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The way to obtain these benefits is to practice bilateral breathing as much as possible. Often in my evening group I will have swimmers breathe every 3 or 5 strokes as part of a drill or warmdown. But by no means should this practice be limited to drill sets or long warmdowns! It will feel awkward at first, sure. But awkwardness is easier to deal with than you may think. Regular practice of rolling to both sides to breathe will remedy this before you know it.
Some tips on how to practice bilateral breathing while keeping it interesting:
1.Breathe to your right side on one length and to your left on next. That way you get oxygen you need but still develop a symmetrical stroke. 2.Breathe to your weaker side on warm-ups, warmdowns, and slow swimming sets. 3.Experiment with 3 left, 3 right or 4 left, 4 right until you find a comfortable pattern
Keep goal in mind each week of breathing about same amount to one side as other over course of any week of swimming. Most of all, enjoy your swim and don’t get too hung up on being exact!
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.