purpose (again, I use the look-then-breathe technique) YouTube - Fly DrillSide

tjrpatt
August 19th, 2009, 09:09 AM
I've always tried to breathe every other stroke in fly, but watching the elites at Worlds breathe every stroke made me want to try it out. So recently I experimented with breathing every stroke in fly. Findings after a couple workouts where I averaged about 600 total yards of full-stroke fly:

Breathing every stroke has a negative impact on my body position
I can help that by kicking harder
The additional oxygen that I get from all the extra breathing helps fuel the harder kicking, but it seems like I'm working harder overall (higher perceived pulse rate at the end of each swim, but I didn't actually measure it)
Stroke counts and times are about the same
So I think I've found a useful drill to make me kick harder, but I doubt I'll be trying this in a race anytime soon. Has anyone else (who hasn't always swum fly this way) messed around with breathing every stroke in fly? What were your findings?

I am still trying to figure this out. I tend to breathe every stroke on the fly leg on my 400 IM(went out at 1:08 at Indy). In the 200 fly, I tend to breathe every stroke for the first 100, attempt to breathe 3 stroke, then skip a breathe on the third 50 and breathe every stroke on the last 50 but not the last 4 stroke or so. I didn't have great success with it at Indy but I had better spliting at a inseason. I am still trying to work out the kinks on this. But, for the 100 fly, I am just doing to do 2 up, 1 down approach. I don't have the Phelpsian speed to do that on the 100 fly. I hope to figure this out soon though. But, for the 400 IM, breathe every stroke, that I was able to solve.

jessicafk11
August 19th, 2009, 09:24 AM
Fly used to be my fastest stroke and I found that I had to make myself breathe every third stroke in order to maintain my time. I only did 50 yards at a time (either IM or Medley relay) so I don't know that I could have kept it up for any distance longer than that as I was pretty spent at the end of it. Of course, that was also years ago . . . right now I'd be happy to do 50 yards of fly without dying half way through!

Kevin in MD
August 19th, 2009, 10:12 AM
The lower you keep your head, the better you will do breathing every stroke. If you lift your head high and look forward a lot as you breathe you are using a lot of force to lift your head and it can tire you out more.

Keep your head low and you will probably find less change between a breathing stroke and a non-breathing stroke.

I have folks do drills very similar to the video above, and it seems to help in that regard. An important aspect of that drill is that you don't want to push down on your extended arms when you breathe.

In fact we do that drill with arms at our sides to work on breathing rhythm and head position. I'm not a particular fan of a lot of head motion when breathing, but it seems to work for SolarEnergy.

SolarEnergy
August 19th, 2009, 10:39 AM
In fact we do that drill with arms at our sides to work on breathing rhythm and head position.
For what it's worth, the reason why I perform this drill arms extended in the front, is that because it's much faster. Therefore, it allows me to use this drill as a replacement for pure kicking during fast kick sets (e.g. sets of 50m off 1min where I touch the wall at 45sec). That's the main reason.

However, several swimmers might find it easier to learn the drill with arms along side the body, for the reason you smartly referred to: this prevents the swimmer from using his hands/arms to breathe.

isobel
August 19th, 2009, 10:41 AM
I know there are tons of drills for fly, but I just saw a dolphin kick drill on the GoSwimWeekly Website that adds resistance as a drill.

Put a pull buoy between your legs (the one-piece pull buoy works better than the two-piece ones); dive down and get in streamline and kick four or five fast dolphin kicks with the pull buoy (seems to work best if it's between your knees). Come up for air; go back down.

First time I did this drill I couldn't move. Second time, better. It's hard to stay in streamline, but I think that's where the strength comes from for this drill. One day, I will get the fly.

I breathe every stroke, but someone else passed along a drill that emphasized diving the head in before the arms enter, and that has helped me keep my body involved, rather than swim the fly very shallow and flat, with my feet coming out of the water (sigh) and my rhythm off. The last time my coach talked to me about my fly, she just asked, "What's with it?"

