Biggest improvement I made to my swimming was slowing my stroke rate and effort enough that I could always breathe every 3 strokes, and I got significantly faster doing it.
During the 200m I found that i was running out of breath towards the end so I slowed up on the 300m but it wasn't enough. It was actually hard to go slower as that extended the time between breaths though....
Oh the joy of trying to figure out a new sport
When I first started swimming after the '08 Anaconda I tried to breathe every 3-4 and failed dismally - I'd be out of breath inside 20m - so I settled on breathing every 2.
The epiphany I had a couple of months ago was that if I slowed my stroke rate, and more importantly didn't push as hard, then my breathing would keep pace with my stroke rate and my overall speed through the water actually increased. If you're running out of breath, then you might be pushing too hard for your lungs to feed your arms.
Something Rowl mentioned as well - you may feel like you're out of breath if you're not exhaling hard enough. Breathe out solidly the entire time your head is under water, so your lungs are actually empty by the time you come up for another intake.
Being asthmatic it made sense when I heard that - because I had already been told that you feel out of breath due to having too much C02 in your system rather than too little O2.
When swimming really hard I actually make a point of exhaling as hard as I can - and it really seems to help.
When I was swimming with the surf club we would practice hypoxic swimming - breathing only every 10 strokes or more which makes every 3 stroke feel fantastic!!
I wish I had read this before my swim today as I have the same problem as Dangerman, I can keep the bilateral breathing going but I really start to struggle around 150-200m. I think the exhaling hard will help, I'll give it a try tomorrow night when I go for another swim.
Think about what your body's doing when you come up for air as well. One of the reasons why I'm so much faster (3-4min/km) breathing on 3 is that I get more time with my body in a straight line, since I tend to drop my opposite shoulder when I breathe. Breathing on 2 means I'm always waving that shoulder around in the water and pulling my torso out of line.
I used to struggle with swimming no end. when I decided to swim in races ( offroad tri a few years ago ) I took a few lessons ( well two ) they emphasized breathing out under water. I never really thought about it till now I just did what they said and I was swimming the 750meters for the offroad tri in no time **
** Obviously not actually no time. Has been emphasized for dramatic effect
I loved Sten's comment
in October, where he had a "HOLY SHIT!" moment and realised you could actually breathe out while under water. :)
I think you're onto something with the lessons idea ameko, it's something I've been thinking about for a while. Anyone have any recommendations on the best option for lessons, did you get one on one lessons or with a group?
Ask Tooms, he'll teach you. His lessons made me the swimmer I am today.
I went to the adult classes at stateswim. Mainly because it meant I got free lap swim everymoring monday- friday. The down side is it was only a 25m pool.
I can help you Dolph, cut through the crap and give you some specific pointers. Email me if you're interested.
I am interested Tooms. Any chance of a small group session?
I'd be in that too.... if possible?
No probs, anyone welcome. Find a Leader and ask me about availability etc.