I had a great reminder tonight about the important of practicing the basics of swim form. Karen is starting her 3rd year swimming with me. She has made huge strides from conquering her fear of deep water to swimming continuous freestyle and mastering backstroke and breast stroke. It has been an awesome progression to bear witness to.
As part of a drill tonight, we identified that her exhale under water has been limiting her further progress in her endurance building. And instantly, we had a huge breakthrough. No longer winded by the end of each 25, Karen swam more yardage tonight than any other night that I have witnessed.
What I shared with Karen is that years ago, I realized that I hum while I swim as I exhale through my nose. I have always stressed the importance of breathing continuously and not holding your breath as you swim but by specifying what I do, it translated into something specific for Karen to try.
While most references will tell you that you can breath out your mouth or nose, it might be worthwhile to go back to basics and identify how you are breathing to ensure that you are getting the most out of each breath. As with any sport, you can only perform as long as you are getting oxygen to your muscles.
Even if you know you are breathing continuously, try some breathing drills on your next swim. Are you fully exhaled before you breath in? Are you comfortable with your breath? Can you keep up with the intensity of your workout?
To steal a phrase from Yoga, bring your awareness to your breath and see if there are any improvements to be made.