I was recently asked by a triathlon blogger to share a breathing tip. As the overachiever I am, I shared two tips! I can’t help myself.
You can read my tip, as well as several other coaches that shared directly on her blog. Or you can keep on reading down the page…
Swim Tip #1: Efficient Exhalation
The exhalation shouldn’t be forceful the entire time your face is in the water. I recommend after inhaling (through the mouth), and upon rolling your face in the water, gently exhale through your nose. As you prepare to roll your face out of the water again for the next breath, only then should there be a quick and final exhale through the nose, as well as the mouth. This pattern of inhale/exhale allows the athlete to use oxygen efficiently and decreases the feeling of being out of breath.
Swim Tip #2: Efficient Breathing Pattern
Don’t take more than 3 strokes between each breath. Many athletes favor breathing on one side only, so they either breathe every 2 strokes or every 4 strokes on one side. It’s the breath every 4 strokes that gets them in trouble. Going too many strokes between breaths puts the athlete in unnecessary oxygen debt. I recommend the athlete work on form so they are capable and confident at breathing on both sides in freestyle. This would allow them to breathe every 3 strokes, which would put them breathing on alternating sides. Breathing every 3 strokes, as well as every 2 strokes, helps to decrease the feeling of being out of breath.