I keep working on it.

srcoyote
August 19th, 2009, 11:41 AM
I'm going to try Solar Energy's drill. In high school, fly was my fastest stroke, and I enjoyed swimming 100's and 200's routinely. Now my fly is only fast for about 25 y, and I lose energy quickly. The thought of swimming a 100 seems impossible.

I traced my problems back to my breathing. With my body dynamic changed at 40, I now lack the trunk flexibility I had at 17. Even then, I lifted my head too much, but my hips didn't drop as a result because of my trunk flexibility. Now when I lift my head too much, my hips drop. The only thing saving my stroke is that I breathe every other.

I have tried focusing on diving my head forward into the water before my arms enter, but I either end up sucking water on my breath and choking or lifting my head too high again to ensure I actually get air.

Is there anything else I can look at doing?

For example, as people improve freestyle stroke, breathing becomes easier with only a slight turn of the head. Swimming freestyle, I am actually breathing in a trough created by my shoulders and head pushing through the water and as a result, my head only turns a little. Is there a corrollary for fly?

swimmj
August 19th, 2009, 12:47 PM
I've always tried to breathe every other stroke in fly, but watching the elites at Worlds breathe every stroke made me want to try it out. So recently I experimented with breathing every stroke in fly. Findings after a couple workouts where I averaged about 600 total yards of full-stroke fly:

Breathing every stroke has a negative impact on my body position
I can help that by kicking harder
The additional oxygen that I get from all the extra breathing helps fuel the harder kicking, but it seems like I'm working harder overall (higher perceived pulse rate at the end of each swim, but I didn't actually measure it)
Stroke counts and times are about the same

So I think I've found a useful drill to make me kick harder, but I doubt I'll be trying this in a race anytime soon. Has anyone else (who hasn't always swum fly this way) messed around with breathing every stroke in fly? What were your findings?

My findings are much like yours. I find I have to really work to put my chest down after breathing so that my hips don't drop. It's much easier to drop my chest when I don't breath. Also, it helps to breath earlier in the stroke, when the hands are under your hips (I actually try to breath when my hands are at my waist, but I breath when my hands are at my hips). I'm working on this as well, for same reasons. I need more air now that I'm not 13 anymore....

--mj

SolarEnergy
August 19th, 2009, 01:44 PM
I hope I am not being too redundant (I am truly sorry if I am).

Like I explained in an other Fly thread, I have been (successfully) working on an innovative approach to Butterfly for the past 3 months.

I mainly train (and trained) as a Cyclist but I intend to resume intensive swim training by late september. In preparation for this, my current swim schedule involves 1 or 2 workouts per week, 1 kilo each.

This is what I mostly do. 5x200 butterfly slow and relaxed. My purpose is to be ready by september to do a lot of base mileage (in a squad) at my specialty stroke (Butterfly of course).

These 200 are swam at a pace I could hold for a full kilo. And this volume done at low intensity allows me to perfect the following:
- Breathing without spending energy in doing so
- Reducing drag resistance
- Improving my pulling and more importantly, my arm recovering action (this aspect can be problematic during a 200bf race)

Note that during these 200s, I breathe every two on the first 50, then every stroke for 150m. I am not suggesting that you should mimic my stroke mechanics since it probably has flaws related to swimming that slow, but I just post this as a proof that it is indeed possible to develop a *Base endurance* sort of slow butterfly that allows for improving a lot of energy efficiency aspects (breathing, drag etc).
YouTube - Base endurance Butterfly - Full stroke (Side View)

Midas
August 19th, 2009, 02:04 PM
I wonder if breathing to the side will help keep your body in better position?

nkfrench
August 19th, 2009, 02:05 PM
I breathe every stroke. My kick is very weak to nonexistant. I am pretty buoyant though.

On entry, I leave my hands and head nearer the water surface but press the chest and air-filled lungs deeper so the hips rise. Elbows stay high. There is a rebound at just the right time in the stroke to take a nice big relaxed breath. Without this gentle body undulation I also can't recover the arms without dragging them through the water. I swim pretty flat since I don't have leg drive to support a big amplitude and that helps me focus on moving forward. Jutting the chin forward or lifting my head to breathe constricted my airway and made my neck tired, so I keep my head mostly inline in a relaxed position. Fly is a lot more fun if you get plenty of air.

