Freestyle Breathing and Taking an Unscheduled Day Off

This is where the workout information usually would go. You will notice there is nothing there today. It snowed several inches last night and I had to clear my driveway and the driveway of a couple of neighbors. When I finished Hoss wanted to sled and have a snowball fight, so I did my fatherly duty and made the executive decision to play with him instead. It sounded so much more fun that rolling on the trainer or the treadmill. And it was.

He has a Rainbow Play System in the backyard that looks something like this…

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He and I have been throwing snow on the slide and using it as a small sledding hill. Today we used the snow blower to put a ton of snow on the slide and on a track that we put together so he can ride a long way through the yard. It is a ton of fun.

With all the snow we got, there was a ton on the canvas roof today. This is where I get the Father of the Year Award. I climbed up to the top of the slide and told him I would push him down the slide so he could get more speed and go further. I waited until he got at the bottom of the stairs and I hit the underside of the canvas hard. Of course, all the snow came down as he was looking up and just covered him. It looked something like this…

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It was hilarious. I truly laughed so hard I thought I was going to fall off the tower. He was really a good sport about it and laughed pretty hard too. We had to make a deal that he could do that to his friends but never his cousins. I can only imagine the hell I would catch if he blanketed his cousins.

Freestyle Breathing Technique

Now I am not an expert swimmer. I do think my speed is pretty good, and I have taught several beginners proper freestyle technique. I have one friend who swam with me all winter last year who went from doing 25 meters to 500 meters without stopping. His speed improved and I think he looks more like a swimmer that a drowning cat (sorry Danny).

But I recognize my limitations and would never try to conduct a stroke analysis for someone. But I think many people have a problem with proper form when breathing. When I was taught to breathe, it was with two beat timing. Think of it as breathing on the right or left side with every stroke to that side. It might be easier to envision by thinking of a beat as the number of times your hands “beat” the water as you breathe.

Two years ago I decided I would learn to breathe bilaterally. That means you breathe on the right and left sides. As much as I have swam, I didn’t learn to breathe on both sides as a kid. Silly, I know. But I am happy to admit that I am not a proud bilateral breather.

One of the best videos I have ever seen on the net webs is this one. It is boring — no background soundtrack or anything — but the information it provides is fantastic. It is a little over 9:00, so make sure you have time before you start it. If you are an experienced or beginner triathlete, use this video to make improvements in your swim efficiency. Remember that the more efficient you are on the swim, the fresher you will be on your bike. Let the fish get away at the start of the swim and then chase them down and crush their spirits on the bike…

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...