Hi Brenton Ford here, welcome to the Effortless Swimming YouTube Channel. This video is about how often you should breathe and what breathing pattern you should use when you’re swimming freestyle

Let’s break it down between training and racing, to me they’re two different things. In training, what I recommend to my swimmers is every

time that you’re training you should mix it up to both sides now it doesn’t necessarily need to be 50/50 as in 50 percent of your breaths to the left 50 percent air breathe to

the right. It might be something like 30 70. I don’t mind too much with that as long as you are mixing it up to both sides. The breathing pattern in training, again, it doesn’t

matter too much as long as you mix it up, for example, if I’m in a 50-meter pool I’ll typically do two breaths off the wall for the first couple of strokes so I breathe in every two

strokes off the wall and then I might get into a breathing every three patterns or sometimes I’ll go half a lap breathing to the left half lap breathing to the right. Other times, I’ll

just alternate it left side on the way down the right side on the way back breathing mostly every two but obviously, it depends what speed you’re going and what’s the

purpose of the set and how much air, how much oxygen you’re going to need throughout that set. It really varies depending on what you’re doing in

training but to me don’t worry too much about the breathing pattern. Just find one that suits you best, everyone’s different. I know swimmers that prefer to breathe every three strokes and then I also know swimmers who are not great breathing every three so they prefer to go every two strokes and there’s nothing wrong with that at all, each person is different. So, that’s training.

Now, when it comes to doing some faster-paced sets in training, I think it’s important to, for the most part, settle into a breathing pattern that you’d have for a race and we’ll talk about that in a moment but basically you need to get as much air in or as much oxygen in as you need to be able to sustain your pace throughout the set so there’s no point holding every breathing, every for pattern because you’re being told it’s a better thing to do if you’re really struggling to get

enough air in. To me, breathing every two or three is typically what most people will do when they’re swimming at a fast pace anything sort of 85 to 90 percent. When

it comes to racing, to me, I’m better off breathing through the left-hand side and for any events that are typically about 2 K or shorter. I’ll breathe just to the left but

then for events that any longer than two K’s, I’ll usually mix it up I’ll do about 75% of my breathing to the left side and then about 25% of my breathing to the right side. For

events that are longer, so for example, when I did the Rottnest Channel in February, I did about even I did about 50% to the left 50% to the right because the pace is a little bit slower and to me I’m better off, I can breathe easier to the right-hand side when I’m going that a little bit slower so again there are no hard and fast rules with this. To me, a lot of swimmers take the advice to literally where they’re told to breathe, you have to breathe every two, you have to breathe every three, but to me just find whatever suits you best as long as you can breathe through both sides in training. Then when you’re racing, stick with whatever suits your best and it’s going to vary depending on the distances that

you’re doing the pace that you’re going and a number of other factors. Don’t worry too much about which breathing pattern you’re certainly into, everyone’s different.
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Posted in Freestyle