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Breathing Problems near the End of Races


Hello again Gary!

My 13 yo swimmer son’s technique is greatly improving, and he is overall seeing a marked difference in his efficiency and times.  Thank you so much for your advice and recommendations….it is definitely working!

There is now another issue….my son has an affinity towards sprint races, and finds difficulty with his breathing patterns during longer freestyle events, such as 500, 1000, etc., and more recently the 400 IM.   He starts the races breathing as he should, then his breathing patterns become erratic towards the last 100 meters without a steady pattern, causing him to lose efficiency in the water. He wants to find a more comfortable breathing pattern, especially when he is fatigued during these somewhat longer distance events in which he is less accustomed. Do you have any suggestions for him ( he tends to “double breathe” when he tires, and says he wants to change this but doesn’t know how)?

Thank you again,



Hi Tanza,

Thanks for your feedback.

In regards to effective breathing in longer distance events it is so important to practice the breathing pattern you wish to use in a race in training all the time.

Many swimmers breath at different times in training and then expect to be able to hold a breathing pattern under pressure and when they are tiring in a race.

For the best results, your son needs to practice the breathing pattern he wishes to use in every set in training including all aerobic or distance sets and particularly every harder longer set.  This may take some time, however if he gets good at it, he will then be able to use this pattern in races as well, leading to a more efficient stroke and body position towards the end of races.



The Swimming Expert


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