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Thread: Breaststroke breathing

  1. #1
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    Breaststroke breathing

    Is there a rule that we must breathe every stroke? I find if I breathe each stroke I cannot exhale enough air so by the end of the lap I feel like I have too much air in already. Does that make sense? If I breathe every other then I don't have that trouble.

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    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
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    Re: Breaststroke breathing

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverdolphin View Post
    Is there a rule that we must breathe every stroke? I find if I breathe each stroke I cannot exhale enough air so by the end of the lap I feel like I have too much air in already. Does that make sense? If I breathe every other then I don't have that trouble.
    Head has to break the water every stroke (or maybe it's shoulders? I don't remember exactly). You don't have to breathe at all if you don't want to.
    400 IMer/200 backstroker in another life, now sprinter/breaststroker... Yeah, I don't know how that happened either!

  3. #3
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Breaststroke breathing

    Your head must break the surface of the water every stroke. There is no requirement for breathing. Some people have experimented with every other stroke breathing for sprints, but because of the natural movement with the chest rising on the insweep it is really not faster for most people not to breathe, and oxygen is good. So all the elites breathe every stroke. If that is not better for you, then just make sure your head breaks the surface.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

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    Re: Breaststroke breathing

    Silverdolphin,

    Based on your description, it sounds like your turn-over is too fast which does not allow you enough time to exhale.

    As an experiment, I suggest you make the streamline glide at the front of each stroke longer (try 2 seconds). This gives you more time to exhale, reduces drag, and reduces the effort you are expending.

    Good Luck.

    Paul

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    Re: Breaststroke breathing

    Thanks Paul. I did try a longer glide. It helps but also feels slower. I'm not race training. Just for efficiency. Enjoying getting back in the water!

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    Re: Breaststroke breathing

    Silverdolphin,

    Glad that the longer glide helps. No doubt it will feel slower since you are not moving as often - only a pace clock will confirm if it really is slower.

    Another aspect of breathing is that many swimmers focus too much on inhaling as much as they can instead of exhaling as much as they can. If you are not doing this already, experiment with exhaling more forcefully and longer - to the point of feeling like you have no more air to expel from your lungs. Don't even worry about inhaling - your lungs will do that automatically. Some swimmers find this difficult to do - maybe because those muscles are not used to being used. Practice while walking around or at the edge of the pool.

    If this helps with that "too much air" feeling, shorten the glide and "feel" faster again.

    Good Luck...Paul

  7. #7
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Breaststroke breathing

    If you have a good BR kick you should be able to glide at least some without losing much speed. In an AFAP sprint you shouldn't glide, but you should get to totally streamlined at the end of each kick. A common stroke flaw is to start the pull before finishing the kick. If you are doing that it would give less time to exhale and not be as fast.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
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