View Full Version : Breathing Tips for New Swimmer

October 18th, 2006, 05:46 PM
I have been trying for 2 years off and on to get into swimming, but between my stroke and breathing I am feeling very discouraged:help: I am a 47 year old woman who cycles, runs and works out like crazy, but get me in a pool and all bets are off, which has been very humbling:( I have just started to work with a swim coach to help me with my stroke, which is a work in progress and I can't seem to get my breathing under control. I am completely out of breath after one lap so I have to stop to catch my breath. I breathe on both sides, which I feel more comfortable, but I am struggling. Any helpful hints?

October 18th, 2006, 07:08 PM
Make sure you empty your lungs before you take your next breath. If you don't, and you take a nice big gulp of air you will get an uncomfortable feeling. Try this to see what I mean: Take a breath and exhale 1/2 of it, then take another full breath of air... see how uncomfortable it is? There are some folks who just take little 'sips' of air. You might experiment with large breaths and little sips to see which one you like best.

You also need to make sure you empty your lungs because if you don't you are going to have more CO2 left in your lungs and it is the concentration of CO2 that gives you the urgent feeling of a need to breathe.


October 19th, 2006, 03:37 PM
Thank you Lainey. I will give that a try.

The Fortress
October 19th, 2006, 04:01 PM

I used to swim informally with some triathletes who were trying to learn to swim better and my son just took up swimming so that he could do triathlons.

I think you should not be discouraged and just keep at it. One woman improved so much in 6 months I could hardly believe it. I think using zoomer fins helped her work on her strokes some so she wasn't always struggling. The coaching helped too, so it's good you've sought some.

Lainey's breathing tip is good. Also, I think it will get better as you go on. I've seen runners who are in amazing shape get in the pool and they huff and puff. They're just very different sports. But you seem determined, so good luck!

October 19th, 2006, 05:39 PM
I try to never hold my breath. As soon as I take my breath and turn my face back into the water I immeidately begin exhaling in a controlled fashion. Just as you are about to take your next breath you should be completing the exhale from the previous breath. It sounds complicated but it will be quite simple once you apply the idea. I was also taught to apply more effort to your exhale than you inhale to make sure you are ridding yourself of as much C02 as possible. Let us know how things work out. Good luck.

October 19th, 2006, 07:42 PM
Thanks Alison for the words of encouragement. I will keep at it!

October 19th, 2006, 07:47 PM
That is exactly what I am doing wrong is holding my breath. Sometimes I feel like I get it and then I start getting anxious trying to remember everything so I panic...ugh! Sheesh trying to be "fishlike" without gills and fins is hard! I will practice breathing because I know once I FINALLY get that part I can move forward in improving my overall stroke. Thanks!

October 19th, 2006, 08:09 PM
I like the easy out and easy in. Breathe out steadily, don't over do it. Don't just blow out of the mouth if you do this unless you equalize pressure in the nose water will syphon up your nose. I let air come out of my nose as I breathe out of my mouth.

When you have the mouth out of the water don't gulp the air in. If you rush the air in you may even take water up your nose.

Get accustomed to the action you can start the heavy panting later.