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Mar 11, 2002 12:53 PM

While swimming I always end up sucking in tons of water when I breath. Although I have been in the water all my life (surfing), swimming freestyle for long periods of time is new to me. What can I do to stop this? I feel great in the water but have to stop to breath, should I just open my mouth bigger? Breath at a different point? Im doing a tri in about 3 weeks and I would hope I can remedy this situation
Thanks for any help
Pool or Open Water Swimming?MisJG
Mar 11, 2002 1:16 PM
Is this happening in the pool or just in the open water? I have always read that you should learn to breathe on both sides so that you can adjust for the changing water conditions in open water (ie breathe on the side away from the waves). I could never get comfortable with that (too many years of pool swimming) so I tend to just lift my head a little higher than normal if the conditions are choppy. You always seem to get that rogue wave though, but that's the sacrifice I make. I'll never forget the year I got a mouth-full of Diesel fuel in Lake Michigan during the Mrs. T's tri. I really thought I was going to throw up under water! Fun!
Mostly open watersurf
Mar 11, 2002 2:39 PM
I mostly swim in the open water (ocean), but the water gets in from my lips as i breathe in (like its sucked in), not from chop. It's pretty weird. Is it normal to be swallowing water, I wouldn't think so??
Two things to work onbrider
Mar 11, 2002 2:36 PM
First, as stated by the other poster, learn to breathe on either side. That takes care of wind/wave directions.

Second, exhale while your head is down. What happens with most people is that they try to exhale AND inhale on the recovery part of the stroke (with the face out of the water), and don't have enough tome to do both, and end up sucking in water on the inhale. Also, make sure you're getting a good glide with your stroke.
Mar 12, 2002 9:34 AM
Get a good glide going. lift your head LESS (yes, less). Keeping your neck in line with your spine, roll your body just enough for your mouth to exit the water. If you have a good glide going, your head will actually create a small cavity of air in the water.

I suppose you do your swimming in the ocean? I grew up surfing too, so i was very reluctant to go the pool. But You can really perfect this by practicing in the pool, then simply carrying those skills back to the ocean.
Mar 14, 2002 10:52 AM
I've been swimming since I was about 5 years old and the part of the stroke I breathe at is when my arm that is on the opposite side I'm breathing on is stretched straight out in front and my other arm is just finishing its pull. Hope this helps.
Breathe on the sideliu02bhs
Mar 20, 2002 8:43 PM
what's is up with the post on lifting your head? Breathe on your side opposite to your pulling arm. If you are in a triathlon, you might want to look up once in a while to make sure you are on course, but no more. Ability to breathe on both side is good because you can avoid "sucking" the splashes on the side with the splashy person. I however am too used to breathing on one side, adjusting takes concentration but it's doable. The Australian long-distance swimmer Ian Thrope only breathe on one side.
Yeah, but nobody is beside him so it doesn't matter ;-)js5280
Mar 29, 2002 4:15 PM
Distance swimming is tough, it's just not the same as swimming with your surfboard, windsurfer, etc. My advice is go to the pool to work on your technique there. It's more controlled than open water swimming so you can focus more on your breathing technique. Plus the water tastes better :-)
re: all good sugestions.... BI-LATERAL BREATHING tho...sctri
Apr 20, 2002 3:26 PM
1) body role, importaint to good stroke anyways... will help with breathing.. there are lots of drills to help with this... talk to coaches/read books.. whatever..
2) breathing to the side is definitally a good thing... BUT PLEASE... BILATERAL BREATHING.. to both sides.. dont one breath to one.. its bad for your form... it is possible to use this technique effectivily, but in very strict/controlled situations, (thorpe is a very special swimmer!)
3)exhale before you breath.. as the poster said.. will make a big help

my .02