When I first got back into swimming in 2012 my plan was always to train myself up to be able to breathe bilaterally. I always considered that to be part of what constitutes a ‘proper’ swimmer.
So I’d try – and I would really try – but I just couldn’t master it.
It wasn’t so much the breathing part – I could always technically breathe to both sides, it’s just that when I breathed to the right I couldn’t seem to swim at the same time. I seemed to lose all momentum and power and as much as I worked on it I just wasn’t getting any better. So after a couple of weeks of diligently working on it I’d give up again.
Then when I did the Channel Relay I noticed that all the swimmers in my team only breathed to one side during that swim (even Mike Read, the king of the Channel). My attitude then was ‘bugger bilateral’.
Until now that is.
Unfortunately during the first technique session with Ray from SwimCanaryWharf there was a misunderstanding and I thought that he had said that bilateral wasn’t important. However, during the second session he was disappointed that I wasn’t breathing bilaterally during normal swims (ie when not working on the specific drills). So this morning (the first chance I’ve had to swim since I saw him last week) I committed to breathing bilaterally.
And I can do it!!
With just two coaching sessions (and me working on some drills myself) I can do it. It was clearly all to do with the way I would ‘lean’ on my right arm as I was swimming and now that this is better (but by no means perfect yet) it has freed me up to be able to breathe bilaterally.
Not only that, but this morning’s swim felt wonderful and relaxed and I swam with a sense of perpetual motion and not a ‘limpy’ hard working stroke.
I’m feeling really confident about the changes this will make to my swimming overall.
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