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How To Breathe On Both Sides Whilst Swimming | Triathlon Training Explained

Bilateral breathing is a skill every swimmer and triathlete should master. Whether it’s to keep your swim stroke balanced or to help sight whilst open water swimming, Heather & Fraser explain how you can improve this skill.

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Bilateral is otherwise known as two sides so simply put, bilateral breathing, means breathing on both your left and your right hand side. You might already breathe on both sides but find one side easier than the other or you might find it impossible to breath on one side at all.

We are going to be taking a closer look at the technique of breathing whilst swimming and in particular, how and why you should master bilateral breathing.

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For more information on this topic, check out the following links from training peaks:
9 Reasons Why Pool Speed May Not Translate to Openwater – http://gtn.io/TPPoolToOW
Is Bilateral Breathing Essential For Triathletes? – http://gtn.io/TPBilateralTriathlon
A Beginner’s Guide to Swim Training – http://gtn.io/TPBeginnerSwim

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Watch more on GTN…
📹 How To Breathe When Swimming | Freestyle Swimming For Beginners – http://gtn.io/SwimBreathing
📹 Rotation – How To Swim Front Crawl | Freestyle Swimming Technique – http://gtn.io/FrontCrawlRotate

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Comments (9)

yeah… my friends call me Zoolander, cause I cant breath to the left 🙁

Heather, does it make much difference trickle breathing through mouth instead of nose, apart from water getting in your mouth?

Off topic but those shots are gorgeous what kind of camera are you using to get such great definition underwater ?

I am having ear problems when I breathe both sides, any tips?

I think both of you look forward too much. A small glitch in your stroke. Look straight down and your lower body comes up and creates less drag, then you just have to roll your body to get a breath. If you look forward you have to use several muscles that don’t need to be used. I’ve only been teaching swimming for 40 years, but what do I know.

I did some open water training and the instructor corrected my stroke where I was putting hands in to the water thumbs first explaining it’d correct my cross over, and therefore use larger muscles. I notice early in the video Heather doing this a lot. Does it cause you any shoulder issues or was the fix more for my specific stroke rather than a general guide?

Varying my breathing pattern in a set sequence helps me keep track of my laps. I have a five lap sequence. Laps one and three are breathing every second stroke on my right only. Laps two and four are breathing every third stroke on alternating sides. Lap five is breathing on my right outbound and on my left inbound. I repeat this sequence eight times for a total of forty laps, which is 2000 meters in my local pool.

Learning to breathe on both sides was fairly easy. Learning to come out of a flip turn breathing on my left rather than on my right was much more difficult. I’ve been doing that every fifth lap for years and still find it awkward.

Ferdinand Bardamu

9 strokes without breathing? You must be doplhins.

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