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Birkit
February 7th, 2011, 09:54 PM
Oh, HELP.

I am a lifelong swimmer haven't competed since 1993 but do 1.5 miles a couple of times a week at the fitness center.

My left shoulder (breathing side) tends to get sensitive towards the end. I know this is because I am breathing every stroke.

Any advice about how to wean myself off this disgusting lazy habit? I know it would be better for my stroke (and my workout, and my overall time) but I just get so oxygen hungry!

Comments appreciated!

Speedo
February 7th, 2011, 10:24 PM
Oh, HELP.

I am a lifelong swimmer haven't competed since 1993 but do 1.5 miles a couple of times a week at the fitness center.

My left shoulder (breathing side) tends to get sensitive towards the end. I know this is because I am breathing every stroke.

Any advice about how to wean myself off this disgusting lazy habit? I know it would be better for my stroke (and my workout, and my overall time) but I just get so oxygen hungry!

Comments appreciated!I'm an oxygen ho as well, and breathing every stroke will aggrevate my shoudler as you describe. Try a breathe 2 down 1 pattern- this is very close to what you are currently doing, but it will reduce the number of breaths during a workout by 1/3. I find it allows me to exhale more fully as well and feels less like hyperventilating when the going gets tough.

norascats
February 8th, 2011, 07:45 AM
If it's good enough for Michael Phelps, its good enough for me. I'd suggest trying alternate breathing. But when I do it, I always return to the old familiar way.

Redbird Alum
February 8th, 2011, 01:20 PM
To help balance the load, I also suggest alternate breathing (right, left, right...).

Like any breathing pattern, you will have to get used to fewer breaths, but in the long run it will also help balance your stroke, alignment, and possibly help with your shoulder issues.

In practice, start with one length every four lengths, and slowly try to increase to one length every two, and then ultimately on each length.

You may want to get a coach to assist you with "learning" the other side, as they will be able to observe any differences in how you breath or stroke from one side to the other. If not a coach, have someone video you so you can see for yourself.

Habits die hard, and you will need to decide you want to change, or else you will find any number of suitable reasons not to.

Thrashing Slug
February 8th, 2011, 01:32 PM
If you're going to try alternate breathing then I'd suggest taking more breaths, not less. Try a 2/3 pattern... 2 breaths left, 2 breaths right. You'll get all the benefits of breathing every 3rd, plus more air.

It will take a while to get used to, but it completely removes oxygen starvation from the equation, so you can just focus on your stroke and kick.

orca1946
February 8th, 2011, 06:26 PM
Any breath on the other side will help. It will be tough changing, but will help you in the long swims. It does not even need to be regular, just more on the other side each length.

sbegonia
February 8th, 2011, 07:43 PM
When I first started swimming, I breathed exclusively on my right. After a couple of years of doing that, I noticed that my right side was more svelte (ie, concave). So I tried breathing to my left. I hated it. It felt really awkward. But I forced myself. I mean, really forced myself... I did a few sessions of only breathing to my left to get used to the feeling. And eventually it felt just fine. Now I breath every which way -every 2, 3, 4, 5 as needed, on either side. Sometimes on long, hard sets, I have to breathe every 2 - but I'll alternate right one length, left one length. On more chill sets I tend to go every 3.

james lucas
February 8th, 2011, 08:15 PM
Air is good. Try breathing every stroke, but always breath to the southern or the western end of the pool - that is, breath on your right side going down the pool and your left side when you come back up ...

Allen Stark
February 8th, 2011, 08:34 PM
It's kind of "cheating",but to put less strain on my twitchy shoulders I use a center mount snorkel for my longer free sets.This doesn't help learn to breath to the other side,but it does help with head position and I find it much easier on my shoulders.

smontanaro
February 8th, 2011, 08:48 PM
I... to put less strain on my twitchy shoulders I use a center mount snorkel for my longer free sets.

There are a few snorkels where I swim. I've tried them a couple times but always wind up taking them off after a 50 because they are so painful. Am I missing something?

Allen Stark
February 8th, 2011, 09:30 PM
There are a few snorkels where I swim. I've tried them a couple times but always wind up taking them off after a 50 because they are so painful. Am I missing something?
Painful how?I have no pain problem with mine(except for the one I kept using after the rubber on the holder wore out and it was hard plastic rubbing against my head.)

ElaineK
February 8th, 2011, 09:33 PM
Air is good. Try breathing every stroke, but always breath to the southern or the western end of the pool - that is, breath on your right side going down the pool and your left side when you come back up ...

That's exactly what I do! :banana: I used to be a left side-only breather, but I was determined to learn alternate breathing. But, when I'm tired, I don't last long; I need more air. So, I do what you suggested. And, by doing so, it has helped me to be a better right side breather. I am now comfortable breathing to either side.

smontanaro
February 8th, 2011, 10:58 PM
Painful how?
The part that wraps around your forehead and connects to the strap is made of hard plastic or rubber. If the strap is snug enough to keep the snorkel on your head it's instant headache for me.

S