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Sandy Hazeltine
July 10th, 2017, 09:52 PM
Trying to figure out how to take a breath when my arm is extended vs 30- 40% down towards the bottom of the pool. Is it a timing thing? High elbow catch totally elusive as well. Late start in proper technique.

srcoyote
July 11th, 2017, 02:31 PM
There are other more knowledgeable than I including many coaches on this forum. As a solo swimmer, this is what I do to focus on breathing timing:

I imagine my body as a telephone pole with arms that roles back on forth on its access as I swim forward. So as my right hand enters the water, I push it forward turning my torso, legs, neck, and head almost as one onto my right side. That should turn my mouth just enough to breathe to the left. Same when I breathe to my right. If I have to turn my head too far independently of my body, my timing will be off.

It may help to work with a pool buoy. Early in swimming, keeping one's legs in line can absorb a lot of concentration. By using a pool buoy, you only need to think about the interaction of your pull with regards to your arms and torso (including head and neck). Another drill I've used to accentuate body roll is the 6-3-6 drill. 6 kicks on your right side with your right arm forward, 3 strokes, 6 kicks on your left side with your left arm forward.

And I've been swimming for 35 years, and the high elbow catch is elusive for me.

RonCummins
July 11th, 2017, 05:20 PM
I agree with most of the above, except the pull buoy. In what we "old guys" call the new freestyle, your hips should drive your shoulders, your head mostly just sits on top of your shoulders as they rotate and shouldn't have to turn much (if at all) further to breath.

I also like the 6-3-6 drill.

For the high elbow catch I tell people to think, when their arm is fully extended, of reaching their forearm over a barrel. From there, you push the water straight back. It may be hard to picture, but it's all I have.

Sandy Hazeltine
July 11th, 2017, 06:58 PM
Thanks to both! I've been using a pull bouy for a few months to replicate the wetsuit feeling. I'll keep "at it"... Pretty sure its a timing thing. Tks again!!!

ForceDJ
July 11th, 2017, 09:43 PM
It's really quite simple. Determine which side you want to breathe on. If it's the left side, for example, when you right hand hits the water out in front of you...turn your head to breathe.

Dan

orca1946
July 12th, 2017, 12:05 AM
For swimmers that are in the learning stages as you seem to be, I recommend to look at the elbow as you work on your timing.
If you look at it as it starts come out of the water at the back of your pull , that is when you start to breathe in as it passes your face you drop your face back down into the water and extend your hand far forward. I know lots of things to think about and get the timing correct but, a few thousand strokes and it will feel normal!!

Sandy Hazeltine
July 12th, 2017, 08:47 AM
Ah ha! This has promise! I'll go try! Thanks!

Sandy Hazeltine
July 12th, 2017, 08:50 AM
I'll try this too. As you can see, there is a wide variety of approaches which is why it's soooo elusive!

DeniseMW
July 12th, 2017, 10:14 AM
There are some very good tutorials on YouTube. Also, check out the total immersion website for their videos on freestyle technique. USMS also has some excellent videos on freestyle that emphasis breathing technique as well as arms.

67King
July 13th, 2017, 10:45 AM
Gary Hall, Sr. has some excellent videos outlining some of the different freestyle techniques. Generally, I would suggest a few things to help you try to find that place. I think it should come naturally to you, but it needs to be part of a rhythm, and not "oh my heavens I need air!" So here is what I'd suggest:
1. SLOW DOWN. This is the hardest thing for me to do, personally. But when I say slow down, I do NOT mean slow down so you can concentrate, I mean slow down and make your stroke more efficient. Be sure you are pulling water. Not sure how many strokes/lap you take, that is going to be a good indication. I have gone from 19 to 15 since I started swimming a few months ago.
2. Focus on exhaling, first. Do NOT hold your breath. Breathe every 3rd stroke, and as soon as you take a breath, start exhaling from your nose, slowly. It was explained to me that when you hold your breath, your body senses that the air feeding your blood is depleting, and tells your brain to breath NOW. When you exhale continuously, you trick your body into believing it has a good, continuous source of air.
3. When you do breath, you want to look behind you, NOT beside you, and certainly not in front of you. Look kind of 3/4 to your rear. Others have said to look for your elbow. I didn't really do that, but since reading that, I have noticed that I can, indeed see it.

Hope this helps. I'm not an expert, I'm relearning how to do things, myself. Just hoping that since I still have to think about it, I may be able to explain things a little bit that are not deliberate actions to others. And again, go take a look at the Gary Hall Sr. videos. I think his channel may be called The Race Club or something similar, don't recall.

Sandy Hazeltine
July 14th, 2017, 06:57 AM
Thanks!!! 🏊

Sandy Hazeltine
July 14th, 2017, 07:04 AM
I like his site, coach Robb, and swim smooth. Triathlon Taren another good one. I've noticed some big differences between pool coaches and tri coaches approach. I try and cherry pick from all the sites. Case in point: a tri coach I've used exhales right before she gets a breath, says the air you retain aids in floatation. The swim coach I've tried says start exhaling asap.
Bent arm catch elusive, straight arm is what I'm stuck with for now. 😱 thanks for your info!

srcoyote
July 14th, 2017, 05:20 PM
Case in point: a tri coach I've used exhales right before she gets a breath, says the air you retain aids in floatation. The swim coach I've tried says start exhaling asap.
Bent arm catch elusive, straight arm is what I'm stuck with for now.  thanks for your info!

Yup. Gotta go with the swim coach on that one. A good stroke doesn't need an aid in flotation (he says making eye contact with the triathlete wet suit wearer - sorry couldn't resist).

The above advice on pulling over a barrel is what my club coach used often back in my youth. He'd tell me. I'd try. He'd repeat it. It is elusive. My pull has improved using a fist drill. Basically you swim with closed fists trying to keep the same stroke count per length as if your hands were open. It makes me more conscious of my arm position in the pull.

67King
July 15th, 2017, 05:55 AM
I've noticed some big differences between pool coaches and tri coaches approach..........a tri coach I've used exhales right before she gets a breath, says the air you retain aids in floatation. The swim coach I've tried says start exhaling asap.
Bent arm catch elusive, straight arm is what I'm stuck with for now.  thanks for your info!

I've seen some very different things triathletes do, and most of the ones I see are weak swimmers. That said, some of what drives them is likely the fact taht they do some open water swimming and need to look forward when they breathe occasionally, rather tahn behind them. I used to think like your above referenced coach does, until I worked with my kids' coach (who explained the above to me about how the body sees that air). Additionally, you'll have a harder time clearing out the old air if you try to do it all at once, quickly. Proper technique while swimming will also help your body create lift in the water, probably moreso than the additional air.

Try the fingertip drag drill to help you wiht hte bent arm recovery.

Boomerang
July 18th, 2017, 09:35 PM
In my opinion, you should start the breath prior to the opposite arm entering the water. Your pulling arm drives the rotation to the other side, which includes turning your head in conjunction with your hips (a la hip-driven freestyle).

f1refl1es!
July 29th, 2017, 11:21 PM
Avidly reading this thread - nothing to add but wanted to let you all know I think your discussion's helpful; going to try out these tips next session in the pool myself! I struggle a lot with breathing timing, although tbh, I struggle with LOTS about swimming at this early point!! :-)