BREATHING IN TRIATHLON SWIMMING
Breathing in triathlon swimming is different from any other type of swimming for two major reasons - 1. nowhere else will you go head to head with hundreds of other athletes and 2. do that in an open water
How hectic can a swim start get? Let's put it that way. A stronger swimmer that happens to be behind you will swim right over you if he has to. You might and most likely will get hit by someone’s hands flying through the air. You might get a bruise or two, ingest some seawater and get pushed around a bit. But getting momentarily dunked is no big deal and is actually a part of swimming in triathlon, so no matter what happens - do not loose your composure. Focus on the "action", focus on your technique of swimming.
Your way of breathing should allow you to:
The most important part of breathing technique is that it doesn't interfere with your swimming technique
- PROVIDE CONTINUOUS FLOW OF AIR. This is number one and it is not Triathlon Swimming specific. This part applies to all types of swimming. This actually applies to lots of sports, especially where you have to go the distance. The whole point of breathing whether swimming, running or walking, is to provide your body with oxygen to keep it functioning. To put it simply - air to us is like gasoline to the car. And it all works best when the uninterrupted flow is offered. Taking big gulps and holding breath for too long can make you lightheaded and could contribute to loosing the rhythm, not what you want during swimming. Since we're submerged into a thicker substance that we cannot breathe in, an element of fear is commonly associated with and is present in swimming. Combine it with the excitement of a triathlon race and things can potentially get out of hand or get you prematurely winded at the very least. That will allow the fatigue to set it sooner. Again, not what we want. By maintaining your focus on your technique and providing continuous flow of air supply, you will also help yourself remain composed which will result in quicker and move efficient movement forward.
- KEEP AN EYE ON THE COURSE. Since you're in an open water instead of a lane, you have to keep your eyes on where you're swimming, getting off course could be a costly mishap. Keeping an eye on things might require that you look both to the right and left, also ahead. Which ever way you might have to take breath, remember, you're better off taking small quick breaths (just don't exaggerate, so you're not hyperventilating).
- KEEP AN EYE ON COMPETITORS CLOSE BY. Keep an eye on the ones that are right next to you, so they don't interfere with your movement forward and your plan of action. It is recommended for the newbies to start on the side of the pack with plenty of room between them and others, and to stay on the outer part of the turn. It might extend your distance just a bit, but it could be the smart thing to do while acquiring the experience of competing.
. You really need less air than you might think. So don't try to "store" air, try to continuously move it along, keep an eye on where you're going and athletes swimming next to you. Focus on your technique
and your movement forward while providing a continuous supply of air and you will "breathe" through your entire triathlon
, not just the swimming part of it.
Article by Dr. Nicholas Romanov
Composed by L. Romanov