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runner girl
May 3rd, 2007, 09:37 PM
I've been trying to focus on my butterfly lately, and I really seem to have a problem getting a breathing pattern that works. First I had to slow down my pace, and really concentrate on my kick, but I'm still having trouble breathing. I seem to remember every 3rd stroke being a good pattern, but my brain says every 2nd would be better. Unfortunately, if I try for every other, it almost seems like I'm working harder to get my face up to catch a breath. Since our pool has just little ropes with floats, it really takes some doing to get above the waves and I'm trying to break myself of the side breathing habit.

Hiro11
May 4th, 2007, 09:29 AM
Taking a cue from Phelps, I've started breathing every stroke in fly while trying to minimize the look up/look down head movement. It seems to allow me to ride higher in the water and reduce a little bit of drag. The trick is doing so while remaining smooth and without becoming too up/down in the stroke cycle.

Muppet
May 4th, 2007, 03:23 PM
I am not one to be preaching, as we all have seen my 2fly video. BUT breathing in swimming is inherently inefficient, especially in fly, and I am of the mindset that unless you are Phelps, the more you keep your face in the water, the better. By breathing every stroke, you're essentially hyperventilating yourself. Think about a 25 fly - lets say thats 8 strokes, 15 seconds. you have 4 seconds underwater, take first stroke w/ head down. That is 7 inhale/exhale cycles in roughly 11 seconds.

Hyperventilation = oxygen deprivation = lactic acid buildup = piano falling. hard. Lets remember phelps processes lactic acid better than anyone on Planet Earth (that we know of).

In a 50, I go 2/3/2 on the first 25, 1/3/3 (or if its kinda slow, 1/3/2/2) on the second.
100, I'll keep up a 2/3 until I can't stand it any longer and bring it home with a 1/2 pattern.
200, every other as long as I can go and hope for minimal presence of the ivories.

Runner Girl, find something you're comfortable with and fly away!

okoban
May 4th, 2007, 04:08 PM
It is not my favrite stroke, but I learned from some experts in this forum that your body should stay very parallell to the water throughout the stroke. Learning to inhale 'chin in the water' helps a lot for a flat butterfly. A strong second kick is also essential. If you swim a distance more than 50m, I think it is not sustainable to swim 3 strokes per breath. Best luck to you:bouncing:

Ian
May 5th, 2007, 08:59 AM
It is true that oxygen deprivation does lead to lactic acid build up and ultimately to the piano falling on your back in the 200 fly (been there, done that). However, oxygen deprivation does not result from breathing every stroke.

geochuck
May 5th, 2007, 09:24 AM
I only swim a 50 or a 100, after the start or turn 2 or three strokes no breath, then every stroke after that. Two beat kick one small and one big to help when the arms exit the water make sure the arms exit cleanly.

Make sure the feet do not come out of the water when kicking. When the arms enter don't slam the water get them in as clean as possible. In other words no splash fly.

That Guy
May 5th, 2007, 09:56 AM
Breathing slows me down. Phelps I am not.

50 fly - no breath on the first 25, free breath on the turn, one breath on the second 25.
100 fly - 1 or 2 breaths on the first 25, then breathe every other stroke until the last 12.5, no breaths from there on in.
200 fly - breathe every other stroke until I can't. Then allow some 2-1-2, 1-2-1, etc.
10k fly - :eek: oh who am I kidding, 200 meters is the most continuous fly I've done. I do intend to eventually join the Butternut Club but haven't gotten around to it yet... it'll happen any day now I'm sure...

bud
May 5th, 2007, 10:09 AM
I've been trying to focus on my butterfly lately, and I really seem to have a problem getting a breathing pattern that works.... ...if I try for every other, it almost seems like I'm working harder to get my face up to catch a breath.... ...and I'm trying to break myself of the side breathing habit.
For me the maximum point of power for fly comes at the moment before I breathe. The pull is finishing, and so is the big kick. The body is at its fullest point of extension, with the greatest forward thrust. You are “cracking the whip” so-to-speak. If you very carefully study some vids of some super swimmers you will see this.

