Friday, September 25, 2009

Cyclosportif and Swim Experiment

Dear Swimmers

It looks like the good weather is finally showing its face - wahey!


1) please note that both the 7am and 9.30am swim sessions on Monday 28th September will still proceed despite the Long Weekend - please pop along if you can!

2) please reply to this email if you are keen to partake in next Sunday's (4th Oct) 75km Pinjarra Cyclo Sportif event - we are looking to put in a team of 7 to 9 riders. Please let me know. Thanks!

I just wanted to follow-up this morning with our breathing experiment as hopefully you found it quite useful. The aim was to get you doing a series of 100s at your best maintainable pace just like any other Friday, BUT that you were "forced" into breathing some of these 100s just to the left, some just to the right, and some bilaterally. Everyone will invariably have a favoured side to breathe to unless you learnt from scratch to breathe bilaterally. Whilst you had a goal pace, you will have noticed that you were faster with one of these options over the other two. Which option was this? By how much?

What was great to see / hear was how many of you felt more balanced, symmetrical and "straighter" in the water when breathing bilaterally, even if you were maybe 1-2 seconds slower per 100m than breathing to your favoured side. Should you then scrap the idea of doing the majority of your training breathing bilaterally if unilateral breathing is faster? Surely as a coach I should be advising you to swim in the fastest manner possible? True, perhaps, but how many of you complained of feeling sore or fatigued on one side when breathing unilaterally? A lot. What does this show? You are not rotating well enough to that side.

Who felt they were out of breath breathing with any of the options? Maybe you were holding your breath?

If you are 1-2 seconds quicker per 100m breathing to one side only in the pool, but this ultimately causes you to swim less straight in the open water and therefore swim 3-4 seconds slower (or more!) per 100m than bilaterally, which is the preferred option and the one to pursue? If your need and frequency to sight and lift your head in the open water (which slows you down because you bum drops) is dictated by how confident you are of swimming straight, then surely it makes sense to pursue the option which gave you the best sensation of swimming straight in the pool (bilateral) even if it hasn't yet felt totally comfortable for you. It will only feel comfortable if you give it time and diligent practice. Old habits are hard to break, but they can be broken!

I am very pleased to say that the majority of you do now breathe bilaterally. For those of you who don't, why not give it a chance? What have you got to lose?


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