Many of the worlds best butterflyers are breathing every stroke. Better mechanics, strength and rythm may allow this. I know I recommend every 2 for age groupers. However, do you think breathing every 2,3 or 4 causes a more gasping breath(causing late timing or elevated head position) rather than a top up?
Certain patterns and trends seem play out with most swimmers, regardless of their natural swimming ability. Over the course of several hours of lessons/assessments I may see a national caliber athlete, a relative beginner, triathlete or an aspiring age group swimmer. During a lesson, regardless of the swimmers ability it is a near guarantee that I will be able to show a swimmer how to swim significantly faster. Why? The concept is not to show them any magical set, or additional effort, rather pointing out and showing the athlete areas of "how to slow down less" through improved technique. Incredible energy loss from a miss timed kick, indirect hand entry, deceleration in and out of walls, poor alignment, loss of momentum etc, are the key focal points to address. Keeping on track, online, engaged, directed, using basic principles of Balance, Streamline and propulsion are akin to the expression of firing on all cylinders. When you see athletes in multiple sports appear to separate from the field near the finish, we tend to think that the athlete has another gear. Upon more thought,
I believe that through better conditioning, skill and technique, Some athletes just "do not slow down as much as the other Athletes.
Increasing numbers of elite backstrokers are using nose plugs in Backstroke. As I have advised to some lately, that benefits such as increased quality and distance achieved off the wall for "good Kickers", may be worth a look. I tried it last week and found that one expels less unused air keeping water from coming on board up your nose, thus making that air more usable and available to the working muscles. As long as expelling used air (exhaust) through ones mouth is regulated well, maybe worth an experiment. Thoughts???
Quick tips for the 50 Free: Explosive jump position, Bottom hand 3/4 stroke breakout, Minimal breathing, beat the wave off the wall, champagne cork burst out, intensity, no breath last 8 yards, finish head down full extension. "swim through your goal time, not up to it" Tim Walton
Looking to master these TI drills. Challenging but really fun.
The Confusion of Swimming Advice
How Do I Find A Source That Works For Me?
Swimming defn.: “the sport or activity of propelling oneself through water using the limbs.”
We all walk onto the pool deck with vastly different swimming experiences, fitness levels, reasons for dragging ourselves out of bed at obscene hours, and goals. Perhaps you can relate to some of the following swimming profiles:
•Gold medal Olympic swimmer or Olympic participant
•Challenge swimmer who attempts to navigate difficult bodies of water, such as the English Channel
•Ironman triathlete – winner or participant
•Long-distance open water swimmer
•Former high school swimmer
•Former college swimmer
•Took swimming lessons as a child
•Avid triathlete whose weakness is swimming
•Frustrated and stagnated swimmer – why is this so difficult?
•Fitness swimmer who swims for exercise
Perhaps you relate to more than one of those profiles, or you have transitioned through several stages in your swimming history and find yourself in a completely new phase. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of “swimmer”, you undoubtedly have asked yourself “Where do I want go from here, and how do I get there?” Even the most experienced swimmers need advice, but their needs are very different from those of a novice.
From where should this advice come?
The information is out there – on the internet, in fitness and health magazines, new swimming programs, coaches and swimmers themselves – but it’s not easy to know how it applies to you and your swimming profile, or even if it’s a widely accepted fact versus an opinion. Most athletes I work with are looking for interpretation of this information and they struggle to know how to apply it and in which order. This includes advice on stroke technique, drills, and workout sets.
Having worked with swimmers of every level from complete beginner to national elite athlete, I have seen almost every possible variation and interpretation of swimming imaginable. There is no doubt that swimming can be confusing, technically challenging, and difficult to interpret. After all, there are so many things to consider - balance, rotation, timing, breathing, and propulsion. Further, each profile mentioned above may require a unique training regimen. How do you know if the workouts you have been following are right for your goals? If your source of advice isn’t putting these elements together for you in a way you can digest, and you find yourself confused by what you are reading or hearing, it may be time to begin a search for a new source. Consider this: swimming can be boiled down to simple movements, performed well… and repeated”.
Below are several key questions and answers to get you started on the right track in your quest to find clarity and direction in your swimming program.
What should I do first?
While reading online advice can provide some solid advice, it is a one-way street. In other words, there is no dialogue between you and the expert. Ideally, seek a local professional who can spend time with you to determine your level, skills, and goals. They should ask you questions that will lead them to a thorough understanding of what you want out of a program.
Where do I swim?
Although many health clubs have a pool, they may not employ a swimming professional who can help you with your specific swimming needs. Check out Minnesota Masters Swimming online atwww.minnesotamasters.com , where you can find anything from workout opportunities, places to swim, and upcoming events.
What should I look for in a swimming program?
