I lose my breath too early while free-style swimming. As a result I have to stop and take in a breath and then continue to swim again.

How do I train my body/mind to use minimum amount of oxygen under these conditions?

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    see this question fitness.stackexchange.com/q/428/3778
    – FredrikD
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 11:41
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    That link pretty much sums it up. The most common question I ask beginning swimmers is "You don't hold your breath while running, why would you do it swimming?" There is a natural inclination to hold your breath when your face is underwater, and that is where a lot of beginners fail. They hold their breath, then roll WAY over and breath out and in (Almost in essence hyperventilating), and pretty soon they are dizzy and out of breath. Also, you may be swimming too fast for your training level, and simply thrashing at the water which won't help. Swimming is hugely technique based.
    – JohnP
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 15:22

1 Answer 1


Breathe in deep each time (Duh) and then spend the rest of the time constantly exhaling. Do not HOLD your breath, slowly release it, (blow bubbles) for the next three strokes till it is time to breathe again.

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    Good advice, but I would hesitate to label a three stroke as a designated time for breathing. Depending on level of exertion, a swimmer may breath once every stroke, once every 5, 7, 2, etc. It's highly dependent on what the swimmer finds comfortable. Also, the needs of the race may dictate breathing. For a 50m swim in a 25m pool, many swimmers will breathe only once down and once back, or zero down and one back, etc.
    – JohnP
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 15:23
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    @JohnP Good point. I was just suggesting a common pattern of 3 breathes per stroke. Every second stroke can help in the short term to get used to the breathing. Of course, for anearobic sprints, all bets are off.
    – geoffc
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:40
  • while i breathe out in water what should be the shape of my mouth? should it be full of air i breathed in or should it be empty with the air gulped in.
    – Ankit
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 2:06
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    You don't want to gape your mouth wide, but you don't want it all pinched either. I generally just breath out with my lips relaxed and let the air make it's own mouth shape. The more you can relax and forget about the breathing by making it a natural part of your stroke, the better off you will be. It just takes time and practice. The swimsmooth recommendation in the link above is a great one, that is a great site.
    – JohnP
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 3:02

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