Swim Club Blog: Breathing Technique

The Endurance Store Swim Club provides you with simple swim training plans throughout the winter months. The plan runs October to October and is completely free. We only ask that you pre-register so that your training plans can be emailed directly.

Registration is free and you may unsubscribe at any time from the Swim Club and stop receiving updates. Overview of the swim plan be seen below, but before you start you need to complete a test to set your swim paces, then register and download the sessions. GO HERE to register for swim club.

One of the most common problems which swimmers fail to grasp is how to breathe correctly. If you ask them to swim one length of a pool with their head in the water, without breathing, then everything generally looks good. As soon as they start breathing, things go dramatically wrong and it impacts on the whole stroke!!

Here's our quick fix guide:

1. Lifting the head too high is a common issue. In a 'see-saw' manner, if you lift your head too high, your legs will drop and you'll slow down. When you turn your head to breathe, try to leave one goggle lense in the water, so your mouth is only just clear of the surface. We like to call that sneaky breathing... do it without anyone knowing!

2. Sneaky breathing means that you'll end up with water in your mouth. Novices in particular feel the urge to get their mouths as far from the water as possible when they breathe in, for fear of breathing in water. You need to be comfortable breathing whilst your mouth is still partially in the water.

3. Moving the head to the side ruins your streamlining. If your head and shoulders move to the left or right, this results in 'snaking'. Looking behind you when you breathe is one of the most common causes. You must look directly to the side when you turn your head, don't twist your head and shoulders to look behind you and upwards at the sky.

4. After breathing, you need to put your head back into the water. Your start position is head in the water, looking directly down / slightly ahead. After breathing, return directly back to this position. Sometime, when you're thinking about sneaky breathing, you forget to think about going back to your original position. Thinking about your breathing technique is important, but make sure you go back to your streamlined swim position between each breath.

5. Breathe out under the water. There is a tendency for novice swimmers in particular to get worse as the distance goes on. They look great for the first couple of lengths, then it deteriorates rapidly as they 'run out' of breath. Turn your head and breathe in, then turn it back and blow out in a relaxed manner (you can't completely empty your lungs - 75% will be enough). IMPORTANT - Gasping for breath is due to a build up of carbon dioxide, NOT a lack of oxygen. Too many swimmers don't breathe out under the water then lift their head to gasp more air in. The issue is due to not breathing out correctly and an accumulation of carbon dioxide.

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The Endurance Store Swim Club