[034] Taking sides

Swim: 1,500 m/23,700 m

Bike: 0/51.7 miles

Run: 0/35.5 miles

Just a quick note on this week’s Thursday-night swim. I know it’s important to be able to breathe on both sides while swimming freestyle – when things are churning in the open-water swim on race day I’ll need to be comfortable using both sides. But up to this point I have been hesitant to try it, since I am just learning how to swim in the first place.

Tonight I made my first tentative steps toward bilateral breathing. It wasn’t as hard as I expected (although it’s all relative – my form when breathing out of my “good” side isn’t all that great yet) and I was able to pick it up while inhaling only a few mouthfuls of delicious pool water.

During the swim all I could think about was getting a swim coach. I feel like I’ve reached a plateau working on my own, and could use the help of a professional to critique my particular situation and offer advice. No matter how smooth my form feels, I just can’t seem to get the breathing down. I always need an extra breath or two at each turn. When I force myself to turn and immediately start swimming again, I find my form crumbling as my oxygen supply diminishes. I’ve heard tons of tips on how to hold your hands and the path they should follow, where your head and body should be positioned, and how to kick, but I haven’t heard too much about how to breath properly. Maybe because it’s so simple that no one has bothered to write about it?

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