SolarEnergy
August 19th, 2009, 03:03 PM
I wonder if breathing to the side will help keep your body in better position? According to most experts, no.

However, I trained a butterfly specialist back in the '90s which had a lot of success with it (his 200M bf was under 2min). You'd have to have a lot of neck and upperbody flexibility I guess to see a real benefit in doing this.

swimcat
August 19th, 2009, 03:08 PM
I am still trying to figure this out. I tend to breathe every stroke on the fly leg on my 400 IM(went out at 1:08 at Indy). In the 200 fly, I tend to breathe every stroke for the first 100, attempt to breathe 3 stroke, then skip a breathe on the third 50 and breathe every stroke on the last 50 but not the last 4 stroke or so. I didn't have great success with it at Indy but I had better spliting at a inseason. I am still trying to work out the kinks on this. But, for the 100 fly, I am just doing to do 2 up, 1 down approach. I don't have the Phelpsian speed to do that on the 100 fly. I hope to figure this out soon though. But, for the 400 IM, breathe every stroke, that I was able to solve.

on the 200IM , i breath every other but the 400 IM , 2 up 1 down . unless on the last 25 i need more air then every. as an asthmatic, this is the better solution for me.

isobel
August 19th, 2009, 04:02 PM
This is what I mostly do. 5x200 butterfly slow and relaxed. My purpose is to be ready by september to do a lot of base mileage (in a squad) at my specialty stroke (Butterfly of course).

These 200 are swam at a pace I could hold for a full kilo. And this volume done at low intensity allows me to perfect the following:
- Breathing without spending energy in doing so
- Reducing drag resistance
- Improving my pulling and more importantly, my arm recovering action (this aspect can be problematic during a 200bf race)



Is this working for you? Can you speed it up where you want it? I have been told (and read on this forum, possibly quoting Ande, "slow fly equals no fly").

I also was told in a video clinic that swimming slow fly will never make me swim fast fly.

So, is this approach helping you attain the speed you want?

SolarEnergy
August 19th, 2009, 04:26 PM
Is this working for you? Can you speed it up where you want it? I have been told (and read on this forum, possibly quoting Ande, "slow fly equals no fly"). This is why I called it an innovative approach. I realized that I am pretty much alone in my camp, and this is how I like things anyway ;-)

I train for the 200, event for which I am aiming for gold at next state (province) championship.

Ande is pretty right in that the technique to swim slow and that to swim fast is different. Does that mean one can't train the two? My slow freestyle doesn't look (or feel) anywhere near my sprint freestyle. It's almost two different strokes (6beat high on the water vs energy efficient 2beat).

I already listed few benefits of this strategy earlier in the thread, but here's one more. When I climb on the block for the competition, I'll be swimming against folks that are basically scared of performing the 200 butterfly. Me, I will have completed probably between 200 and 500 times 200 butterfly at all sorts of speed. I will be hungry for a 200 bf. Not scared.

I guess that my quest is about stopping being scared to swim the butterfly. Not sure where it's going to bring me but so far I really enjoy the process.

art_z
August 20th, 2009, 04:10 PM
in freestyle, its pretty much given that the act of taking a breath slows you down. is this the same for fly? Your head needs to come out of the water to take a stroke, what difference would it make picking your face up out of the water to breathe vs leaving it in (causing drag).

I'm a decent flyer and I've noticed on sprint 25s and 50s I typically swim faster breathing every stroke than not. Thats obviously not the case in freestyle.

orca1946
August 20th, 2009, 06:05 PM
I came from long distance free, so I went to breathing to the side, like free. This lets me stay in my limits & keep form.

Drmst6
August 20th, 2009, 07:03 PM
I always considered myself a "flyer" and was moderately successful at the National level (occasional Top-10). I've always been taught to breathe as little as possible in order to maximize my horizontal body position.

After watching Michael Phelps in the water and listening to him and his coach on a butterfly training DVD, I changed my approach and made huge strides in my results.

