This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
SWIM TRAINING
BEGINNERS' ISSUE
SWIM TRAINING:
BREATHING FOR BEGINNERS
By Marty Gaal
Breathing — it comes completely naturally to all of us. It is an activity that will function without interruption or conscious thought under the control of the autonomic nervous system. When necessary, we can assume conscious control in order to increase oxygen supply while under stress or in a fight/flight state of mind. In our world, triathlon equals a fight/flight state.


Breathing is easy on the bike and run. While there are a few tricks to rhythmic breathing in both of these legs, you don’t have to move around and ask your surroundings permission in order to get a breath. In swimming, you do.


From a beginner standpoint, the two most important aspects of breathing in swimming are becoming comfortable with:
1) your face in the water while swimming
2) a rhythm to your breathing


FACE IN THE WATER
Keeping your face in the water is step one, because if you swim with your head up or your face out of the water, your legs and hips will invariably drop. A high-head/low-hip position requires you to push more surface area through the water, creating more drag. This makes it harder to swim because there is more resistance. Imagine cycling with a parachute attached to your back. This will force you to take additional rest breaks in training or on race day as your heart rate increases and you cannot keep up with the oxygen demands of your muscles.


There are different tricks to keeping your face in the water. Be sure to have comfortable goggles. Focus on looking at the bottom or staring at the black line down the center of the lane in the pool. If you experience anxiety related to submersion, take a lot of rest breaks and remember that as far as pool training goes, you are never very far from the wall and an exit. Private swim lessons and a lot of practice will help.


RHYTHMIC BREATHING
Once you are comfortable keeping your face/head in the water while swimming, you need to figure out how and when to breath. The critical action here is to begin exhaling through your nose/mouth as soon as you finish breathing in.


The major problem I see with beginner swimmers related to breathing is that they hold their breath while their face is in the water, then tries to exhale and inhale very quickly when turning to breathe. This results in a poor, shallow breath and a quick buildup of carbon dioxide in the lungs. Swimmers will have to stop and take a break in training or roll over on their backs to catch a few deep breaths in racing.



You must exhale while your face is in the water. So when you turn to breathe, your lungs are mostly empty and ready to accept a fresh breath of air. You do need to force the rhythm a bit. You should forcefully exhale through your nose/mouth as soon as you complete the breath. There’s no pausing. It is a constant rhythm.


BILATERAL BREATHING
The good thing about three-stroke or bilateral breathing? It will help you create and maintain an even stroke and improve mechanics on both sides of your body. The bad thing? It increases the time between breaths by 50 percent over a two-stroke or one-sided breathing pattern. That is a huge decrease in total oxygen flow while swimming.


36 USA TRIATHLON WINTER 2011

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124