PDA

View Full Version : Is Breathing after every 3 strokes on diff sides help you go faster?



J0nath0n3
November 28th, 2007, 08:23 PM
I dont know i mean it feels like it does.. but it will take me a while to get used to.. im a sprinter and i dont think it will help me sense im not supposed to breath on the 50.. LOL. And its like crazy because my time on a 25m pool for a 50 is 26s.. And i need 23.5 for state.. what should i do?? i've tried bettering my flip turn on the end of the first 25 i do it better .. but it didnt seem to help my time.. so i dont know what else to do i cant not breath.. i mean idk i can try but ugh.. U know??

rtodd
November 28th, 2007, 09:55 PM
Maybe pose this question to Ande or hope he chimes in. He knows what breathing patterns work for 50's. I would stick to his guidelines.

Blackbeard's Peg
November 28th, 2007, 11:40 PM
If you're breathing every three strokes in a 50 free, you're breathing way too much. If you want to improve your time, you're probably going to want to breathe a lot less. I think my last 50 I swam, I was 2 breaths down and 3 back, which is more than most people (alas, sprinter I am not), but it is a good place to start. Breathing is horribly ineffecient. The less you breathe, the better.

To answer your question, I don't think breathing every three strokes will help you go faster per se, but it will help you balance out your stroke, which will drive effeciency which will help you go faster.

phdude
November 28th, 2007, 11:55 PM
Exactly, you don't want to breathe much on the 50. honestly in order to reach your goals i wouldn't worry about going no breath, i just watched a kid do a 21.3 at our pool with 2 breaths. you just want to work on your strength and having an early catch and fast stroke turnover.

for longer distances it's up to you. if you watch most swimmers on the international circuit, alternate breathing seems to be a lost art except for a few (laure manadou for one). you don't even need to be that balanced in your stroke during breaths (watch phelps 200m free wr, he has a pretty big gallop). the main thing you want to do is just make sure that you are breathing on both sides at least in practice, otherwise you'll have neck problems. if i'm doing longer distances, i do 4 laps breathing on my right, then breathe on my left the next 4, and so on.

but really if you are going for the 50 don't worry about breathing, just get in the weight room and do a bunch of sprint sets.

Syd
November 29th, 2007, 12:48 AM
Some good advice here.

For a 50 SCM Free I would go one breath down and 2 back. (Or less, if possible, but that is my limit at the moment). You absolutely have to train yourself to take fewer breaths. For me it is quite simple: the fewer breaths I take, the faster I go. Remember to keep your head down. An early catch, hugely strong pull, powerful kick and perfect streamline are all equally important.

The alternate breathing is going to help you so don't give up on it yet. It is going to help you balance your stroke out. Also ( and this might be its greatest benefit) if you usually breathe every second stroke like I do, it is going to train you to hold your breath. I have only started alternate breathing every third stroke recently and already I can feel the difference. At first it destroys your rhythm and you feel out of breath very soon. Persevere. Remember it will take at least 3 weeks before you can develop a new habit. After three weeks report back and tell us how it has gone. I can almost guarantee it will have positive benefits.

Another way to train yourself to take fewer breaths is do 10 x 25m fast no breathers at the end of practice. Don't give in to the urge to breathe.

Syd

art_z
November 29th, 2007, 09:06 AM
you don't need to alternate breath, but you should breathe less, especially in the shorter races, as breathing does slow your stroke down. I try to breath every 4 (I suck at breathing on my left) in the 100 in practice for as long as possible, at least for the first 50. I notice its 2 to 3 seconds faster per repeat than breathing every stroke.

knelson
November 29th, 2007, 12:11 PM
the main thing you want to do is just make sure that you are breathing on both sides at least in practice, otherwise you'll have neck problems.

Bah. I breathe almost exclusively to my right and have never had neck problems.