Michael's coach said that, depending on your particular physiology and how precise your "body awareness" is through dedicated training, you can swim butterfly not only faster, but farther by breathing every stroke.

He said, by breathing every stroke, Michael has learned to sacrifice very little horizontal stability in exchange for increased LEVERAGE. Leverage and increased oxygen uptake made the difference for him--and me.

That Guy
August 20th, 2009, 10:24 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. Perhaps one day I will master this style of fly. I will keep at it, though I will plan on competing the same old way for this training cycle.

SolarEnergy
August 21st, 2009, 11:56 AM
He said, by breathing every stroke, Michael has learned to sacrifice very little horizontal stability in exchange for increased LEVERAGE. Leverage and increased oxygen uptake made the difference for him--and me. And the rational behind this explanation has been clearly documented in latest Ernest Maglischo's book (Swimming Fastest).

In the Stroke Mechanics analysis section for butterfly, Dr.Maglischo refer to this Leverage thing as generating what he calls the Reverse Bodywave effect. That is after dive/arm entry/first kick, a wave is traveling back, hitting the swimmer's back and thus increasing the forward propulstion.

That's huge part of the reason why I intend to perform a lot of base mileage at BF. These things aren't easy to feel and integrate, but I do believe that they exist.

analazy
August 21st, 2009, 02:13 PM
....
Michael's coach said that, depending on your particular physiology and how precise your "body awareness" is through dedicated training, you can swim butterfly not only faster, but farther by breathing every stroke.
...
he is wright!
depends on the person...
breath every stroke 2:30... 200 fly, 40-44

BrettMac
August 21st, 2009, 02:25 PM
Personally, I breathe every stroke in butterfly EXCEPT for my break out strokes and finishes. It does not mess up my rythm, but infact actually helps me control my stroke and go faster. With that said, I have been doing butterfly this way for almost 15 years...

SolarEnergy
August 21st, 2009, 02:25 PM
he is wright!
depends on the person...
breath every stroke 2:30... 200 fly, 40-44Darn, bloooody fast. This is my target for next year, same age group. And even then, this is not a guaranteed winning time here up north in Quebec. 2:30 wasn't enough for Gold at our last State Championship LCM

However, for swimming the 200, I'd say that it doesn't depend that much on the person. Starting for a 200 breathing every other at 40yo, not sure if it can be a winning strategy for anyone.

tjrpatt
August 21st, 2009, 03:00 PM
You can breathe every stroke but you can have to really utilize the double kick technique to move across the water like Phelps. That is hard to hold up for just one lap. Phelps just makes it look so easy.

SolarEnergy
August 21st, 2009, 04:59 PM
You can breathe every stroke but you can have to really utilize the double kick technique to move across the water like Phelps. That is hard to hold up for just one lap. Phelps just makes it look so easy. What double kick technique are you referring to?

analazy
August 22nd, 2009, 01:18 PM
...
However, for swimming the 200, I'd say that it doesn't depend that much on the person. Starting for a 200 breathing every other at 40yo, not sure if it can be a winning strategy for anyone.[/quote]

did not get the last part, my poor English....
no double kick like Phelps. Just fat on my bottom, helps being on surface J

Here in Europe is enough for ER . good luck!

orca1946
August 22nd, 2009, 01:29 PM
Your english is better than my spanish! Every stroke will help keep you out os oxygen debt better & aid with the motion of the stroke better.

SolarEnergy
August 22nd, 2009, 01:52 PM
...

However, for swimming the 200, I'd say that it doesn't depend that much on the person. Starting for a 200 breathing every other at 40yo, not sure if it can be a winning strategy for anyone.

did not get the last part, my poor English.... What I meant is that swimming the 200bf by breathing at every 2 strokes is a bad strategy, no matter the technique used.

I'd love to hear anybody's description of Phelps *double-kick* technique.

Does anyone sees a double kick in these executions (for instance)?
YouTube - Michael Phelps Butterfly Tranining 1

YouTube - Michael Phelps - Butterfly 01

analazy
August 22nd, 2009, 02:00 PM
What I meant is that swimming the 200bf by breathing at every 2 strokes is a bad strategy, no matter the technique used.

