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How to Breathe Less in a 50m Freestyle Race

QUESTION:

Hi.

I am 11 yrs old my last 50 free sprint meters was 35.33 I am trying to get to 30 or under but recently I’ve been noticing getting very tired in a 50 and my dad was a competitive swimmer and says I need to be breathing a lot less but I cannot hold my breath for long periods of time.

Also, when I flip turn i find my self streamlining only a little past the flags only to pop up to take a breath.

Any tips?

Sincerely Ava

ANSWER:

Hi Ava,

Your dad is right!! As you gradually get older, you will need to reduce the number of breaths you take in a 50m freestyle race.

To hold your breath for longer periods of time, you first need to practice this in training, day after day.

Begin by swimming your 50’s in training breathing every 4 strokes all the time. You can then progress to breathing every 5 or 6 strokes.

If you practice this over and over again you will gradually train yourself to do the same in a race.

If you do some dive 50s in training practice breathing every 6 strokes on the first one and then gradually progress to every 8 strokes over time.

You are now ready to breathe less in a race. When you dive in, you do not need a breath for at least the first 6, 8 or 10 strokes. Then try breathing every 6 strokes for the whole race. Once you can do this, breathe every 8 strokes and so on.

With your turns, you also need to practice holding your breathe for at least one stroke into the turn and two strokes out of the turn, every time you turn in training. Once you can do this, try it in a race. You may like to read https://theswimmingexpert.com/flip-turns-and-breathing/.

Good luck and let me know how you go.

Regards

Gary

The Swimming Expert



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