At this point, keeping the body as flat as possible in the water, with the hips high, and still being able to breathe has been quite a challenge for me. But this is the technique that has allowed me to breathe with whatever pattern I choose, which is usually every pull, or every other pull, depending on how winded I am.

I tried side breathing very early on in my study/practice of fly and quickly dropped it. It threw me way off balance. I just recently tried some side breaths again after about 3 years of not even thinking about it and I was able to do it without throwing off my balance in the water too much. I can see now why some swimmers may prefer this method. I need to work on it more to be sure if it is right for me however.

Got Boost
May 5th, 2007, 10:26 PM
I take a breath every other stroke. It helps me keep my timing which is important.
Got Boost

The Fortress
May 6th, 2007, 07:29 AM
Breathing slows me down. Phelps I am not.

50 fly - no breath on the first 25, free breath on the turn, one breath on the second 25.
100 fly - 1 or 2 breaths on the first 25, then breathe every other stroke until the last 12.5, no breaths from there on in.
200 fly - breathe every other stroke until I can't. Then allow some 2-1-2, 1-2-1, etc.
10k fly - :eek: oh who am I kidding, 200 meters is the most continuous fly I've done. I do intend to eventually join the Butternut Club but haven't gotten around to it yet... it'll happen any day now I'm sure...

This is pretty impressive! I don't think most mortals can do this.

I agree with Muppet, breathing is largely inefficient. It depends what distance you're doing. On a 50, I try to SDK on the start and turn a lot, maybe 3 breaths per 50 or 4 at the most? On a 100, lots of SDKs on start and turn and no breathing off the starts and turns to avoid breaking streamline, then I tend to breathe every other until the end. When I tried breathing every third stroke on the first 50 on a LC 100 once, the last 15 meters was impossible. I haven't swum a masters 200. As a kid, I breathed every other until I couldn't. As a master, I wouldn't do this event. But I'm sure I would need to breathe a ton. But I know it would start to make me feel like I was going up and down instead of forward.

globuggie
May 6th, 2007, 08:45 AM
I tend to need lots of air (comes from years of being a backstroker). In practice, I almost always breathe every 2, unless it's a 25 sprint. On a 50 I usually breathe every 3 or 4, and on a 100 I breathe every 2 as long as I can, then 2 up/1 down. I haven't tried a 200 fly yet.

runner girl
May 6th, 2007, 10:11 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I think what I'm hearing is that I need to just keep practicing doing every other stroke breathing. It's just so inefficient. My brain would rather do something like every 3 or every 4.

Oh, and I guess I really need to work those SDK's so I don't have to actually swim so much.

geochuck
May 6th, 2007, 10:34 AM
We must just keep plugging away. We all swim or try to swim in the comfort zone. We must breathe, it is to figure out what is best for ourselves. I tried every thing in the past every 2, every three, no breathing you name it.

Ian
May 6th, 2007, 11:03 AM
There are examples of former and current world-class fliers who breathe every stroke (Summer Sanders) to others who use two or more in the 200 (Phelps, Davis Tarwater). Who can argue these swimmer's breathing styles weren’t/aren’t successful? One size does not fit all. Bottom line is, what works best for you?

Warren
May 6th, 2007, 12:45 PM
I like every other stroke

geochuck
May 6th, 2007, 01:32 PM
The older I get the more I have to breathe.

That Guy
May 6th, 2007, 06:26 PM
But I know it would start to make me feel like I was going up and down instead of forward.

My simple formula for the 200 fly (learned through trial and error) is pace 125, sprint 75. The time when I need to start breathing more often than every other stroke is usually just before I start sprinting. So with increased effort I mitigate the slowdown that the extra breathing causes. I think it works: in Masters, all my SCY 200 flys have been split with 3.x seconds difference between the 100's. My metric 200 flys have all split @ 6.x seconds. :mad: I need to work on the "longer pool" thing, but that means training SCY 300 flys... uhhhhhhhhhhh I'm tapering for SCY Nationals, maybe next month! :agree: