Friday, July 5, 2013

Swimming is Easy When You Don't Breathe

Last Sunday I went to the pool.  (Since I am training for a marathon, Sundays are my cross-training days.)  When I got there the lifeguards were swabbing the deck.  I don't know why and I didn't want to ask.  But so far, no illnesses or infections here so, yay.

The water was cooler than it has ever been; it was probably about 78* F.  The Aqua Zumba class was in full swing.


 I jumped into one of 2 empty swim lanes and started my workout.  Shortly thereafter a lady asked to split the lane with me.  I was more than happy to do so, except I quickly realized that "split the lane" just meant that she wanted to be in my lane and take up the whole thing.

Seriously?? Also, you may have noticed I tried out some of TriGuy's snazzier goggles.

Thankfully, she moved to the other empty lane and I returned to my goals for the day (which I will get to shortly.)  A gentleman then asked if he could share the lane.  I, of course, said yes. He was doing breast stroke.  Right on top of the line.


Perhaps he and flower-bonnet lady should have read about lane swimming before jumping in. But I digress.

I have really been trying to work on my technique, so a couple of weeks ago I focused on stretching out my torso.


I'm not sure whether or not the end result was beneficial.


Sunday I decided (on a whim) that I should work on my breathing.  Over the past 3 years, I have gone from barely being able to swim:


(an old drawing from one of my early posts)

to somewhat being able to swim:



to finally being able to swim:


This might be an ever-so-slight exaggeration of my skills.

So, with the basics sorted you know, basically, my goal on Sunday was simple: cut through the water smoothly and quickly.  I figured the easiest way to do this was by not breathing on every.  Single.  Stroke.  I did this the only way I knew how.

I held my breath.



I then blew out of my nose as slowly as I could.  But of course my mouth inevitably joined in.



What do you think?  Am I doing it the right way?

UPCOMING POSTS:  OTTAWA 5K AND DILETTANTE WOMEN'S TRI RECAPS, RPM CLASS, MARATHON TRAINING*

*Did I mention I'm training for a marathon?  Because I totally am.  

Hey! Who's up for a little moonshine this weekend? Come join me over at Yeah Write!

52 comments:

  1. ahahahaha. The mermaid cracks me up. As to swim-breathing, I have no idea. I hope you never get it quite right or you might stop posting.

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    1. Oh, have no fear. I will never be that competent :) But it is fun pretending to be a mermaid.

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  2. Fab! Good for you training for a marathon- when is it and where?

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    1. I'll be running in Portland, Oregon at the beginning of October!

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  3. You should go one, two, three, breath. Or you can sing pepsi, coke 7up (and on the up, take your breath). I teach stroke improvement ..I have a whole barrel full of tips :D

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    1. I love that Yvonne!! I'm definitely going to try it!

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  4. Lowe, after Yvonne's idea I have nothing. Actually I had nothing anyway, but now I have an excuse. The reason I don't tri is my lack of swimming skills. Good luck in your marathon training!

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    1. Thanks Debbie! Yeah, swimming is hard.

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  5. There's aquatic zumba now? What am I saying, of course there is. How can people be so selfish and oblivious as to ask to share and not actually share? Again, what am I saying, of course they'd be blissfully non self aware. I'm actually surprised they didn't just straight up pee to try and claim the lane and pool for themselves.
    Good luck with the marathon training!

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    1. Oh yes, aqua zumba. The instructor stands outside the pool and dances, the people in the water bounce (I bet there's more to it, but that's all I can see).

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  6. love the mermaid! i'm sure that's exactly what you look like.

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  7. Thanks for the giggles. Your trials and tribulations are hilarious. Keep entertaining us.

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  8. Mermaid-you is so awesome! I can't really swim laps. I mean, I know how but I just don't. I'd rather splash around. And I'll leave the marathon to you too!

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    1. Isn't it, though? I think it might need some sparkles.

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  10. That stinks about the lane sharers. I once tried to switch from pleasure swimming to lap swimming, the breathing part was hard, I tried to breathe every few strokes. I don't know that it was successful. This is why I run. LOL.

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    1. I know, the nice thing about running is that you are not afraid of drowning when you start breathing hard!

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  11. You make an amazing mermaid. I swim about as well as your picture from the old post. That, combine with the fear of a shark eating my leg, is why it will be a long time before I try a Tri. (lololol!)

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    1. Ahh, that is why I only swim in lakes for races. So far I haven't come across sharks in the lake or the pool :D

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  12. Aaaaa! I hate sharing a lane. I've been swimming since forever and I've always blown air out through my nose and mouth before taking a breath. But I've also read that taking a breath on every stroke is good for triathlons because it helps get more oxygen to your muscles. So I wouldn't worry about it too much!

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    1. Which explains why you rocked the tri last month! I had not heard about the triathlon/oxygen deal; good to know!

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  13. Haha!!! Um, yes you are doing it right? *long awkward pause* Haha!
    Also, you make a pretty good-looking mermaid (although I fear that the fish may want to eat your face. ;) ).

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    1. If you look carefully, the fish is not trying to eat my face. It is saying "wow" because it is so impressed :)

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  14. Haha. love the last picture! And the mermaid.
    And I repeated the mantra, but said, "pepsi coconut 7up". oi. Coke didn't vibe.

    I was gonna say 1, 2, 3 breathe, too.

    This training for a marathon is killing me. glad my cross training workout is tomorrow. And Monday is a freakin' day off. BTW, I did get my other 4 mi in, but walked the darn thing. haha. Best to you and your training.

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    1. I'm learning so much, I love it! I think I actually did do 1,2,3 breathe (I just tried it now while sitting in my chair) and I think that's what it was. I'm on the same schedule as you, with Monday off--hooray! Walking the 4 miles still counts!

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  15. AWWW I love the mermaid!! I like to swim. By 'swim" I mean flop around in a big empty pool and get sunburned, of course.

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    1. Thanks Gia! There is much to be said for flopping around in a big empty pool. The sunburn though, is not as fun :(

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  16. This is so great (and fun to read)! I love the drawing of flowered bathing cap lady! I was on several swim teams in my youth, and got spoiled by practice lanes with nice flow. Sharing lanes at the community pool is a lot less *flowy*.

    Good luck with your marathon!

    Karen

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    1. Thanks Karen! You're right; the community pool is not known for its *flowiness* :D

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  17. I feel like I also look like a mermaid, but I am pretty sure other swimmers don't perceive as me looking like that. Today will be 4th swim session. The last two times I have had to share a lane and it scared me, but luckily each person stayed where they were supposed to.

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    1. I'm glad your lane mates have been cordial. I really do enjoy my swim sessions now, but it is absolutely more stressful when another person, or heaven forbid more than one person, joins my lane!

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  18. Love the mermaid pic. Good luck with the rest of your training!

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  19. So I've recently taken up lap swimming and I live in fear of having to share my lane. I did share it with my husband last week, but he doesn't count because he was helping me with my backstroke and then knew when to get out of my way.

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    1. Good luck! Swimming is fun when you have the lane to yourself :)

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  20. I was on the swim team all through middle and high school, and the very best thing I ever learned was to breathe every three strokes, so you are alternating the sides that you breathe on. It makes such a huge difference, because you get used to breathing on both sides, and since you are breathing just a little less, it makes for a faster swim.

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    1. I'm so bad at bilateral breathing! When I breathe on my left my whole body sinks. I should probably keep working on it :)

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  21. I was going to write the same thing as Samantha except the part about being on a swim team through middle school and high school. However, I have learned that breathing every three strokes is the sweet spot AND it helps you swim straighter out in open water! I think we all look like mermaids, the others just haven't caught up yet to the notion :)

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    1. Yeah, it sounds like that is the consensus. It's hard though! :P But I'll work on it.

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  22. I used to swim a long time ago. Not sure how good my skills are now. If only there was a pool nearby I could use...

    In the meantime, I'll keep heading to the gym.

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    1. The gym...there's a place I need to go!

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  23. I love the drawings - as usual :)
    Wish I was there still so we could go swim together again! I've been swimming for as long as I've been alive and it takes time to "master" the breathing so don't feel badly! My best advice is to try and alternate sides, out your nose and just bring your face 1/2 way out of the water to breathe in. It's so hard to explain on paper. I'll see if I can take a video of it for you -haha!

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    1. I think I know what you mean...but I would LOVE a video :D

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  24. Hahahaa. People who don't know how to lap swim annoy the heck out of me! Intolerant, but true.

    I've been a swimmer for many years, and I always exhale through both mouth and nose. So, in my unofficial opinion, you ARE doing it right! :)

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    1. I know, it's so hard to be tolerant when people get in your way :) I'm glad to know you think I'm swimming the right way!

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  25. Oh, oh I have missed this!! Sorry for disappearing from the comments. Swimming is evil. Lane stealers are worse. I have no idea about your breathing, I only swallow pool water. Every. Damn. Time.

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    1. Gotta love swallowing pool water. Glad you're back :D

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  26. Oh my holy hell you make me laugh. From the mermaid on I just kept giggling. You're ridiculous. In the very best kind of way.

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