Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: tips for breathing and swimming comfortably with a snorkel?

  1. #1
    Active Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    51

    tips for breathing and swimming comfortably with a snorkel?

    Hi, I'm trying to figure out how to use a snorkel comfortably, preferably without a nose clip (because the noseclips keep falling off me). I use a Finis snorkel and either get water up my nose or have small bits of water accumulate in the snorkel. It's a little better when I exhale through my nose, but either way, water accumulates in places that make it uncomfortable to swim more than a 25. Even when I don't suck in little bits of water, it's really hard to get enough air, and I can feel myself panicking. After each lengths, I stop and empty little bits of water from my snorkel, and catch my breath. (I am an experienced competitive swimmer in good health, so I'm very comfortable in the water without a snorkel.) Even with a noseclip, it's uncomfortable.

    My son is just beginning winter swim team, and they will be using snorkels too. The coach advised for them not to use a noseclip, that they will get used to swimming without it. So I'm looking for advice for both myself and for my son, so we can use the snorkels comfortably. Any advice on breathing easier with snorkels would be much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    167

    Re: tips for breathing and swimming comfortably with a snork

    Breathe in through your mouth, and out through your nose, regardless of a snorkel or not. ONly time to use a nose clip would be for backstroke. Exhale continuously through your nose, just meter the rate, and you shouldn't have any issues getting water in your nose.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    schaumburg, il - U S A
    Posts
    7,417

    Re: tips for breathing and swimming comfortably with a snork

    Breathe in through your mouth, and out through your nose, regardless of a snorkel or not. is the best way to swim properly without any of your problems.
    Do you flip turn with the snorkel?

  4. #4
    Active Member Treebox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    90

    Re: tips for breathing and swimming comfortably with a snork

    For my training, I feel the center-line snorkel has become one of my favorite tools in the bag. I admit that it took quite a while to get comfortable and not focus on the intricacies of its use. Initially, I only used it for longer, lower intensity pull sets. Today, I utilize it for greater than 50% of my workout. I use it for all up-tempo and performance sets. It allows me to focus on head and body position.

    I both inhale and exhale through the Finis snorkel. I think it will become a personal preference as you get more acclimated. I replaced my original Finis about 18 months ago when the headpiece materiel deteriorated. The replacement had a different purge valve design. I preferred the old design which did a better job clearing residual water. I ended up placing the new headpiece on my original tube.

    I also recommend use of the "cardio cap" which forces increased effort. Over time. the benefits to your cardio thresholds are noticeable.

    Turns are no problem; you will masters the use of a Finis snorkel soon.

    Good luck,
    Tree

  5. #5
    Very Active Member Mark Usher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
    Posts
    118

    Re: tips for breathing and swimming comfortably with a snork

    I use my Finis snorkel a lot in practice: Drill sets, kick sets (in streamline without a kickboard), long pull sets (working on SPL) and for some speed work (25's & 50's).

    I first started using it several years ago at the suggestion of my coach to help correct crossing over with my left arm in freestyle - I did a lot of catch up drills with the snorkel allowing me to keep my head down and concentrate on my alignment.

    Once you get comfortable with it, I would suggest timing your breathing the same way as you would in your normal stroke cycle without the snorkel.

    Flip turns are no big deal; just exhale a little bit to form an air bubble in the snorkel just before you tuck your head.

  6. #6
    Active Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    51

    Re: tips for breathing and swimming comfortably with a snork

    Thanks, everyone, for your kind and helpful replies. It sounds like it will get easier after an initial period of discomfort. No I have not tried flip turns yet - just one 25 at a time is all I can manage. Hoping everyone can answer a couple of followup questions --

    • When I breathed in through my mouth and out through my nose, I always got a little water inside the snorkel -- is this normal? This is why I stop every 25 (also because I feel short on air.)
    • How do you do flip turns with a snorkel and not choke on water?
    • Do you get less air with the snorkel (without the cardio cap) than normal breathing? Maybe this accounts for my feeling of air deprivation.

    Thanks again for your replies!


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Usher View Post
    I use my Finis snorkel a lot in practice: Drill sets, kick sets (in streamline without a kickboard), long pull sets (working on SPL) and for some speed work (25's & 50's).

    I first started using it several years ago at the suggestion of my coach to help correct crossing over with my left arm in freestyle - I did a lot of catch up drills with the snorkel allowing me to keep my head down and concentrate on my alignment.

    Once you get comfortable with it, I would suggest timing your breathing the same way as you would in your normal stroke cycle without the snorkel.

    Flip turns are no big deal; just exhale a little bit to form an air bubble in the snorkel just before you tuck your head.