I'd love to hear anybody's description of Phelps *double-kick* technique.


thanks! Got it!
again it depends on the person, my former rival , previous age group breath every 2 and she is 2:27.. on long course!


Do you want the description in Spanish? :)

That Guy
August 22nd, 2009, 03:38 PM
I'd love to hear anybody's description of Phelps *double-kick* technique.

Does anyone sees a double kick in these executions (for instance)?

Phelps (like most flyers) takes 2 kicks per stroke. I think that's all that was meant by "double-kick technique."

tjrpatt
August 22nd, 2009, 06:42 PM
Phelps (like most flyers) takes 2 kicks per stroke. I think that's all that was meant by "double-kick technique."

that is correct and Phelps's 2 kicks per stroke is hard to do for a full 50 meters. He does it for a 200 and makes it look so easy! Geesh. :applaud:

SolarEnergy
August 22nd, 2009, 08:46 PM
Most 200 specialists tend to go soft on second kick. Now I understand thanks!

In case of Phelps though, it's more a fitness thing than a technical. IOW, it's not all to be able to go hard on both kick, you have to be able to finish the race this way.

For what it's worth, looking at Phelps butterfly, the thing that stroked me the most is how deep he goes after entry. I have been struggling to stay very shallow on entry. I do this by using a *scull* to not dive. I am now seriously questioning this strategy.

He goes deep but if you look very closely, you don't see a lot of (visible) turbulence around the body when he dives/surfaces. This is what I am aiming for in performing my base mileage. Cutting drag. Finding this tiny little passage that gets me forward with as less drag possible. Really tough I find. I feel a lot of drag, but some of it is just inherent to this stroke.

His arm entries are just amazing. Virtually no drag at all. He enters then takes the catch. Arms follow a downward path immediately upon entry. Slight scull to catch then hands almost touch underneath the body. This too, I can't do even if I know I should be doing it. I'll address this after my hunt for cutting drag. 1 thing at the time.

tjrpatt
August 22nd, 2009, 08:57 PM
Most 200 specialists tend to go soft on second kick. Now I understand thanks!

In case of Phelps though, it's more a fitness thing than a technical. IOW, it's not all to be able to go hard on both kick, you have to be able to finish the race this way.

I also get impressed by 1500 specialists showing strong 6beat all the way to the end.

For what it's worth, looking at Phelps butterfly, the thing that stroked me the most is how deep he goes after entry. I have been struggling to stay very shallow on entry. I do this by using a *scull* to not dive. I am now seriously questioning this strategy.

He goes deep but if you look very closely, you don't see a lot of (visible) turbulence around the body when he dives/surfaces. This is what I am aiming for in performing my base mileage. Cutting drag. Finding this tiny little passage that gets me forward with as less drag possible.

Really tough I find. I feel a lot of drag, but some of it is just inherent to this stroke.

The 6beat on the 1500 is insane. I barely do any kick but people tell me that I had a pretty good kick in my 1500 at Indy. It is weird how what you think you are doing and what other people see are two different things. Ous and the Cochrane 1500 continuous 6-beat kick in the 1500 were so unreal.

Phelps's deep entry is another reason why he gets a good distance per stroke on his fly. Truly amazing.

SolarEnergy
August 23rd, 2009, 03:01 AM
Phelps's deep entry is another reason why he gets a good distance per stroke on his fly. Truly amazing. Absolutely true. Very enlightening.

geochuck
August 23rd, 2009, 05:16 AM
When I used to swim the 100 fly I never swam anything but 50s in training. I would breathe every two or three strokes and used a 2 beat kick.

splash
August 29th, 2009, 07:43 PM
Can somebody explain what is the difference between first stroke and second stroke in "breathing every second stroke" case? What should be body position, head, arms, elbows, hands, timing etc.
I have problems with my arms-forearms getting stuck in water during no breath stroke.

