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3.Speed is Sacrificed because of a “Pause” While Breathing. A typical scenario is that you feel like you’re cruising along just fine and then you take a breath and it feels like you’ve just lost all your momentum. To remedy this, when you breathe, concentrate first on breathing to side (as in #1), then on having your mouth parallel to water, instead of over water. The latter will take a while to master, but once you do, it will take care of pause, and improve your speed overall.
4.Difficulty breathing while navigating in a race. You need to look up to see where you are going, and at same time grab a breath. How can you do both? Start with bilateral breathing (breathing on both sides every 3 strokes). This will help you to see about where you are without lifting your head up as much. When you need to lift your head up to sight, try not to look straight ahead- this will make your hips sink and throw you off balance. Instead, take a quick peek at your target, roll to side to breath, and bring your head right back down into position.
5.Sucking In Water While Taking a Breath. In practice, this will sometimes occur because of #1 and #2 above. In a race, waves may cause inhalation of water instead of air (bilateral breathing will help here as well). The drills to practice to improve balance and avoid this unpleasant occurrence are side kicking and shark fin drills, as well as one-arm drill. To perform one-arm drill, swim a full stroke with one arm while your other arm rests at your side. Breathe on opposite side of stroking arm. This is a difficult drill and takes some practice, but it will pay off! For more and to view this and other drills, see Full Package from Tri Swim Coach.
Kevin coaches masters and triathlete swimmers in San Diego, CA. He operates the website www.TriSwimCoach.com, a resource for future or current triathletes needing help with the swim. The site features a free email newsletter offering tips and articles on triathlon swimming. Kevin has also written an electronic book titled “The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming” which is sold on his website www.triswimcoach.com in downloadable form.