Breathe out, don’t blow out

My swimming technique is definitely improving. I’m swimming twice a week at the moment, I did consider a third time this week but it was Friday night and I was knackered, but twice a week is making a difference pretty much every time I go.

I think I sussed something out regarding the breathing today. Breathing has always been my major issue with swimming because I feel like I’m running out of breath and I have to stop. The longest I have ever gone without stopping was 8 lengths of a 25m pool, which I did once last Sunday, so today I decided I would try to do 10. I did that, then followed it up with 4 x 8 lengths, which is a significant improvement over previous attempts. So I managed 42 lengths, and stopped just four times. Normally, I’d have to stop at least eight times.

When I was doing the third set of lengths, something came to mind in terms of how I was breathing. When I was blowing out in the water, I wasn’t actually breathing out, I was merely blowing out, so it felt like I was blowing out the oxygen I had inhaled one second before. I then concentrated on actually breathing out, and suddenly that made my breaths in feel like they were actually doing something. It also made me feel slightly more nervous, because now I really didn’t have much air in my body, and I always have this fear that I’m going to drown if I can’t breath in right at the very second I need to, which, let’s face it, isn’t really going to happen, but is something I need to work through. So, aside from that fear, breathing like this suddenly seemed to be making it feel like I was getting oxygen to my muscles, which in turn made them feel much better.

For the last set of 8 lengths, I was only going to do 6 lengths so that I could get to 1km, but coming towards the end of the 6th one, I felt like going on was no problem, so I did. The last length felt a bit tough, but I think that’s mainly because my body by this point was getting pretty tired, yet I didn’t feel I was going to drown. Getting rid of that feeling, assuming I ever do, is going to be such a winner.

And now, back home, for the first time I feel like my body has actually been working. That’s never happened before after swimming. Every other time, I get home and I feel totally fine. Today, I feel like I have had a workout, which is a great sign because it suggests that my body has been working harder, which I’m putting down to (you guessed it) the oxygen intake improving.

We’ll see on Wednesday, when I next go swimming, whether this theory is valid or not.

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