I think everyone should learn to bilaterally breathe and do it in practice on occasion, but during a race you should breathe however is most comfortable to you. Personally I breathe every cycle on anything over 100 yards.

thewookiee
November 29th, 2007, 01:30 PM
Breathing to one side doesn't cause neck problems. Having poor timing, lifting the head instead of rolling/turning it causes neck problems.


I think that you should breath whenever you feel the need too...be it the 50 or 1500. If you need to breath a lot in the 50, then work on improving your timing for the breath, so that it doesn't interfere as much with your stroke rate.

If you are able to breath less, and feel that it is a benefit, then go for it.

tomtopo
November 30th, 2007, 11:23 AM
It takes approximately 10 seconds to gain the benifits from the oxygen you breathe in. If you took a breath approximately 10 seconds before the end of your race it probably wouldn't be advantageous to take another breath. The efficiency of person's lungs and how they transport O2 is also a consideration that will effect the breathing pattern of a swimmer.

The action of breathing, in long-axis strokes (free and back) causes a up and down motion due to the increasing and deacreasing of oxygen (bouyancy). A controlled breathing pattern allows the body to maintain a more stable body and that's an advantage. You can't choose a breathing pattern the disrupts the streamlining of the body.

In short-axis swimming, breathing every stroke in breaststroke and every other stroke in butterfly is an accepted norm.

With all this being said, trying to reduce oxygen debt and it's by-products are important considerations when choosing a breathing pattern. So, as distance increases it's a good bet that a more liberal breathing pattern should be established.

On the 10 seconds to benifit guesstimate - breaths per distance might look like this:

50 Free 1-2 -3 maybe 4 breaths
100 Free 10 breaths
200 20 minimum - max would vary

This is a great question and I know someone who watches world class swimmers knows the answer to it.

3strokes
November 30th, 2007, 09:28 PM
I swim (and swam) faster breathing every stroke (always on my left, 50 LCM. Between 1960 and 1962-ish went from 30" to 27".2). The rolling pattern is part of the style. When I breathe, only my left eye is above water and when I'm on my -almost- left side, my left eye is under water. That's my rhythm; if I try to not breathe, I'm just not as comfortable -or as fast.
I can't just bury my face and windmill it.

phdude
December 1st, 2007, 02:25 AM
Bah. I breathe almost exclusively to my right and have never had neck problems.

I think everyone should learn to bilaterally breathe and do it in practice on occasion, but during a race you should breathe however is most comfortable to you. Personally I breathe every cycle on anything over 100 yards.

you're telling me that you never breathe to the left even in practice? well if that is the case, you have to admit that you are the exception rather than the rule; I had noticeable neck issues at 11, and some of my friends got them a couple years later.

i forget which book it is, perhaps swimming fastest, but studies show that breathing only to one side throughout training leads to a muscle imbalance of up to 10%. it has nothing to do w/ poor technique, although that may make it worse, in the end it is best to practice on both.

geez, you can't even make a suggestion on here that seems like common sense for most swimmers without people jumping on you with "well i don't need to do that" well congratulations, but that's not the point here. is it a good suggestion for jonathon to breathe only on his right from now on? no, ok thank you.

geochuck
December 1st, 2007, 10:09 AM
Bi lateral breathing is good for balance and I have done it in practice. When I race I do not breathe on both sides. Also when I race I do not wear goggles. I only race 50s and 100s so I do not do much breathing. In a fiifty maybe 2 breaths, in a hundred, maybe 8 breaths.

I am a left side breather, I occasionaly breathe on the right side to look at other swimmers.

I am presently down in weight and will be in shape to race in January. Got timed for a 100 yards yesterday in a twenty yard pool, all open pull-up turns. I am having trouble with my flip turns, I guess it is that I have trouble tucking, the new knees (2 years old) still give me problems.

1:05 for the 100 yards.

J0nath0n3
December 1st, 2007, 11:00 AM
Some good advice here.

For a 50 SCM Free I would go one breath down and 2 back. (Or less, if possible, but that is my limit at the moment). You absolutely have to train yourself to take fewer breaths. For me it is quite simple: the fewer breaths I take, the faster I go. Remember to keep your head down. An early catch, hugely strong pull, powerful kick and perfect streamline are all equally important.

