Bilateral Breathing for Swimming? – Issue #123

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Bilateral Breathing for Swimming

Dear Friend,

This topic is always swirling around the triathlon and distance swimming world: should you be bilateral breathing in swimming?

What is it?

Simply, it means breathing to both sides when you swim freestyle, typically every 3 strokes.
1 stroke=1 arm pull or every time your hand enters the water.

Bilateral Breathing for Swimming

Should you do it?

The short answer is “yes!”. For purposes of balancing out your stroke, easier navigation in the open water, and avoidance of shoulder injuries due to overuse, bilateral breathing in freestyle is optimal. HOWEVER, if you are a beginner, it is NOT necessary to learn to breath on both sides immediately. Most people have a stronger breathing side where they can get air more easily than their weaker side (I speak from experience!). When you are first learning freetyle, save bilateral breathing practice until the end- when you have mastered all the other parts of the stroke.

As we have covered, breathing is the hardest thing to do in freestyle swimming. So there is no reason to make your life more difficult than it has to be when you are learning swimming and putting it all together.

Enjoy today’s workout!

“Jump into the middle of things, get your hands dirty, fall flat on your face, and then reach for the stars.”
-Joan L. Curcio

Workout of the Month

Have fun with this and just do what you can of it!

Warm up: 300, breathe on your weaker side on even lengths

Drill: 4 x 75’s, first 50 of each is kicking on your side, last 25 is swim
4 x 100’s, count strokes on first 25. Descend stroke count with each 100.
Rest= :15

Main: 3 x 200’s on Cruise interval
4 x 75’s, middle 25 backstroke, rest=:10
4 x 50’s, descend stroke count, rest= :20
3 x 100’s on Cruise -:05
4 x 125’s, breathe every 3 strokes. Rest= :10
4 x 50’s Free Golf

Warm Down: 200 Distance Per Stroke and breathe on your weaker side on odd lengths

Total: 2300

Cruise= an interval you can make consecutive 100 yard or meter swims on with about 5-10 seconds rest
Free Golf= Count your strokes and get your time on each 50. Add these numbers together to get your “score”. Attempt to lower your score each round by either lowering stroke count, going faster, or doing both.

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