Over half of our customers and followers say that breathing is the thing they struggle with the most in freestyle.
And in our Tri Swim Success course, we teach how to successfully breathe in freestyle, starting with the basics.
But the “secret” to breathing is…
The purpose to taking a breath is to get oxygen.
I know, shocking right?
Well this is one thing I see people forgetting as they make improvements to their stroke.
They see other people breathing every 3 strokes (bilateral breathing) and they think, that must be the way to breathe.
So they attempt to breathe every 3 strokes, no matter what.
And they end up oxygen-starved, because one side is much harder to breathe than the other.
And, they can even throw of their strokes if that harder side is much weaker than the easier side.
This is not to say there isn’t a reason to learn bilateral breathing. Being able to breathe to both sides is advantageous in open water swimming (for navigation), and during a race (to see where people and landmarks are).
But keep in mind, oxygen comes first. If you are sacrificing oxygen for some breathing pattern that you think you must do, you are going to destroy your energy levels in the long run (and bike ).
Getting oxygen when needed is just one more way to befriend that water, and keep your “just keep swimming” attitude going through a variety of conditions.