While it depends on your season goals, skills, and fitness level, look to find a coach, team or swimming advisor who will give you a program with progression in mind. This means that the program builds in intensity and difficulty on a schedule that aligns with your goals and fitness level. If refining your stroke is important, look for a coach that can provide underwater video. If you have reached a frustrating plateau, or are having trouble overcoming a problem in your stroke, look for a coach who can offer a variety of tools, techniques, and state of the art methods to get you over the hump. If your work or personal schedule limits the available times you can swim, look for a program that offers multiple time slots.
Who are the best coaches for me?.
Any coach that knows more about swimming than you and understands and listens to your needs and objectives can be a good fit, but finding a coach who matches your personality and communicates concepts in a way that makes sense to you is equally as important. Seek coaches who are actively current in their craft and are aware of modern stroke and training techniques.
Is one method better than another?
While there are several different methodologies that coaches and trainers use, in most cases the methods are attempting to develop the same skills. Coaches will also tend to emphasize different elements depending on their own strengths and background. Some place more emphasis on fitness, certain stroke elements, or specific strokes. If you like a specific methodology or protocol, follow that program closely for long enough to determine its real effect. Remember that a key to success in swimming is consistency, purpose and progression.
Considerations While Transitioning from Indoor to Outdoor Swimming By Tim Walton
After many long months of swimming in a climate controlled waveless pool, switching to outdoor swimming may be a welcomed change. The predictable 25 yards or meters of back-and-forth can get monotonous, especially for those who prefer the challenges that open-water swimming can provide. However, for others who find murky lakes and the various life forms lurking in their depths creepy, open-water swimming can be a challenge, if not downright scary. We're all comfortable with what we know and open-water swimming can prove to be a very different experience than lap swimming.
However, overcoming reluctance to open-water swimming may be worth the effort, for changing your swimming venue can dramatically challenge your performance. For instance, swimming in a 50-meter rather than a 25-yard pool may improve the training effect by up to 30%*. Swimming in a lake, river, or ocean can highlight stroke flaws and navigation problems. This feedback can be very helpful as you seek to improve these skills.
But wait… before you jump into that lake, read and follow these simple tips to help keep your experience as safe as possible.
To combat the tendency to veer off-course, practice swimming with eyes closed. This will identify any stroke flaws – for instance, if you are unable to swim a straight line, you may be over reaching or rotating unevenly. During training swims check your sightline every 10 to 50 strokes, depending on the severity of the flaw, and make adjustments as necessary. Before any open-water swim, study your intended course from the shore. Identify all of the buoys that form the race course. Pick out obvious landmarks as targets if you are swimming outside of a race situation. To maintain a line of sight during the swim, take a breath in the middle by raising your head just enough to look ahead and spot your target. Do this three consecutive times so that you can home in on your target. Then, resume breathing to the side.
Choppy water can be distressing to an inexperienced open-water swimmer, especially when not comfortable breathing bilaterally. Most of us have a dominant side to which we are more comfortable breathing. In a pool this preference may not have a negative effect, but in open water the ability to breath to both sides is critical. It will allow you to avoid looking directly into the sun, and will also help avoid waves hitting you in the face just as you take in a breath. Practice breathing every third stroke while training during practice sets and sessions. Wearing fins may help with timing and momentum of your stroke during a breath. Prolonging rotation to the weak breathing side can increase competency and comfort to that side. Keep your head low in the water to take advantage of the bow wave, which is created by the head, and forms a pocket of air. A combination of bilateral and one-sided breathing may be preferred. The ability to breath bilaterally will allow you to adjust your breathing pattern to the situation at hand.
Have a plan in mind if you become distressed or fatigued during a swim, especially in deep water. Know to roll over on your back and float until you have regrouped or are assisted. Practice utility strokes, such as the double arm back stroke and sidestroke. Backstroke and breaststroke are alternatives to freestyle and can be used when needed. These strokes will provide the opportunity to regain composure.
If open-water swimming sounds appealing, but you don't know where to go, seek out a city pool. Some still have 50-meter pools and offer open swim time. This is usually a pay-by-the-session or pool pass arrangement. Some masters programs have 50-meter pool time availability, too. Organized swimming groups exist and have a strong following in their morning swims. See local journals, blogs, and social media for events. Minnesota masters swimming does a great job promoting swimming opportunities. Once you have identified various venues, spread out practices in an indoor pool, outdoor pool, lake or ocean. This only serves to improve your overall swimming ability and experience.
As open-water swimming may be more physically demanding than your pool workouts, consult your physician if you have any concerns about the additional stress that open-water swimming may bring. If you have any doubts about your ability to swim in open-water, consult with a swimming professional for an evaluation and/or lesson.
For informational purposes only. You should consult an appropriate healthcare professional to discuss whether the information herein is right for you.