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Thread: Newbie Swimmer - Breathlessness and Mental Barriers

  1. #1
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    Newbie Swimmer - Breathlessness and Mental Barriers

    Hi Fellow Master's Swimmers!

    I'm a fairly new swimmer and started to regularly swim since the March of this year. I've been slowly working on improving my freestyle technique and my endurance. I have to say that I have seen slow improvements in my technique. focusing mainly on my balance -- keeping my head down and engaging my core to keep me balanced. I'm working on my breathing but I still have some breathlessness after swimming 25 yards. At the beginning of my swimming adventure, I was sucking air after completing a length. Today, I am winded, but not as much. Nonetheless, I still have some breathlessness. My endurance has improved as I was able to swim 200 yards total, but now swim to 600-700 yards. And my rest intervals after each length have shortened to seconds. So, I am happy about the improvements. However, I am having this mental/psychological block of continually swim with no rest. I know I can do it and I have the endurance, but I just have this barrier or maybe a fear of continually swim. What am I afraid of? And I'm not sure how to break through this mental barrier. Any suggestions?

    I am currently swimming 2-3 times a week. Each session is about a hour and about 600-700 yards. Most of my workout is drills on improving my balance mixed with drills to improve my pull/catch, rotations. And kicking drills too. I did take a few private lessons and was fortunate to find a great Master's team that was able to practice with and the coach has been great with giving me guidance on my technical improvement.

    Anyway, I've enjoyed my swimming adventure. I actually like working out and look forward to my swimming workouts!

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Very Active Member ForceDJ's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Swimmer - Breathlessness and Mental Barriers

    It doesn't sound to me like you're afraid of anything, and I don't think you have any barriers. You are working hard, and you are steadily progressing! It seems you have a plan for continued improvement. Just keep doing what you're doing (i.e. finding and doing drills for improvement). Good job!

    Dan

  3. #3
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    Re: Newbie Swimmer - Breathlessness and Mental Barriers

    Thanks ForceDJ for the encouragement! Sometimes, I've been impatient with the slow progress in my swimming technique, but I'll continue to plug away. One of these days, everything will click and all those drills will be worth it. -Joe

  4. #4
    Active Member airborne18th's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Swimmer - Breathlessness and Mental Barriers

    Quote Originally Posted by josene433 View Post
    Hi Fellow Master's Swimmers!

    I'm a fairly new swimmer and started to regularly swim since the March of this year. I've been slowly working on improving my freestyle technique and my endurance. I have to say that I have seen slow improvements in my technique. focusing mainly on my balance -- keeping my head down and engaging my core to keep me balanced. I'm working on my breathing but I still have some breathlessness after swimming 25 yards. At the beginning of my swimming adventure, I was sucking air after completing a length. Today, I am winded, but not as much. Nonetheless, I still have some breathlessness. My endurance has improved as I was able to swim 200 yards total, but now swim to 600-700 yards. And my rest intervals after each length have shortened to seconds. So, I am happy about the improvements. However, I am having this mental/psychological block of continually swim with no rest. I know I can do it and I have the endurance, but I just have this barrier or maybe a fear of continually swim. What am I afraid of? And I'm not sure how to break through this mental barrier. Any suggestions?

    I am currently swimming 2-3 times a week. Each session is about a hour and about 600-700 yards. Most of my workout is drills on improving my balance mixed with drills to improve my pull/catch, rotations. And kicking drills too. I did take a few private lessons and was fortunate to find a great Master's team that was able to practice with and the coach has been great with giving me guidance on my technical improvement.

    Anyway, I've enjoyed my swimming adventure. I actually like working out and look forward to my swimming workouts!

    Cheers!
    With breathing work on exhaling completely. You can do that with yoga breathing exercises that will strengthen your breathing muscles. Right before you are about to do your breath, you should push out the remaining air with a push of the diaphragm. This can be difficult for those who have a hard time keeping the core engaged while swimming. So best to start with dryland breathing exercises.


    For the distance tolerance at least the mental and physical side.. instead of thinking in distance... think in time. target 8 min swims as your goal.. then progress from that.
    TSAC-F,Swim Speed Secrets - STGRID

  5. #5
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    Re: Newbie Swimmer - Breathlessness and Mental Barriers

    Thanks Airborne18th. I will be more conscious about my breathing, engaging my diaphragm. Aah...good idea. I track my running progress by time instead of distance, why not my swimming progress? I'll take that in my next swimming session. Cheers!

  6. #6
    Active Member airborne18th's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Swimmer - Breathlessness and Mental Barriers

    Quote Originally Posted by josene433 View Post
    Thanks Airborne18th. I will be more conscious about my breathing, engaging my diaphragm. Aah...good idea. I track my running progress by time instead of distance, why not my swimming progress? I'll take that in my next swimming session. Cheers!
    The short answer about time vs distance is that workouts are fundamentally about the amount of time and intensity. You need to build your endurance base, and swimming continuously is more important than pace or distance at this point. It is about doing work at an aerobic steady state, and every week increasing the amount of work.. building aerobic capacity..

    And working on your core muscles is never a waste of time.. breathing and your swimming form are both relying on you to work your core.. Your breathing when stressed from working out requires different muscles than when you are just sitting around or walking around.. ( it is why people get side stitches when they workout.. weak breathing muscles ).
    TSAC-F,Swim Speed Secrets - STGRID

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