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martin_05
August 19th, 2011, 01:09 PM
One of my earplugs popped out this morning. Couldn't see where. Never found it.

I am still not used to water going in and out of my ear when I breathe. It was weird trying to breathe on my left side because I'd feel the cold water on my eardrum (I am guessing) and it would really distract me. I know that I probably need to try to get used to this...but I didn't want to struggle throughout my workout today...so I decided to only breathe on the right side and keep going. On occasion I tried the left side again but the feeling just wasn't conducive to focusing on the other 52 things I am trying to learn.

Other than "just do it" can anyone offer any words of wisdom on how to get used to swimming without nose or ear plugs?

It's not that water bothers me. I've done scuba and I am perfectly comfortable in water. Something weird happens when you rotate your head to breathe in freestyle and I can't quite put my finger on it. I opted for plugging everything up so that I can focus on learning at this stage.

Thanks.

ElaineK
August 19th, 2011, 02:39 PM
I had the same problem when I tried to teach myself to breathe on my right side. For me, the reason water got in my ear was that I was turning too far to breathe. Once I made a point of keeping my left eye in the water (I look at the wall underwater to make sure I am doing this), the problem was resolved.

Now, my habit in training is to breathe to the left on the way down and to the right on the way back, to keep everything feeling balanced.

If you do get water in your ear, a mixture of 50% rubbing alcohol and 50% white vinegar works great to dry out your ears and help avoid getting an infection. Just drop 1-2 drops in each ear with a syringe.

I use a nose clip for backstroke, as do many other swimmers. If this makes you feel any better, Bob Bugg, a 1980 Olympian and 2009 World Record Holder in the 100m freestyle (50-54) uses a nose clip for EVERYTHING. He doesn't train without it for any stroke.

Good luck!
:cheerleader:

pmccoy
August 19th, 2011, 03:01 PM
If you do get water in your ear, a mixture of 50% rubbing alcohol and 50% white vinegar works great to dry out your ears and help avoid getting an infection. Just drop 1-2 drops in each ear with a syringe.
I just turn my head to the side and shake it violently. This also has the extra benefit of drying my hair at the same time.

martin_05
August 19th, 2011, 03:02 PM
I had the same problem when I tried to teach myself to breathe on my right side. For me, the reason water got in my ear was that I was turning too far to breathe. Once I made a point of keeping my left eye in the water (I look at the wall underwater to make sure I am doing this), the problem was resolved.

Ah. OK. I'll work on rotation and see what happens. I'll do this at the gym rather than my normal swim workout. For now I'll keep everything plugged-up until I get better at all the other things I need to learn.

I think that I need to be able to swim without a nose clip or ear plugs. I say this from a perspective of mere survival or even open water swimming. You have to be able to swim reasonably well without any equipment, which means no goggles as well. For training, competition, workouts I can see the advantages, but I don't want to have to have these things with me to swim well.

knelson
August 19th, 2011, 03:20 PM
You might also try wearing a cap. The feeling of water going around your ears is different with or without a cap.

FireRox21
August 19th, 2011, 03:26 PM
I swam for 14 years without earplugs...until halfway through this year. One day a couple of months ago, while swimming, my inner ears started to hurt so bad my goggles filled with tears from the pain. Bought some nice earplugs (the non-moldable kind) and the pain has not returned. I swam with those for a while until I started using a waterproof MP3 player that uses large ear plugs. This past week my player lost its charge, so I had to finish my workout without earplugs. It was really, really weird feeling the water gush in and out of my ears. It wasn't too painful, but I did not like the feeling. It kinda gave me a headache.

I have noticed since I started using earplugs that my ear canals are much more sensitive and my hearing has improved a little bit. And with better hearing, I'm getting more headaches. I have never used a nose plug. I tried it once, swallowed half of the pool and vowed NEVER again.

Best of luck to you. You, your ears, and your nose will eventually come to a happy place and it will feel right.