The alternate breathing is going to help you so don't give up on it yet. It is going to help you balance your stroke out. Also ( and this might be its greatest benefit) if you usually breathe every second stroke like I do, it is going to train you to hold your breath. I have only started alternate breathing every third stroke recently and already I can feel the difference. At first it destroys your rhythm and you feel out of breath very soon. Persevere. Remember it will take at least 3 weeks before you can develop a new habit. After three weeks report back and tell us how it has gone. I can almost guarantee it will have positive benefits.

Another way to train yourself to take fewer breaths is do 10 x 25m fast no breathers at the end of practice. Don't give in to the urge to breathe.

Syd
Thanks syd i have a meet today and i am going to try doing 1 breath to and 2 back see if my time will improove and ill post here after 3 weeks of practicing doing alot of 200s on both sides breath every 3 strokes

ALM
December 1st, 2007, 11:29 AM
.... after 3 weeks of practicing doing alot of 200s on both sides breath every 3 strokes

J0nath0n3,

In practice you also might try swimming some of your 200s like this:

1st 50 - breathe every 3 strokes
next 50 - breathe every 5 strokes
next 50 - breathe every 7 strokes
last 50 - breathe every 3 strokes

knelson
December 1st, 2007, 01:31 PM
geez, you can't even make a suggestion on here that seems like common sense for most swimmers without people jumping on you with "well i don't need to do that" well congratulations, but that's not the point here. is it a good suggestion for jonathon to breathe only on his right from now on? no, ok thank you.

Are you forgetting this is a discussion forum? We're having a discussion here. Yes, I'm sure it's possible breathing to one side can cause a neck problem, but you stated it almost as if neck problems are a given if you only breathe to one side.

No, I do sometimes breathe to my left in practice, but not much. I really don't think this uncommon at all. As I said, I do think it's advantageous to be able to breathe to both sides, I just think in races you should breathe however is most comfortable. Besides, the original question was about breathing during a 50. Most elite swimmers will not take many breaths and I would guess they typically takes whatever breaths they do take to the same side. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I do think most swimmers have a preferred side for breathing.

Syd
December 1st, 2007, 07:45 PM
Bi lateral breathing is good for balance and I have done it in practice. When I race I do not breathe on both sides. Also when I race I do not wear goggles. I only race 50s and 100s so I do not do much breathing. In a fiifty maybe 2 breaths, in a hundred, maybe 8 breaths.

I am a left side breather, I occasionaly breathe on the right side to look at other swimmers.

I am presently down in weight and will be in shape to race in January. Got timed for a 100 yards yesterday in a twenty yard pool, all open pull-up turns. I am having trouble with my flip turns, I guess it is that I have trouble tucking, the new knees (2 years old) still give me problems.

1:05 for the 100 yards.

Way to go George! :banana: Haven't seen you around here much lately or maybe I have just missed your postings.

Are you left handed then? What makes a left side breather? It would be interesting to have a poll on this one: how many favour the left side for breathing and how many favour the right. I would think the right side would be the clear favourite but I may be wrong.

I have been practicing bilateral breathing for barely 10 days now but already it has gotten much easier. My biggest problem has been concentrating on not lifting my head when breathing to my left. I have to keep reminding myself to roll from the hip. It just comes naturally on the right but requires immense concentration on the left.



i forget which book it is, perhaps swimming fastest, but studies show that breathing only to one side throughout training leads to a muscle imbalance of up to 10%.

This is an interesting comment and certainly rings true for me. The whole right side of my body is more developed than my left side. To a certain extent, I think this is natural with right handers and vice versa but if bilateral breathing can help me even out this imbalance then that is good enough reason alone to do it.

