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Swim Stroke


Have a question, although i'm sure it will be told it's down to preferance!

Was working on how many strokes and breathe last night?!

My usual was 2 and breathe, but my coach thought that i should try 3 and 4! As you all know, 3 is very strange, well it was to me, becuase you have to breathe from both sides! I'm right handed and so breathe natural to my right, but 3 was left as well!!

Tool in more water than the titanic the first 4 odd lengths, but i got quite comfy with it!

My first Tri is open water, so i'll be happy with just actually surving, but would be interested to know what hardened Tri's think as to which is a good option?!



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    WannabetriWannabetri Posts: 219
    In terms of training in a pool, 3 count swimming is particularly useful as it is important further down the line that you learn to comfortably breathe both sounds. Nothing worse than someone next to you on your breathing side splashing water into your mouth and face!

    Racing- I will always go breathing every two strokes but may change sides (right to left) depending on turns and other competitors. No point breathing 3's or 4's as it is more likely to take you anaerobic from oxygen debt.

    However, it's your first race and first open swim so just find a safe spot and get yourself through it. As you do more races and get more confident, you can try different things. [image]http://forum.220magazine.com/micons/m9.gif[/image]
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    epacseepacse Posts: 92
    Ahhh right, with you! Makes perfect sense!

    Getting through it is my ultimate goal! [:D]

    Thanks for the feedback though, makes total sense and taken in and digested!

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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Bi-lateral breathing is essential to help get your stroke symmetrical. Don't know about anybody else, but it also gets my hand position sorted, makes me stretch and sorts out my exit. In all, I go a LOT faster using bi-lateral breathing, and more efficiently too....

    ...but when I'm racing I default to breathing on one side only, as I run into oxygen deficit pretty quickly at race pace breathing bi-laterally. I'm hoping to fix that this year [:D]

    Good point about having the option to breathe on the other side when required. I used this on the Bournemouth Pier-to-pier swim last year, when you could occasionally find a large wave about to fill your mouth just as you were going to breathe. In that case you hang on until you can turn to the other side and get a breath.

    Practice by doing alternate lengths of breathing every two, first on the right, then on the left.
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    Breathing Bi-Laterally is a godsend for triathlons,in pool swims its handy to be able to change sides as already mentioned in case you end up with a "splasher" one side of you. This is also true for open water events where "chop" on lakes or swell can make it awkward to breathe.

    I know from teaching swimming and training myself how hard it is to get used to this method, but it really does pay dividends in the end.
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    epacseepacse Posts: 92
    I was finding that every time i went to breathe on my 'not' natural side, i'd take in a huge amount of water, either via my mouth or nose, still in pain today, but after a few lengths, i was getting the hang of it!

    Was also trying not to 'roll' to much as i did it!

    Just thought, gives me another avenue to have should things go wrong!

    My coach says i should choose one and stick with it, but knowing the multiple options is good to!

    Thanks again for the advice!

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    bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    Bi-lateral breathing; a necessity if you ask me. Being used to sighting on both sides in a channel or lake swim is golden. Makes you swim straighter, cause it's not effective having to swim 1600 metres because of your zigzag pattern swimming, when the actual course is only 1500 metres. Take you swim time, divide by 15 and then multiply by 16. That sucks, doesn't it!?[:'(]

    In pool swims I find it straightens out the flaws in technique on your 'weaker side'. (thats partually why you are drinking half the pool in the beginning[;)]). Train it until you can do it right, then do some maintenance now and then if you still prefer unilateral breathing.


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    TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    I agree on the helping technique bit pointed out by benny.

    I have always breathed to my right, it has always been my stronger side, and I consciously feel myself moving faster when I rotate my body to the right. I had always put the fact that my left side was rubbish to the dislocating shoulder problem I have, which causes my left shoulder to have less range of motion than my right. I started to learn bilateral breathing and found that it was because I wasnt rolling enough to my left and that was the problem with that side of my stroke. Now that I HAD to roll further to get in a breath i found even when I wasnt breathing on that side I was rolling alot more, which made me considerably faster and both smoothed and straightened out my stoke!
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    treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    When I was learning to swim for triathlon (basically learning to swim full stop) my coach was adamant that I breathed bilaterally in order to go straight, or rather to help go straight in open water
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    epacseepacse Posts: 92
    I think your all right, and appreciate your replies!

    I will progress, i agreaa with you all, i think being a multi tasker is vital!

    Thanks all again....

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