Friday, June 17, 2011

Swim with Confidence by Practicing Hypoxic Breathing!

As a Professional Triathlon Coach and Swim Coach for Vizsla Swim Team, I often ask my athletes to perform workouts in which they practice hypoxic breathing. When athletes practice these workouts in the pool, they are restricting the amount of oxygen they are using. This may sound strange to any athletes who have never tried this, however there are benefits to these types of workouts.

Like flip turns, swimmers who practice hypoxic breathing will take fewer breaths which will build lung capacity. This is extremely helpful during a race. As I mentioned in last week’s post, there might be a time when an athlete will be on the swim leg of a triathlon, he/she will turn their head to breathe, but are unable to take that breath. The reason might be because either a wave is in the athlete’s face or another athlete’s hand, arm or leg is in the way. When you build lung capacity by practicing hypoxic breathing, you will be confident enough to put your face back in the water and breathe at a later time.

Below is a recent workout the swimmers on the team completed:

Warm Up:

100 (75 Easy Swim, 25 Drill: One Arm L)

100 (75 Easy Swim, 25 Drill: One Arm R)

100 (75 Easy Swim, 25 Drill: Fist)



6 x 200 Moderate (3, 5, 7, 3, 5, 7)* w/ :20 RI

*These are the number of strokes you will take per breath for each of the 200s

200 Build w/ :20 RI

2 x 100 Hard w/ :20 RI

Cool Down:

100 (75 Easy Swim, 25 Drill: One Arm L)

100 (75 Easy Swim, 25 Drill: One Arm R)

100 (75 Easy Swim, 25 Drill: Fist)

Total: 2,500

Practice this workout and others that focus on hypoxic breathing to help build lung capacity which will in turn build your confidence as a swimmer and a triathlete!

If you want more help with your swimming in a group atmosphere, please consider joining Vizsla Swim Team! We meet on Monday and Wednesday mornings at 6am at Agnes Scott College in Decatur for a one hour coached workout. I am also available for private lessons at the City Club of Buckhead located inside the Atlanta Financial Center. Visit my website or contact me at or at 404.667.0817 for more information.

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