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Thread: Gasping for Breath After a 25 yds

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    Gasping for Breath After a 25 yds

    I'm 64, slightly asthmatic, in decent shape from years of bicycling, and swim in a pool disinfected with chlorine and ozone. I have a decent freestyle, but can't swim more than 25 yds. without gasping for breath.

    My three theories are: 1) my heart muscle just doesn't have the strength to send the blood to my muscles, 2) my wind passages are closing up as an allergic reaction to the ozone, and 3) my stroke technique prevents me from getting a good breath of air. As to No. 2, if you google "ozone allergies", you'll see articles talking about how ozone triggers an asthmatic attack in asthma sufferers.

    Does anyone have any theories about why I can't swim more than 25 yds.?

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    Re: Gasping for Breath After a 25 yds

    It could be chemicals that cause an allergic reaction. However, in my case, I have to be in the pool area a little longer, about 300 yards.
    The most common problem is exhaling. There is an article on this website about breathing. If you con't exhale completely, you can't take in more air. You only need to turn your head a little (keep one goggle in the water), and take a small breath. If you haven't exhaled, you will be very short of breath.

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Gasping for Breath After a 25 yds

    Agreed as Betsy says. Many swimmers try to hold their breath too long and then try to catch up with oxygen debt. A 25 is not long enough to do this , so it must be a physical thing going on.

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    Re: Gasping for Breath After a 25 yds

    #1 is called the ejection fraction. If this is a recent development I would check with a cardiologist to be on the safe side.

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    Re: Gasping for Breath After a 25 yds

    betsy:

    Can you help me locate the article about breathing you're referring to. Do you mean an article or a thread on the forum about breathing. I seel lots of those, but I don't think that's what you're referring to.
    Thanks.





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    Very Active Member determinedtri's Avatar
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    Re: Gasping for Breath After a 25 yds

    I think this is the article Betsy is talking about:
    Exhaling - the hidden secret to swimming further and faster

    Betsy, did I guess right?

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    Re: Gasping for Breath After a 25 yds

    Thanks Determinedtri. Helpful article.

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    Re: Gasping for Breath After a 25 yds

    You could try swimming about 25 yds in open water where there are no chemicals (not in a pool) to see if you have a reaction and how your breathing feels (out of breath) and that might tell you if 2) is the problem. If you are in decent shape, it seems like 1) would be unlikely swimming 25 yds., but swimming laps is very aerobic exercise. I think many adults who initially jump in the pool to swim laps find it very fatiguing and are out of breathe in one length or two, especially if they are tense, fighting it, and pushing the pace. Relax, swim slower, feel the glide in your stroke, and even just kick along with your arms stretched out for awhile if you have a decent freestyle. You can build from one length to two lengths, then three and more over time. If someone on the pool deck can check out your stroke mechanics, body position, breathing and kicking that may help you with 3) or post up a video on you-tube and link it to this forum.
    Some guys they just give up living and start dying little by little, piece by piece. Some guys come home from work and wash up and go racin’ in the street. (Bruce Springsteen, 1978)

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    Re: Gasping for Breath After a 25 yds

    My guess is, when you're swimming, you're exerting too much, you're trying to hard, and probably not swimming with ease. Even though you've got years on the bike, swim conditioning is a whole new thing.

    To confirm this, I would need to see you swim.

    I suggest you get one on one swimming technique lessons. to learn how to properly swim.

    have someone make a video of you swimming, post it on youtube and provide us with the link

    check these out:

    Total Immersion: How I Learned to Swim Effortlessly in 10 Days and You Can Too

    The Most Graceful Freestyle Swimming by Shinji Takeuchi ...



    Quote Originally Posted by rlee2274 View Post
    I'm 64, slightly asthmatic, in decent shape from years of bicycling, and swim in a pool disinfected with chlorine and ozone. I have a decent freestyle, but can't swim more than 25 yds. without gasping for breath.

    My three theories are:
    1) my heart muscle just doesn't have the strength to send the blood to my muscles,
    2) my wind passages are closing up as an allergic reaction to the ozone, and
    3) my stroke technique prevents me from getting a good breath of air. As to No. 2, if you google "ozone allergies", you'll see articles talking about how ozone triggers an asthmatic attack in asthma sufferers.

    Does anyone have any theories about why I can't swim more than 25 yds.?
    Last edited by ande; April 7th, 2015 at 02:45 PM.

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    Re: Gasping for Breath After a 25 yds

    First of all, get a stress test. Eliminate any heart issues. Being in good shape doesn't mean there isn't something going on, though it's unlikely given that you don't have breathing troubles with other forms of exercise. Still, my BIL is a hockey coach and in his 50s, he's in better shape than anybody I know. He had a mild heart attack earlier this year that required a stint. So you never know. Not trying to be a bummer, but it's always a good idea to get checked out when you start a new exercise.

    When I started to swim after years out of the pool, it took me ages to build aerobic capacity, even though I'd been an avid cyclist and done a lot of other aerobics. Sojerz et al are right; because we're in water we forget that swimming is highly aerobic. I'd swim a half length, stop, swim back, and build up to a whole length. Like ande said, you might want to swim in another type of environment to see if it's really ozone or just conditioning. I think the links to Total Immersion are a good starting place.

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