View Full Version : Depth of breath

July 25th, 2006, 09:46 AM
This morning I discovered something new..yet again..about my swimming. I was breathing TOO deep.
I noticed that when I first get in , I can swim one lap pretty easily. Then, I get out of breath, butt drops, knees kick, etc. BUT..I catch my breath and the same cycle starts again.
I was told to take good DEEP breaths when I breath in. I am breathing unilateral to the right now,as a beginner. So I'm breathing every time my right arm comes out of the water. I think later, I'll be able to breath bilaterally well. But for now, I'm concentrating on head down, butt up (my butt just ain't buoyant).
Basically, I was breathing in deeep breaths, and having to force them out. The work of forcing them out is taxing it itself. It is a gradual buildup of CO2. My 18 years as an R.N. came in handy here, lol.
So, I slowed down, consciously. More shallow breaths, but kept a steady pace. That's when I looked at the other consistent swimmers and noticed that they're not taking in deeeeep breaths at all. I did much better after that.
So, in summary, for the newbies like me, it's easy to hyperventilate, unknowingly.
Thought I'd share,

July 25th, 2006, 02:50 PM
I agree. I don't think you have the time to get in a deeeeep breath. It expends alot of energy and doesn't provide the relaxation that it might outside of the pool.

July 25th, 2006, 02:53 PM
Sounds like a CPAP machine is in order.

I agree with you though, excessively heavy breathing is counter productive. When I sprint and breathe less frequently I take bigger breath's but in cruise mode I don't put much effort into the breathing portion of my swimming.

Sabretooth Tiger
July 25th, 2006, 03:42 PM
"Basically, I was breathing in deeep breaths, and having to force them out. The work of forcing them out is taxing it itself. It is a gradual buildup of CO2. My 18 years as an R.N. came in handy here, lol."

Are you exhaling while you're looking down, face in the water? It sounds like you're trying to exhale and inhale while your face is turned and out of the water. That's a big problem. If I misunderstand, then apologies.

Slow your stroke down, exhale in a relaxed fashion while your face is in the water and then just inhale when you turn to the side. Find your beat/comfort zone and it will come together . . . don't hold your breath and force the exhale and inhale.

July 25th, 2006, 04:03 PM
Sorry, I probably wrote it wrong. I am exhaling as my head enters the water.
I feel pretty stupid as this has never occured to me until today. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a sprinter now, but just changing up that lil bit has helped me relax.
I hope, one day, to bilateral breath and get a good rhythm like the fish lady that swims every day.
She's my motivator. I asked her if we could be like Seabiscuit and let me swim beside her to motivate me. :p
The entire pool of swimmers motivates each other in one form or the other.

actually, this forum has motivated me.

July 26th, 2006, 12:52 PM
I think good swimmers have a momentary period where they hang onto the inhaled air (it provides better flotation and balance).Then the release is more a gentle leak than a deliberate exhaling.

July 26th, 2006, 01:18 PM
Hey midaged - I am new to swimming (correctly) as I have read you are. Proper breathing has been my biggest hurdle. I am starting some drills to improve the technique. Did you experience problems in getting the breathing technique correct and if so how long did it take you to "get it"? Also I was wondering how often and how much time do you swim? I am swiming an hour every other day.

July 26th, 2006, 11:07 PM
Hey Swim4, well, as far as "getting it", I'm still working on that. haha. I have been swimming now for 2 months. I had never ever never swam with my head down in the water, so it was a struggle at first. I actually came home and stuck my head in the sink and blew bubbles to get used to it (childish but it works).
I swim now and breath every time my right arm comes up. No hurry like a speed swim, but still learning. Everyone is different, but I'm learning more swimming with fins a little. It allows me to focus on breathing and keeps my butt up.
I swim every day except Sunday, most of the time 30 minutes, but sometimes an hour depending. NOW, that being said, my swims are broken up cause I don't have the endurance...yet. :D
Swim lap,easy slow focusing on form, rest. etc breastroke easy lap. kick with the board some.
Swim looking directly below, not ahead, turn head keeping flat as possible and take small effective breaths, not huge gulping ones like I was doing. slow steady.
But to answer your question, I'd try the fins. It really frees your upper body up to think and practice on breathing. Or at least it does for me.
My goal is to bilateral breath.
Hope this helps, keep in touch,