That Guy
August 29th, 2009, 07:52 PM
Can somebody explain what is the difference between first stroke and second stroke in "breathing every second stroke" case? What should be body position, head, arms, elbows, hands, timing etc.
I have problems with my arms-forearms getting stuck in water during no breath stroke.

Everything should be identical whether you breathe or not. But for some of us, it's not. That's what this thread is about.

geochuck
August 29th, 2009, 10:58 PM
I think it goes like this, stroke 1, don't breathe, stroke 2, take a breath, stroke 3, don't breathe, stroke for take a breath.

SolarEnergy
August 30th, 2009, 01:07 PM
I have problems with my arms-forearms getting stuck in water during no breath stroke. Interesting little issue here.

I think I know why.

When you breathe, your head is going up. This has a favorable impact on the whole body undulation which in turn facilitates the arm recovery.

Simple solution to your issue is to pretend that you're going to breathe even when you don't. I mean do as if you were going to breathe, but just don't break the surface (with your head) completely. This will have the same impact on your body undulation which will result into easier recovery.

And in the same time, you will truly make both strokes (the one with and the one without breathing) identical (almost), which is what the other members are suggesting.

That Guy
September 13th, 2009, 07:20 PM
I figured something out today. Today while messing around with some breathing-every-stroke fly during a warmup 200 IM, I noticed that my hands were close together as they passed my abdomen, I was recovering higher out of the water, and I was diving deeper. (It's entirely possible that I've been doing this for days but hadn't realized it before. I'm dense like that.) So for the last few strokes of the fly leg of that IM, I played around with adding more power at that particular part of the stroke cycle and OH WOW now I finally understand why Phelps does this. It adds amplitude to the wave. (I never understood it before because, well, each pull looks like an S-curve...) So, feeling like I was on the verge of a breakthrough, I swam my main set the same way. For the first time, I found myself swimming fly in a manner where it would be silly not to breathe, since I'm already up there. However it didn't actually add much speed to my workout; I swam a better-than-usual main set but that may have been due to my excitement. I will keep at it and see where it goes.

SolarEnergy
September 13th, 2009, 07:51 PM
I am kind of jealous. I am yet to implement one of your discoveries (the other I save it for sprint butterfly).

The two discoveries you made are clearly described as the right way to swim the butterfly, at least by E.Maglischo. Most world class butterflyers, especially those that put emphasis on both kicks, pull by bringing their hands very close to each other under the body, before arm extension. I am still unsure why it is the case though.

As for recovering higher over the surface, well there again Maglischo clearly reinforce this aspect. He advocates breathing fairly high over the water, exactly for the reason you mentioned. Not only does it allow you to dive deeper, but he reports having studied a great phenomenon that also occurs. He mention about the effect of the reverse body wave (I think that is what he calls this). When you dive, a wave hits you from behind, thus increasing the forward thrust.

Many congrats.

swimmj
September 14th, 2009, 06:04 PM
I figured something out today. Today while messing around with some breathing-every-stroke fly during a warmup 200 IM, I noticed that my hands were close together as they passed my abdomen, I was recovering higher out of the water, and I was diving deeper. (It's entirely possible that I've been doing this for days but hadn't realized it before. I'm dense like that.) So for the last few strokes of the fly leg of that IM, I played around with adding more power at that particular part of the stroke cycle and OH WOW now I finally understand why Phelps does this. It adds amplitude to the wave. (I never understood it before because, well, each pull looks like an S-curve...) So, feeling like I was on the verge of a breakthrough, I swam my main set the same way. For the first time, I found myself swimming fly in a manner where it would be silly not to breathe, since I'm already up there. However it didn't actually add much speed to my workout; I swam a better-than-usual main set but that may have been due to my excitement. I will keep at it and see where it goes.