At the moment, if I were to race, I would certainly only breathe to my right side. I just am not comfortable enough with bilateral breathing. It is going to take weeks, if not months to get used to it. But there have been some immediate benefits from switching to bilateral in training: it helps me to keep my left elbow high (my left elbow drops when I breathe to the right) and it is training me to take fewer breaths. (At first I felt horribly out of breath but that is getting better). Hopefully it can also go some way in helping out in the right/left body strength imbalance issue, too.

Syd

Kurt Dickson
December 1st, 2007, 07:57 PM
My 2 cents--Bilateral breathe in workout; helps with balance and avoids shoulder pain (at least for me). Race--breathing to right (or whatever side is comfortable). I know I get more hypoxic (or at least feel like it) when breathing every 3rd in a race.

Also, I swear I saw Dara Torres breathe nearly every stroke (actually every 2) in the 100 in some previous Olympics several years back.

3strokes
December 1st, 2007, 10:22 PM
Are you left handed then? What makes a left side breather? It would be interesting to have a poll on this one: how many favour the left side for breathing and how many favour the right. I would think the right side would be the clear favourite but I may be wrong.


Syd

I am right-handed and breathe on my left. It just came naturally to me. I find it more natural (for me) to swim with my right side down. I will sometimes do the SFK (where F=Flutter as opposed to SDK) on my side (right-side down). It feels faster to me than my regular chest-down SFK but I've not had it timed. When you look at fish, they will mostly have a narrower silhouette when looked at from above than from the side.

RecreationalSwimmer
December 2nd, 2007, 09:56 AM
Are you left handed then? What makes a left side breather? It would be interesting to have a poll on this one:

Yes, we should have a... poll?

http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=7513

geochuck
December 2nd, 2007, 11:26 AM
Syd - I write left handed but do everything else right handed. My strongest arm is the right arm. I have always been a left side breather.

I am still in Mexico so only get on the internet a little down here as I have too many other activities. Teaching swimming, training and lots of walking.

art_z
December 2nd, 2007, 03:22 PM
you're telling me that you never breathe to the left even in practice? well if that is the case, you have to admit that you are the exception rather than the rule; I had noticeable neck issues at 11, and some of my friends got them a couple years later..

Been breathing on my right for 30 years .. no problems.

knelson
December 2nd, 2007, 05:00 PM
Syd - I write left handed but do everything else right handed. My strongest arm is the right arm. I have always been a left side breather.

I've heard before that your off-arm (i.e. left arm for right-handers) is usually stronger. This is because you use your dominant arm for fine motor tasks and the other arm is then relegated to more of the "heavy lifting" activities. Not really sure if this is true, but it makes some sense. Anyway, I'm left-handed and breathe predominantly to my right.

david.margrave
December 2nd, 2007, 06:20 PM
I breathe about 60% of the time on my left, my right arm is a little stronger (I'm left-handed). I try to breathe every 3rd stroke on longer races but sometimes will do every 2 breaths out of turns, then switch to 3. I also have some habits, my first stroke out of a turn is my right and my first breath is on the left, but I'm trying to get out of the habit of breathing immediately out of a turn, because it slows you down a little bit and on longer races, 0.1 second per turn can add up. One advantage of being able to breathe on either side is you can take a breath right before your turn. Although I have another habit here, my last breath before a turn is usually on my left.

Surfsalterpath
December 2nd, 2007, 10:54 PM
For my balancing act I breath into the rope(lane markers), which helps me not get a mouthful of water, and allows me to feel comfortable breathing on both sides and to feel balanced when I do have to alternate breathing sides. For long distance events I do try to breath every 3rd and alternate.

We are lucky enough to not have to circle swim! For example I breath into the rope on my left going down and on my right coming back, and I am faster coming back than going down(weird.)

One thing I have found is that instead of exhaling the whole time my face is under water is to hold (or let a little air leak out both nose and mouth) my breath as long as I can and (almost kind of violently) EXHALE as much out of my lungs as possible BEFORE the next grasp of oxygen. I do not know why but my times indicate I am faster w/ this breathing technique, than exhaling continuously on my sprints(50's and 100's)