Debugger
August 19th, 2011, 03:29 PM
Ah. OK. I'll work on rotation and see what happens. I'll do this at the gym rather than my normal swim workout. For now I'll keep everything plugged-up until I get better at all the other things I need to learn.

I think that I need to be able to swim without a nose clip or ear plugs. I say this from a perspective of mere survival or even open water swimming. You have to be able to swim reasonably well without any equipment, which means no goggles as well. For training, competition, workouts I can see the advantages, but I don't want to have to have these things with me to swim well.
Personally I swim all the time with ear plugs - exclusions are meets and days when I work with coach. When I was a kid I used to have >2 times a year otits and that was one of the main reasons I gave up swimming. :sad:
That's the reason I prefer not to take a risk now and wear speedo ear plugs - these are hard to loose.
http://www.gb-sports.co.uk/speedo_biofuse_earplugs.jpg

ElaineK
August 19th, 2011, 03:33 PM
I just turn my head to the side and shake it violently. This also has the extra benefit of drying my hair at the same time.
:afraid:

pmccoy
August 19th, 2011, 03:51 PM
:afraid:My dog taught me. Seems to work for him.

Agree w/ Knelson - a swimcap somehow changes the dynamics of water getting in the ears. Doesn't keep it all out but seems to help some. Problem is that in our 86 degree pool, there's only so long I can keep the thing on.

I don't get ear infections so I don't worry about it so much. But if you are prone to them, its probably best to just plug them up. Not worth a busted eardrum.

ElaineK
August 19th, 2011, 04:38 PM
My dog taught me. Seems to work for him.

Agree w/ Knelson - a swimcap somehow changes the dynamics of water getting in the ears. Doesn't keep it all out but seems to help some. Problem is that in our 86 degree pool, there's only so long I can keep the thing on.

I don't get ear infections so I don't worry about it so much. But if you are prone to them, its probably best to just plug them up. Not worth a busted eardrum.

:D

I have never gotten an ear infection, perhaps because of the homemade drops I use(???) 86 degree water- uggghhhh. You have my sympathies and a :bighug:. Soon after I return from my trip, our community's outdoor pool will be closing and the indoor pool will get cranked back up to 85. That's when I :bolt:on the days I focus on sprints and head over to the Bugatorium! :agree:

bud
August 20th, 2011, 09:02 AM
For Ears... I think it is a body chemistry thing. I am fortunate (so far) that I've never had to fuss or be bothered with my ears. I must have the right earwax or something. But things can change.

For Nose... It took me years to get modestly proficient at pushing off the wall face-up, and not get water up my nose... I'm still not always comfortable with it, but most of the time I get it right these days. (But I'm still learning, many years later.)

Using a nose clip, and/or ear plugs sounds like a good idea if these areas are a bother. Better to focus on technique and conditioning first... the strength is a natural byproduct of those. And you can always put the accessories aside later.

I believe one of the reasons I have few problems with these issues is that I have enough forward momentum, and good body position, that these things just naturally are not a problem... but it can take time to get there.

:)

watercrawler
November 30th, 2013, 02:30 PM
I have been swimming for many years without the water getting into my ears, until recently when I changed my freestyle technique. While my swimming improved a bit, I kept getting water in the ear while turning to breathe. I have struggled for over year to figure out why it happens and how to control it. I came to conclusion that water getting into the ear is a symptom of poor form. Water gets into ears when the head
(1) is not rotating in sync with the body
(2) is raised out of and/or lowered into the water or tilted to one side


The head should be only be allowed to rotate slightly and with or after the torso rotates. Remember that the main purpose of body rotation is not to get air but to engage most of the muscles when pushing the arm through the water. The head should rotate just slightly to the side enough to get the mouth out of the water and no more. Do not start with the head rotation. It is your hips that should be in charge of rotation not your head. The head must 'follow'. Keep the head always at the same level slightly above the water and aligned with the body as though you are impaled on a skewer or maybe wearing a neck brace. Do not raise the head nor tilt it. Try practicing with swimming only a few strokes without breathing in, only breathing out. If still having problems, try swimming with one arm only and the other arm outstretched.

Good Luck.