Nice. Keep us posted on how it goes. I'm on a pool break (local pool closed) and am really missing it.

gigi
September 14th, 2009, 07:53 PM
I recently switched to breathe every stroke fly after reading about it on the forum a while ago. It is my new normal - feels great - and seems easier. The reasons for this listed above make sense. I haven't been in a meet since I've started this though. I don't know if I'll do it in a race or not...we'll see

SolarEnergy
September 14th, 2009, 09:37 PM
I recently switched to breathe every stroke fly after reading about it on the forum a while ago. It is my new normal - feels great - and seems easier. The reasons for this listed above make sense. I haven't been in a meet since I've started this though. I don't know if I'll do it in a race or not...we'll see
Not sure I'd use it for the 50m, hence the need maybe for practicing every two once in a while, or totally hypoxic over 25m for instance.

Anyone feels faster every stroke as opposed to no breathing at all? I'm faster when I don't breathe, or so I feel. Darn, I am thinking, I haven't tested that *yet* this season!

But for a hundred, I'd start every two for 4 strokes, then every stroke for the remaining.

That Guy
November 24th, 2009, 02:43 PM
After 2 competitions, the verdict is in. I'm slower when I breathe every stroke. I've made the switch back to breathing every other stroke.

SolarEnergy
November 24th, 2009, 03:04 PM
After 2 competitions, the verdict is in. I'm slower when I breathe every stroke. I've made the switch back to breathing every other stroke.
On a 50? On a 100? on a 200?

thewookiee
November 24th, 2009, 03:07 PM
After 2 competitions, the verdict is in. I'm slower when I breathe every stroke. I've made the switch back to breathing every other stroke.

I don't know if 2 competitions is enough to determine a verdict with a change in routine. When making changes, it usually takes a while to adapt to them.

I ALWAYS swim slower during the first several months after making a change to stroke mechanics

That Guy
November 24th, 2009, 03:15 PM
On a 50? On a 100? on a 200?

All three.

EricOrca
November 25th, 2009, 04:02 AM
Has anyone else (who hasn't always swum fly this way) messed around with breathing every stroke in fly? What were your findings?
I'm not qualified to comment on anyone else's perspective because I'm relatively new to the fly. I have been struggling with the 2 beat kick with a one down, one up fly; at most I get the first kick in and an occasional second kick. I worked really hard at one arm flys, until I got the "dolphin action" going then found it was easier to breath every stroke in order to get both kicks in. Im 6'4" tall and lanky with a 6'7" arm span...so I found it easier to "emulate" the "Phelps" fly. If I try to do a one up, one down I lose my kick rhythm because of the change in my body position. I also have more stamina with the 1up/1down, I can do 10x50 now. Before, that was basically impossible. What works for me is keeping the hip action going, like a porpoise (or Orca in my case), I make breaking the surface with my hips on the first kick my priority, then everything seems to just follow through. Of coarse it will take more conditioning before I can do 100's, however getting a fly that works is half the battle.

GaryHallSr
December 15th, 2009, 08:36 PM
Breathing is problematic in fly because it creates a horrible body angle in the water, increasing drag significantly. Don't breathe and you remain flatter and faster moving through water. Were it not for lactic acid and brain death, none of us would breathe on fly (or free).
Phelps minimizes the increase in drag by lifting mostly with the neck, not the shoulders and having two extremely powerful kicks that keeps him higher in the water. Side breathing can also help minimize the bad body angle, if done correctly; that means breathe back and to the side, not front and to the side. Otherwise, the side breath doesn't help much over traditional front breath.
In two Olympics, decades ago, I was a front breather and never breathed every stroke. Today, at 58 years of age, i breathe every stroke and to the side (rear), except for start and turn (lesson from Phelps). I love getting the extra oxygen. On a 50, breathe as little as possible.
The key in fly is finding the best balance between reduced drag and oxygen. If you front breathe with neck motion and/or side breathe, you can breathe every stroke and do much better. Since 1984, every male butterflyer who won the Olympic 100 m (except Pablo Morales) has breathed every stroke. That should tell us something.

Gary Hall Sr.
The Race Club

That Guy
December 15th, 2009, 10:56 PM
Thanks Gary! From my 3-month experiment, I learned that I don't generate enough power to be faster breathing every stroke. It's not a big difference really, but I am indeed slower swimming that way. Since going back to breathing every other stroke, my practice and competition times have been faster.