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303Endurance Podcast

Jan 21, 2023

Do you find yourself gasping for air when you swim? If so, we have a great discussion today on some of the common reasons swimmers may struggle with breathing. We will break down those reasons and things you can work on to improve your efficiency and pacing in your next swim workout.


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In Today's Show

  • Feature Discussion
    • Common Reasons Swimmers Breath Hard
  • Endurance News
    • Achievement Unlocked: How Esports Could Take Triathlon to the Next Level
    • The Cult of Bike Helmets
    • How Sports Psychologists Define Mental Toughness
  • What's new in the 303
    • Meet new RTR Race Director Sabra Nagel
  • Video of the Week



Common Reasons Swimmers Out of Breath:


Poor Body Position:

  • Problem - Feet too low, head position too high, too much area exposed to the water; 1"/3" Rule
  • Corrections - Relax, head position neutral (look straight down), engage the core, reach forward with fingers; reach back with toes; continuous momentum

You're not rotating well:

  • Problem - flat in the water, the neck needs to move too much to get air causing imbalances
  • Corrections - Rotate around the center axis (head, straight down the spine to the toes). Distribute work to more working muscles utilizing the lats. Head position to rotate with the body for breath

You're holding your breath:

  • Problem: Tense and build carbon dioxide
  • Corrections: Trickle breathing or continuous breathing; Try Sink Down Drill to wire in the breathing in your warm up

You're rushing your breath:

  • Problem: Exhaling air too early creates urgency to get a breath; rushing to get air before rotation causes imbalances that show up in kicking with legs splaying out to regain balance
  • Corrections: Rhythmic and relaxed; Follow the rotation exhaling nose and mouth continuously; Be ready to breath at the apex of the rotation

Kicking too hard:

  • Problem: Big muscles consume oxygen; over kicking causes more drag and increased oxygen demand
  • Corrections: Kicking is minimal and should help balance; kick within a shoebox; sound of boiling water

Swimming too fast:

  • Problem: Swimming fast gives you momentum, but slowing down may expose imbalances
  • Corrections: Slow down and focus on technique; know your swim paces and keep the easy sets easy; do a Critical Swim Speed test to establish your training zones; use your swim watch or deck clock to keep track


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