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Boomerang
June 27th, 2012, 10:21 PM
Just wondering what the general consensus is on whether breathing every stroke is good or bad. In age-group swimming back in the day it was frowned upon; watching the Trials, I've seen most of the top 200/400 free swimmers breathe every stroke. Is that recommended now?

Fresnoid
June 27th, 2012, 10:40 PM
Just wondering what the general consensus is on whether breathing every stroke is good or bad. In age-group swimming back in the day it was frowned upon; watching the Trials, I've seen most of the top 200/400 free swimmers breathe every stroke. Is that recommended now?

I assume you mean breathing every 2 strokes, which is every stroke on one side.

We were talking about that at practice this morning. If you are able to keep your stroke completely smooth and even, then go ahead and breath as much as you want to. Below the elite Olympic Trials level, most of us don't have a good enough stroke to do that.

Herb
June 27th, 2012, 11:26 PM
Below the elite Olympic Trials level, most of us don't have a good enough stroke to do that.

or below that most of us don't have the lung power not to do it.

mlabresh
June 28th, 2012, 10:13 AM
or below that most of us don't have the lung power not to do it.


Yeah that.

My husband gives me crap about how much I breathe. I've never had real strong lungs to begin with and while I can do pretty well on breath control sets in a SCY pool, if I'm swimming more than 25-50y, I do need to breathe on every other stroke. At best, I can manage every 4th.

My kids are encouraged to breathe as little as possible when racing and their coach includes breath control sets regularly. But yeah, if it doesn't affect your time and your stroke, I don't see why you'd have to restrict yourself.

ande
June 28th, 2012, 10:18 AM
Just wondering what the general consensus is on whether breathing every stroke is good or bad. In age-group swimming back in the day it was frowned upon; watching the Trials, I've seen most of the top 200/400 free swimmers breathe every stroke. Is that recommended now?

we are humans. we need air.

Yes for 200's & up

No for 100's & 50's

Type1Racegirl
June 28th, 2012, 01:09 PM
depends on person and O2 needs.. personally, I pick a breathing pattern and stick to it in order to help me get into a rhythm.... it was always every other stroke because I could only breathe on my right side and felt it was easier if I breathed every 2nd stroke vs. every 4th, but now that I've been bilaterally breathing, I find every 3rd stroke is great.... but yeah, I think that if you breathe correctly, it doesn't affect your stroke so why not breathe as much as you need?

ourswimmer
June 28th, 2012, 02:10 PM
If you are able to keep your stroke completely smooth and even, then go ahead and breath as much as you want to. Below the elite Olympic Trials level, most of us don't have a good enough stroke to do that.

IMO, even for a non-elite swimmer, the swimmer's breathing mechanics would have to be really terrible to make breathing less often than every third arm a good idea in a 200+ freestyle race. In fact, although lots of good reasons exist to breathe bilaterally in workout and in OW racing, I think most freestylers would do best in 200+ pool racing to pick their better side and breathe to that side every stroke cycle.

Fly may be a different story. I do better in the 200 fly breathing every other stroke, but then again my breathing mechanics in fly are indeed terrible. I could probably improve my 200 fly more by improving my breathing mechanics than by improving my capacity to withstand oxygen debt.

Fins25
June 28th, 2012, 06:26 PM
To me it doesn't really matter how often you breathe as long as your technique remains strong. If you breathe to one side all the time you can stop rotating to the other side which means you only really swim with power on one side. If you can rotate well and breathe to one side then it can be better because our muscles need oxygen to create energy. the more O2 they get the faster they can create it.

smontanaro
June 28th, 2012, 06:46 PM
If you breathe to one side all the time you can stop rotating to the other side which means you only really swim with power on one side.

As a single-side breather (to the right), this is my biggest issue. I don't have a lifetime of habit drilled into me developing good technique, and if I don't focus on rolling to the left, my right arm stroke can come up short on the catch. That said, I have never figured out breathing to the left. My stroke falls apart much worse when I try breathing to my left.

Contrast this with backstroke. I find it much easier to maintain decent form there, I suspect in large part because it's a much more symmetrical stroke for me.

Fresnoid
June 28th, 2012, 11:13 PM
Fly may be a different story. I do better in the 200 fly breathing every other stroke, but then again my breathing mechanics in fly are indeed terrible. I could probably improve my 200 fly more by improving my breathing mechanics than by improving my capacity to withstand oxygen debt.

That's one of my goals, to improve fly mechanics enough that I can breath every stroke sometimes without slowing down too much.