  7. #7
    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    549
    Blog Entries
    295

    Re: tips for breathing and swimming comfortably with a snork

    For the turns.... going into the turns, take a breath like and breathe out through your nose as you would in a normal turn. You'll clear the snorkel as it hits the surface with a big push of air and for me, I usually have to do a second push to clear out the rest of it. There's enough air after the first push to grab a breath to push out the rest. Having a snorkel with a purge valve helps a lot. https://www.swimoutlet.com/p/finis-s...-snorkel-1221/

    I occasionally get a little panicky on long sets with the snorkel if I'm going hard. I typically use mine for kicking, sculling and warming up to get the body and arms aligned. It definitely takes some time to get used to them, but stick with it. It gives you another tool in your belt to use to help your stroke improve.
    "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it." - Jonathan Winters, actor and comedian

  8. #8
    Participating Member Zwemmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    22

    Re: tips for breathing and swimming comfortably with a snork

    Thanks for this post and all the replies. I've been thinking about getting a Finis snorkel & y'all have saved me a lot of time & prevented likely problems.

  9. #9
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    schaumburg, il - U S A
    Posts
    7,417

    Re: tips for breathing and swimming comfortably with a snork

    Are we sure the snorkel is worth the effort?

  10. #10
    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    549
    Blog Entries
    295

    Re: tips for breathing and swimming comfortably with a snork

    Quote Originally Posted by orca1946 View Post
    Are we sure the snorkel is worth the effort?
    Absolutely I do! When I use it, it gives me a chance to work on form. You can watch your hand entry and create some balance. I'm terrible about breathing 90% to my right, so using a snorkel helps get the stroke back into alignment. I use it just about daily in warmup (for about 200-300y) and my coach has seen a difference in the form. I also find it useful in kick sets to keep the body in a more natural swimming position, rather than arched back as you lean on the board. And it's great for sculling. In all of these instances, it takes the variable of turning your head to breathe so that you can focus on good form.
    "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it." - Jonathan Winters, actor and comedian

  11. #11
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    s c
    Posts
    2,491
    Blog Entries
    742

    Re: tips for breathing and swimming comfortably with a snork

    With practice your follow up questions should answered and solved.

    I have used 3 brands: the finis freestyle, aquasphere mp, and TYR. The finis seems easiest to learn on, but the aquasphere is the best for performance.

    They’re great for recreational, scenic OW swims too. Just remember to routinely disinfect device

  12. #12
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    3

    Re: tips for breathing and swimming comfortably with a snork

    I've loved using a snorkel ever since my coach recommended them when I was in high school, and it's been my favorite piece of gear ever since. Some thoughts.

    • Accept that there's going to be a learning curve. It took me a couple weeks to be comfortable swimming with one in high school when I first learned to use one, and when I got back into swimming recently it again took a week or so of using one before I reacclimated.
    • Learn to keep positive air pressure in your nose while breathing in through your mouth. I breathe both in and out through my mouth when using one, except occasionally breathing out through my nose to "reset" the air pressure or on turns obviously.
    • Learn to clear the snorkel. This basically consists of forcefully blowing a burst of air out of your mouth, which will clear any water in the snorkel. This is obviously used after turns since the snorkel will fill, but you should also use it to clear the small amounts of water that get in while swimming.
    • Don't panic if there's a little water in the snorkel. There will often be some water in there, but it won't impede your breathing. If there's more than a little, just breathe in slowly until you have enough air to clear the snorkel.
    • I've used the finis snorkel and the speedo bullet snorkel, and I much prefer the latter. The design means much less wobbling, but I've also found that I prefer snorkels without a purge valve. The main purpose of a purge valve is that it lets water drain when you lift your head out of the water, but while swimming I don't find that they do much and they're just another possible point of failure. I find that it's easier to get a good clear without the purge valve, and when you stop at the wall just pull the snorkel out of your mouth for a second to let any residual water drain.
    • This depends on the snorkel and your breathing pattern, but I find that even without a cap you do get less overall air when using a snorkel than you do breathing regularly. Being out of breath is a feature of using a snorkel, not a bug.
    • Flip turns take some getting used to. Before you flip, take a deep breath and hold it. Then do a normal flip turn, exhaling out of your nose as usual. Then during your streamline, just after the tip of your snorkel breaks the surface (you'll learn the timing), clear the snorkel with a big burst of air. This process is fairly air-intensive (hence the breath before), but once you get the timing right it's surprisingly easy to clear out the snorkel before/as you breakout.
    Last edited by Dirichlet; September 25th, 2018 at 12:14 PM.

  13. #13
    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    549
    Blog Entries
    295

    Re: tips for breathing and swimming comfortably with a snork

    "Being out of breath is a feature of using a snorkel, not a bug."
    Best line of the day!
    "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it." - Jonathan Winters, actor and comedian

Similar Threads

  1. snorkel breathing
    By Jlvs2run in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: June 27th, 2016, 10:14 AM
  2. Finis Center Mount Snorkel or Freestyle Snorkel?
    By Syd in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: December 15th, 2014, 06:39 PM
  3. Breathing Tips for New Swimmer
    By tallady in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: October 19th, 2006, 08:09 PM
  4. Snorkel and Aerobic Breathing
    By lapswimmr in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: October 5th, 2005, 03:11 PM
  5. Any tips on breathing more easily during freestyle
    By Tan in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: November 12th, 2002, 11:13 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •