Home Chat General Chat

Breathing and swimming.

I have just watched the london triathlon on tv and noted that many of the elite swimmers took a breath every 2 strokes. I have been practising breathing every 3, mainly due to what i have read on this forum and what i have read. Which way is most beneficial and why? I am new to triathlons and not a particularly strong swimmer. It takes all my concentration to breath every 3 strokes. Should i persevere?


  • madnursemadnurse Posts: 782
    hi there nevertoolate & welcome ..... most people will breath bilaterally (ie every 3rd stroke) in training and use unilateral in races. This allws for an enhanced suply of oxygen whilst under faster, more stressing conditions ie racing. sometines it is also used to combat effect of waves on an open water swim from one side which would hamper breathing otherwise. Us lesser mortals who cannot master bilateral have to make do with unilateral breathing in training and racing and so do not ge the beneifit of being able to switch. If you can manage to breath on both then stick with it but practise unilateral on occasion - you might need it sometime.

    madnurse (phil)

    nice to see another from up manchester way [:D]
  • JasonBJasonB Posts: 303
    I was watching this and thought the exact same. All training states that it is good to keep your head under water for three strokes, but the elitist weren't

    I thought to myself that maybe it was because in open water swimming you are going to get many occasions where you gulp in water. Unlike in a pool where it is conditioned. Therefore the more econimical chances you take to get breath the better. There may be times when the back of the throuat has to stop water getting in. So in effect you would be doing a six stroker, which would soon knacker you out.

  • thanks. been practicing both and getting the hang of it.
  • BonusBBonusB Posts: 279
    As Nurse sais, unilateral allows for more oxygen to be taken on, which is important as it'll help prevent the anaerobic system kicking in a stuffing your muscles full of lactic acid early on in the race. Its also one of the reasons you should begin to exhale once you've taken a br4eath rather than holding it for a few strokes.
  • loonytoonloonytoon Posts: 673
    I need to practice this as I breath every 4 strokes as breathing every 2 makes my rythym crap.. as when I breath I my technique goes to pot...guess I should fix that first
Sign In or Register to comment.