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Frustrated at being out of breath...

it just has to be your breathing (or lack of it).

As long as your swimming nice and slow, and you have a reasonable level of fitness, there should be no reason why you can't swim for much longer.

What is your preferred breathing pattern? Every 2, 3 or 4?

Are you expelling all your air under the water BEFORE coming up for fresh stuff?

Tell us more.......


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    Since December I have been learning front crawl from scratch.

    I can swim 2 lengths now (although last week I was pushed to do 4)

    I cant do more (continually)... purely because I'm so out of breath. My pulse is sky high.

    I keep relaxed while swimming and dont go fast.

    I dont suffer from asthma. Or smoke etc.

    I swim about 4 times a week doing drills and trying to swim for further. I would love to do a triathlon but the swimming is a big let down with no improvement being seen. I have a friend who does tri's & he's been helping me improve style, high elbows etc.

    Any ideas??[:)]
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    I breathe every 3. Have tried every 4 (at the beginning) and more recently, every 2. But every 3 is prefered.

    Expelling air in the water before getting the fresh stuff!

    Level of fitness is good. Slow runner, but wary of my shins that went a year ago but sort of OK now!

    Doing a 7k at Blenheim tomorrow. Can cycle 20 miles happily.

    Anymore info required??
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    MGMG Posts: 470
    When you exhale are you exhaling FULLY, I say this because this is a very common beginners error.

    If you only exhale "half" your lungs then you can only inhale "half" your lungs worth of lovely fresh air, therefore, your muscles get tired quicker and your gasping for breath more often and so on and so forth...........

    When you exhale under water REALLY FORCE the air out so when you roll for your breath you have empty lungs waiting for a air. It sounds simple but you wouldnt believe the difference it makes when you actually concentrate on this.

    Other than that your technique maybe causing you to fatigue early so some coaching with perhaps some underwater camera work would work wonders. I did this (swimfortri) a while ago and it totally changed the way I swam.

    Good luck.

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    Im sure I do exhale ALL the air, but I will make 100% sure that I do when I next swim. My arms, legs muscles dont tire...its just Im TOTALLY puffed out!!

    Thanks for the tips.
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    jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Conehead wrote:

    I hate to say it (as I sound like I'm drumming up business), but come on the Rookie Days and we'll sort you out - or get a swimming lesson ASAP.

    Now have mental image of Candobutwilltri shouting at Conehead from the water ''Do you expect me to BREATHE Mr Conehead''

    and Mr Conehead shouting back ''NO MR Cando I expect you to TRI.'' Before walking off to continue his plans for global domination.
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    I would come on one of the training days but they arn't that close to me. (2 kids and a husband etc too)

    I am having lessons but still its the breathing.....
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    Hey! Im a "junior" member now!!
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    moonshinemoonshine Posts: 335
    I'm no expert but at Easter I could only mange 2 lengths and that was over run by the feeling of being completly out of breath - I can now swim 50 lengths except when I do my first comp when panic set in - so the things that cracked it for me - barr daughter threatening to hit me with a long pink woggle swimmy thing everytime I whinged I can't do it, were

    1 breathing every 2 strokes

    2 breathing out bubbles continually when face in water and doing a final hard blow out prior to taking a breath

    3 stopped kicking legs like no tomorrow

    4 using a float out front, kicking and doing the breathing for a couple of lengths

    5 same as above but holding with one hand and using free arm to do crawl stroke, swap every length

    6 mentally imagining myself doing the crawl well (this is relative in my case not drowning and doing the distance rather than with style[;)]) shame I didn't do it for the comp!

    7 keeping ear in water when turn to breath - I got my confidence breathing one side and now learning both sides

    8 lengths on my side with one arm resting on top and one out front - Total immersion superman style to get the feel of being on side

    9 sitting in shallow end blowing bubbles, turning head to breath until my brain gave in and agreed that immenent death was unlikely

    it will come - good luck
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    Wow thanks...some great advice there. I do a lot of that already eg superman, blowing bubbles (I use a nose clip),

    I will have a go with not kicking so hard and try again breathing every 2!
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    Sorry to hijack the thread, but I'm having exactly the same problem.

    When I exhale under water, I have to puff my cheeks and blow really hard to get all the air out. I take a breath every 3 strokes, and breathe bi-laterally. I can manage 2 lengths, at a push, but then I have to stop for a breather. Is it not the case that by blowing the air out so hard I'm almost hyper-ventilating? I also think I kick too much and too hard, should I slow it down?

    BTW, all this is after 15 lessons (before my lessons started I swam like a brick!)

    Thanks in advance for any comments/thoughts/suggestions.

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    LimeycatLimeycat Posts: 29
    Couple of things that work for me:

    I used to flail away madly with my leg kick, spending a lot of energy in getting precisely nowhere, until I started using a pull buoy, which improved my balance in the water and meant that I wasn't getting tired as quickly. I now regularly train with one, and it's helped my front crawl technique no end. Still need to do hard kick sets tho, but I found that separating the pulling and kicking for much of my session meant I could train harder and longer.

    I'm not conscious of fully exhaling, but I do breathe out through my nose - dunno if that's more efficient, but it's certainly what you see the top swimmers doing. Have also been told that humming as you swim helps sort out breathing difficulties...

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    jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Try Trickle breathing,expelling the air at a slow but constant rate,it might take a bit of practice to match the last of the air with the stroke to breathe in but it is a very relaxed way to swim.No hard muscular expulsions from the lungs etc.
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    MrSquishyMrSquishy Posts: 277
    I was advised to trickle breath and after a bit of conscious practice it's now second nature to be exhaling constantly between each breath. I also "hum" when I'm doing it which helps, god knows what any of my fellow swimmers think if they can hear me [:D]
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    I use a pull buoy (but still kick a bit!)

    I will have a go at humming...so many things to remember!
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    risris Posts: 1,002
    as others have suggested i think that proper swimming lessons and technique advice that is suitable to your swimming experience is what you need. i'm afraid that as kind as your triathlete friend is you may be getting advice that at this stage is more of a hindrance than a help. see if you can find a local coached swim session at your pool or adult classes, hopefully there will be something in your area.

    from what you describe (being out of breath but taking it steady) it sounds like you are either not taking enough oxygen in or using up energy in technique. breathing every 3 sounds great to me (that's what i usually manage) but perhaps try every 2 as suggested and see if you find it improves. i find as i get more tired toward the end of faster laps i tend to breathe every 2, it feels like an instinctive reaction to the effort.

    do you use the float / bouy for arms-only drills as well? do you find that one of legs only / arms only knacks you out more?

    if you have only been swimming fc since december then that's not long at all. it is a tough stroke to build stamina in - 4 laps of fc from a scratch base sounds like a great start to me.

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    julesojuleso Posts: 279
    Ditto; I think you're probably kicking too much. If you can learn to place your head correctly in the water, looking down or slightly forward, your legs should come up and stay up without much effort. Personally I found the Total Immersion theory of using the lungs like a buoy and leaning on them really helpful.

    There are people who kick and there are those who believe that they would like to save energy in their legs for the cycle and run, and who use them purely for balance, and I'm one of the latter.

    Be prepared for this to take a while to learn, by the way. When I watched my first triathlon in June last year I despaired of ever swimming more than 25m, let alone 750 in a lake (Blenheim); it has taken me an entire year of swimming at least twice a week (three times since about Christmas) to both work on my technique and then add stamina.

    Good luck, keep at it, and hopefully you'll have your Eureka moment sometime soon!
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    BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    Are you panicing at all about it during? Sounds like you may not be filling your lungs properly!
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