The way you breathe makes all the difference in swimming. As i gear up my training I focus hugely on getting my breathing right. Breathing in the right way is a key factor in enhancing performance.
Mastering rhythmic breathing is critical. One of the first lessons is to learn how to not hold your breath when your face is under water. The key is to exhale when your face is in the water. Emptying your lungs as much as you can means you’re ready to take in a lungful of air when you turn or lift your head out of the water.
Inhaling and exhaling air in shallow breaths leads to carbon dioxide building up in your lungs, which impacts performance negatively.
Rhythm and timing of breathing is really important because it helps you get rid of any stale air building up in your lungs which will help you keep up a sustained effort.
You’ve got to think you swimming as naturally as a fish. So, doing breathing drills is as important as training the strokes. Practice single-side breathing, bilateral breathing (turning alternately to the right side, and then to the left) and hypoxic breathing (increasing your breathing to every four or five strokes).
Some people also find yoga not only improves mental health, but also will help coordinate your breathing with the way your body moves. It sure can help improve breathing coordination due to the enhanced sense of body awareness and control it brings.
Take a deep breath now and dive in!